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How to Get free Airport Lounge Access Around the World?

Let's explore some easy and free options to get luxury facilities at Airport lounges for free. Travel smart choices are here!

by LilRoot Updated: 04 Jan, 2022, 02:09 IST
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Escape the stress of travel hustle with airport lounge access that offers a great deal of facilities for a pleasant experience. Let's accept this, long queues for check-in, uncomfy seats in the waiting area, constant announcements over the intercom, expensive food can be daunting at the airport. What if you could get access to a first class experience at the airport for free? Yes it is possible and the answer is simple - Airport Lounge!

https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635718/medium/Car-Bike-Insurance-2.jpg?1599563481

Free facilities you can avail at airport lounges:
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635722/medium/69130441599564051_3.?1599564052Air Conditioning
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635723/medium/69130441599564055_0.?1599564055Alcohol
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635724/medium/69130441599564058_6.?1599564059Digital Card Accepted
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635725/medium/69130441599564061_3.?1599564062Disabled Access
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635726/medium/69130441599564064_8.?1599564065Flight Information
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635727/medium/69130441599564068_8.?1599564069Internet
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635728/medium/69130441599564072_7.?1599564073Newspapers/Magazines
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635729/medium/69130441599564075_2.?1599564076Refreshments
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635730/medium/69130441599564078_2.?1599564079TV
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635731/medium/69130441599564081_8.?1599564082Power outlet
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635732/medium/69130441599564084_1.?1599564086Food
  • https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/635733/medium/69130441599564088_2.?1599564089Wi-Fi


Some luxury benefits like Spa, shower, sleeping pods, conference, massage chairs, fitness centres, video games and pool table can be availed by paying an extra amount at the lounge itself. The access to the facilities can differ from lounge to lounge and also from domestic to International travel. Please check for exact hours of lounge operation, Access time allowance, number of guests allowed before visiting the lounge.

The lounge access is complimentary to first or business class tickets and we do not suggest to buy an expensive ticket to enjoy these luxuries. Here are several less expensive ways to get access to the best airport lounges around the world.

1. Frequent Flyer programme

    Certain airlines provide free access to their own lounges but such lounges could be limited so it’s best to sign up for a frequent flyer programme. Oneworld, Skyteam, and Star Alliance are three major alliances, each having over 600 lounges worldwide. You can get several other benefits like earning miles, priority boarding, check-in, lounge access and extra baggage allowance.

    You can sign up for free; just make sure the airlines you are travelling with is a part of the respective alliance. Also don’t forget to put in your membership number while booking the flight to enjoy the benefits.

    2. Pay per use or yearly membership programme

      Independent platforms like Lounge Buddy, Priority Pass or Sleeping in Airports offer access to lounges at an economical price. They have yearly membership programmes for frequent flyers and pay per use facility to enjoy the lounge benefits. Access to these lounges can be purchased online or directly at the lounge entrance.

      Basic package at Lounge buddy for Mumbai airport starts at $10 which includes free wifi, food and beverages access for 3 hours.

      3. Use Credit card Privileges

        Most of the credit cards have a free priority pass exclusive benefit (worth $99) which allows access to the airport lounge for free. Under the free access service of Priority Pass by MasterCard you would be charged an authorisation fee of Rs 25 for card validation which is later reversed. Visa cards are charged Rs 2 for such validation.

        Have listed value for money; from low fee to high fee range of credit cards below:


        CREDIT CARD FOR DOMESTIC LOUNGE ACCESS:

        Credit Card Joining Fee Annual Fee No. of annual usage free of charge
        Indusind Iconia Amex Nil Nil 2
        Axis Flipkart card Rs 500 Rs 500 4
        Amex Platinum Travel Card Rs. 3,500 Rs. 5,000 4


        CREDIT CARD FOR DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL LOUNGE ACCESS:

        Credit Card Joining Fee Annual Fee No. of annual usage free of charge
        HDFC Regalia Rs 2500 Rs 2500 12 (International/ Domestic)
        SBI Elite Rs 4999 Rs 4999 6 - International
        2 -Domestic
        ICICI Sapphiro Rs 6000 Rs 3500 2 - International
        4 -Domestic
        SBI Prime Rs 3000 Rs 3000 4 - International
        8 -Domestic
        Yes First Preferred Nil Nil 4 - International
        3 -Domestic
        HDFC Regalia First Rs 1000 Rs 1000 3 - International
        8 -Domestic


        CREDIT CARD FOR UNLIMITED LOUNGE ACCESS:

