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Don't miss our "21 Must-Have Essentials for Summer Travel" for 2017.
I love to travel but I hate the airport.
That’s a tough problem for a frequent traveler. Alas, I cannot drive everywhere so the airport is a necessary evil.
It can be a frustrating experience to spend time in the airport. During the intense summer vacation travel months, that agony is multiplied. I am always on the lookout for ways to eliminate pain points like having nowhere to sit, hunting for a working power outlet, and simply trying to connect to the internet.
Introducing the National Emerald Club Lounge
I was excited when National Car Rental asked me to partner with them to check out the complimentary Emerald Club Lounge at my hometown airport. National is offering the lounges this summer at select airports across the United States. I am always on the hunt for an oasis amid the airport chaos, especially when an airline lounge is not nearby.
The Emerald Club Lounge is named after National’s Emerald Club program for frequent travelers. My membership in the Emerald Club has allowed me to bypass the rental counter when I rent a car and select any vehicle I like off the Emerald Aisle, an exclusive section of the rental lot. I can use the Emerald Aisle, where available, as long as I’ve reserved at least a mid-sized car. I’ve been a member of National’s Emerald Club for two decades. In my opinion, they hands down have the best offerings for frequent travelers.
I’m used to seeing the brand outside of airport security, however, and sometimes forget the role they play throughout my journey.
As an extension of that brand, the Emerald Club Lounge was developed. It is designed to allow travelers to recharge in the airport. Recharging is a literal mission of the Emerald Club Lounge, which has many charging stations and free Wi-Fi. I can also recharge my own batteries with comfortable seating.
Each Emerald Club Lounge is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all travelers. A National staff member is present Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. National selected five airports for these pop-up lounges this summer – Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), St. Louis (STL) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Those airports were selected based on the percentage of business travelers visiting each airport. Each airport has an Emerald Club Lounge in one of its terminals.
My Emerald Club Lounge experience
I’ve now visited the Emerald Club Lounge at DFW twice. It is located across from gate C2, an area of the airport I frequently utilize. The lack of other amenities at that end of the terminal make the Emerald Club Lounge a welcome addition to my airport experience.
I was able to relax in a comfortable chair, use the free Wi-Fi and charge my devices. I was also able to catch up on sports and weather with the lounge’s two television screens that also feature the latest National television commercials with Patrick Warburton. While visiting, travelers have the option to enroll in the Emerald Club program.
I got so comfortable during my visit that I had to make sure I didn’t miss my flight. It was relaxing to be able to spend my pre-flight time being productive. That was a great alternative to pacing back and forth at the gate area.
My only lament is that the Emerald Club Lounge is a pop-up. I’d love to see the lounge become a year-round feature in the airport.
Have you visited one of the National Emerald Club Lounge facilities this summer? If so, what did you think?
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with National Car Rental. All opinions are my own.