Opinion: Get over it - airline lounges are not too crowded

Are lounges really that full?
Are lounges really that full? Photo credit: Getty Images.

OPINION: It's a complaint that's been around the travel industry for decades, and it reared its ugly head again this week with an article from a major New Zealand news publication.

Airline lounges are too full, cry the naysayers.

The basis of this complaint is like the travel equivalent of pulling the ladder up behind you. I'm in here, so everyone else can go away.

Travelling is more affordable than ever, so more and more people are travelling often enough that they're entitled to use the lounge.

Clearly, the writer of the article is not a fan of children who are excited about going on holiday, or people working hard to get everything done before they fly, or - heaven forbid - adults about to go away daring to enjoy a cocktail.

All of these things happen in an airline lounge.

If you want space, there's plenty of it outside the lounge and around the rest of the airport's food halls and resting areas.

There you'll find excited children about to go on holiday, hardworking people with things to do and a few adults having a drink. Sound familiar?

No one is forcing you use the lounge. If you're complaining because a friend offers you a free pass to the lounge, clearly you need to re-evaluate this friendship. What kind of friend would do this?

If an airline were to remove all of the so-called hangers on, they'd be telling their most loyal customers they can no longer spend time with their friends and family before a flight, because it will make the lounge cramped.

When I visit the Koru Lounge at Auckland Airport (I purchased a membership myself), I see something entirely different.

I see families who are going on holiday together.

Who cares if they're being a bit noisy? What kind of airline would want to take that pre-holiday excitement bonding time away from parents, let alone the children?

I see people exhausted but still working and looking forward to a sleep.

And I also see myself, with my plus one, catching up on the events of our lives while having a cocktail. To this day, it's never been so crowded I couldn't get a seat.

Sounds pretty good to me.

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Dan Lake is Newshub's travel editor.