Everyone has a travel horror story, right? Like the time you ran from one gate to another to catch a connecting flight, just to watch them close the door to the jetway as you arrive? No amount of begging will get you onto that plane! So you talk to a customer service agent and do what you can to repair your day. You book another flight leaving in several hours, but what to do with your extra time? Since this just happened to me, I want to share my review of the Escape Lounge Phoenix-Sky Harbor.
With a 7-hour wait, I was going to be at wits’ end. I could have taken an Uber to an area attraction, but it was August and 100 degrees outside. Leaving the air-conditioned airport didn’t sound appealing. Neither did dragging my carry-on luggage everywhere with me. I could walk up and down the airport, racking up lots of steps. But again…the luggage! My husband and I decided to look into finding a non-membership airport lounge. (Because we were flying with Southwest Airlines, and they don’t have a lounge.) Maybe it wouldn’t be too expensive?
Finding an airport lounge
It wasn’t too difficult to learn about airport lounges at the Phoenix-Sky Harbor airport, where we were. My husband just googled “airport lounges in the Phoenix airport”. A few options popped up, but only one of them listed prices for day passes. As my husband said, “If it doesn’t post the price, it’s probably too expensive to consider.” Fortunately, it was a lounge that didn’t require flying on a specific airline or having a special credit card. That’s why I’m writing a review of Escape Lounge Phoenix!
There are actually two lounges at the Phoenix airport – one in Terminal 3 and one in Terminal 4. Since we were already in Terminal 4 and that’s where our connecting flight was leaving from, we went to the Escape Lounge in Terminal 4. Sorry, but I can’t tell you anything about the other one!
So how much does it cost?
So this is probably the main question. It’s definitely why we rarely use a lounge — the cost is just not justifiable most of the time. But this time, we would be spending the better part of a day at the airport. We’d be buying lunch and also dinner. At airport prices, we knew that would run about $40 for our lunch and even more for dinner. Escape Lounge offers real food with a changing menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks, desserts, and beverages.
Want to venture a guess as to how much a day pass is? Only $45.00! Or $40 if you book online at least 24 hours in advance. We walked up to the lounge reception desk, planning to pay $90 for the two of us. I’m not sure why, but it ended up being $35.00 each, plus tax. ($76.02 total) Payments are cashless and all major credit cards are accepted. Keep reading to learn why this was such a great value. (The day pass is good for the entire day.)
If you are travelling with children 24 months and younger, they are included with you, free of charge. It is $30.00 for children older than 2.
What does Escape Lounge offer, besides food?
Well, I’m so glad you asked, because I’m happy to include that in my review of Escape Lounge Phoenix! This is what you’ll find…
- Beautiful stylish lounge space with very comfortable armchairs and tables
- A pretty nice view of nearby red-rock formations and mountains
- Ultra-fast speed WiFi
- Charging stations at every seat (This is a huge plus for me; it’s so hard to find a charging station that works out in the general airport space.)
- Clean restrooms
- Coloring books and crayons for children
- Print, scan and copy services
- Comforting background music and quiet environment
- Complimentary access to PressReader, where you can download your favorite magazines and newspapers before your flight, in over 60 languages.
Who can use Escape Lounges?
Escape Lounges are open to everyone regardless of the airline or class of service flown or age. While I didn’t see many children while I was visiting the Escape Lounge Phoenix, they are welcome. I don’t suppose it’s as good a value if you have to pay an additional $30 per child, but it could be. There really isn’t any place for them to play or nap. And I’m guessing that letting them run around would be frowned upon. But I could definitely see a young family with a sleeping baby enjoying the benefits of this Escape Lounge.
Anything else I should know?
I don’t want to leave anything out in my review of Escape Lounge Phoenix, so here are a few more tidbits.
- The Escape Lounge Phoenix is open 5:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Dress code is smart casual. They define that as no short shorts for women and shirts with sleeves for men. I saw exceptions to that rule and no one said anything.
- The Terminal 4 Escape Lounge is lcated in Concourse B, across from Gate B22 on the upper level at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- American Express Platinum Card Members and Centurion® Card Members receive complimentary entry for themselves and up to two guests.
- TAV Passport Card Members receive complimentary entry for themselves and one guest.
- Dreamfolks Card Holders receive access based on their plan. Contact Dreamfolks for the details.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve* Card Members receive complimentary access when flying with Delta on the same day.
- The staff is very friendly and helpful. They do a great job of preparing food and cleaning up after guests.
Which airports have Escape Lounges?
The first Escape Lounge was established in the UK’s Manchester Airport. They expanded to the United States in 2015. There are now lounges in 13 US airports, including Bradley, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, Columbia, Fort Lauderdale, Greenville-Spartanburg, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oakland, Palm Beach, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Rhode Island, Reno-Tahoe, Sacramento, and Syracuse. Escape Lounges have become the best-rated common-use lounges in North America, according to Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Yelp. And me — because I was pretty happy with my experience!
I would love to see Escape Lounges expand to more major airports – especially Dallas, San Jose, Seattle, and Salt Lake City, because I often fly through those airports.
Should you visit an Escape Lounge?
Based on my experience and under similar conditions, certainly! It is well worth the money if you have a long layover and prefer not to leave the airport. Even if your layover is only a few hours, if you need a quiet environment to work or relax, it’s a great option. If you would need to purchase food at the airport anyway, visiting an Escape Lounge might even save you money. (How’s that for motivation?) Hope you’ve benefitted from my review of Escape Lounge Phoenix. At the very least, you have an additional resource to consider.
Please comment below and share how you’ve dealt with long layovers…