Lounge Act

Long known for its in-air luxuries, Virgin Atlantic is now serving passengers with the same lavishness on the ground -- in its Clubhouse at London's Heathrow Airport.

BY Jon Barrett

May 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

1027 VIRGIN ATLANTIC HEATHROW 03 X555 (COURTESY) | ADVOCATE.COM

But just as any fast track through the pearly gates is supposed to cost a lifetime of clean living and good deeds, admission to a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse comes at a hefty price: an upper-class ticket on one of the airline's flights, which was about $2,200 between New York and London at press time (compared to about $650 for an economy ticket on the same flight). Of course, those upper-class tickets come with additional perks, not the least of which is the exceptional delight of an airline seat that transitions into a completely flat bed. But you don't have to be Suze Orman to understand that most Americans can't afford a $2,200 airline ticket. That's why it's good to know that Virgin Atlantic, like most other carriers, also grants its most frequent fliers -- those who have reached Flying Club Gold status -- access to its lounges. Another option, if you're flying domestically, is to check out a Clubhouse in San Francisco, New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, or Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International. Virgin America passengers who are flying in first class or "main cabin select" can buy a day pass to a Virgin Atlantic lounge for just $35. While these U.S. Clubhouses aren't nearly as decked out as the Heathrow space, $35 is quite a bargain for a slice of heaven -- even in this economy.

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