Hacking My Way into an Airport Lounge for Free

Leaving Mobile, Alabama I decided to visit the Mobile Airport Authority Executive Lounge. That’s one readers of my lounge reviews might not have been expecting.

Of course, I didn’t even realize that the Mobile, Alabama airport had a lounge. Let alone that it’s free, if you know how to access it.

This is an airport-run lounge with a membership program. Annual membership is $50, and immediate family get in free with the member. Active duty military are free, too.

And they sell guest passes for $10, although I have no idea how they sell these since the lounge itself is unmanned.

They also offer Complimentary one-day pass for first visit. I don’t know about you, but I’m likely to find myself in Mobile, Alabama only once.

After clearing security the lounge is on the left, near gate 1 but before the walk down the corridor to the airport’s other six gates.

The lounge was locked. I peaked through the blinds but didn’t see anyone inside. So I decided to pick up the courtesy phone next to the door.

    A woman answered, “Mobile airport, how can I help you?”

    I explained that the Executive Lounge door was locked and no one was there.

    “Yes,” she said “It’s a private club. Are you a member?”

    I replied, “No, but your website says that the first visit is free, and I’d like to take you up on this.”

    “Oh,” she wondered, “do you have the coupon?”

    “No, I didn’t print a coupon [the website doesn’t have one, and doesn’t say you need one], but I’d be happy to show you on my phone.”

    “That’s ok, I’ll just let you right in.” And the door buzzed. I opened in. And I walked inside to find…

A room. With a television, a flight monitor, coffee and water machines, and a mini-fridge with soft drinks. There were also a couple of snack items there. And a bathroom.

The lounge promises ‘seasonable surprise and delight’ food and beverage offerings in addition to complimentary snacks and beverages. I’ve visited the lounge and I still don’t know what those are.

They also offer Free Wi-Fi. It’s the airport’s free wifi, and the signal is much better closer to the gates.

One of the final perks is “personal attention” which seems a bit of an oversell because, as I mentioned, the lounge is untended.

I didn’t stay long, since I wanted to explore the rest of the terminal., and I found that the internet signal was better elsewhere.

But if you find yourself in the Mobile, Alabama airport and want to check out the lounge, just tell them it’s your first visit!


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. To hack is to gain unauthorized entry which yours wasn’t.

    You’ve written this headline, as well as many recent “clickbait” headlines, to attract cheap views from Google or from social media. As a longtime reader I’m disgusted with this strategy.

    If you must plug credit cards, fine, this is a free blog and you need to support yourself. But I read your blog because I find your analysis trustworthy and your content respectable, typos and all, which is remarkable if you think about it. You have the best travel blog on earth.

    Please don’t devalue your reputation with clickbait.

  2. I don’t mind a nibble of ‘clickbait’ now and then, especially when it opens my eyes to a destination as exciting as the Mobile Airport Authority Executive Lounge.

    I fly over Mobile now and then, but have never found a reason to land at the airport.

  3. Hack or not – nice find. Good to know what’s behind the curtain in Mobile should my travels ever take me there.

  4. Actually, hack means to cut with a sword or large knife, which have me an entirely incorrect (but more enjoyable) image of Gary Game-of Throning his way into the lounge.

  5. First, I’m hoping that the bathroom is in a separate part of the lounge behind some sort of door. Otherwise, ewww!

    Second, “untended” isn’t really a word. I think you meant “unattended”.

  6. ‘seasonable surprise and delight’ What don’t you get? The surprise is that there was nothing beyond the basics and delight was provided by the open shutters. 🙂

  7. Sorry, @Bostonwalker, I’m with @Jason. This post mocks Mobile. I mean, what next? “Wow, they have running water in Alabama?”

  8. Nice post. It’s the small places we find in our travels that are interesting. For a smaller airport at least they are trying. I’m surprised the airlines, Priority Pass or AMEX haven’t added this to the list.
    I think the Clorox wipes and the big clock are a nice touch.

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