It’s safe to say Nicholas Kralev has spent a fair chunk of his life waiting in some of the world’s best airline lounges. As a former correspondent for the Financial Times and Washington Times, Kralev learned how to play the road warrior’s version of musical-chairs game – otherwise known as booking air travel. He earned enough miles and learned enough tricks to stretch his travel budget, from around four international trips a year to 10.
A key perk of accumulating miles is access to some of the best airport lounges, often at international terminals. Inside these exclusive spaces, there’s no jostling among plebeians for a cup of coffee and a Wi-Fi connection. Instead, free amenities can include full-body massages, hydrating facials, showers, full-sized beds, lounges devoted exclusively to whisky and wine, cocktails shaken by mixologists — even your own, dedicated personal assistant, who will whisk you from an airport drop-off curb to a posh lounge, then to your first-class airline seat.
“I learned everything about the frequent-flier game,” says Kralev, who turned his knowledge into a book, “Decoding Air Travel: A Guide to Saving on Airfare and Flying in Luxury.” “I’ve flown 2 million miles,” he says. “2002 was the last time I flew coach.”
In international travel circles that include Kralev, there are select lounges that rank among the best and most unique. So save those travel miles and click ahead to see which airline lounges offer special perks — including one lounge that’s (egads!) open to the public and affordable.
By Heesun Wee
Posted 13 January 2012