Airport travel lounges are a godsend to frequent fliers who need a
peaceful and relaxing environment while they wait for flights. So much so that even as employers are cutting expenses
by eliminating club membership perks, many individuals are paying for it out of pocket. If you find yourself in this position, you might be interested to know Frommer’s Travel Guides’ top airport lounges for 2011.
The Wing, from Cathay Pacific Airways’ Hong Kong terminal earned the number one slot with a 1st-class lounge that offers individual privacy rooms complete with shower, toilet, and deck chair, as well as a 32-seat restaurant and library. The Upper Class Clubhouse from Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow took second place, with a roof-top garden, observation deck, TV room, and billiards.
The remaining three of the top five also went to lounges in cities outside the U.S., including Kuala Lumpur, Munich, and Tokyo. In the States, New York and Houston are tops. Lounges at several of their airports offer everything from massages to free food and drink. Most offer free wireless Internet access, real desks to work at, and plenty of peace and quiet.
At Canada’s Porter Airlines, the club lounge is taken to the next level with free admission to all departing passengers travelling with Porter. The lounge provides complimentary snacks, beverages, Internet access, and use of iMac computers. The Porter model could be a sign of things to come as airlines are competing more and more for the casual flier rather than just the business clientèle.