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Airport lounges can be so much more than drinks, snacks and comfy chairs with better Wi-Fi. Imagine getting off a cross-country red-eye and grabbing a shower before catching your connection. Or getting a massage and relaxing away from the chaos of the terminal.
As airlines bolster benefits for frequent flyers, the addition of shower facilities in lounges is becoming more common. (So common, in fact, that chances are pretty decent that your next lounge will offer such a facility, especially if you're traveling internationally and using a large airline lounge.)
Here are just a few places where you can avail yourself of a preflight rinse-off:
Abu Dhabi International Airport
The United Arab Emirates is one of the world capitals of bling, and at Abu Dhabi International Airport, every first and business class lounge offers showers. That includes the lounges for Etihad Airways, whose hub is in Abu Dhabi.
The cost of visiting the Etihad business class lounges in Terminals 1 and 3 starts at $100 or 14,100 Etihad Guest miles for two hours. (It's free to enter if you're flying Etihad business or first class.) Etihad Guest miles can be transferred from Citi ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio.
If you don’t have lounge access, free public showers are available at gates 32 and 37.
» Learn more: The 4 best Citi transfer partners (and 7 to avoid)
Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong
There are showers, and then there are shower suites — complete with daybeds and more. That's what you'll find at The Wing first class lounge from Cathay Pacific, whose private "cabanas" include a soaking tub, a rain shower and plenty of room to spread out and relax. The staff will even iron your clothes as you freshen up, helping you look your best after a long flight.
Cathay Pacific is part of the Oneworld Alliance, and Emerald and Sapphire members receive free entry into The Wing. The airline has several other lounges with showers as well, but none quite this fancy.
» Learn more: The guide to Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong
One of the perks of flying from Los Angeles as a high-tier Oneworld elite is that you'll have access to Qantas' amazing first class lounge, which offers not just a la carte dining but better-than-average shower facilities. Flying in international first class on Cathay Pacific or any other Oneworld carrier? You'll also have access to this lounge.
Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members can enjoy shower suites not just at LAX, but at the airline's other lounges in Sydney, London, Singapore and more.
Some AmEx Centurion Lounges
Centurion members and those with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can access Centurion Lounges, which sometimes offer showers as well. You’ll even find spa services in Dallas and Miami.
Some Minute Suites
You don’t need to be a first class passenger to get a shower during your layover or after a red-eye. Minute Suites are slowly popping up at airports around the country to provide (as the name implies) mini-suites you can rent for a few hours.
You’ll find Minute Suites in several airports; the Dallas and Charlotte locations also provides private showers. It’s $30 for a 30-minute shower or $20 if you book a shower with suite rental.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Credit cards that offer lounge access Find the best travel credit card for you How to decide whether a lounge splurge is worth the price