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The moment I check in my Bags and clear all the airport security my holiday officially begins.  But unlike thousands of people, I avoid all the hustle and bustle of the Duty Free Shop temptations, screaming kids and uncomfortable departure lounge seating and I head for the peace and tranquility of an Executive Lounge.  It has become very much an essential part of my holiday routine.  In days gone by these lounges were the domain of the VIP and celebrity jetsetters >  Today they have become an addordable and comfortable way to get a holiday or voyage off to a flying start in comfort. 


The first thing to remember is that these lounges are limited capacity and availability so it is essential to either pre book your lounge or have a Dragon Pass.  Dragon Passes often come as part of premium bank account benefits packages.  If you do have a Dragon Pass it is worth checking how many visits you are allowed and what lounges are available to you.  If you have a Dragon Pass then you will gain free access, if the lounge has availability.  At busy times the lounge may refuse access to Dragon Pass guests. So it is alsways worth checking out the alternative possibilities, just in case.  It is also important to remember Dragon Pass holders are not able to reserve their lounge beforehand, so they can only enjoy walk up entry and admission is strictly subject to availability.  In fairness however I should say I have never been refused access yet with my Dragon Pass.  If you have prepaid your access to a lounge with your travel agent, then you will be given priority access.  This limited availability means that you will enjoy a more comfortable time in your chosen lounge.


On arrival at your chosen lounge you will be greeted by reception staff that will check either your reservation or the availability for you   As I said earlier availability is strictly limited to prevent over crowding.  Some lounges have dress code policies, some lounges are family friendly, whilst others are strictly adult only.  So it is always a good idea to check this before you book your lounge or turn up.  These reception staff are the key to ensuring these rules are kept.  If you have disability assistance these are also the people to let know as they will often be very helpful in ensuring the assistance gets you to your gate on time.

One of the first things you will notice on entering an executive lounge is the relative calm compared to the hustle, bustle and chaos of the outside departure lounge.  You will find comfortable chairs where you can relax, table and chairs where you can enjoy a snack in comfort.  In some lounges you will find work stations, tv and departure screens.  Nearly all lounges offer you free wifi.  Some of the family friendly lounges offer a play area to keep the kids happy and contented. 


Many lounges offer free showers where you can freshen up before the next leg of your journey.  Some lounges even off spa treatments (though these may be at an extra cost payable locally). 



One of the great benefits of the executive lounge is that you can enjoy a wide selection of beverages from teas, coffees, and soft drinks through to beers, wines and spirits.  which are included in the price of your lounge, though should you want champagne this is normally an extra cost.  You can also enjoy included snacks and there is usually a hot and cold buffet for something to eat.  Some lounges do offer an a la carte menu with freshly prepared meals.  However where this is available it is at an extra cost (payable locally).  


There is a common misconception that these lounges are expensive.  The reality is that at  between £25 to £40 per person on average it is just a little more than a meal and drinks purchased in a departure lounge bar / restaurant outlet and I have to say far more  comfortable and relaxed.