Why the allure to Lounges?

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Old Dec 9, 18, 8:15 pm
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Why the allure to Lounges?

Hi AC FTers!

I've read many posts here, and it seems a common theme that many FTers value lounges greatly. However, I don't understand this value can you explain it to me? I am operating under the assumption most FTers are paid corporate flying, and also have a per diem to spend on meals per day.

I've been to some lounges, i.e., CX (HKG, YYZ Premium Plaza), AC (YYZ, YYC, YVR). However, in all these cases, I don't see the value in the lounges. In fact, I was just at a Maple Leaf lounge today, the food is so bad (unhealthy), you couldn't pay me to eat it. Additionally, the alcohol while might be free, is also very poor quality (you couldn't pay me to drink some of their wines). The only thing I value about lounges is showers (esp Asian airport showers) and quiet space (but let's be real, you probably won't find that in any Maple Leaf lounges at busy hours). The economic value I place on these lounges are $5 max, maybe $100 for a nice shower at an Asian lounge. But for a Maple Leaf lounge, I definitely wouldn't pay more than $5. Your thoughts!?
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Old Dec 9, 18, 8:32 pm
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I fly enough that I get lounge access with my airline status. Seeing as how I've had it for free for a few years it would be a lot harder to assign a monetary value.

If you don't usually have access, the value of the lounge would be significantly higher.

I value the ability to find a place to work (even when the lounge is busy I can find some table space), the cleaner washrooms than the rest of the airport, and the ease. If I wanted to eat somewhere else I could, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with it.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 8:41 pm
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I value the fact that it is less of a zoo than the terminal in general. I value the bug-less wifi that allows me to smoothly make Skype calls. I value being able to work in a quiet space while enjoying a drink as opposed to sitting in a loud restaurant/bar.

But most of all I value being able to push people out of the way as I rush toward the MLL doors waving my Altitude tags and then throwing an epic DYKWIA when an E50K takes the last slice of pizza.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by phdtraveller View Post
Hi AC FTers!

I've read many posts here, and it seems a common theme that many FTers value lounges greatly. However, I don't understand this value can you explain it to me? I am operating under the assumption most FTers are paid corporate flying, and also have a per diem to spend on meals per day.

I've been to some lounges, i.e., CX (HKG, YYZ Premium Plaza), AC (YYZ, YYC, YVR). However, in all these cases, I don't see the value in the lounges. In fact, I was just at a Maple Leaf lounge today, the food is so bad (unhealthy), you couldn't pay me to eat it. Additionally, the alcohol while might be free, is also very poor quality (you couldn't pay me to drink some of their wines). The only thing I value about lounges is showers (esp Asian airport showers) and quiet space (but let's be real, you probably won't find that in any Maple Leaf lounges at busy hours). The economic value I place on these lounges are $5 max, maybe $100 for a nice shower at an Asian lounge. But for a Maple Leaf lounge, I definitely wouldn't pay more than $5. Your thoughts!?
Domestically I like the Plaza Premium lounges over the MLL. Key advantage is it is a quite place to relax. before being trapped in cramp seat in a metal tube for a few hours. I may eat somethings (however it is not a meal). Potentially catch up one some work if it is a longer stay. Grab a print out of something.

The more the terminal becomes crowded the more important the lounges are.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 9:42 pm
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The lounges have turned into zoos that are often busier than the general airport terminals. The 'allure' is basically the nicer chairs, the all-you-can drink alcohol and the food.

I think some lounge patrons are also in denial of their alcohol abuse habits. I've seen people who have downed a bottle of Crown Royal in their lounge session, and certainly could afford to pay for the drinks at a normal airport bar, but having a $200 bar bill on their credit card that gets seen by their wife would be quite unacceptable. So they booze it up in the lounge where there is no monitoring of portions or of amounts consumed. In the lounge they can drink themselves silly discretely, while a person who drinks $200 worth of liquor at an airport bar "with service" alone might be viewed as a bit of a weirdo.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by phdtraveller
The economic value I place on these lounges are $5 max, maybe $100 for a nice shower at an Asian lounge.
One can only imagine what nice Asian shower experience is worth $100.

Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope
I value the fact that it is less of a zoo than the terminal in general. I value the bug-less wifi that allows me to smoothly make Skype calls. I value being able to work in a quiet space while enjoying a drink as opposed to sitting in a loud restaurant/bar.
Perhaps ironic that those Skype calls contribute to making the lounges more like the terminal concourses in terms of volume and distraction. I have found that many of the free airport wifi networks are superior in speed and reliability than those in airline tenant lounges, although I don't run those speed test sites to verify my impressions.

