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We are heading to Europe next month, and part of our plan to keep travel expenses down is to utilize some of the airport lounges for some meals. While I do want to experience Europe and not eat ALL of my meals in an airport lounge, Europe is expensive, so I also want to have some options
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Airports we’ll be in
So here are the airports that we will be in:
- Tuesday afternoon, leaving Cincinnati (CVG)
- Tuesday evening, Boston airport (BOS)
- Wednesday morning, Dublin (DUB)
- Thursday morning, Belfast City (BHD)
- Thursday afternoon, London Heathrow (LHR)
- Sunday afternoon, London Heathrow (LHR)
- Sunday afternoon, Nice (NCE)
- Monday afternoon, Nice (NCE)
- Monday afternoon, Rome (FCO)
- Thursday morning, Rome (FCO)
- Thursday afternoon, New York (JFK)
Lounge access that I have
Here is some of the lounge access that I have available
- Because I will be flying Business Class BOS-DUB, I will have access to the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge in Boston
- Same thing on Thursday in Rome – I should have access to the LeAnfore Lounge as well as the British Airways Executive Lounge (though something I was reading was that it was closed due to airport fire?!!”)
- Carolyn and I both have Lounge Club access with 2 free visits thanks to having the Chase Ink card, before that benefit was removed.
- I feel like I have 2 lounge passes from a US Airways card, but I couldn’t seem to find them
- We both have Priority Pass Select membership from having the American Express Platinum card as part of my most recent credit card churn. Although the American Express Platinum card is hers, because I am a authorized user, we can both be members of Priority Pass Select
So what to do
- Tuesday dinner we should be able to have in the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge in Boston
- Wednesday morning, we should have breakfast on the flight over, but if not, we could use the Aer Lingus arrivals lounge
- Thursday morning, we have access with Priority Pass Select to the Aspire Lounge in Belfast, as well as at Heathrow when we get there. There are actually several Priority Pass lounges at LHR, and it looks like flights on British Airways from Belfast arrive at Terminal 5.
- Sunday afternoon, again, probably counting on lunch at either the lounge at Heathrow or the Salon Azur in NCE. It looks like there is no requirement to show any type of boarding pass to access the Priority Pass Select lounges; just your Priority Pass card
- Then in Rome, we’ll have access to the LeAnfore Lounge, though we’ll have breakfast at our hotel the morning of and our flight leaves at 9:40 a.m.
Sound reasonable? Any lounges that we’ll have access to that you highly recommend or that I missed? Leave me a note in the comments
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Most of the lounges on your list will have nibbles / snacks / little sandwiches at best. Don’t expect full meals or buffets at most of them.
As for prices in Europe, it is a lot cheaper now that the Euro is low. I find Rome pretty cheap to eat in, as long as you go where the locals go and avoid the tourist areas. Nice on the other hand is a little bit tricky, so look for “prix fixe” menus.
Hey you’re talking to a guy with 6 kids – we’ve learned that you take food where you can get it! Going to Costco on Saturday afternoon is code for “lunch” 😀
Don’t bother going to Europe if you want to just eat sterile lounge food instead of the streetside cafe.
LOL – I knew I was going to get one of these comments!!! I did say in the post that I was planning on eating “streetside cafe” food and other local options, but it’s always nice to have options!
The only other thing I can say about the lounge food is that it will be difficult to eat healthy. Lots of snack choices that are bad for you I’m afraid. Off to one of the lounges on your list tomorrow.
Thanks for the comment! Which lounge are you going to?
Dublin – Gold Circle. I’m off to the LHR T5 CCR this afternoon.
Salon Azur BTW has some very nice beer.
When you are in London – Wetherspoons pubs offer some great deals and are family-friendly.
One does not receive physical U.S. Airways passes with your credit card–it’s a benefit of the card so all to need to is show it. I had the same question this Summer and I confirmed with a phone rep and used my pass at CLT for me , my wife, and son.
Awesome! Thanks for letting me know – I will have to check that out, though it sounds like we’re not really going to need them
I like to lounge hop to assess my food options. See which one has the better food. To my surprise, on a recent trip to Europe I found that the priority pass lounge sometimes had better offerings than the airline-specific lounges. If you can get into more than one, check out what’s offered before committing.
Unless there has been a dramatic change, do not count on ‘food’ in Priority Pass lounges at London Heathrow. Nuts, crisps, pretzels, crackers, maybe.
Thanks! Good to know!
You might find that your Amex Platinum card will get you into more than just Priority Pass lounges. I imagine you’re not into paying for lounge access, but you might find that Lounge Buddy will help you find what’s available given the cards/status that you have. Use my code, 6JG8T0qIfk, and get $10 credit towards your first lounge experience with LoungeBuddy (http://www.loungebuddy.com/)
Hi! Great blog 🙂
A few things to be aware of. There is no access to an arrivals lounge at LHR for flights from BHD and the only access to one with your passes in LHR T5 where your NCE flight departs from is the Aspire lounge. There have been reports that access has been tricky: http://www.headforpoints.com/2015/08/16/lounge-miles-aspire-lounge-heathrow-terminal-5/
You could perhaps look to upgrade your LHR-NCE legs to Club Europe for 4500 Avios each for a better meal and lounge access beforehand to the BA lounge?
Not sure if you are T1 or T2 for NCE-FCO but the lounge in T1 NCE is ok and imagine they are similar. Lots of snacks and a few sandwiches – plenty for a light lunch but not for dinner. Good selection of booze and champagne on request. I’ve used priority passes here a couple of times.
Wow – this is super helpful! The link you shared seem to indicate that with Priority Club access (which I have), I should be able to get to the Aspire lounge in T5. As for the arrivals on LHR, that’s good to know – we’ll have to make sure to hit the Aspire lounge in BHD before we leave.
Hi! Just found your blog and wanted to chime in. Hubs and I are US expats living in Amsterdam and we travel around Europe a couple times a month (I know, we’re spoiled). One of the ways we keep our costs down is by eating in (not often literally *in*, but it has happened) grocery stores. The stores over here are, in general, wayyyyyy better than those nasty preservative filled fake food stores at home. Just pop in to any grocery store, and for 3 euros or so you can happily make a meal out of a fresh baguette, some locally made cheese, and some delicious mustard.
That’s a great idea! My friend Jana just got back from Paris and that was one of her top Paris travel tips!