The Top Airport Lounges in the US and How to Get Access

best airport lounges and membership options

Air travel can be tiring, and airport lounges provide a relaxing escape from the bustling terminals. In the US, you’ll find several top-notch airport lounges. Here’s a list of the best ones and tips on how to gain access.

The Centurion Lounge – Various Locations

The Centurion Lounge is American Express’s premier offering. The locations are in several major airports. You’ll find them in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Miami (MIA), and more. The lounge features amenities like fine dining, shower suites, and family rooms. American Express is a advertiser.

To access, hold The Platinum® Card from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, or Centurion membership (additional terms and conditions may apply). If you are a cardholder of qualifying American Express cards, you can enter free of charge and guests maybe eligible as well.

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Delta Sky Club – Various Locations

Delta Sky Clubs are another excellent option. They’re at many major airports. Atlanta (ATL) has several. You’ll also find them at New York (JFK), Seattle (SEA), and others. The lounges offer comfortable seating, good food, and drink options.

To gain access, hold a Delta Sky Club® membership or card_name. If you fly first class with Delta, you also get access.

United Club℠ – Various Locations

The United Club℠  lounges are found across the country. These lounges have Wi-Fi, workstations, and food options. Some airports with United Club℠ locations include Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), and Newark (EWR).

There are a few ways to get into a United Club℠:

  • Premium cabin customers (business class and first class, terms apply)
  • United Club membership (based on current MileagePlus status)
  • Buy a one-time pass via United app
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card

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Admirals Club® – Various Locations

Admirals Club® is American Airlines’ lounge offering. Find these lounges in airports like Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), and Dallas (DFW). They provide a quiet place to relax, with good food and drink options.

To gain access, have an Admirals Club® membership or a certain Citi credit card. Qualifying first and business class passengers of American Airlines can also use the lounges. You can learn more about Admirals Club® access here.

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Alaska Lounge – Various Locations

Alaska Lounges, by Alaska Airlines, are a great choice. They’re in airports such as Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), and Los Angeles (LAX). The lounges offer a cozy atmosphere with local food options.

To enter, hold an Alaska Lounge membership or certain Alaska Airlines credit cards. Day passes are also available.

Capital One Lounges – Various Locations

Capital One Lounges, powered by Plaza Premium Group, offer an upscale lounge experience. You’ll find these in select airports like Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Denver (coming in 2023). These lounges boast unique features such as soundproof relaxation rooms, shower suites, and local cuisine.

To access, hold certain Capital One credit cards like Capital One Venture X® or Spark Business cards. Non-cardholders can also enter by paying a day fee.

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How to Access Some of the Top Airport Lounges

You don’t need to be tied to a specific airline credit card to gain access to these lounges. In fact, some airline agnostic travel cards will get you into many more lounges across the globe. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just occasional, these options might be a better fit for you.

Now, let’s discuss general ways to get access to these lounges.

Credit Card Perks

Many travel-focused credit cards provide airport lounge access. Cards like The Platinum® Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card come with this perk. Look into the benefits of your current cards. You may already have access!

Airline Status

Frequent flyer? If so, your airline might offer lounge access as a reward. If you have status with an airline, check your benefits.

Day Passes

If you’re an occasional traveler, consider buying a day pass. Most lounges sell these for around $50-$60. It might be worth considering for long layovers. Some airport lounges come with showers, private rooms for parents, and even exercise rooms.

Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a membership that gives access to over 1300 lounges worldwide. While it doesn’t cover all lounges, it’s an excellent option for frequent travelers. Some premium travel credit cards offer complimentary Priority Pass and Plaza Premium Group memberships.


Airport lounges offer an oasis amid the hustle of the airport. By understanding how to access them, you can enhance your travel experience. Whether through credit cards, airline status, day passes, or a Priority Pass membership, access is within reach. Your next layover could become a mini-vacation!