The first time I gained access to an airport lounge was the Delta lounge at Miami years ago on a long layover. It’s a nice little lounge with a great view of the airfield. It was special. I was scared to eat the free food and couldn’t believe how clean the restrooms could be in an airport.
Many like airport lounges for the free wifi, free drinks, access to expert airline staff, free food, etc. There are many ways to gain access. You can be an elite member of an airline or buy your way in with expensive day passes. You can also be a member of a third party lounge network like Priority Pass or you can have a high annual fee airline branded credit card. The cheapest is to be the guest of a person with access that can get you into this “secret” world.
So why do I like airport lounges? I like them for the ability to relax with mostly normal humans in an area with comfortable seats, usually somewhat quiet and with restrooms that aren’t crowded and/or gross.
As much as I like all that one of the best parts of airports and airport lounges is people watching. I won’t include photos here but think Walmart with mass transit. At the gate or on the plane you’ll find all kinds of people from folks with $2,000 business suits to middle aged men in cartoon character pajama pants. It’s an interesting cross section. When you get into the lounge you tend to lose the cartoon pants (mostly) but you have a cross section of business travelers, elite jet setters and what I see as older semi or totally retired frequent travelers with disposable income. It’s interesting to talk with people to see where they are going, where they have been or why they are there. It’s just fun. Sure some of them are picky or some may act like snobs but most aren’t bad. Even if they don’t like the wine selection or the coffee machine. It’s still light years away from the terminal gate areas in my experience.
Next time you find yourself in a lounge or even stuck outside the doors and can’t get in. Take a minute to look around you and study the people. It’s fun to watch.