What are the different lounges I can go to?
The lounges run by the airports or individual concessionaires typically have names like "The Club at DFW" or "Wingtips Lounge Terminal 4." You can get in for a day rate of $45-$60. Compared against a $50 bar bill and people sloshing beer on your laptop, it's a bargain.
The major airlines have lounges in most major airports; some have networks of lounges around the world. International airlines have lounges at select US locations that offer day passes. Far and away the most common are our domestic airlines' lounges.
American Airlines offers the Admirals Club, with access to 90 lounges worldwide. Membership starts at $550 annually for AAdvantage members, and tapers down depending on status level. This gets you into every Admirals Club lounge in America whenever you want, and on the same day as your flight in international lounges and Alaska Airlines Board Room locations, as well as some third-party lounges. You can also buy a one-day pass for $59.
Delta Air Lines' Sky Club has access to 51 lounges around the world, with an annual membership fee of $695. As a member, you may also bring up to two guests. Or visitors can pay $59 for a single day.
The United Club costs $550 a year, and gets you access to 45 locations worldwide, as well as select Star Alliance lounges. A day pass here runs $55.
Alaska Airlines' Board Room has locations in Seattle, Portland, LAX, and Anchorage, and costs $450 a year. Four locations might sound pretty limiting, but Board Room members also get access to most domestic Admirals Club locations for the member and their spouse, or up to two guests. If you don't fly much internationally, this is a pretty good hack that'll save you $100 over what American charges. If you live in Alaska, it's a no-brainer.
The granddaddy of them all is the American Express Centurion Lounge. AmEx Centurion cardholders get access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide, but the seven actual Centurion sites (in Las Vegas, DFW, Miami, LaGuardia, SFO, Seattle, and Houston) blow them all away. Most feature all the amenities we've listed above, plus spa services and food crafted by top chefs. Scott Conant in Vegas and Michelle Bernstein in Miami, to drop a couple names.
Access here is free if you have a Platinum or Centurion card, and $50 for other AmEx cardholders. They're the only lounges not open to anyone with a same-day ticket, but are also just an AmEx application away.