Originally Posted by Fiordland
The more the terminal becomes crowded the more important the lounges are.
In theory, yes. I'm fortunate to frequent an airport in which the public concourses are generally a nicer space than the member-access lounges. There always seem to be nearby corners to find a less-hectic seating area prior to boarding - even at peak departure times - and the lounges are usually a paradoxical exercise in increased jostling for space, seating and amenities.
Where lounges do become valuable is when schedules are thrown into disarray due to departure delays.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by pitz View Post
The lounges have turned into zoos that are often busier than the general airport terminals. The 'allure' is basically the nicer chairs, the all-you-can drink alcohol and the food.

I think some lounge patrons are also in denial of their alcohol abuse habits.
I disagree with your initial statement in the sense that it cannot be applied so broadly. Likely true in the YVR DOM at 10 AM on a Monday, but I don't think I'd go with "often" busier than the terminal.

Your second statement is just true about alcohol abuse in general and need not be applied inside the vacuum of the lounge. Denial, in fact, is the calling card of alcohol (or any) addiction.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 9:58 pm
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My position is that the value of a lounge is inversely proportional to the quality of the general airport terminal.

In some relatively pleasant airports, like YVR, which have abundant seating, free drinkable water and fast wifi, it's barely an upgrade.

In ADD or LIM, even a mediocre lounge could be a godsend. In Southeast Asia it's worth it just for the air conditioning. And in FRA, ZRH or LHR, where many facilities are available but a coffee is likely to set you back 5 EUR and a mediocre pastry another 5, free access just for a snack and a drink can be a good value.

I reserve particular disdain for first-world airports that don't have free potable water, ahem, Frankfurt.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
One can only imagine what nice Asian shower experience is worth $100.


Perhaps ironic that those Skype calls contribute to making the lounges more like the terminal concourses in terms of volume and distraction.
If you ever catch me having a call above a low volume level and/or outside of a designated work space you are within your rights to attack me with a banana. I freaking hate that crap. I'm aware that nobody gives two figs about my latest inane business dealings.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 10:02 pm
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The MLLs are pretty bare bones domestically. I much prefer the Plaza lounges where you can generally get a real meal. Agree the wine is universally undrinkable in all domestic lounges! YEG Plaza Lounge has nice local craft beer on tap though. Amex lounges in the US are nice but often crowded. They have top shelf liquor. Delta Skyclubs at major hubs like SEA are also very nice and have better food than outstation lounges. I enjoy the lounges for the most part and feel I get value from my Amex Plat Card Membership
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Old Dec 9, 18, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope View Post
If you ever catch me having a call above a low volume level and/or outside of a designated work space you are within your rights to attack me with a banana. I freaking hate that crap. I'm aware that nobody gives two figs about my latest inane business dealings.
A rare gentleman in terms of social behaviour. Good thing, as a typically overripe MLL banana would likely break off in my hand during the wind-up.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
YEG Plaza Lounge has nice local craft beer on tap though.
I have missed out all this time. Could this be a game changer? The Belgian joint is not easy on the wallet, and the MLL....pffft.

Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
Delta Skyclubs at major hubs like SEA are also very nice and have better food than outstation lounges.
Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
Yep, same for the new SkyTeam lounge at YVR - a high step above the Int'l MLL.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
A rare gentleman in terms of social behaviour. Good thing, as a typically overripe MLL banana would likely break off in my hand during the wind-up.
Any gentlemanly tendencies or proper social graces are only present due to the tireless and relentless drilling by my lovely wife. I'll use this post as assurance for her that all is not lost and her work is not performed in vain.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 12:52 am
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I do appreciate lounges and try to use them even if quickly.

If I have just a few minutes (usually dom) and go to MLL for a clean(er) washroom and to grab a snack for the plane

Any more time to actually sit down and work, much prefer PP, shout out to the YEG team.

In either case, I've come to almost expect a quick beer before a flight, and have seen people consume 5-6 beers. I actually like the YEG PP sign that states (whether true or not) that Alberta regulations limit serving to two beers.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
I reserve particular disdain for first-world airports that don't have free potable water, ahem, Frankfurt.
The situation at FRA has changed for the better recently: free water at bottle-filling-stations and cheap bottled water:
https://www.fraport.com/content/frap...ter-dispe.html

Would still rather go to the lounge for a quick drink, salad, free internet and clean bathrooms.
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