It’s extremely common for people to arrive as early as possible to visit an airport lounge. Since we’re often gamers and manufactured spenders around here, and since we’ve talked about a minimum monetary value for our time, we should apply the same logic to airport lounges when we’re departing from our home airport.


  • If you’re an in-person spender, a few trips to Kroger, Staples, your local grocer, and Walmart can be done in a couple of hours and earn you (hopefully) a few hundred bucks or the equivalent in points
  • If you’re an online spender, the time value of money probably varies a lot more, but a couple of hours of investigation might open up a new channel that’s worth thousands

So, if you’re showing up to a home airport lounge three hours before you’re flight, I’d suggest you consider how much the cheese cubes, bottom shelf gin, and chewy slightly-overcooked chicken breast are actually worth to you. Look, I don’t want to yuck your yum – I get that a mental break might be worth the spoils from days of gaming. But, if you find yourself in the lounge saying “now what?” after you’ve been sitting for 10 minutes, perhaps consider using the early lounge time to earn something or learn something instead, and you can use some of that to buy yourself a nice meal that hasn’t been sitting under a heat lamp for six hours.

*None of this advice applies if you live in Tokyo and regularly have access to the JAL F lounge, you’re in Frankfurt and regularly flying Lufthansa F, or you live in LA and have regular access to the Qantas First lounge. All of you get a pass.

Concept for new AA Admiral’s club pre-flight meals at the future, Lubbock TX club.