✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The lowdown on lounges

✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The lowdown on lounges

Estimated read time: 5 minutes and 8 seconds

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Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the newsletter that makes the world go ‘round… or at least it makes YOU go ‘round the world… 😉

We’ve got a good deal and a hot take to finish off the week:

  • ✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The lowdown on lounges

  • 🛳️ Cruise News: Earn up to 200k AA miles when booking a cruise

✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The lowdown on lounges

Today, we’re back with another Lounge Lowdown segment where I take your questions and comments from the Daily Drop Lounge and discuss them here.

Today, we’re doing a lowdown on airport lounges. It’s possibly the single most true-to-name Lounge Lowdown segment in history.

Here’s just one example of MANY similar posts I’ve seen pop up in the lounge:

First of all, it’s totally cool to bring the “negative energy” in the lounge… we all have frustrating travel experiences, and the lounge is a great place to get support and learn from fellow travelers 🥰

But here are the general complaints I see in this realm (which are justified, by the way):

  • I can’t find any Priority Lounges when I travel in the U.S… Priority Pass is useless.

  • I tried to get into a lounge, but it was full, and I had to wait in line. By the time it was my turn to enter, I had to go catch my flight. Priority Pass is useless.

  • I tried to get into a partner lounge, but it was so full they started rejecting Priority Pass members. Priority Pass is useless.

All of these things are realities and very true… In the U.S….

As the lounge member above alluded to, it’s SO easy for people in the U.S. to get access to these lounges with credit cards that offer lounge access as a perk. So naturally, everyone and their uncle end up getting access.

But get this… There’s a world outside of America. And it’s full of amazing places with beautiful, empty, luxurious airport lounges. 😳

I know, it’s a shocker.

Whenever I hear people complain about lounge crowding and access, I tell them exactly this:

Priority Pass is BY FAR best used when traveling abroad. The VAST majority of their lounge network is outside of the U.S.

A few days ago, I used my Priority Pass card to get into this stunning lounge in Siem Reap airport in Cambodia. 👇

It was beautiful, comfortable, EMPTY, and in an airport with only a few flights a day.

Last year, I took a quick trip to Burgas, Bulgaria. Ever heard of it? Probably not. Because it’s TINY. And the airport is so small, it only serves a couple flights per day.

And yet, there’s an adorable Priority Pass lounge there. 

I was the only guest there for hours and ended up hanging out with the lounge attendant and chatting over coffee.

I could give you a trillion examples like this, but my point is to illustrate that when you leave the U.S., your lounge memberships become exponentially more valuable.

I’m going to share a little map with you that I just threw together.

The red dots are where I’ve used Priority Pass lounge access in the last 12 months. The green dots are where I’ll be using Priority Pass before the end of this year.

To be clear, this is JUST Priority Pass, JUST in the past year. That doesn’t include other lounges networks, business lounges, etc.

I’m not saying that you need to travel like I do in order to get value out of your lounge membership…

Rather, I’m just saying that if you go to pretty much ANYWHERE in the world outside of the U.S., you will get value out of your lounge membership when you go there.

Now, I’m going to predict your reaction:

“But Mike, I ONLY travel in the U.S… Are you telling me that I’m basically out of luck?”


And my response would be, “Kinda. Yeah. But also, no. Definitely not.”

When I travel to or through the U.S., I specifically avoid lounges. I don’t think it’s fun at all. I’d rather PAY money to get food and drinks somewhere that’s actually relaxing and quiet.

Going into a crowded, hectic lounge completely defeats the purpose of a lounge, which, in my mind, is to “lounge.”

But here’s a potential solution:

While Priority Pass is definitely the best lounge membership you can get, there are alternatives.

For example, this credit card will give you Priority Pass access AND Centurion Lounge access, which I find to be far more comfortable and easy to get into.

If you live in a city with one of these lounges, I think it’s a great option.

You can also opt for a premium co-branded airline credit card that comes with lounge access.

This card, for example, offers unlimited access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs.

The annual fee is quite high, but if you fly AA and live in a city with an AA lounge, the extra fee might be worth the higher odds of getting into a lounge when you travel.

And they’re pretty nice, too…

So here’s the bottom line:

If you find yourself in the crappy scenario of never getting into lounges in the U.S., do one of the following:

  1. Tailor your lounge membership to your needs and home airport by getting a different/more expensive credit card with more reliable lounge access, or…

  2. Expand your horizons a bit and leave the U.S.

I recommend the second one. 😉

🛳️ Cruise News: Earn up to 200k AA miles when booking a cruise

Okay, whoa. 200k miles is a BOATLOAD of miles (get it… a cruise… is on a boat…) 🥴

So if you’re an American Airlines fan, you’ll want to listen up.

AA Cruises just dropped a limited time offer that gives passengers the opportunity to earn up to 200k Aadvantage miles when you book certain itineraries with expedition cruiser Hurtigruten.

And those particular itineraries happen to be 21-day adventures to Antarctica, which would be SO DOPE 👇

Obviously, this is a big itinerary and comes with a big price tag (starting around $10k), but wow… what a bucket list trip for many, I’m sure! And all those freaking AA miiiiles 🤤

Fortunately, AA Cruises also has other offers on tons of itineraries and on different cruise lines.

Some of these include earning up to 100k miles on Oceana Cruises and Virgin Voyages, and 25k miles on Norwegian or Royal Caribbean (among others!)

You could even double dip and earn some additional AA miles by using an American Airlines card, like this one, to book the cruise.

The most important thing to note is that these bonus miles are only being offered if you book before SEPTEMBER 30TH, but sailings can take place after that.

There are just too many itineraries and other details that we can’t cover in our tiny baby newsletter, but if you’re interested, definitely check out AA’s list of featured cruise deals to make an informed decision.

And who knows… you might walk away with 25k, 100k, or even 200k miles in your AA account 👀

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That’s all for this week! I don’t mean to be a downer about the lounge stuff, but it just gets so much more incredible when you travel abroad 🥹

So I hope you take this into consideration along your travel hacking journey.

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Have a GREAT weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

3.1319° N, 101.6841° E

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