The Best Airports for Lounge Hopping

Lounges are one of the best perks for frequent flyers. In the midst of noisy, crowded airports, lounges are areas of relative calm and quiet where you can relax, get some work done, and/or enjoy some complimentary food and drink (before enjoying even more complimentary food and drink on your flight). 😉

After visiting a host of lounges in airports across the globe, I have come to appreciate how lounges vastly differ in what they have to offer.

In an ideal world, any decent lounge will have a variety of seating options, hot and cold food options, a variety of beverages, and (ideally) a nice view. 

But that is not always the case. For example, at the bottom of my list, the Air Astana business class lounge in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which offers a place to sit, but charges for everything else (including water). I wound up spending time exploring the (small) terminal instead.

This is a stark contrast to, say, the Turkish Airlines business class lounge in Istanbul, with diverse food, beverage, and entertainment options that warrant at least several hours to fully appreciate.

Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul

Major hubs often have a variety of lounges to choose from. Your access to these lounges will depend on your class of service, the airline alliance with whom you are flying, and any lounge pass (e.g., Priority Pass) or credit card you hold. Knowing which lounges you have access to and researching which perks each lounge has can be the difference between drinking Coors Light and decent champagne prior to your flight. 

What Is Lounge Hopping?

Lounge hopping is the practice of optimizing your airport experience by enjoying the best of one lounge and then moving on to another lounge to do the same. You could be motivated to lounge-hop by an amenity offered in one lounge, like a shower, and then move on to more exciting food and drink options in another lounge. Or, perhaps you’d like to get some work done in a less crowded lounge before moving to another for a specialty cocktail in a busier lounge. 

Whatever your motivation, doing a bit of research and planning in advance can turn an ordinary airport experience into a relaxing and fulfilling way to pass the time before your flight.

There are usually no rules limiting you from hopping between the many lounges available to you on the day of your flight, besides the fact that some Priority Pass lounges may restrict entry based on your flight time (i.e., you may only access the lounge a certain number of hours before your flight) or impose a maximum stay limit.

Therefore, if you find that there are a dozen lounges you can visit at a certain airport prior to departure, you’re more than welcome to show up well in advance and maximize the experience hopping from one lounge to another.

Resources for Planning

Prior to your flight, you will want to do some research into the lounges you have access to, the layout of the airport, and maybe what others have written about the lounges.

If you are flying on a business class or First Class ticket, each airline alliance (Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam) has a search engine that tells you the location, amenities, and access policy of lounges in any given airport. This will give you a good idea of how many lounges you have at your disposal, as with a ticket in a premium cabin, you can access almost any lounge associated with the airline alliance with whom you are travelling.

You can also load up airport maps on the Star Alliance website. This is particularly helpful if you’d like to get an idea of the airport’s layout and the location of different lounges. Note that, while all available lounges are displayed for some airports, I also found instances where no lounges were listed when there were indeed several options available.

Similarly, if you have a Priority Pass membership through a credit card (such as the American Express Platinum Card or American Express Business Platinum Card), you can search for lounges that you have access to in any given airport on the Priority Pass website.

With this information, you will want to note the terminal from which you will depart and the terminal(s) with the best lounges. You will sometimes need to allow an extra hour or more to transit between terminals, go through security, and arrive at your gate (or another lounge) in time for boarding.

Lastly, you may want to do a bit of research into what others have said about the available lounges. There could be valuable information about typical peak times for each lounge, specific food and beverage options, hours of operation, and amenities that set one lounge apart from the rest.

A Firsthand Experience at London Heathrow

I recently flew from London to Frankfurt and found myself with a few extra hours to spare due to a cancelled flight. As per usual, I arrived at the airport many hours in advance of my flight, wanting to lounge-hop, do some work, and get to know the airport better. 

With a Lufthansa business class ticket, I was directed to the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Terminal 2A, just after security. I was pleasantly surprised to find special Oktoberfest food and beverages available, and spent some time enjoying fresh pretzels, sausages, Bavarian mustard, and a cappuccino.

