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Airport lounge food vs airport (restaurant/cafe) food?

Airport lounge food vs airport (restaurant/cafe) food?

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Old Jan 19, 18, 4:46 pm
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Airport lounge food vs airport (restaurant/cafe) food?

What is your verdict between airport lounge food and food that you pay for yourself?

I am in NZ it is difficult unless you are a very frequent flier or that you purchase full price economy or premium economy and up. With our national carrier to get gold star alliance status we need 9x economy 11,000 miles, 11,000 (is the return or 5,550 miles one way). 9x Auckland or Sydney to Singapore roughly. Or maybe 4x paid for in premium economy. There is Asiana which gets star gold easier with 2 return trips per year (evaluated each 2yr) instead. I have the ability to travel at my own time so I can travel on $500US equiv. fares and not $1,100US fares. Thing is though $500US fares cannot accrue points or status points with a different airline even a partner airline.

1. Deliberately paying $1100 instead of $500 (same seat, same class, etc) just to get the status points. Do this at least 2x a year.
2. Paying for priority pass at maybe the $200-250US mark which I think is the amount of usage that I might need. Companions are extra.
3. Save my money and sit in the main airport and spend my money there.


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Old Jan 19, 18, 7:29 pm
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So you are paying $1200 for the status. Do you only value the lounge access or you get other benefits too?

if only the lounge access, $1200 gets you some pretty good meals in restaurants that serve real food.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sxc View Post
So you are paying $1200 for the status. Do you only value the lounge access or you get other benefits too?

if only the lounge access, $1200 gets you some pretty good meals in restaurants that serve real food.
I found taking too much belongings is a frustration so I don't even use checked luggage at all. Very occasionally I might throw my "daypack" into cargo so it gives my back a rest and I just carry my small man-bag onboard that has my camera. So the extra checked luggage and carry-on doesn't apply to me. Priority stand-by and boarding also doesn't apply to me. I might travel 2x overseas at my own dime to somewhere for a break, at a time maybe 10-14 days each. So it's not like I am needing stand-by prioritisation to get back to work ASAP or if I my flight is affected.

Carting my stuff around myself in the city after I checked out of my room is a hassle and it waste time (hence I travel light). I guess I might occasionally use the showers in the lounge where available esp if I have an evening flight which is often for Asia back to NZ.

I know friends who travel in peak season ie to be with family in the Christmas and New Year period and with Asia - Chinese New Year and other type of festivals like the mid-autumn festival. If that was the case then I would already be purchasing the not so discounted fares and I could accrue points but for me, I have the option to travel in offpeak and never travel in peak unless something else happens in my life.

Gold status with Asiana might provide 5-10% bonus miles but that's rather a drop in the pond.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 7:21 am
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Are there any credit cards in NZ that might give lounge access? That's a popular option in Canada/US.

The lounge is a nice benefit but it's more about the relaxing atmosphere than the food. With possibly a few exceptions, they're generally not serving gourmet meals. Depending on the airport, you can often get better food at the restaurants, but it is expensive (even for quick meals like a sandwich and coffee). So, if you travel any amount, the cost of priority pass can be justified pretty quickly.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
,,,not serving gourmet meals....
Many (most?) lounges serve snacks, rather than meals. I wouldn't rely on a lounge membership to eliminate the need to pay for meals, but they can greatly reduce the bar tab.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 1:09 pm
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Depends on the lounges/airports you will be frequenting on a regular basis, and how much you'll be travelling. The answers to this topic are subject to location more than anything else. If I read your OP correctly, you fly probably twice a year, so don't bother with status or lounges, unless you are paying for buss/first class.

In my case, the 3 main lounges I frequent most often (Aspire, which is part of the PP program, AMEX Centurion, and a corporate *A location) have food that is better than what the restaurants have in said airports (except for Pappadeux in IAH, but if I go there it's always a $100 bill).

Full and healthier meals are served, as opposed to solely carbohydrate based snacks or deep fried and breaded mystery meat, and if my wife and I want to have a glass of wine, etc, well, that's included.

