Passenger Takes Revenge On Co-Worker Who Bragged About Airport Lounge Access

Access to an airport lounge is supposed to be a refuge from the crowds, a place to get help with your travel itinerary when flights delay and cancel, and a place to work and get something to eat in peace when you have time to kill. But is it a status symbol?

One passenger trying to turn lounge access into a relative status game paid the price. He was on a business trip with several colleagues and “was bragging about [having lounge access] the whole day” prior to flying together and once the group arrived at the airport he wished the “peasants” a “nice time in the airport food court” telling them they’d be “slumming it with the mouth breathers” while he hung out in the lounge.

But somehow this lounge access king wasn’t a very good solo traveler?

[O]ur flight nears and he texts through asking what the gate is. The rest of us are walking down the skybridge onto the plane at this point. Now, this airport isn’t exactly small. It’s actually massive. We were getting on at Gate 4. I told him we were at Gate 44.

The man was in the lounge, away from his colleagues, and couldn’t navigate the airport on his own! He didn’t check departure boards or his airline’s mobile app. He relied on his colleagues – that he’d taunted – to tell him what gate to go to. The doors on his flight close, he’s not on the plane.

He texts “hey where are you guys?” and I told him we’re taxing down the runway and that we tried holding the plane for him and the bloke just…explodes. I put my phone on airplane mode and breathe out. When we land, he’s blown up my phone and I’ve got a missed call from my boss.

I call my boss back and say I accidentally pushed 4 twice and he just laughed and reckons he would’ve paid big money to see old mate’s meltdown. Anyway, it ruined his day. He had to pay for his own ticket home and now I think my life is in danger. lol.

Airport lounge access isn’t high status. Departing from an FBO is, though JSX has made that accessible in many markets.

If this passenger was actually in a position to brag he’d have brought co-workers with him into the lounge rather than visiting alone.

One person brought 19 guests into a Priority Pass lounge in Quito, Ecuador. Another brought 35 guests into an airport lounge in Tanzania. Merely having lounge access isn’t a flex. Sharing that access is.

You can’t always do that for free. Delta Sky Club memberships come in two forms – one that includes guests and one that does not. American Express no longer welcomes guests into Centurion lounges with a Platinum card unless you’re spending $75,000 a year on the card. Otherwise you pay for a guest. And guest access policies with Priority Pass cards vary, too.

Bragworthy used to be getting 10 no annual fee authorized user cards on a Citi Executive account and using a total of 11 cards to bring 33 people into American Airlines Admirals Clubs. Authorized user cards now cost money.

While Chase now limits free Priority Pass guests to two, Capital One revealed late last year that while they’ve published a two guest limit in practice there wasn’t any limit at all.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Patently fictitious story. If all you do now is republish twitter, TikTok and Reddit, it’s time to sell this blog and retire.

  2. The guy didn’t check the flight boards or the mobile app BECAUSE HE IS A FIGMENT OF THE WRITER’S IMAGINATION.

    Anytime the story ends with “and then the guy who just barely missed his flight had to buy his own ticket home”, you know it’s rubbish, especially someone with lounge access flying for business, so it’s not like he was on Rynair or something. Unless you’re on some super discount carrier, if you miss your flight, they just put you on the next one.

  3. Speedscu wrote:
    > This is a super entertaining and totally true story.

    Of course it is. We all know it’s entertaining because hearing about comeupance for sociopaths being rude to people they will see again Monday morning and each morning for the next few months is normal.

    Also it’s a detailed story that includes the airline name, city of lounge, and lounge name/type certainly is mentioned in full. It must be one of those lounges that when you “check in” doesn’t have a board behind the check-in person to show you the departure gate.

    The narcissistic coworker has lounge access, knows how awesome it is, has been there before, and can get to the lounge all-by-his-little-self but doesn’t know how to look up the departure gate number AND location (how much lead time to go from lounge to the gate).

    I do that ALL the time – go to the lounge not knowing or caring where or when my next departure is, knowing that there are no flight information boards to consult but (rather than ask the Lounge Guy) I can text my purposely-abandoned travel companions for the info. Not.

    $3 bill.

  4. I thought the article was going to be about one of the co-workers getting a job at DELTA and limiting access to only 6 or 10 visits a year as payback for bragging about having lounge access.

  5. Airline lounges are only a big deal for those who rarely travel. Quite often my wife now tells me to skip the lounges and eat at one of the airport restaurants instead because the food/selection is better. Getting free food is not something that motivates us to go to a lounge. We would rather pay to eat what we want than to get free food that we don’t want. Other times we will use the lounge facilities after eating outside the lounge.

