I recently found out that I’ve been doing travel layovers all wrong. You know the people that end up at their destination looking fab and rested, while you show up with tiger-eyes, smelling like spilled wine and airplane stank? Those pod people might be flying first class, or…they probably just chill out at an airport lounge between flights.
Seriously guys, let’s think about this: You get off a 10-15 hour flight; you’re jetlagged AF, and instead of passing out in a weird position in an uncomfortable chair at your gate, you head straight for a warm shower, followed by champagne or a hot cuppa tea, and a chef to prepare you a delicious meal. Plus you’ll find WiFi you aren’t sharing without the entire airport, so you can actually relax or get some work done. (Read: Binge on shows.)
So that’s the magic of an airport lounge. The best news? You don’t even need to have gold unicorn status on any airline or a fancy credit card to access this nirvana. That’s right, you can buy your way in with a day pass on an app called LoungeBuddy. Let’s get lounging.
Tokyo Narita International Airport IASS Executive Lounge (Terminal 2, outside security)
Tokyo is like the gateway drug if you’re en route from the U.S. to Asia. You’re probably going to have a layover here if you’re traveling for business or you know, are about to spend the week drowning Singhas in Thailand. If you’re looking for a quiet space to work, head straight to the IASS lounge outside security. There aren’t any showers, but you’ll find beer and whiskey, tea, WiFi, comfy seats and outlets galore. (Lounge Buddy Pass, $27)
London Heathrow No1 Lounges, (Terminal 3)
Hopping across the pond? Navigating through Heathrow can get cray, but it will be well worth it to pull up to the posh environment of this extremely well appointed lounge. Expect to find showers, a cinema area, beer on tap (YAS), and treats like made-to-order Ploughman’s lunches and fresh crepes. But what makes this lounge above and beyond? They even have a spa. Yep, you can pay to get a mani/pedi, massage, or facial while you wait for your flight. Holy relaxing. (Lounge Buddy Pass, $53)
New York’s JFK Airport Wingtips Lounge (Terminal 4)
After a stressful cab ride to JFK, you deserve to roll right up to the self-serve bar (genius move) in this comfy space. Pour yourself some spirits and move on to the buffet for some veggies + hummus, sandwiches, salads and more. In case you go too heavy on the libations, you can check the flight monitors in the lounge to keep track of when you takeoff. (Lounge Buddy Pass, $50)
LAX Alaska Airlines Lounge (Terminal 6)
If you’re flying out of LAX, I’m so sorry. This beautiful lounge is one bright spot though, so cheer up. It’s got a ski lodge feel, which is uber cool, and super comfy chairs. Did I mention they have pancakes and a Starbucks coffee machine? Plus you’ll get access to a full bar, which always helps. (Lounge Buddy Pass, $45)
Sydney Airport Skyteam Lounge (Terminal 1)
If you’re flying all the way to or from the land down under, you’re in it for the long haul. Before you head out, stop in the oasis of the Skyteam lounge. Park it next to the living plant wall to feel some Zen, and stop at the wine bar for some pours from around the world. Where else are you going to find that? (Lounge Buddy Pass, $53)
Have you spent a layover at an airport lounge?