I know, having flown a lot for some years, that flying is an interesting problem. First of all, there is a business vs. tourist or vacation travel. Business travelers are in a hurry. They have to be. They are bound for a meeting, interview or work location and every second they spend in the airport either there, or back again, is the time they never get back. I cannot tell you throughout the 12 years I traveled how many hours I spent in lounges. I used to use miles earned every year to keep a red carpet club membership, just because the advantage of snacks, comfortable seats, TV’s and power plugs without having to walk around the entire airport was worth it. You walk into the red carpet club and relax.
(images are of Lisbon Portugal)
There is something about not having to rush when you see that delightful “flight delayed” mark on the board. Throughout the more than 1400 flights I flew, I do have to be fair. First, there were many times when I had 2-3 hours between arriving at an airport and heading to my next location. That was by design by the airline to give them weather windows (in case of the weather delayed the inbound flight). Plus the reality of 1000 flights in a day is that it is simply not possible to arrive and leave in a 30-minute window. Add to that the reality of weather, spring being the worst, and you sit. I could write an entire story of sitting in the airport before I got the Red Carpet card, and after.
I remember hunkering down on the floor, waiting for one person to unplug so I could plug in. That is why business travelers get so grouchy! I can tell you that Denver’s Stapleton Airport and Tokyo’s Narita airport have the best Red Carpet clubs I’ve ever been too. The Red Carpet club in Hong Kong is very nice, but it is confusing (it’s on two levels and has lots of nooks and crannies). O’Hare has two nice lounges. Washington’s Dulles airport has two lounges as well, but they aren’t as nice. The lounges that are multiple airlines in many countries are always interesting. It depends on when you land. Normally for me, it got a cup of coffee and sit for a bit. That way I wouldn’t feel rushed as I got ready for my next flight.