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ways to access airport lounges

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Most airline club rooms will sell day passes to non-members for a fee of between $30 and $50. Some credit cards offer access at a select set of airline club rooms as part of the annual fee. And the Priority Pass program levies both a membership and per-visit fee for access to a menu of about 600 airport club rooms around the world

* Frommer's picks the Top 10 airport lounges

Amenities at the reLAX Lounge, located on the pre-security, departure level of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, include upholstered chairs, workstations, business services and complimentary Wi-Fi, soft drinks, sandwiches and snacks. Admission is $15 for one hour and $30 for three hours. With the $50 day pass, a complimentary glass of wine or beer is included.

Plaza Premium, which has lounges in Vancouver, Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore and more than a dozen other international airports, throws in buffet meals, drinks, business services and, in some locations, showers. Prices vary by location, but in Toronto the fee is about $35 for three hours.

Complimentary amenities at The Lounge in New York JFK's Terminal 4 ($40 for four hours; $10 each additional hour) include showers, Internet access, drinks, snacks and light meals. At The Club in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a 24-hour day pass is $35 and provides travelers with complimentary alcoholic drinks, business facilities, a separate kids' room, shower facilities and a smoking lounge. Unlike many airline clubs, visitors are welcome to bring in food purchased outside the lounge.

The independent lounges at some of the nation's smaller airports are some of the best deals.

Entrance to the Executive Club at Alabama's Mobile Regional Airport is $10 per day and includes work areas and complimentary snacks, beverages and local phone calls. For $24.95, passengers can buy access to The Club at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and at Altitude: A Traveler's Club at Kentucky's Louisville International Airport, a day pass is just $5 and includes complimentary soft drinks and snacks, high-speed Internet access, free long-distance and domestic phone calls, and a lovely view of the runway.

Airport lounges for smokers and hotel guests

If you smoke (or don't mind hanging around people who do), look for the specially-ventilated cigar lounges linked to the boutiques opened by Bahamas-based Graycliff Cigars at the Nassau International and Nashville International airports (Gates B9 and C10). Lounge access is $4 in Nashville and $10 in Nassau, where the fee includes a complimentary glass of wine or other beverage.


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