Oktoberfest spread, Lufthansa Business Lounge London Heathrow

Oktoberfest spread, Lufthansa Business Lounge London Heathrow

After breakfast, I thought I would relocate to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge, located in Terminal 2B, which was about a 15 minute walk. The Lufthansa lounge did not have a shower, and after a quick search on the Star Alliance Lounge Finder, I saw that the Singapore Airlines lounge did.

After a refreshing shower, I decided to get some work done in the SilverKris Lounge at one of the semi-private workstations. I also took the opportunity to enjoy a Singapore Sling from the bar and Salcombe Dairy Singapore Sling ice cream that is exclusively made for this lounge.

My laptop battery was soon to die, and having forgotten a UK adaptor at home, I decided to move across the hall to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, hoping that there would be a North American plug to use. Sure enough, the work stations had North American sockets, and I finished up some work while enjoying some champagne and a quick lunch. Before boarding my flight, I headed back to the Lufthansa Business Lounge for another pretzel and an Oktoberfest beer.

Oktoberfest spread, Lufthansa Business Lounge London Heathrow

Oktoberfest spread, Lufthansa Business Lounge London Heathrow

A Few More Examples

I’ve picked out a few other examples of airports around the world that are particularly well-suited to lounge hopping.

1. Miami International Airport

Imagine you are flying out of Miami on a Finnair business class ticket, giving you access to any of the Oneworld lounges. You also have the American Express Platinum Card, which gives you access to both the Centurion Lounge and an unlimited Priority Pass membership. 

The flight to Helsinki departs at 9:45pm, and you decide to consider how you’d like to spend your time at the airport. A quick search on the Oneworld lounge finder shows that you can access four lounges, including the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Concourse D, which is also where Miami’s Centurion Lounge happens to be located.

As a Priority Pass member, you also note that there are another four lounges that you can access. You’d have access to two Star Alliance lounges – Turkish Airlines (Concourse E) and Avianca (Concourse J) – as well as the Club America Lounge (Concourse D) and the LATAM VIP Lounge Miami (Concourse J). 

LATAM VIP Lounge Miami

LATAM VIP Lounge Miami

If you are particularly keen on airports and don’t mind a few trips through security, you could spread out your stay across all of the different lounges over the course of the day. After one last meal aboard Finnair, I imagine you’d be ready to doze off as you hop across the Atlantic fully horizontal and well-stuffed.

2. Los Angeles International Airport

If you find yourself stuck at LAX on a long layover followed by an Air Canada business class flight, there is a surprising number of lounges at your disposal.

You could start your lounge-hopping journey at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Terminal 2, which grants access to Priority Pass cardholders between the hours of 5am and 10:45am.

Then, in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, you can enjoy access to the Star Alliance Lounge from your Air Canada business class ticket, as well as the Korean Air Lounge with Priority Pass between the hours of 11am and 5pm.

Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles

Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles

In 2020, a Centurion Lounge will also open here at the TBIT, accessible by any Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum cardholders.

Finally, you could then make your way to the the Maple Leaf Lounge (thanks to your Air Canada business class ticket) and the Alaska Lounge (with Priority Pass) in Terminal 6, which is where you’d board your Air Canada flight.

3. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi boasts one of the more impressive lounge offerings in Asia, with 14 Priority Pass lounges and nine Star Alliance lounges (10 if you are booked on a First Class ticket).

Priority Pass will get you entry to the Turkish Airlines Lounge, the Oman Air First & Business Class Lounge, and the Air France–KLM SkyLounge, all of which appear to be perfectly reasonable places to relax before your flight. 

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok

Turkish Airlines Lounge Bangkok

If you are on a business class ticket with a Star Alliance airline, you can also enjoy the amenities of the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge, the EVA Air Lounge, and any of the Thai Airways Royal Silk and Royal Orchid Lounges. And if you have time, you can even treat yourself to a complimentary 30-minute neck/shoulder or foot massage if you are flying with Thai Airways business class, or a one-hour body massage if you’re flying in Thai Airways First Class, at the Royal Orchid Spa. 

