Accessing Airport Lounges with Gosimply: Simple it ‘Aint…
That is if you are uninitiated with the service and/or at the airport when you decide to access a lounge (or at least a Continental President’s Club lounge…)
I’ve been intrigued with gosimply for some time and decided to try it today. The promise is inviting:
Relax in 1st class comfort and treat yourself to an executive airport lounge. From £13.50 per person
With 97 airport lounges across 38 countries we guarantee you’ll find the right lounge at the best prices.
Each airport lounge is uniquely designed and offers a haven of calm away from the airport crowds.
Enjoy some V.I.P treatment whether you’re on business or that much deserved holiday break!
I arrived at the airport a whopping 4.5 hours before my Alaska Airlines flight from Newark to Seattle was due to depart. (My intent was to get an exit row seat no matter what…) Due to weather issues, my flight from Newark to Seattle was delayed by 3.5 hours, so I had plenty of time on my hands. I thought it would be a great time to try out one of the services that (for a fee) can get you into an airline lounge. Here is my experience with gosimply:
- Logged into gosimply.com and entered the airport and date/time of flight. The system responded with availability in one of the several President’s Club lounges. One was in the same building I was — and in the concourse adjacent to my flight. (2 minutes.)
- Got a quote that for £20.00 (pounds?? wha…? No auto-detect of locale?) I could get a pass for 3 hours. Google tells me that converts to $32.00. I go for it. I enter my charge card data and I get a confirmation screen and an email of same. The system tells me repeatedly to “print” it. Hmmm. Might this be a problem down the road? I ponder… No matter, I can show them the email onscreen, and can forward it to them as required.
- Headed for the Lounge. Wait in the security line. When I hit the point that they are reviewing my ticket, they won’t let me go any further since my plane departs from a gate on another concourse. They don’t care about what my laptop says. They insist I go back to the Continental desk and get a “gate pass.”
- Waited in line at Continental counter.
- Talked to counter agent. She had no idea what gosimply was or what I was talking about. Calls the President’s Club. They have never heard of me or my lounge booking. They think for some reason that I think that I have reserved a conference room. After some back and forth they say come on out, and I better bring a printout as pixels are meaningless to them. Forget emailing it, as THEY HAVE NO PRINTER(!) My impression is that they don’t get reimbursed unless I provide them with an atom-based representation. Luckily, I have an efax account, so I say “hey, can I fax you a copy?” They say that is fine and that I should bring my Pet Shop Boys cassettes with me. I head to the gate with my gate pass.
- Show up at the lounge. Am greeted by what the Wall Street Journal used to call a “Bully Broad.” She has never heard of gosimply. As I get on wifi to fax my confirmation — she and her cohorts Patty, and Selma unceremoniously reject at least two other prospective entrants with a hearty “no lounge for you!!” Their Platinum cards are meaningless here. It’s clear to me that I better get her the damn printout. I send the efax email and sit down in a lobby chair.
- Wait. After several minutes I realize they are not paying any attention to me, and may have even forgotten about my existence. No one is jumping up and telling me the magic fax has landed or not. I also notice that because of the weather, the lounge is starting to fill up. As I get up to inquire if the fax has arrived, I realize that if it has not, I will be forced back out into the utter hell that is the main concourse. Instead, I carefully slink unnoticed into the nirvana that is the President’s Club.
And here I sit. I have a glass of Stags Leap Artemis before me and am typing this in a well-lit luxury cubicle in a comfortable office chair. I have ample power and all the potato chips I can ingest. The internet access is fast and free. I believe I see a former T.V. newswoman sitting at the bar and have playful banter with what looks like a Fortune 500 CEO. In a nutshell, life is good.
The bottom line is that if you try gosimply, I suggest you:
- Buy your lounge time before you leave home, so you can print it.
- Realize that you may have to get in line to acquire a gate pass before you head to the lounge.
- Be prepared for no one in power having any idea what you are talking about when you show them the piece of paper that grants you access.
AN UPDATE: A nice email from gosimply.