An inside look: Awesome airport lounges in the US

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Whether your low-cost flight itinerary includes a long layover or travel delays have you unexpectedly setting up camp at the airport, an airport lounge can be the perfect way to make the best of your stay at an otherwise uncomfortable terminal. Though some lounges restrict access to certain passengers flying in first or business class, others are available to travelers (usually for a fee). For now, we’re pulling back the curtain on some of America’s finest airport lounges and giving you a sneak peek at the luxury that awaits lounge-goers.

British Airways Concorde Room, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The Concorde Room by British Airways is one of the best airport lounges in the country (Image: British Airways)

The Concorde Room at JFK International Airport is an elegant affair, and certainly the airline’s most exclusive lounge. Traditional chandeliers and ample seating offer plenty of opportunities for weary travelers to relax between flights, with a glass of complimentary champagne in hand, of course. An exclusive dining experience also awaits at the Concorde Room, where the fine dining menu includes high-end steaks, seafood and daily specials, paired with decadent desserts and fine wines. All this is included with access to the lounge.

To truly unwind, travelers can even book a complimentary 15-minute spa service at British Airways’ neighboring Galleries Lounge. Access to the Concorde Room is limited to those flying first class with the airline.

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Ample, private seating lets travelers relax in peace in the Concorde Room (Image: British Airways)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges 9
Elegant table settings elevate the dining experience in the Concorde Room (Image: British Airways)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Elegant table settings elevate the dining experience in the Concorde Room (Image: British Airways)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Travelers can also experience complimentary spa treatments during their visit (Image: British Airways)

JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The swanky JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offers a hip, modern atmosphere for lounging between flights (Image: David Jones)

Modern, chic and swanky, the JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is exactly what one would expect from this trend-setting airline. Drawing inspiration from New York City, this clubhouse features retro seating, textured designs and bright, open spaces.

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offers a hip oasis of relaxation at JFK International Airport (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Travelers can indulge in spa treatments while visiting the lounge (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Traveling is much more relaxing with a complimentary spa treatment (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The entertainment area lets travelers socialize and make new friends in-between flights (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The hip and stylish lounge makes for a laid-back layover (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Complimentary cocktails are served at the JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Image: Virgin Atlantic)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Complimentary food choices include this Clubhouse burger, coupled with cocktails, wines and spirits (Image: vagueonthehow)

How you relax is up to you: Have a drink at the cocktail bar, dine on seared salmon or chicken ramen noodles at the brasserie or hang out in the entertainment area, where a pool table and flat screen TV await. While you’re here, don’t miss out on getting pampered at the Clubhouse Spa.

Day passes are available for purchase for any First Class and Main Cabin Select ticket holders. Day passes are $75 for adults and $40 for children.

American Express Centurion Lounge, San Francisco International Airport, California

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The Centurion Lounge by American Express can be found at airports around the country, including San Francisco International Airport (Image: American Express)

While airport lounges are usually created for specific airlines, credit card company American Express is rolling out its own brand of Centurion Lounges in airports across the U.S. The Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport opened in late 2014, offering more than 8,000 square feet of amenities. While at the lounge, travelers can indulge in a taste of nearby Napa Valley through the “Wine & Dine” program, get ahead on work at an uber-connected workstation or relax and recharge with a private shower suite.

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The exterior of the Centurion Lounge (Image: American Express)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Plenty of seating welcomes weary travelers (Image: American Express)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
The Centurion Lounge offers ample space to spread out and relax (Image: American Express)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Travelers can enjoy a drink at the Centurion Lounge’s bar (Image: American Express)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
A conference room lets travelers get work done on the road (Image: American Express)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Intimate seating lets you relax in style (with a drink in hand!) (Image: American Express)

You’ll need to be an American Express cardholder to take advantage of these perks. Platinum cardholders get complimentary access, while cardholders of any other AmEx can purchase a day pass for $50.

Delta Sky Club, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges 1
Relaxation awaits behind the entrance to Delta’s Sky Club (Image: Delta Airlines)

If you’re looking for a bit of a respite in the world’s busiest airport, look no further than the Delta Sky Club. While there are more than a handful of Sky Club locations at this busy airport, you won’t want to miss the views from the Sky Club on Concourse F. Here, Delta’s Sky Deck pampers travelers with views as you enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks and WiFi. Plus, shower access lets you refresh before or after your flight. One-day passes can be purchased for $50.

Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Sit back and relax between flights in a Delta Sky Club (Image: Delta Airlines)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Plush seating awaits at Delta Sky Club (Image: Delta Airlines)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Complimentary drinks are available at all Delta Sky Clubs (Image: Delta Airlines)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Delta Sky Club on Concourse F impresses with its outdoor Sky Deck (Image: Delta Airlines)
Behind closed doors: An inside look at America’s best airport lounges
Enjoy views of the airport with free drinks and snacks from Delta’s Sky Deck (Image: Delta Airlines)

(Main image: Virgin Atlantic)

An inside look: Awesome airport lounges in the US was last modified: May 10th, 2016 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (895 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.