BTW, you'll notice none of the lounges I use are specific to an airline........and that says something about the airlines lounge product.

Last edited by KDS777; Jan 21, 18 at 11:37 am
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Old Jan 20, 18, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
Are there any credit cards in NZ that might give lounge access? That's a popular option in Canada/US.

The lounge is a nice benefit but it's more about the relaxing atmosphere than the food. With possibly a few exceptions, they're generally not serving gourmet meals. Depending on the airport, you can often get better food at the restaurants, but it is expensive (even for quick meals like a sandwich and coffee). So, if you travel any amount, the cost of priority pass can be justified pretty quickly.

No not really . In Malaysia right off the bat you get 2 single use lounge vouchers. In NZ here, for each $13,000US equiv. spending we get 2 single use passes. There is a AirNZ Amex Plat card that gives you 2 per year as a perk. But to get unlimited use you need the $900US Amex Plat Charge card.

Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
Depends on the lounges/airports you will be frequenting on a regular basis, and how much you'll be travelling. The answers to this topic are subject to location more than anything else. If I read your OP correctly, you fly probably twice a year, so don't bother with status or lounges, unless you are paying for buss/first class.
​​​​​
Out of my own dime. I don't travel for work. So it might be 2 return overseas trip a year. ​​So maybe a total of 4 use of lounges. Then maybe I might do a few more domestic trips for that 2 night weekend thing. Priority Pass is $99US year fee + $27US each entry. Let's say 8 uses = $315US so it is better to use their $249US which has 10x uses. With 8 uses this is $31US per lounge visit.

Places which I visit tend to be Asia, so Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur etc ... $31US is a fair bit right.


I could use Asiana to get star gold easier but it means. As SXC noted, paying $1200US more just to get the status, for the 2 overseas return trips. $1,200US or perhaps a bit more. With Asiana, some of the AirNZ semi middle priced fares are also excluded from mileage accumulation. But certainly we need economy flexi fares. $1,200US can buy a lot of food right. 2 trips, say 4 lounge use. That's $300US each time. It might be OK for people who need to travel in the school holidays or the peak Christmas season however. Since they might be already paying that. Even if I double the use to 8 lounges with a few domestic trips that is still $150US per visit.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 3:37 am
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NZ credit with lounge access

Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
Are there any credit cards in NZ that might give lounge access? That's a popular option in Canada/US.

The lounge is a nice benefit but it's more about the relaxing atmosphere than the food. With possibly a few exceptions, they're generally not serving gourmet meals. Depending on the airport, you can often get better food at the restaurants, but it is expensive (even for quick meals like a sandwich and coffee). So, if you travel any amount, the cost of priority pass can be justified pretty quickly.
the westpac world card has the unlimited priority pass lounge card (with a guest) and so long as you meet the minimum spend there the annual fees are rebated. .
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Old Jan 21, 18, 8:24 am
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Somw F-lounges offers very good food but the average Business or pay-lounge only offers snacks or mediocre food. So not worth 500 . My ex-wife often took food from outside wirh her into the lounge.....
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Old Jan 21, 18, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by Rayonline
I could use Asiana to get star gold easier but it means. As SXC noted, paying $1200US more just to get the status, for the 2 overseas return trips. $1,200US or perhaps a bit more. With Asiana, some of the AirNZ semi middle priced fares are also excluded from mileage accumulation. But certainly we need economy flexi fares. $1,200US can buy a lot of food right. 2 trips, say 4 lounge use. That's $300US each time. It might be OK for people who need to travel in the school holidays or the peak Christmas season however. Since they might be already paying that. Even if I double the use to 8 lounges with a few domestic trips that is still $150US per visit.
That's why I said don't bother with lounges.

If you get a credit card with access it will help (watch out for annual CC fees though) but, as you fly so little, the economics of doing anything else just don't make sense. And, unless you can actually tell a really good lounge from a mediocre one, and you'll never develop that sense from your 2 annual trips (compared to my 80+ for example), you could end up paying for a lounge experience that isn't worth it anyways, due to no fault of your own.
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