Is this the best lounge in North America?

If there is an earthquake . . . if your sleep is interrupted because you must evacuate your Mexico City hotel . . . if you must descend 15 flights of stairs because the elevators are inoperable . . . and if you are exhausted for your flight from MEX to LAX . . . do not underestimate the power of a foot massage.

The leather massage chair reclines, lowering your head while raising your feet. You feel an intermittent pulse, a gentle palpation for your lower back. The therapist sprays an orange-scented vitamin C serum onto your face, but she does so skillfully, so that it’s a mist, far enough away to keep your face from feeling drenched, but close enough so that the spray doesn’t get onto your clothes.

The therapist removes your shoes. Your socks. Raises your pants above the calf and to the knee. A cool gel compress is placed over your eyes. And then a 15-minute foot/calf massage begins. It’s delightful.

Expect to be pampered if you visit the Grand Lounge Elite at MEX (Benito Juárez Int’l Airport in Mexico City).

What to do:

(Each of these is included upon entry into the Grand Lounge Elite.)

1. Order an entrée from the menu.

2. Have a tasty beverage, or two, or three.

2. Enjoy a massage (hand or feet).

3. Get a ride to your gate.

What to bring:

1. Your appetite. (There are a lot of food options, a full bar, and a dedicated coffee bar.)

2. Your Priority Pass Card. (If you don’t have one, it’s included with the AMEX Platinum, CITI Prestige, and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards.)

3. Some cash (pesos, preferably) to tip your massage therapists.

The Grand Lounge Elite at MEX helps make the airport experience something to look forward to—something to arrive early for. And if you see Nora at the lounge, trust that she will manage your massage booking, gate transportation, and additional needs effortlessly. (She even made an effort to note a gate change, which was especially thoughtful as the lounge does not announce flights and has no affiliation with United Airlines.)

Yes, it might seem silly, but the airport experience is important to me. I’ve endured gate lice, anxiety, a person who clipped her toenails while waiting for the plane to arrive. Airports can get ugly. But I still marvel at them. I geek-out on the planes. And while I have a long list of reasons for visiting Mexico City again, I’d be lying if I didn’t note my eagerness to enjoy a few more hours at the Grand Lounge Elite.

If this lounge is the best, then honorable mention should go to the Star Alliance Lounge (Tom Bradley Terminal, LAX) and any of the North American Centurion Lounges. Which airport lounge do you think is the best?

As always, should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


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