Travel experiences are almost always better when you can share them with someone. After all, champagne always tastes superior after the clink of a glass with someone you enjoy. Which leads to the question: can you bring guests into the lounge? Here’s a guide which should spell out how to handle each situation…
When You’re Getting In Only Based On Your Airline Ticket…
With very few exceptions, if you’re getting into the lounge purely based on the ticket you purchased (or used miles for) you can’t bring a guest into the lounge if you’re flying business class. Many airlines allow First Class customers to bring in one guest, provided they are flying on the same airline or alliance that day. It never hurts to check, but unless you’re flying first class and don’t have frequent flyer status, chances are you’re going in solo.
Example: If you’re flying British Airways First Class, you can bring a guest into the Concorde Room. No questions asked. If you’re flying business class, you can’t -unless you also have frequent flyer status.
When You’re Getting In Based On Frequent Flyer Status…
If you’re on an international flight, virtually every airline alliance or frequent flyer program allows you to bring a guest with you into the lounge, regardless of what cabin you’re flying in. Yep, economy is fine. The guest must be flying on the same airline or alliance, but as long as they are, you’re good to go. This is a great feature. Both OneWorld and Star Alliance (with the exception of American Airlines and United Airlines members)- allow frequent flyers to use the airport lounge when flying domestically too. For SkyTeam, you’ll need to be on an international flight to get yourself, and or a guest in.
Example: A Qantas frequent flyer can use American Airline lounges on a domestic flight, with a guest- but an American Airlines frequent flyer cannot. Also, a United frequent flyer can bring a guest into any Star Alliance (not United Club) lounge, even when flying domestically.
When You’re Getting In Because Of Your Credit Card, Priority Pass Or App…
This one has lots of answers, but basically it’s all down to your credit card or lounge membership plan. Some cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve theoretically allow unlimited guests, whereas other cards allow up to two guests. Check the policy of your specific credit card in advance. If you’ve purchased a one day pass via an app, or promotion, it’s almost guaranteed that you cannot bring a guest. With services like PriorityPass, it’s often possible (subject to capacity) to bring as many guests as you’d like, so long as you pay an access fee per person- usually $29.
When You’re Getting In Because You’re Up Front And Have Frequent Flyer Status…
This is a clear cut case where you’re going to be able to bring a guest. The only question is how many?! If you’re flying international first class, you are generally entitled to bring a guest, and flying internationally with any frequent flyer program also entitles you to a guest. Through this magical combination it’s possible to get two or more people in, especially if there are multiple lounges on offer. If you’re traveling with someone else who’s getting in based on status and ticket, you can double the amount of guests. Solid!
Example: Flying first class on Lufthansa, you’d theoretically be able to get someone into at least the business class lounge, and if you’re on an airline that allows for first class ticketed passengers to bring one guest, you could likely squeeze someone into the first class lounge with you as well!
But Wait, What About Family Members?
This is a first class problem, and we say that because if you’re flying business class, there’s virtually no relief for family members. Select airlines, such as Lufthansa will allow spouses and direct family members under the age of 18 to accompany someone holding a first class ticket. However, many will not, and the “one guest” policy will still apply. Tough luck. This is where encouraging your significant other to push for elite status, or to gain points so they can fly business as well can be huge, since between two people- two guests are possible.
Hmmm…. how many spouse are allowed?
Thanks for the great explanation. I’m really bummed about Amex limiting guests, which affects normal-sized families (wife + 2 kids). The Priority Pass benefits vary based on which card is offering the membership, which can be confusing if you have multiple Priority Pass cards. I put a blank label and write on them so I don’t use the wrong one.
My husband and myself both have separate priority passes and would like take my daughters family in the Escape lounge terminal 1 Manchester Airport on 29th September around 11am . Because there will be 8 of us I would like to book us in in advance . Is this possible ? If not why not ? .
Thanks for the explanation!
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