  6. If you’ve got nothing of use or interest to say then say nothing…..

    … apparently we need to update this for Gary to include “patently BS tales ripped from Reddit or twatter”

    Tbh Gary if you want a lazy day then fine, we all need them from time to time. But please don’t insult your readers intelligence by posting something so pathetic and transparently bollox.
    Actually I guess we should instead see this post as a rather tragically sad reflection on the poster

  7. Now THIS is how you handle a blow-hard! People who behave like this guy, lording it over his co-workers, belong in Los Angeles where they can be protected from the cold cruel world and do whatever they wish.

  8. Totally true people.
    I was drunk like a skunk once and almost missed the deadline to publish a new blog entry so I totally dod NOT copy paste a twatter (thanks whoever wrote this above lol) and like totally didn’t rewrite in my words.

    And they I totally like not paste the og story again. Cuz minimum words y’all.

    True story.

  9. As others have stated, a seasoned traveler would carefully check the departure gate details before immersion in the lounge environment. I’ve seen that airline lounges are often located in some of the remotest parts of the airport. The airline lounge will be in the airport’s terminal A while your departure gate is located in the airport’s terminal D. The Terminal D departure gate is located 2 miles walking distance away from the Terminal A airline lounge. Unless you’re spending several hours doing something important in the lounge, like waiting on a connecting flight that departs 8 hours after you arrive , then it doesn’t make much sense to have to trudge 2 miles to get to your departure gate. Find a decent place to wait in the departure terminal and get to your gate on time.

  10. In the lounge , the representatives there ensure that the customers not only make it to their gates on time, they escort you there. Way before departure time and will wait until you have boarded. Either the airline was trash, or this is a fake story.

  11. Agree with everyone, this story is fake. I’ve never been to a lounge that didn’t have the board stating which planes are flying from which gates.

    I do slightly disagree with Jason. I fly often and like lounges. The food isn’t great at some of them, but alcohol is free and after about three drinks, (I don’t like to drink too much and fly) and some decent food, I’m glad I saved the $100 . If I had to pay for lounge access, I wouldn’t go though

  12. Between the story and the comments (real or not) it’s been a very pleasant way to start my Saturday.
    Not the most pleasant way, as Mrs. LoeFlyer isn’t awake yet, but so far it’s on the list. (Real or not).

  13. I think I’ve been reading Gary for about 13 years now and it seems like below every article there’s an a$$hole in the comments section like HVC or Clayton whining about how VFtW “has gone downhill” or whatever. If the blog is causing you so much aggravation how about you f-off and go read something else instead of basically demanding to “speak to the manager” and ask for a refund on a free blog.

  14. What a jerk of a co worker. Deliberately lying. So lucky worse things did not happen. What a jerk!

  15. The number one reason to have lounge access? Nicer and cleaner bathrooms than you’ll find anywhere outside in the terminal.

  16. Good to see this site is using ChatGPT for writing.

    Here’s an extended version. This is fun!

    “ I haven’t spotted him since the airport incident, but every email I get with no subject line or a call from an unknown number has me on edge, thinking it’s him, planning his elaborate revenge. Yet there’s something liberating about having outsmarted him, even if it’s just this once.”

  17. Fake story. If the traveller had checked in when arriving at the airport, their boarding pass would have provided the gate number. If they had not checked in, the airline would start paging the passenger. At 10 minutes prior to gate close, the passenger’s seat would most likely have been released for other passengers on standby, etc. Story has more holes than swiss cheese.

  18. The story makes no sense. He cant check his phone for a gate? His phone didnt get boarding messages? There is no map of the gates in the terminal?

    It is a silly story Gary. Not sure how this is suppose to help frequent flyers on your site. Surprised you bought it.

  19. Whether or not the story is fake, as a former regular in the AA lounges, I never bragged or boasted my status in a derogatory way. I would sometimes leave the loung and go on walks if there was a long layover, then go back and relax. There are some who do, and they are the cockroaches of society who deserve to fly on Spirit/Ryanair in the middle seat between large passengers.

  20. I got a chuckle out of this fairy tale story…….. Even if it was true the guy would have just went back to his airport lounge and resumed his first class experience. Also we all know that his rescheduled flight home wouldn’t have cost him another dime. Hats off to the author of this article for trolling successfully.

  21. I’m a member of the lounge too. Whenever I go into the lounge I leave the little people behind. The high class of the lounge people are fully aware of where the gate is and all the protocols of navigating an airport. It is the little people who have difficulties finding their gate and getting to their aircraft on time for departure. It is the little people who are lost when they are trying to find their way around an airport. When I am at Detroit metro I sit in my high class lounge on the second floor and i gaze out the window at all the little people below. . I I think that I used to be one of them. I find that disgusting to think that I would ever have been a little people.

  22. @Lineupn: To be fair, I did leave the lounge and accidentally fly to the wrong city once, so it’s not JUST the “little people” (assuming a lounge membership actually pushes me into some sort of elite stratosphere…)

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