Stressful. Middle seat. Dragged off an overbooked flight. Enhanced screening. The words we typically associate with air travel describe a scene that can be pretty awful. But there are some parts of the airport experience that the lucky among us can look forward to. And those experiences — from craft cocktails and celebrity chef-designed meals to spas and shower suites — are found at the country’s best airport lounges.
We’ve rounded up expert opinions from four popular travel blogs to produce a consensus list of the best airport lounges in the United States. The rankings below are based on inclusions in the following best-of lists:
- Top 11 US Airport Lounges in the US and How You Can Get In – The Points Guy
- The 5 Best Airport Lounges in the US – One Mile At A Time
- The Very Best US Airport Lounges + How To Get In – God Save The Points
- The Ten Best Airport Lounges In The United States – Lounge Buddy
The Best of the Best – Consensus Picks (4/4 Reviewers)
American Express Centurion Lounges
If you’re an American Express Platinum or Centurion Cardholder, you can enjoy this small network of lounges at Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), New York (LGA), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA) & San Francisco (SFO). Lounges feature local “celebrity chef” menus, cocktails from “legendary mixologists,” and “curated, varying wine menus from top sommeliers.” Drop into “the Exhale Spa in Dallas and the wine bar in San Francisco.”
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Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK
Reviewers all agree that the Virgin Atlantic Lounge at JFK is one of the most stylish airport lounges in the world. If you’re flying in business class or have status on Delta or Virgin Atlantic you can expect to find a “hip cocktail bar and a pool table.” There are eats like “tapas …veggie dim sum, as well as larger bites like the Clubhouse burger and chicken tikka masala.” And don’t forget to visit the spa for a complimentary mini-treatment.
Star Alliance Lounge LAX
Divided into first and business class lounges, this “pretty fantastic” facility at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal features “an outdoor terrace with a waterfall where you can get a breath of fresh air before your international departure.” Relax before your flight with “complimentary snacks and drinks, separate media and dining areas, and even a library.”
A Clear Standout (3/4 Reviewers)
Lufthansa First Class Wining & Dining Lounge JFK
The only way you’re getting into this “tiny … incredibly secluded and refined” lounge is if you’re flying in first class on Swiss, Lufthansa or have top status with those airlines. Grab some Champagne at the self-service bar and then sit down to “an extensive buffet, including an entire dessert section, and table service with a la carte menu options.”
The Rest Of The Best (2/4)
Delta Sky Club JFK
Delta’s lounge at JFK is the only facility solely operated by a domestic airline that makes this list. What makes this lounge a “standout?” The Sky Deck, “a large outdoor area overlooking the tarmac where you can order drinks and food and even enjoy the free Wi-Fi as you watch the planes.”
Cathay Pacific Lounge SFO
If you’re headed to Asia from the West Coast, you’d be lucky to visit Cathay Pacific’s lounge, which features “made-to-order Hong Kong-style noodles and complimentary beverages that are a notch above your typical domestic airport lounge.”
Oneworld Lounge LAX
This business and first class lounge at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal features “400 seats … centered around a large atrium with natural lighting.” There are “a variety of seating areas as well as a huge kitchen/buffet area where the menu has been created by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry.” Grab a cocktail or glass of wine at the bar and settle in around the indoor fire pit.
British Airways Concorde Room JFK
Flying out of JFK on British Airways in first class is the only way into this “lounge within a lounge within a lounge.” Given such a limited access policy, there’s “nowhere in the US will you find a menu with more filet mignon, a bar with more Grey Goose and Grand Siecle or less people.” Don’t forget to grab your “complimentary 15-minute Elemis Spa treatment.”