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Do lounge operators and hotel franchises get paid for redeeming/status usage?

Do lounge operators and hotel franchises get paid for redeeming/status usage?

  1. Mr.X

    I’m a (Belgian resident) *A Gold member for several years. I mostly fly Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa. I travel mostly within Europe, so you can imagine how much I need to fly to gather those 100K status miles in one of the 2 ‘gold’ years. Anyway, since I’m a very heavy user of airport lounges, there’s something I never really understood;

    what’s the business model between lounges and the alliances?


    When I enter the (nice) Brussels Airlines ‘The Loft’ lounge at Brussels Airport, they scan my Miles & More Senator card, check my boarding pass and I can enter.
    Does ‘The Loft’ (Operated by Brussels Airlines) send an ‘invoice’ to the Star Alliance for my usage of their lounge? How much would my ‘entry’ cost for the Star Alliance?

    What about if I use a Lufthansa Senator lounge, there seems to be less administration when entering, just a quick boarding pass scan and access granted. Could it be that since Lufthansa is one of the founding members of the Star Alliances, there’s no charge?

    And lastly what about 3rd party lounges, e.g. AENA lounge which you regularly see in Spain. Do they invoice ‘Star Alliance’ for my usage of the lounge?

    And now we’re on the topic, I wonder the same regarding the hotel loyalty programs. E.g. I am very loyal to IHG. I am platinum since several years. Last year I decided to redeem a good amount and stayed at the Intercontinental Mauritius. Despite I’ve never been there, I was welcomed extremely well. I did not pay anything, got a super nice room upgrade and lots of little attentions. I understand IC doesn’t typically own hotel, but are franchising them. How does my stay then work? Does IC Mauritius send an invoice to IHG rewards club?

    Is that how it all somewhat works?

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