San Diego International Airport is a rather small airport and therefore doesn’t have many lounges. Terminal 2 is the newest building here and the only one with actual lounges as all three legacy carriers fly out of Terminal 2 as well as all international flights.
United and Delta have their own dedicated lounge here, while American has teamed up with the Airspace Lounge. There are multiple ways to qualify for entry here. The best one is by holding an American Express Platinum Card as the lounge is part of Amex’s Global Lounge Collection.
Location of the Airspace Lounge
The lounge is just a few steps from the security checkpoint East of Terminal 2. This security checkpoint serves mainly Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. Right after you cleared security hang a left and follow sigs Gate 33-51 and Airline Club. The entrance to the lounge is on the right side just before you reach Gate 33.
Hours of Operation
The Airspace Lounge is open daily from 5:00 a.m. – 10:15 p.m.
Their operationg hours cover pretty much all the flights out of San Diego International Airport. There are a few leaving later than 10:15 but there boarding time will be just around that time and you want to add some time to get to your gate in time.
Many airlines have contracts with Airspace Lounge to let their Club Members access this lounge.
- American Airlines Admirals Club Members
- Alaska Lounge Members
It also provides service to elite travelers for International Carriers and their eligible customers flying in a Premium Cabin.
- British Airways
- Japan Airlines
It is also open to American Express Platinum Cardholders (Personal or Business Card) as it is part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Each Amex cardholder can bring up to two guests and each will receive complimentary access and amenities, including a $10 dining credit.
Last but not least, you can buy your way in if you don’t meet any of the criteria. It was $35 during my visit, but it could be higher during peak times.
Airspace Lounge Terminal 2 – San Diego International Terminal
The entrance to the lounge is just a small door. This is the first lounge in a very long time that has a door you have to open by hand. Usually their are automatic sliding doors, elevator or you have to push a button to open the doors.
Right past the entrance are a few check-in counters. I walked in showing my AA boarding pass, which is also linked to my Admirals Club membership. While the agent checked me in, I saw the American Express Global Lounge Collection sign on the last check-in counter. I asked her if I can access here too with just the Amex in case I ever let my Admirals Club membership lapse. She told me it would be more beneficial to check-in with my Amex as I will get a $10 credit I can use in the lounge for food purchases and premium drinks. She handed me a credit card-shaped card that held my dining credit as well as a menu.
The lounge was pretty crowded during my check-in around 6 p.m. but got almost empty 30 minutes later. Most of the guests were flying British Airways and after that big bird took off, it was way more comfortable in the lounge. I can only imagine how busy it is here throughout the day. As the lounge is open to so many different airlines and has a decent enough price to buy your way in.
Food and Drinks
I sat down in the dining area near the bar and looked through the dining menu. I was a little hungry, so I was rather looking for something to eat as I would get enough to drink on the planes anyway, thanks to my First Class ticket. Once you made your decision you will place your order at the far left of the bar. I decided on the Buffalo Chicken Wrap which was fully paid for by my lounge credit. The waitress handed me over a number to put on my table and just a few minutes later my wrap arrived. You can also order your food to go if you don’t have enough time or want to take it with you on the plane.
Besides the food menu, complimentary snacks are offered near the entrance. These are the usual lounge snacks: Fruits, different cheese cubes, carrots, and cookies. At the same snack buffet is also a coffee machine, water dispenser, and nuts.
There is also a large bar that serves everything from sodas to premium cocktails. The standard non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary and the rest is available for a small fee. Prices are on the menu.
There are different seating areas throughout the lounge. In front of the bar, you find the dining area, which features a lot of dining tables and a bigger shared high table. Of course, you can sit at the bar. The dining area is easy to recognize as it has a hardwood floor while the rest of the lounge has carpet.
The rest of the lounge features different seating options, everything from a high top workstation with a printer, big comfy chairs and two office desks with two office chairs each. Every seat has access to a power outlet, even the chairs around the bar. Look around you, as the outlets are either between seats, under seats or on the table. Easy access to power is a huge plus.
From the large floor-to-ceiling windows you get a view of the apron and the different planes parked nearby. Unfortunately, it was already dark when I arrived and there was not much to see besides the nearby planes.
Multiple TV’s around the lounge keep you entertained with the latest news. In the farthest corner, to the left of the main entrance, is a huge selection of newspapers and magazines. There are also flight information displays and announcements for flights leaving Terminal 2. They announced the start of boarding for the British Airways flight but only one domestic flight which was in final boarding. Maybe they announce these flights just because they suspect the person to be in the lounge?
You probably won’t notice it, but there is a shower room near the restrooms which are located next to the entrance to the lounge. Unfortunately, the lounge here in SAN is the only one with a shower. Entry is on an entry on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can also make a reservation for the shower online for a non-refundable fee of $10. Wi-Fi is, of course, free of charge and very fast. Even good enough for some online gaming. The Airspace Lounge offers a wide variety of services. For example, if you use it as an arrivals lounge, you get a complimentary amenity kit.
Conclusion Airspace Lounge
There are only two Airspace Lounges so far. One is here in San Diego and the other one is in Cleveland. Both are part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Luckily I had the lounge to hang out before my flight, as I had around 4 hours before my red-eye flight would leave towards Miami. Service was great and when they cleaned off a table they also wiped it down right away. Very attentive staff.
This lounge is also the biggest one at the San Diego International Airport.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
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