4. Singapore Changi Airport

Lastly, Singapore Changi has a whopping 12 Priority Pass lounge options, five Star Alliance lounges, and six Oneworld lounges at your disposal.

Some of the Priority Pass lounges are used as contract lounges by airlines who don’t have proper lounges. If you have time, one particularly interesting Priority Pass location to visit before your flight might be the Jewel Changi Lounge, a lounge situated within the airside Jewel shopping mall complex at Changi Airport.

Jewel Changi Lounge, Singapore

Jewel Changi Lounge, Singapore

Oneworld flyers departing Singapore have a very attractive lineup of lounges to choose from, including the British Airways Lounge & Bar, the Cathay Pacific Lounge, and the brand-new Qantas Lounge.

Meanwhile, although there are many options available to you as a Star Alliance passenger, it is unlikely that you will find anything better than the Singapore Airlines flagship lounges.


One of the best ways to enhance your travel experience is to be familiar with the lounges that you can access with your ticket, credit card, or lounge membership. In most major airports, there will be at least several lounge options to choose from, and as many of you can appreciate, the amenities, food, drink, and seating options can vary greatly between lounges.

If you don’t mind arriving at the airport early, you can experience the best of what each lounge has to offer by planning out your visit and lounge hopping. Those of you who are even more motivated can spend an entire day indulging in cuisines and beverages unique to different airlines. 

Lounge hopping might involve some planning in advance and the willingness to go through security multiple times. While this could be a deterrent to some, it allows the airport enthusiasts among us (or anyone with a long layover) to squeeze some extra value out of their ticket, credit card, or lounge membership.

Have you ever lounge-hopped before? Do you know of any other airports that are particularly well-suited to lounge hopping? Feel free to leave a comment below.

  1. Max.a.million

    If you have several different ways to access the lounges (ie. credit card, priority pass, lounge etc.) it is always a good idea to ask the front desk what is included with each card. For example on one of our recent trips through New Delhi, we visited the Plaza Premium lounge but the priority pass entry did not include the shower – the lounge key access did.

  2. Mark

    Hey Ricky, I thought it would be good to update that Plaza Premium lounges have changed their guest policy and no longer allow family (spouse and 2 kids under 21) to enter under the amex platinum. In fact, it’s 1 guest across the board now.
    It disappeared from their website, so I called and they confirmed it changed a few months ago

  3. chabs

    So I’m from Ottawa ( no priorty pass lounges sadly) but might be flying from Syracuse to Miami and back. Since I hold the AMEX Bus Plat will I be able to access the lounges on my Rtn at the Miami Airport?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You get a Priority Pass membership as part of your Business Platinum, so you can definitely access a handful of Miami lounges. Just be sure to enroll in Priority Pass before your trip!

  4. Alex YWG

    I have never done this but curious, can you enter the same lounge after exiting? Some of the lounges I have been to stamp my ticket while others dont, so I wonder if that has any impact on re-entering a lounge later on.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, I’ve never had a problem entering the same lounge after exiting. Most often, the lounge attendants recognize you and welcome you back!

  5. Mike

    Any idea what lounges in BKK are open 24hrs? I arrived in Thai F at 23:55 and the Thai lounges closed from 00:00-5:30. Had a 7hr layover and had to wait in the F check-in area the whole time! No massage, nothing but a golf cart ride to the exit. Would there be any better lounge options during an overnight layover at BKK?

  6. JL

    I’d add HKG as another good airport with several lounge options.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Good shout – I’ve done the hop between United, Thai, Singapore, Plaza Premium, and Centurion at HKG and it’s a fun journey.

  7. Jaylyn

    It would be great if Montreal could up their game- as a holder of both an amex platinum card and a priority pass card I only have one lounge to access ( the Banque Nationale ) … and only if flying international as of the last year or so….

    1. Ricky YVR

      Agreed. Even more frustrating is the absence of a Priority Pass option for domestic and transborder economy class flyers. It’s one of the very few things I’ve come to dislike about Montreal so far 🙂

  8. AM

    Al Dhabi lounge in T1 Abu Dhabi is a great lounge if you are flying Etihad and have a layover in Abu Dhabi.

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