        Credit Card Joining Fee Annual Fee No. of annual usage free of charge
        HDFC Diners Black Rs 10,000 Rs 10,000 Unlimited
        Citi Prestige Rs 20,000 Rs 20,000
        Unlimited
        Amex Platinum Charge Card
        Rs 60,000
        Rs 60,000
        Unlimited
        Yes First Exclusive
        Rs 10,000
        Rs 10,000
        Unlimited
        HDFC Infinia Rs.10,000 Rs.10,000 Unlimited



          4. Use Debit card Privileges


          Choosing the Debit card alternative works out much cheaper as the annual fee is minimal or the bank offers you a debit card for free with respective savings/current account. Check for the list of debit cards that offer free lounge access in India.

          Debit Card Joining Fee Annual Fee No. of annual usage free of charge
          Axis Bank Wealth Nil Nil 8
          Jet privilege HDFC Bank Signature Rs 500 Rs 500 8
          HDFC Times Points Rs 650 Rs 650 4
          HDFC Rupay Premium Rs 200 Rs 200 8
          ICICI Bank Coral Rs 599 Rs 599 8
          ICICI Bank Rubyx Rs 999 Rs 749 8
          ICICI Bank Sapphiro Rs.1999 Rs.1499 16
          IndusInd Signature Exclusive Nil Nil 8
          HDFC EasyShop Platinum Rs 750 Rs 750 8
          Axis Priority Debit card Nil Nil 8
          SBI Wealth Card Nil Nil 8
          HDFC Rupay Premium Rs 200 Rs 200 8
          SBI Platinum Debit card Rs 100 Rs 175 8
          Kotak Infinite Wealth Management Nil Nil 8
          Citi Gold Debit card Only for Gold members Only for Gold members 16



          The only drawback of debit cards is that it allows access to the lounges in India only. You have to rely on credit cards for International Lounge access.


          5. Request for a Free Upgrade

          The staff at the airport check-in desk has the authority to upgrade your ticket to a first class or business class ticket owing to the availability of the seats. Usually pregnant women, elderly, or parents with kids are happily considered for an upgrade. So basically no harm in trying to request as who knows it might work out to be your lucky day.

          Best Saving Tips:

          • Always prefer Mastercard over Visa as the number of affiliated lounges in Mastercard is higher than Visa for domestic lounges.
          • Priority Pass for International lounges gives access to more lounges around the world.
          • Ask for a free upgrade of your debit/credit card to your bank that offers most benefits.
          • Get multiple credit cards if you travel more than once a month.


          CONCLUSION:

          The best tip is to estimate your frequency of travel and check for free lounge access with the respective card. As a final verdict, the lounge experience is worth it for the facility it offers; just make sure you don’t end up spending too much for the sake of it. The food or drinks at the airport is expensive and lounges offer a decent variety of food options which can cost you minimum Rs 500 easily, so why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it! Choosing the right card can help you save a fortune for all your travel needs.

          You can also read related queries and dimer’s expert comments in the threads below:

          77 Comments  |  
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          Deal Subedar Deal Subedar

          I’ve SBI Rupay platinum debit Card,
          Am i eligible for lounge ?

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
          intramindy wrote:

          Any idea if all Bank’s Rupay (except Paytm) Platinum cards have this lounge privilege ? I have a bank account with Lakshmi Vilas Bank, they had given me International Rupay platinum (no annual charges). I have never tested if it works for lounge access or not. I am bit skeptical as there are no annual charges stuck_out_tongue

          Yes, any bank’s rupay Platinum will work.

          Deal Newbie Deal Newbie

          Do I need to travel somewhere to access lounge via these cards?

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
          Raavann wrote:

          Do I need to travel somewhere to access lounge via these cards?

          you can tak free acess to lounge only if you travel that is at boarding point , if you missed at bording point it means where you are going to land you won’t be able to use there.

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          The cards I use for domestic lounge access:-
          1. Axis prime titanium debit card
          2.Paytm debit card
          3.Amex rewards cc- but it was declined once, so not sure if it still works

          Lot of card companies has pulled off from lounge related services, so check your card before hand, also some have quarterly limit (once per quarter), some can be used twice in a year etc

          Deal Newbie Deal Newbie

          They don’t mention Kotak mahindra bank credit card and one card singnture version too

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
          pbcmehul wrote:

          I think best is Regalia, as LTF if 1 utility bill upload, also can get against FDR, also Priority pass can be shared by add on.

