Part of the perks associated with flying as a Platinum Elite passenger (Sapphire OneWorld elite) is that you get access to business class lounges for all OneWorld alliance airlines. Also you are able to get access to American Airlines Admiral Club lounges as long as you are flying an international itinerary.
Lounges are nice little addition to the trip to the airport. As most people have experienced, getting to the airport early has the drawback of having to wait around at the gate for the plane to leave. Often the gate gets pretty crowded and has very little room to spread out. That is where the airline lounge comes into play. These areas are set aside for the top two tiers of elite status as well as first and business class flyers.
A little oasis among the hectic airport, lounges provide little extras that make the trip a little bit nicer. Most lounges provide free beverages (yes, this includes alcohol), free snacks, beautiful and comfy chairs and in many cases a really nice view of the planes. If you happen to find yourself at a really nice lounge like I will be at in one week in London, you even have free access to showers.
Now that I have access to these areas, expect me to start reviewing these lounges as well as the flights themselves. This leaves only one burning question, after a long Atlantic crossing on an A330-300 in economy, it might be nice to take a shower... so do or don't I try the shower in the Admirals Club.