With travel having bounced back in a big way, there are now capacity issues at times in airport lounges. That means some people are going to be turned away when the lounge is full.

Recently, I was passing through Dublin Airport and came across this phenomenon. It was interesting to see who was in and who was out, and where those people were sent.

Sorry, The Lounge Is Full

When I arrived at the lounge reception in Terminal 1, I was third in the queue. First was a man, next were two ladies travelling together and then me. As I stood there, the man was denied entry with his Priority Pass.

“I’m sorry, the lounge is full – instead, you can use the DAA lounge in T2”. He was clearly not familiar with the layout, as that lounge is actually only a few minutes walk away, which the attendant explained. “Go outside, turn left and you’ll find it in the corridor between the terminals”. Simple!

He toddled off and next up were the two ladies, who brandished a DragonPass. The same spiel, they could not come in as the lounge was full, but they would be welcome at the T2 lounge. Off they trotted.

Finally, it was my turn. Since I was travelling business class with Finnair, there were no quibbles and I was welcomed in quite happily. I knew that would happen, because business class trumps a lounge pass programme.

Is Being Sent Elsewhere Acceptable?

I think being sent elsewhere is no real problem, especially when the lounges are by the same operator. At least you are still getting the access that your pass entitles you to.

Not having been inside the T2 lounge, but having walked past it, it is definitely the less used facility, so it makes for a good overflow lounge as is currently happening.

Overall Thoughts

Usually lounges would not be full, but since it’s the high season in the Northern Hemisphere, everyone is travelling so there are occupancy pressures. Having alternatives available is only fair, otherwise people would be quite unhappy. Therefore I think the Dublin Airport solution was the right one.

Have you ever been told a lounge is full and been denied access? Were you using some kind of pass, a frequent flyer card or travelling in business? What was the outcome? I’d be interested to hear about it. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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