Airport Lounge Access FAQ: All your Queries Answered

Did you recently get a Credit Card or Debit Card with complimentary Airport Lounge Access? Don’t know exactly how to avail it? Or have any other queries related to the same? We are here to help.

Here I have collected the most-asked questions regarding Airport Lounge Access on our FinTalks Facebook Group.

I have divided the entire thread into 2 sections: The first section contains some general queries regarding Airport Lounges that everyone should know before accessing the same. The second section is more like a FAQ from curious minds which have been asked inside our group every now and then.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Image Credits: Unmeshssinh Rajput.

Section 1: Things you should know:

What are the different types of Airport Lounges?

Ans: There are quite a few types of airport lounges, and before planning your journey, you should ensure you are headed for the correct lounge.

Typically, lounge access is extended by Card Payment Processors like American Express, VISA, Mastercard, Diners Club, etc across the world. There is also another category of lounge called ‘Priority Pass’ provided by Collinson Group globally, which has tied up with various premium credit cards from leading banks to extend international lounge access.

Image Credits: Prateek Patel.

Some of these also provide add-on cards for extending the lounge access to direct family members. Some cards have unlimited lounge access, some have a fixed number per quarter or per year. Some cards have only domestic lounge access, some have only international, while some offer both.

It all depends on the type of card you have. You should look for the eligible lounges which should be mentioned on your bank’s official website on the card page.

Where is the Airport Lounge Available?

Ans: It is available at the ‘Departures’ section after you have completed security check-in. You need to access it ‘before’ boarding the flight.

With just a few exceptions, you CANNOT access a lounge after landing from a flight (ie, in the ‘Arrivals’ section).

What all do I need to enter an Airport Lounge?

Ans: You need 3 things:

  1. Your Eligible Bank Card. This is obvious.
  2. Your Flight Boarding Pass.
  3. Your Official ID Proof.

If you have these 3, you can enjoy your lounge access! They usually check your name printed on the bank card, and verify it with your boarding pass and allow access to the lounge.

How much time I can stay in an Airport Lounge?

Ans: You can enter an Airport Lounge 3-4 hours before your flight departure time. The maximum time you can spend cannot exceed 4 hours at all.

How to know which Lounge I have access to?

Ans: Not all bank cards have complimentary airport lounge access. You should make sure you know you are headed for the correct lounge. Usually, your bank’s official website for that credit or debit card will mention the list of acceptable lounges and the number of times you can visit per year.

For iOS users, there is an app named ‘Lounge Buddy’ which lists different lounges for you once you choose your card type inside the app. But kindly note that not all bank cards are updated here. They mostly focus on premium cards only. (Read more about Lounge Buddy on our FinTalks Thread)

If you are still not confident, you may verify it on spot. Just show your card at the lounge and tell them to verify whether it has complimentary access. They will be happy to swipe your card and let you know about the same.

What kind of food is available inside an Airport Lounge?

Ans: Every lounge is different. In some, you will get a fixed set of meals as a kind of ‘Thali’. In some, there will be a proper buffet having various options to eat unlimited. In some lounges, you will find proper Indian food but in many, there will be continental food.

In some lounges, you will get soft drinks by opening their lid, so you can consume unlimited at the lounge but cannot carry them outside. Hard drinks are generally complimentary on international lounges.

So it all depends on the location of the lounge and the kinds of people visiting, the food varies accordingly.

Is everything really free of cost inside the Airport Lounge?

Ans: Well, nothing is really free. You are only being provided with complimentary access to the same. So, most things should be complimentary for you. Also note, your card will be charged ₹2 or
₹25, depending on the lounge-type, every time you enter a lounge with complimentary access.

Are Kids allowed in Airport Lounge for Free?

Ans: There is no universal rule for this, but generally speaking, kids under the age of 5 years are allowed to enter Airport Lounge for free, with an accompanying adult eligible for lounge access.

Section 2: Airport Lounge Access FAQ:

Can I avail Airport Lounge Access without a Flight Ticket?

Ans: Surprisingly, this question did get asked on our FinTalks Facebook Community and it did get some humorous comments.

The short answer is NO. Since the lounges are typically inside the ‘check-in’ area, you won’t get access to the same unless you are flying out.

Can more than 1 person enter a lounge with one eligible card?

Ans: No. Only one person can enter per eligible card.

Can the same card be swiped in for other direct family members?

Ans: No. You cannot swipe in the same card more than once at all.

I have 2 eligible cards. Can I take any direct family members with me?

Ans: In most cases, it won’t be a problem if the person is your direct family member like a brother, sister, mother, father, husband, wife, etc. But you, the person under whose name the card is issued, have to be present there. And the other person should have their boarding passes.

I have 2 eligible cards. Can I take any friends with me?

Ans: This is a million-dollar question that has been asked repeatedly in our group. The short answer to this is: It depends. There were instances where friends/cousins were allowed if there was an eligible card for lounge access. And there were instances where they were denied. It all depends on the guy at the counter of the lounge.

As per the rules, only the card members can avail lounge access. Hence they check the card-member name printed on the card and the boarding pass issued on the same name and allow entry. Sometimes they do not check everything and allow access only based on an eligible card.

In the end, you need to try your luck if you ever come across such a situation.

Here are a few tips:

  1. The lesser the number of people going together, the better.
  2. Having the same surname certainly helps a lot. Avoid ‘friendships’, ‘family members’ is the working currency.
  3. Try to take in newly issued cards that don’t have the cardholder’s name printed on them.

My name is not printed on my bank card. Can I avail lounge access?

Ans: Yes, you can.

My name is not printed on my bank card. Can any of my family members/friends avail lounge access?

Ans: Yes, anyone can access the lounge, not necessarily be you. For example, your family members or friends can also access it as their own card. Since the name is not printed on the card, it won’t be a problem.

That’s all. I hope this solves most of your common doubts. Wishing you happy and safe lounge access.

In case you have further queries, you can comment below.

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to join our FinTalks Facebook Group & FinTalks Telegram Channel for regular updates on banking and finance.

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