TPG reader question: Do I have to pay to bring my small child into an airport lounge?

Sep 5, 2021

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Airport lounges can be a pleasant way to relax before your flight. They are a quiet oasis from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal and you can usually find a comfortable seat, grab a snack and a drink before your flight, and charge your devices or catch up on some last-minute work before boarding the aircraft.

Related: The 7 dos and don’ts in an airport lounge

Some of the best U.K. credit cards come with lounge access, from a pair of lounge passes each year with the Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express, to unlimited lounge access with the generous benefits from The Platinum Card from American Express.

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You’ll want to make sure you use your lounge passes for the best lounge experience you can, which brings us to this week’s TPG reader question.

I’m interested in the Amex Gold card which includes two complimentary lounge visits each year. I would like to take my wife in as my guest but we also have a 1 year old son. Would he:
1. Be allowed into the airport lounge with us at no extra cost?
2. Be allowed in at an extra cost (how much?)
3. Not be allowed in at all, meaning that we couldn’t enjoy that perk?

Rich, TPG Reader

If you’re travelling with a small child, you will obviously need to be with him or her at all times in the airport, whether that’s while clearing security, or in an airport lounge. Your child may enjoy the comfort of the lounge, but they’re probably not going to eat or drink much there, so you might consider it a waste of a valuable lounge pass to use it for a small child.

The good news for Rich is that most lounges allow small children in at no cost, without requiring travellers to use a lounge pass, provided they are accompanied by an adult who enters using a lounge pass or pays for an adult single-entry pass for themselves.

Related: The best UK credit cards for airport lounge access in 2021

Each lounge may have slightly different entry rules for small children, though Plaza Premium, which operates some of the best Priority Pass lounges in the U.K., will not charge entry for children under 2. Some Priority Pass lounges generously allow free entry for children up to 12 years old; you can check individual entry rules here.

Enjoy your lounge visit, Rich!

Featured image by Daniel Ross / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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