          What is FDR

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
          Expand
          LilRoot wrote:

          Updated now….Thanks smile

          There are a few for Rs 200…seems like that is the cheapest on HDFC
          Buy they offer 8 free visits which is still decent.

          So no annual charges for HDFC easy shop card?

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          Availed lounge access at Mumbai T2 domestic terminal on 15th Nov 2020.
          It was fantastic with all major card accepted.
          Previous loyalty lounge is closed & they have now shifted to give access at GVK lounge.
          Goa Airport lounge GOOD TIMES BAR IS CLOSED AS ON 22ND NOV 2020.

          Pro Blogger Pro Blogger
          Expand
          LilRoot wrote:

          Updated now….Thanks smile

          There are a few for Rs 200…seems like that is the cheapest on HDFC
          Buy they offer 8 free visits which is still decent.

          Also Update JCB Card Intrernational Lounge access details.

          I Received SBI RuPay-JCB Platinum Contactless NCMC International Debit card:

          Card Front side you will see JCB logo for International E-com, POS & ATM payment outside India.

          Apply through SBI Branch, see their computer and ask them to select this Card, code “RPJ”.

          https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/657337/medium/7267503laksGjt.jpg?1609230926

          Direct Airport Lounge Services link (Create your LoungeKey account) -

          JCB Platinum Debit Card issued in India (At the time of Debit card is swiped for lounge access, US$1.00 is withdrawn from your account, but it is refunded later) - https://www.loungekey.com/en/...2/

          JCB Select Credit Card issued in India (A credit limit of US$1.00 will be held when your card is swiped for lounge access, which will be released later) - https://www.loungekey.com/en/...1/

          Other Details and offers -

          JCB Platinum Airport Lounge Service - https://www.global.jcb/en/consumers/platinum/ai...

          JCB International offers - https://www.specialoffers.jcb/e...=1

          JCB Card Promotions - https://www.global.jcb/en/consumers/promotions/...

          JCB Card give Unlimited Airport Lounge Service in few countries and In-City Lounge Service also available

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          Yes First Preferred CC seems to capture the main essence of deal for me grin grin

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          Go and watch this month series of youtuber traveling desi with details on airport lounge

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          Ab toh vi (Vodafone Idea) 1099 rs postpaid plan me bhi airport lounge de raha Domestic and International 4 Times per year  https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/666393/medium/Screenshot_2021-02-19-11-35-15-166_com.android.chrome.jpg?1613714773

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet

          Ab toh vi (Vodafone Idea) 1099 rs postpaid plan me bhi airport lounge de raha Domestic and International 4 Times per year  https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/666394/medium/Screenshot_2021-02-19-11-35-15-166_com.android.chrome.jpg?1613714820

          Deal Cadet Deal Cadet


          https://cdn0.desidime.com/attachments/photos/666408/medium/Screenshot_2021-02-19-11-35-15-166_com.android.chrome.jpg?1613717669Ab toh vi (Vodafone Idea) 1099 rs postpaid plan me bhi airport lounge de raha Domestic and International 4 Times per year

          Deal Subedar Deal Subedar

          That means we can get free Alcohol, Food, refreshments, Magazines, AC, WiFi free free free?

          Deal Subedar Deal Subedar

          Hi All,

          Need some information, about lounge services, as I am planning to travel domestic with my partner.
          1. What all services we get at lounge
          2. I have HDFC diner club card, So I hope I will get access to lounge. But will be there any charges applied
          3. Can I take my partner along? Will it be free or there will be charges for my partner
          4. If there are charges for my partner, Can my partner use other card, which is on my name?

          Deal Subedar Deal Subedar

          1-free meal/refreshments,wifi, shower (if available), beverages (tea,cofee, juice etc.) Hard drinks/alcohol in domestic lounge is chargable,if available
          2-Yes, 2Rs
          3-Yes,not free
          4-Free if you give another card

          Deal Newbie Deal Newbie

          IDFC bank credit cards – wealth and select also come with lounge access. both are lifetime free cards too!

          Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
          pbcmehul wrote:

          I think best is Regalia, as LTF if 1 utility bill upload, also can get against FDR, also Priority pass can be shared by add on.

          All Indian cards are useless. I have regalia and priority pass. But the issue is only one person per card.
          I use my oversea credit card where I have add on card for my wife. And both card allow us to take one guest. So we are happily can go full family. Bonanza is unlimited visits around almost lounge access at each airport using lounge key.

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