Should You Just Skip the First Class Lounge?

Alt text: A row of seven champagne flutes and two bottles are arranged against a black background. The first glass is being filled with a clear liquid, the second glass is filled with a foamy beverage, the third glass is empty, the fourth glass contains a small amount of liquid, the fifth glass is empty, the sixth glass is empty, and the seventh glass is empty. The two bottles, one between the third and fourth glasses and the other between the fifth and sixth glasses, are partially filled with a light-colored liquid.
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There is nothing more controversial than suggesting that someone should just skip the first class lounge, especially after they have worked so hard to get there.  As a featured site on BoardingArea this week, we are sharing some of our “best of” posts with you.

Is the first class lounge endless champagne and luxury?
Is the first class lounge endless champagne and luxury?

There are a few posts in our history that really struck a nerve.  For those we’ve received a lot of emails, comments, and social commentary.  In 2015, we suggested that you might just skip the first class lounge.  And in 2016, we also suggested you skip the dan dan noodles, which was way of suggesting the same concept.  Imagine that you are going to spend that money or earn those miles and then NOT milk it for all its worth?  Blasphemy!

And we still stand by this advice.  Yes we do.  Go read those posts… and then come back and let us explain.  And then we’d like to hear your thoughts.

Sometimes we are first class lounge maximizers

During recent weekend getaways, we have made good use of the hotel lounge or breakfast benefits.

At the W Mexico City, my Starwood Lifetime Platinum status was put to good use.  We slept late each morning and rolled down to the restaurant late to enjoy the buffet.  Jim loved the fresh fruits and cheeses.  I sipped chocolate caliente and nibbled on pan con tomate.

At the Hyatt Churchill in London, we enjoyed breakfast in the lounge each morning.  We also stopped in every afternoon for tea and biscuits as we regrouped.  And in the evening we lingered over hors d’oeuvres as we planned what to do next.

I’ve actually  tried to purposely build in plenty of lounge time on my last several leisure tickets.  That cushion has ended up being well-planned.  I’ve ended up needing it for flight cancellations, weather delays, or other unexpected hiccups.

But sometimes you’d be surprised we write about travel at all

I accepted a staff discounted business class ticket on Emirates knowing I would not be allowed to write about the experience.  And that I would not have access to their lounges at all.  As it always is… wow!  Even without lounge access, Emirates is top notch.

I chose to catch an extra hour of sleep at the sleep at the transit hotel in Doha which cut into my lounge time in the more luxurious Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge.  I still managed a couple of glasses of Krug, but I didn’t spend the hours most spend exploring every nook and cranny.

I prioritized conversational time with my companions during my last transits through the Lufthansa, Cathay, and British Airways lounges.  Less time for trying out all the bells and whistles (or photographing things for reviews), more time for personal memories.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  I regularly check into hotels and never even scope out the amenities.  I transit airports without enough time to stop at a lounge at all.  On airplanes I usually pull out my laptop and go straight to work, refusing food and beverages, relying only on my refillable water bottle.  The more work I accomplish on the road, the more personal time I get at home.

Still relevant?

I’m still standing.  Is it still controversial?  You tell us – we want to know if this topic still resonates.  Is it still okay to skip the first class lounge?


  1. Cutting short a vacation and going to the airport a few hours early *just* to use the lounge isn’t a good use of anyone’s time, but if you’re already there, it’s a great place for you to get your work done (since that’s your stated goal). Just go in, get a beverage, and find a comfortable seat.

    The only reason you’ll actually need to SKIP it is if you feel that all the optional amenities inside are actually impeding your productivity. If not, I’d say those 2 things can co-exist harmoniously.

  2. Sure. It’s also OK to skip the pseudo-fancy meal on your first class flight, where they use caviar and Krug to disguise the fact that cooking using industrial kitchens and blast chillers (plus reheating in a plane oven) is suboptimal for a lot of cooking, grab a made to order dinner in a first class lounge, and use the time you would spend eating and drinking that meal on your flight for sleep.


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