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Airport lounges are a great spot to relax while traveling. Some airlines operate their own lounges and charge for membership, while others permit entrance based on passengers' elite status or ticket class. There are also Priority Pass lounges, which let members enjoy the lounges regardless of status or ticketed cabin. Access to Priority Pass comes with major credit cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment required. Terms apply.
Here's what you need to know about Star Alliance lounges and how you might be able to access one on your next trip.
About Star Alliance lounges
Star Alliance gives certain members access to nearly 1,000 lounges around the world, including seven of its own branded lounges and those of over 25 alliance-member airlines.
These seven lounges are in markets where Star Alliance deems it important to have a notable brand presence. For example, a busy airline hub for a competing alliance is an ideal place for its own branded lounge.
Star Alliance includes virtual tours of many of these lounges on its website if you want a preview. There’s also a "lounge finder," which lets travelers search by airport to find an eligible lounge.
» Learn more: How to choose a travel credit card
Who can access Star Alliance-branded lounges?
Passengers traveling in premium cabins, as well as Star Alliance Gold members traveling on a Star Alliance flight in any cabin, can access member-airline and alliance-branded lounges. If you're traveling with someone, guest access policies vary depending on your airline loyalty program status. For example, beginning May 13, United Star Alliance Gold members can bring one guest who's traveling on a Star Alliance flight the same day.
» Learn more: Your guide to airline alliances
Achieving Star Alliance Gold status depends on which airline’s frequent flyer program you hold status with. United Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members all qualify for Star Alliance Gold status, for example.
Here’s a glance at each of the global Star Alliance-branded lounges.
Where to find Star Alliance-branded lounges
As one of the newest alliance lounges to open, the Amsterdam lounge is a welcome respite for Star Alliance passengers in what is otherwise SkyTeam territory. This airport is KLM’s primary hub, so it’s often a sea of blue planes.
The modern lounge, which is located on the Schengen side, features Dutch design details and furnishings. It's divided into a work zone — featuring ample seating with plentiful power outlets — and a relaxation area with a serviced bar and buffet.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is another SkyTeam hub (for Aerolineas Argentinas) with a Star Alliance lounge presence. The lounge at Ezeiza International Airport comes with dining, drinking and relaxation facilities. It also features a shower suite.
The lounge takes its design inspiration from the region’s countryside, with light colors and locally produced furnishings. Priority Pass cardholders can also access the lounge, even if they're not flying a Star Alliance airline.
Located in the Tom Bradley international terminal, the lounge serves Star Alliance member airlines including Air New Zealand, Asiana, Austrian, Lufthansa and SAS. It features a unique indoor terrace overlooking the terminals, as well as an outdoor area with a fire pit and plentiful airplane views.
There's a separate section for first class passengers, as well as shower suites. A wall of wine welcomes guests to the impressive buffet selection, which often features soups, salads, snacks, hot food and an open bar.
This Star Alliance lounge features a wall of windows overlooking the airport and sea in the distance. Plentiful natural light makes it a great place to relax, and its open bar and selection of regionally inspired cuisine take the experience to the next level.
Nagoya was one of the first Star Alliance-branded lounges around the world to open. It's also part of Priority Pass, so even those not flying Star Alliance can access the lounge using their membership.
This Star Alliance lounge is located in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle, the primary hub for SkyTeam member Air France. French artwork and Parisian neighborhood-inspired privacy dividers give the lounge local character. There’s also an outdoor garden for fresh air and even a smoking lounge.
Long-haul travelers will be happy to find shower suites, and first class passengers have their own dedicated section of the lounge. The lounge is part of Priority Pass, so if you’re flying from Terminal 1 (no matter which airline), you can access it with your Priority Pass card.
» Learn more: How to maximize your Priority Pass Select membership
Rio de Janeiro
This lounge offers great views of city landmarks like Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue. Brazilian wood was used in the lounge’s design, and the menu often features Brazilian flavors.
There’s a serviced bar plus a self-service buffet. Unusually, the lounge is also “open to TAP Corporate customers, Edelweiss Business Class customers and Star Alliance Gold members traveling on Edelweiss operated flights,” which is an exception to the typical entry rules. There's no guest access for these passengers though, according to Star Alliance regulations.
Another SkyTeam hub (home to Alitalia), Rome-Fiumicino houses a Star Alliance lounge for travelers in the Intra-Schengen section of Terminal 3. This location covers member airlines like Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss International, among others. The lounge features Italian decor and catering, including a staffed bar that serves Italian espresso.
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