A Weird Lounge Problem

There seems to be a minor problem that has begun to creep up when it comes to lounge access. Over the past few months, a new form of gaming lounge access policies has started to gain some minor popularity. People are accessing lounges without ever intending on flying.



How does this work? Almost every airline has tickets for sale that are fully refundable. Now these tickets tend to be very expensive so most of us don't buy them. If you travel internationally, business and first class tickets come with access to airline lounges where you can of course eat, snack, drink and sometimes shower for no additional cost. By using these features together, people have figured out a way to enjoy lounges like a club or business center, without paying.

How they do this is with buying a business/first class, refundable international ticket. They then enter the airport with the ticket, and make their way to the lounge. Once they have used their refundable ticket to gain access to the lounge, they then call the airline and cancel their ticket. At that point the ticket is refunded and they have paid nothing for free food and drinks.

Now, to me this is an insane waste of time. Going to a major airport, clearing security, then going to a lounge that is nice if you are travelling but for any other occasion is pretty sub par. Really the only thing going for them is that they give free food and drinks in many locations. Personally the hassle is not worth the little gain you would get. 

This seems like something that will always be a minor problem. Also there are ways to deal with this, like banning customers who consistently buy tickets and refund them without ever flying. Or just tracking the lounge accesses of customers and stopping those who are obviously taking advantage of these policies. 

It's a curious group who would seek something like this out and be proud of it. If that's how they want to waste their day then, they can go right ahead, I certainly have better things to do with my time.