Editor’s Note: This article is now outdated. LoungePair no longer offers the ability for travellers to share airport lounge access. The platform now enables travellers to bid for access to airport lounges around the world, and potentially get access at a lesser price than standard walk-up rates.
I get access to some amazing airline lounges thanks to my Platinum status with Qantas.
But for someone who enjoys sharing unique travel experiences with others, this gives rise to an interesting predicament.
A great benefit is that I can guest another person into these lounges. Often this will be family, but if travelling solo, this ‘benefit’ goes to waste. I have on occasion walked up to someone at a gate and offered access, but this can make for an awkward interaction.
This is also usually only possible in the hour before boarding, and I like to enjoy some lounges for a few hours beforehand.
I couldn’t find a way that allowed people to connect more easily when travelling, so I decided to build a solution of my own.
Now anyone can share and offer lounge access
I have built an online platform called LoungePair that helps people to request and offer lounge access when travelling.
Those without lounge access or looking to upgrade to a higher class of lounge simply input their upcoming flight details.
The steps are easy to follow:
- Select an airport location, date and time. You need to confirm the time zone of the airport you’re selecting, if you’re not already in that city.
- Enter your name, email and flight details, and hit submit.
- Your request is then registered, and you’ll receive an automatic email confirmation of your request. The email includes links that allow you to alter some details of your request, including time and date.
Once the details in your request are confirmed as accurate, your request will land on the Offer Access page.
If you’re looking to share, you can either browse the list, or sort by city.
For example, if I am in Hong Kong on the 7 February flying home to Auckland, here is a traveller that I could guest into one of Cathay Pacific’s Business or First Class lounges.
I click on ‘Share Lounge Access Now’, fill out my own travel details, and then click ‘Submit’.
A quick check is done to make sure access can be granted, and then contact details get shared. I could do this while at the airport, and organise to meet the traveller at an arranged location and time.
If you cannot find a person in real-time to offer lounge access to, you can register your flight details in advance. You will then be contacted if a future match is found.
Could this lead to lounge crowding?
It’s a valid question, because lounge crowding simply results in a lesser experience for all.
Frankly, I think there will always be more people who want access versus those who can share it. As such I expect that the impact that this website will have on lounge crowding is more than likely minimal, when spread across different cities and countries.
Airlines do need to work to manage their lounges to take into account the benefits that their elite travellers hold. If they have an entitlement to a guest, they should be able to identify that guest as they choose.
On the flipside, there is also an environmental aspect to consider. I’ve visited many lounges where there is far more food than people, especially off-peak. Some lounge operators will work on the basis that most of those with access will bring a guest, and cater accordingly, which can result in waste.
I’ve created LoungePair as a tool that I hope our readers can find useful on their travels.
There is nothing to lose by requesting access. The chance to have a hot shower and a glass of wine on your next layover should be enough temptation to sign up.
For those sharing, there is a chance to make a new friend, or just make good use of your existing status or credit card benefits. While there is nothing to stop you offering your guest access for a price, this may be frowned upon by some airlines or lounge networks.
I am keen to hear what would incentivise you to use this type of platform.
This post is written by our New Zealand Managing Editor Daniel, and is not an endorsement of LoungePair by Point Hacks.