Which Airlines Offer Lounge Memberships?

There are several, with some offering access to multiple spaces thanks to airline partnerships.

Frequent flyer or not, airport lounges are appealing to any traveler. With passenger traffic reaching the highest levels ever seen in some markets, lounge memberships have become increasingly popular. For years, airlines have marketed their lounges along with frequent flyer benefits, but today, there are several opportunities to access the airport’s most coveted spaces through credit card ownership or annual memberships.

However, there are still ways to enter lounges if credit cards are not of interest or if a traveler does not have a recurring status with any particular airline. Some carriers offer day passes for purchase, but they can be limited depending on capacity. Third-party membership programs, such as Priority Pass, are an additional alternative to gaining access to an airport lounge. Regardless of how a traveler may be able to enter a lounge, it will come at a cost.

What’s so special about lounges?

Airport lounges have become a prime spot for passengers who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of travel. The often spacious spaces have comfortable seating and an inviting ambiance. Several also have complimentary food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and WiFi, while more recent lounges have been fitted with quiet rooms, and showers. Established by well-known carriers, credit card companies have now opened up their own lounges, such as American Express’ Centurion Lounge Collection and Chase Sapphire Lounges by The Club.

Some of the most popular airline lounge annual memberships are with Alaska Airlines, American AirlinesDelta Air Lines, and United Airlines. The annual membership gives the purchasing traveler access to any of the lounges that the airline operates, in addition to lounges operated by the carrier’s partners.

Premium benefits, albeit at a cost

Those with elite status may be eligible to access more premium lounges, such as American’s Flagship Lounges, the Qantas First Lounge, or oneworld Alliance‘s first class lounges. While they could save costs on an annual membership, access may depend on an international itinerary, meaning domestic flyers may be unable to enter.

Elite travelers on Star Alliance carriers, such as United, can access any Star Alliance lounge in the network, which includes United’s Polaris lounges and Turkish Airlines’ Smiles & Miles lounges. Within the SkyTeam Alliance, travelers can enter their lounges, but they must have the SkyTeam Elite Plus, which is equivalent to Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, and Diamond Medallion passengers.

Annual memberships can be priced from around $450 to as much as $1,500, so depending on the flyer, the membership may be worth it, especially considering some airline partnerships. Since Alaska is a oneworld airline, membership to the airline’s lounge also grants access to the likes of Qantas’ lounges or American’s Admirals Clubs. A standard Alaska Lounge Membership provides access to Alaska’s nine lounges and starts at $450 for elites and $550 for non-elites. Travelers who purchase an Alaska Lounge+ membership will expand their access to all of the carrier’s lounges and nearly 90 lounges operated by its partner airlines, but it will cost a bit more – $650 per year. Single-entry day lounge passes are available for $60 per person and are offered when space is available.

American’s Admirals Club membership includes access to nearly 50 lounges and over 60 lounges operated by its partners. Purchasers, however, must have an AAdvantage account in order to get a membership, and the rates are based on the travelers’ AAdvantage status. For members without elite status, the annual membership can be bought in person at any Admirals Club location or online for an $850 fee or 85,000 AAdvantage miles. A one-day pass can be purchased online and at select locations for $79 or 7,900 AAdvantage miles; however, availability is based on lounge capacity. Travelers can receive complimentary access with the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

American Airlines Admirals Club Annual Membership Rates
Membership Type AAdvantage non-elite AAdvantage Gold AAdvantage Platinum AAdvantage Platinum Pro AAdvantage Executive Platinum
Individual – new $850 $825 $800 $775 $750
Individual – renew $800 $775 $750 $725 $700
Household – new $1,650 $1,625 $1,600 $1,575 $1,550
Household – renew $1,600 $1,575 $1,550 $1,525 $1,500
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard (*$595 annual fee) Complimentary

Delta Sky Club memberships are only available to Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members. However, non-Medallion members may still access the club with other qualifying credentials, which includes owning the Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Reserve Business American Express Card, or a same-day flight booked in Delta One.

Delta Sky Club Membership Options
Membership Type Details Rate
Executive Membership Unlimited access along with an allowance of up to two guests, such as a spouse or domestic partner, and children under age 21. $1,495 per year or 149,500 Delta SkyMiles
Individual Membership Allowance of up to two guests, such as a spouse or domestic partner, and children under age 21 for an additional fee. $695 or 69,500 Delta SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card Complimentary access to Delta Sky Club, plus four one-time Guest Passes per year when card members and guests fly together. Limited to 15 annual visits until eligible card purchases equal $75,000 in a calendar year to be granted unlimited access. $650 annual card fee


Thanks to American Express’ partnership with Delta, American Express Platinum Cardholders can also get complimentary access to Delta Sky Club locations. The cardholder must have a same-day flight with the airline and is limited to the number of visits. They can bring guests, but they are subject to a fee, which must be paid with the Platinum card. If the cardholder is not flying with Delta, they can access the Centurion Lounge at select airports.

Access to the United Club and rates are based on the current status with United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program. With a United Club membership, travelers can enter more than 45 locations and select partner lounges worldwide. The price starts at $650 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles. Travelers can also gain access by opening up a United Club Infinite Card account, which comes with a $525 annual fee. Exclusive lounges – Polaris Lounge – created for United Polaris business class and premium Star Alliance cabins are available for international travelers. The spaces have shower suites and feature full sit-down meal service.


By Channing Reid

Source SimpleFlying