Unwashed masses are invading our elite airport lounges

Illustration for article titled Unwashed masses are invading our elite airport lounges
Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features, Martin Barraud (Getty Images)
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Hold on to your monocles, chaps: Changes are afoot at America’s once-luxurious airport lounges. No less than the venerable Wall Street Journal reports our tony havens of Scotch and wall outlets are now being invaded by hordes of poors, by which I mean people without Elite Triple Premium Premiere Club airline status.

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The WSJ finds increasing numbers of commoners are being granted access to our lounges, bringing with them all types of rabble-rousing. (They’re also decimating the buffets, it’s said.) Gone are the single-malt Scotches and well-curated Napa cabs. Now we’re lucky to get a glass of lukewarm, cheap Chardonnay!

Who can we blame, fellow Monopoly men? Chase Sapphire, probably. The WSJ reports the Sapphire Reserve card as well as other from AmEx and Citigroup include access to 60 airport lounges nationwide, to which these cardholders may bring an unlimited number of unsavory guests. (What will they come for next? Fishers Island?)

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I, for one, long for the era when airport lounges served filets and Champagne to the dulcet background tones of a baby grand. But just the other day, I arrived at an airport lounge to find nothing but cheddar cheese cubes and an inferior Zinfandel. Henceforth, I shall fly only in my private jet, and I urge you to do the same. Read more in the harrowing WSJ piece.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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I don’t currently have an airline credit card, but I have paid for an airport lounge exactly once. I was at BWI and, due to logistical issues, had 5 hours before my flight. $50 got me a meh continental breakfast buffet, a couple beers, and a fairly comfy chair. I wouldn’t do it again unless it was complementary.