Alternative ways to access airport lounges for Belgians

In one of my previous posts I have talked about Star Alliance Gold status and one of their most interesting benefit: airport lounge access. Attaining a gold status at one the alliances is not feasible for everyone so I made this post to show alternative ways that grant you access.

Airport lounges are designated areas in airports between security control and the gates, where you can relax, eat and drink something and sometimes even take a shower without additional costs. Lounges give flying a new meaning and makes your airport experience much less stressful.

There are several types of airport lounges.

Airline lounges allow customers to their lounge who own a certain airline status depending on the alliance that specific airline is affiliated to. Business class ticket holders with any airline within the whole alliance are also allowed into the lounge.

Contract lounges have specific criteria to allow people in. Most of them allow people who pay to enter or who own a subscription to airport lounge programs such as LoungeKey or PriorityPass, depending on the lounge. Below I will list all the ways you can get airport lounge access through others ways than buying business class tickets or having an airline status.

Bid for upgrade to your flight ticket

Most airlines allow you to bid for an upgrade to business class. You’ll be able to fly for a cheaper price in business class and have all the benefits: fast track, airport lounge access and extra luggage allowance.

Example of a Plusgrade upgrade interface for Brussels Airlines

Most airlines use the “PlusGrade” system, which allows you to use a scrollbar to choose the amount of money you want to bid. I tell everyone the same: if you use Plusgrade, just offer the lowest price you can offer, except if you really want to fly business. The likelihood you’ll get the upgrade is big even with the lowest offer, except if the flight is overbooked. In case the flight is overbooked, even a higher offer will probably be denied. The barometer will always say that the likelihood to win is poor but that’s just to push you psychologically to offer more in the hope you get the upgrade.

Get the American Express Platinum card

The American Express Platinum is a quite costly card but gives a lot of benefits if you travel frequently. The card will cost you a whopping 60 euro per month or 30 euro per month for the first year (50% discount promotion) and will get you several benefits:

  • Fast lane access at Brussels Airport
  • Subscription for PriorityPass: access to >1300 airport lounges worldwide
  • Several (travel) insurances
  • Fine Hotels Booking platform allowing you to book very luxurious stays including room upgrades

PriorityPass membership for a year costs 399 euro each year and is included in this card. The most interesting thing about the platinum card of American Express (Amex) is the fact that you can request a second complimentary Platinum card for a family member, which will also grant this person a PriorityPass membership. This Amex benefit is therefore worth two times 399 euro.

The Diamond Lounge at Brussels Airport, allowing PriorityPass members
Get the visa card

As crypto starts to become more popular in our lives, we see crypto companies starting to offer great benefits in return for locking up a certain amount of money in crypto, which is referred to staking.

One of the most beneficial visa debit cards available is the visa card. For locking up 350 euro for 180 days worth of their own crypto currency (CRO), you can get Spotify completely reimbursed in CRO cryptocoin. If you decide to stake 3500 euro worth of CRO, you’ll get Spotify reimbursed in CRO, Netflix reimbursed in CRO, a certain amount of yearly interest on the staked CRO which is paid out weekly and last but not least: subscription to LoungeKey, giving you access to over 1100 lounges over the world. Do take in mind that at this time, no airport lounge in Brussels Airport supports LoungeKey. You can check on the LoungeKey page which lounges you can access. I’d recommend this card to people who fly a lot, but not through Brussels Airport. Charleroi Airport and Eindhoven Airport however have a lounge available for LoungeKey members.

Icy White/Frosted Rose Gold, offering all of the above and some more and lounge access + 1 guest. To get this benefit you’ll need to stake the a huge amount: 35000 euro for at least 180 days. If you’re a couple, it is therefore more interesting to take two Jade cards of staked CRO, equivalent to 3500 euro each instead of the Icy White/Frosted Rose Gold. Obsidian card is not discussed here as it does not benefit you any different in terms of lounge access.

It is a lot of money. Depending on your risk appetite and your needs, it can benefit you a however. Staking means that you must keep the money for 180 days locked up to enjoy the benefits. After the 180 days, you can keep the money locked to keep the benefits. This means that you can enjoy the benefit for a lifetime, as long as doesn’t remove the benefits. After 180 days you can decide to unstake and remove your money from the card. Please do take in mind that cryptocoins are unpredictable and very volatile so if you decide to unstake, your cryptocoins might be worth more or less after the period of 180 days.

Upon registration from this link, you’ll get a free $25 USD welcome bonus worth of CRO coin.

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