The big three U.S. airlines sell one-day lounge passes for $50 — a steep price to pay for relaxing in a “club” before your flight.
There are a lot of passes in circulation because several airline credit cards throw in lounge passes as incentives for applications.
Passes for the United Club, the Delta Sky Club, and the American Airlines Admiral Club are readily available on the Ebay auction site.
I checked the prices of “completed listings” on Ebay and found a big price variation depending on the airline club.
Can you guess which club passes command the highest prices on Ebay?
In recent weeks, United passes were selling for around $13, American passes for about $20, and Delta passes for an average of $24.
Is this price spread simply a reflection of supply and demand, or does it somehow speak to the relative quality and desirability of the lounges for the big three?
I can’t say, because I have only visited one airport lounge — the United Club at Dulles International Airport (IAD).
To be honest, it was no great shakes.
The lounge was so crowded it was hard to find two seats together. It was quite noisy and the WiFi signal was no better than in the public waiting area.
There were some free snacks available — apples, trail mix, carrots and dip, cheese and crackers, cans of juice and soda, espresso coffee, and some alcoholic beverages at the bar. There were also free newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, and some glossy travel magazines.
To me, the lounge perk seemed worthwhile only for someone with a long layover who needed to get some work done. There were carrels available, and a conference room. A distinct advantage was the ready availability of electrical outlets to charge mobile devices.
What do you think? Would you bid $12-25 for a one-day lounge pass?