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When I used to walk by the fancy-pantsy entrances for airport lounges I never though I belonged in there. Airport lounges were clearly for rich middle-aged frequent flyin’ business men…..I didn’t fit a single one of those descriptors, so for years I never gave them another thought. However, my trusty Continental Onepass Plus card comes with two annual President’s Club passes, so about a year or so ago The Man and I checked it out. While it is a bit heavy on the rich middle-aged frequent flyin’ business men (no offense to those that fit those descriptors!), that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t room in there for me and my family, too!
I have mentioned many of the reasons I love the President’s Club before, but the summary of reasons are: free booze, free snacks, nice cushy place to escape the airport madness, super helpful airline agents, free wifi, family rooms, nice view of the airplanes, and did I mention free booze?! I continue to get a couple of free passes a year with my Onepass credit card, but I have also had free access to many different airline lounges with my AMEX Platinum card. Most unfortunately the relationship between AMEX and Continental ends on Sept 30th, so I will need a new golden ticket for admission after that time. I will likely either get the Presidential Plus credit card or the United Mileage Plus Club card, both of which I talked about in this post.
Here’s the free booze I may or may not have already mentioned – a pre-flight drink is a must for us when toddler tote-ing on a plane! They do charge extra for “premium” drinks, but most are free.
My parents are currently in Washington DC on a “bucket list” vacation and I armed them with a couple of Presidential Club passes for their journey. They had the same thoughts about airline lounges that I used to have, but they braved crossing into the fancy doors anyways and here are their shots and thoughts.
1. Free budget hotel quality breakfast. This isn’t a complaint from them at all as they like free budget hotel quality breakfasts. They were able to get some toasted bagels, orange juice, and muffins before their early morning flight. If it were me traveling, I would have added bloody mary or mimosa to that list, but that’s just me. 🙂
2. Free assortment of newspapers. I get my news from an electronic device most of the time, but they still like the crispness of a fresh paper, so that was a plus for them.
3. Really nice agents. They didn’t need help with their reservation or seat assignment, but they did let the agents know why there were taking 88,684 pictures with their iphone of the club and the agents were very encouraging and accommodating to their photo craziness.
4. Family room looked promising, but it was locked so they didn’t get a good look inside.
5. Great views of taxiing aircraft. They love watching planes, so another big plus.
Their overall opinion I think summed it up best. They said that the lounge made it feel like you were traveling on a family’s airline. It took some of the chaos of the airport and made it feel like a family living room. People cared about your well-being and anticipated your needs. My parents are far from needy or fancy, but even they found the lounge to be a nice stop on your traveling journey. I highly doubt that they would be interested in ever paying for access, but I think they will keep better track of the yearly free passes they get with their Onepass Plus card as last year they accidentally threw them in the trash!!
They are still in DC today, so Happy Father’s Day to my dad as he enjoys the rest of his vacation. I plan to post tomorrow about the Father’s Day gift I was able to have waiting for him thanks to the help of the awesome Days Inn hotel staff!
Also Happy Father’s Day to The Man! Here is a picture of him and Little C bonding over Mickey a couple months ago.