I first started using airport lounges regularly in 2002. I status matched over to Mexicana Frecuenta and my Frecuenta Gold status got me into United lounges. But my occasional use of lounges started much earlier.
The first time I was in an airport lounge must have been around 1983 or 1984. I remember that because the Boeing 757 had just entered service, and outside the lounge I remember distinguishing between a 757 and a 767. I was 9. My grandmother brought me with her to the airport and we waited for my grandfather to arrive off a flight. I remember drinking ginger ale and eating bar snacks.
I wasn’t in a lounge again until 1991. I had visited my family in Sydney and I was flying American Airlines (the last time they flew to Sydney, via Honolulu on a DC-10). It was the cheapest itinerary, and I flew Sydney – Honolulu – Dallas – Fresno with a 6 hour connection at DFW. So my uncle gave me an American Airlines lounge pass. I remember using the photocopier.
American served Sydney once even before I flew that DC-10 in the early 90’s
Sydney has been one of my most frequent international destinations. The first time I ever flew business class there, though, was in 2000. It was a United award ticket (and I chose United rather than Air New Zealand because back before Star Alliance awards if you used United miles for Air New Zealand business you could only fly in coach domestically, and I started with a Washington Dulles – Los Angeles transcon). Back then United had recliner seats in business and just a handful of looping entertainment channels.
I met friends for dinner on the outbound (it might have been at Encounter in the Theme Building) so didn’t use the lounge. I was given a lounge pass for the Red Carpet Club on the return when I checked in. And I didn’t know that my business class ticket would also get me lounge access on arrival at LAX. So I snuck in even though my boarding pass had me there legitimately.
I definitely remember what it was like to have lounge access for the first time. Sure those United lounges were basic, but there were beverages, it was less crowded than the rest of the terminal (usually), and the bathrooms were clean(er).
So I can relate to this guy, in a Delta SkyClub… and then back inside the terminal amongst the masses.
Just wait until he flies internationally in premium cabins and has a taste of better world lounges. Indeed, Delta’s clubs are well-provisioned compared to United’s and American’s basic clubs, but aren’t as nice as those competing domestic carriers’ international business lounges.