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The secret world of airport lounges

Friday 15 June 2012
The lounge at Madrid Airport, by Mike Cogh

On the way back from Brussels, we got to pop into the Aer Lingus airport lounge. I was the rookie on this press trip, so it was my first time in one. I didn’t really know what happened in them: they barely registered on my radar. They were a mysterious land where David Beckham would kill a bit of time before his Concorde flight.

“Be cool” I thought to myself as we were ushered in. All the other writers were clearly used to them, as they scattered in search of wifi and plug sockets.

I didn’t want to expose myself as a Poor Ass Sally, but I quickly noticed that everything seemed to be free. And it was! There was a bar, people, a bar! A fridge full of Leffe, a selection of wines, and a little row of spirits! A coffee machine, soft drinks, fruit and cake. Unfortunately, I really didn’t want to drink. I was about to get on a plane, and we’d had wine at lunch. I had a flight and a long train ride ahead of me. But the coffee was good.

There were comfy seats, free internet and newspapers around the place. It was a taste of the life that I could have had, if only I’d have gotten a real job . My hair would be shiny and clean, my clothes would be ironed and my skin would be clear. I would say “Yah, yah” more often, and I wouldn’t eat KFC. That’s the kind of person I would be.

But being that person for half an hour was good enough for me. I hate brushing my hair. And I hate ironing. And every so often, I do like a KFC. There. I said it.

When I got back, I found out that using these lounges isn’t as expensive as you might think. If you had 3 hours to kill, then it’s worth thinking about it. You’ll have somewhere comfortable to sit, you can google away, and eat cake. Three hours in the lounge at Dublin is €20, which seems to be the average.

Just don’t get langers on the wine, and make a show of yourself. Remember, you’re not that person any more. For these three hours, at least, you’re the kind of girl who brushes your hair.

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