Skip to content

6 Best Airport Lounges in the U.S.

These pre-flight hangouts offer so much more than just power outlets.

Whether you're dealing with a flight delay, stuck on a long layover, or just looking to get a little work done, an airport lounge can smooth out your travel experience. In addition to being a place to set up your laptop and make some calls, they also offer a chance to grab a bite, have a drink, and unwind before you take off—all away from the crowds making their way through the terminal. And if you're lucky enough to get access, there are a few spots that are worth taking the time to enjoy on your next trip. Read on for the best airport lounges in the U.S., according to travel experts.

RELATED: The Most Comfortable Economy Seats on Long-Haul Flights.

The PGA MSP Lounge at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

Passengers on moving walkway in Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Unique features make lounges stand out from those that just serve great food and drinks. In one Midwestern hub, you can find an option that could drastically change the way you spend time before your flight.

"On a recent layover, I took advantage of my Priority Pass membership to get a bit of solace during my time at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport. Little did I know that I could pass my time not just by having lunch but I could also by working on my swing," says Katy Nastro, spokesperson and travel expert at Going.

She says that the PGA MSP Lounge in Terminal 1 has not only a putting green but also simulated driving ranges, making it possible to hit a few balls in between flights. "Offering something other than a massage chair and TVs was a unique option that makes connecting through (or being delayed in) MSP a good time," she tells Best Life.

American Express Centurion Lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Interior of the Seattle tacoma airport

Seattle-Tacoma Airport has a reputation for being a relatively enjoyable hub to fly through. But even outside of the stores, viewing decks, and restaurants that are open to the public, there's another option for savvy travelers to pass the time.

"The American Express Centurion Lounge in Seattle opened in 2023 and provides a stunning open-air environment in the terminal with excellent views of the tarmac and airplanes taking off," says Josh Bandura, co-founder of rewards miles and points website Frugal Flyer.

"My favorite part of this lounge is the Blue Roast Café, for the handcrafted coffee beverages and on-tap Kombucha, which blows the self-serve coffee machines of other lounges out of the water," he tells Best Life. "And as with any other Centurion Lounge, the bar offers a Seattle-centric cocktail menu, making this a memorable lounge whether you are looking for a caffeine pick-me-up or a specialty cocktail before your next flight."

RELATED: Delta Flight Attendant Reveals Sneaky Way Airlines Trick You Into Missing Your Flight.

The Greenwich Lounge at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

Exterior of John F. Kennedy international airport

If you're flying through New York City, consider a stop through The Greenwich Lounge. According to Jessica Dante, travel expert and founder of Love and London, it stands out among the hub's other options.

"This Terminal 8 lounge—which serves British Airways and American Airlines—can feel somewhat typical until you head to the often missed section of it: the Bridge Room," she says. "It feels closer to a hotel bar than an airport lounge, with its own specialty cocktail menu, lots of greenery, sophisticated lounger chairs, and so much natural light."

It's also particularly notable if you're flying later in the day. "It's a great place to watch the sun setting over the planes and tarmac, as it faces east. And best of all it's usually quiet, as most people don't make their way to this part of the lounge, since it's fairly hidden!" she adds.

The Flagship Delta Sky Club at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)

main hub of atlanta international airport

As it's the busiest airport in the world, there's no shortage of things to do between flights at Atlanta's bustling hub. But it also happens to be the global headquarters of one of the world's largest airlines—much to the benefit of travelers passing through.

"The Delta Sky Club in Concourse B is the brand's flagship location and is huge," says Anton Radchenko, CEO and co-founder of AirAdvisor. "It measures a whopping 25,000 square feet and has an expertly curated wine wall and a gallery of local art."

He also appreciated the food from Atlanta native, Chef Linton Hopkins. "The menu skews toward Southern-style tapas, which are ideal for a light snack before your flight," he says.

RELATED: 7 Surprising Items TSA May Flag You for at Airport Security.

The Capital One Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Interior of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Sean Pavone /

Many credit card companies include lounge access as a membership perk. But others go the extra step and actually open airport operations themselves, which can be great news for travelers looking to get the most out of their annual fee. And according to Jackson Newman, credit cards & award travel editor at Thrifty Traveler, the Capital One Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth airport stands out as his favorite anywhere in the U.S.

"With locally-inspired food, tasty drinks, and unique amenities like a fitness room and sleep pod, there's lots to love," he says. "But best of all, even with the increased popularity of the Venture X Card, the lounge never feels crowded. Capital One has done a great job managing capacity to ensure a positive guest experience for everyone inside!"

Other experts agree that it's worth a stopover. Daniel Burnham, senior flight expert at Going, says he appreciated the ease with which you can get the snack or drink you need and get out without a wait.

"I love that I can stop in for a quick coffee, made by hand, and take a healthy snack with me while I zip to the gate," he says. "That's helping me make the most of my time outside the airport, while also making my time at the airport a little more tasty without lengthening it."

American Express Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

The entrance to the American Express Centurion Lounge at SFO
Christian Heinz/Shutterstock

American Express is another credit card that comes with some potential lounge perks.

"The Centurion Lounges are made up of so many little touches that it's hard to list them all," says Radchenko. "The lounges take a local approach to food, art, wine, and beer, so each location offers a different selection of food and drinks."

But out of all of them, he says his favorite is the one at San Francisco International Airport. "In addition to local Napa Valley wines available at the bar by the glass or as a tasting flight, the San Francisco Centurion Lounge in Terminal 3 has a cocktail list developed by Jim Meehan, a top mixologist. The wines are also individually selected by local expert Anthony Giglio," he explains.

And it doesn't just stop at beverage service. "If you haven't had enough name-dropping yet, the menu is created by Ravi Kapur, one of the city's best-loved chefs," he adds. "The food is California-inspired but also pulls inspiration from Kapur's Chinese, Hawaiian, and Indian heritage. Try things like Vermicelli noodle salad, wild rice and coconut soup, and Kochujang marinated chicken thighs for a memorable pre-flight meal."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
Filed Under