For those of you who follow multiple travel blogs, I bet you think this is a post about one of the new American Express lounges?
Nope. But, you can find plenty of reviews of those at View From The Wing, here, here and here. And, he’s not wrong when he says they’re great lounges. If you’re looking for reviews on what most folks will find the best, that’s where to look.
I’m a different sort of bird. For my business travel, I generally don’t drink alcohol. I’m usually flying to a meeting and that’s not a good way to start things for me. On the way home, I’m usually catching up on e-mail. And, frankly, as I’ve gotten older, drinking and working just don’t mix as well as when I was in my 20s.
Food’s great in a lounge, but not my primary focus either. I usually carry healthy snacks in my bag and am pretty self-reliant, especially given the food United Airlines calls dinner in first class!
For me, a lounge is a place to wait out delays, catch up on e-mail and relax. That means most lounges will do just fine.
My favorite lounge will surprise a bunch of folks. It’s the Admirals Club in Terminal A at DFW. A whole bunch of people just decided to stop reading this post. It’s not the newest club, nor the most spacious.
But, the reason it’s still top on my list is because of the showers. There was a time when I used to travel to Las Vegas very frequently. The lounge at Terminal A actually caused me to book my flights differently. Instead of booking the normal connecting flight, I would book the next flight out of DFW to LAS, giving myself about a 2-hour layover. Why?
The Terminal A lounge has a small workout room and I was horrendously out of shape. I would hop off my flight at about 8am, head to the lounge for a 30-minute workout and then jump in the shower before heading back out to my flight, arriving in plenty of time to have a full day of meetings in Las Vegas, where things tended to run a bit later in the day.
The workout room is the only one I can recall ever seeing and the equipment is now at least 6 years old (likely older), which likely means it will disappear and turn into a broom closet someday, a relic of a different time.
And I came to discover what I still find to be the best shower I’ve ever had in an airport. Now, we’re just talking the shower. Not the amenities, massages, champagne, quality of towels or any other elements.
The showers there were built in a different time. They’re walk-in showers, approximately 4 feet wide by 5 or 6 feet long, marble from floor to ceiling. They sport a gigantic rain shower head with some of the best water pressure I’ve ever felt.
That alone wouldn’t make it the best shower. But, 2 walls of body jets make the experience even better.
There are plenty of adequate showers in US clubs. American has good ones in LAX, below average in JFK and elsewhere. I can’t actually recall a shower I’ve taken in a United Airlines club. I have yet to encounter a better shower anywhere, and that includes airports like Heathrow and Frankfurt. I’m not saying one doesn’t exist, but I haven’t seen it yet.
There are plenty of folks that will either disagree with me or stopped reading a few paragraphs ago, thinking I’m nuts. But, I’m a simple guy in some respects. I enjoy writing about the things I enjoy. And, sometimes something as simple as a phenomenal shower is enough to make a long travel day a bit more tolerable.