Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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I usually cut it pretty close on preflight arrival times at the low-key William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston, but those days are over. The Gameway lounge at Hobby has given me all the motivation I need to show up early for every flight, offering gaming, snacks, drinks, and a cool, comfortable place to hang out before taking off.
I visited Hobby’s Gameway lounge with my family — including my husband and 3 school-age kids — in October, and it was fantastic. Games and snacks are major currencies in my household, so finding this lounge with more than a dozen gaming stations and our choice of snacks and drinks was unreal.
We spent just over an hour gaming and relaxing in this lounge, and I’m so excited to have this Priority Pass lounge option at one of my home airports. Let’s look at what we liked about the Gameway lounge.
Gameway is a chain of video game lounges located in airports within the U.S. It offers gaming stations with the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles or PC gaming rigs with 43-inch 4K TVs, offering game choices including “Minecraft,” “Rocket League,” “Fortnite,” and “Call of Duty. “
In addition to gaming stations, Gameway lounges offer comfortable seating, high-speed internet, drinks, and snacks.
Gameway locations include:
The Hobby Gameway lounge is airside just past the TSA security checkpoint in the West Concourse. When you get through security, take a right and follow signs for gates 1 to 5. Expect a 3- to 5-minute walk from security, which is faster if you use the moving walkways that end just before the lounge.
We found the lounge at the end of the walkway before you turn left to get to the West Concourse gates, right in front of gate 1 and across the walkway from Chick-fil-A.
Unfortunately, the lounge isn’t in the Central Concourse, where 25 of Hobby’s 30 gates are located. When we visited, our flight departed from gate 30 — the absolute farthest gate from the lounge. I was worried about making the trek, but Hobby Airport is small and easy to navigate, so it only took us about 10 or 15 minutes to hustle from the lounge to our gate. We considered it worth it to go a bit out of our way.
Gameway is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Gameway is part of the Priority Pass lounge network, so you can use a qualifying Priority Pass membership to gain entry. If you can’t get in with Priority Pass, you can pay cash prices.
When we arrived, we were welcomed and consulted with the attendants at the front desk, who were happy to explain how we could use our Priority Pass Select memberships to get the maximum benefit. That was a pretty stark contrast to some other Priority Pass lounge entry experiences I’ve had, where I felt like it was a stretch to get in the door.
I have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® with my husband as an authorized user, so we both have Priority Pass Select memberships. With these memberships, we can access lounges and bring 2 guests each — a total of 6 for our family of 5.
When we entered the lounge, Gameway confirmed we had 6 game station uses available. Each game station use included an hour of game time and both a drink and snack.
With 6 uses available, we got to pick 6 drinks and 6 snacks, and the attendants offered to split the 6 hours of gameplay time between 4 stations. Had we needed more stations or time, we would have gotten a 10% discount on those purchases using our Priority Pass memberships.
The Priority Pass website advises American Express and Capital One cardholders to contact credit card issuers before visiting to confirm access availability under Priority Pass. At the time of publishing in November 2023, Gameway at Hobby was not included in the Amex Global Lounge Collection or Capital One Partner Lounge Network.
During our visit, I noticed many people stopping by to grab snacks without sticking around to game. With a Priority Pass sign at the front entry, the lounge attracted members who were curious and were informed about their benefits by the attendants. I overheard an attendant explaining that Priority Pass members were welcome to use their benefit to pick up snacks whether they planned to stay and game or not.Hot Tip:
You can use your benefits whether you’re departing or arriving — we hit this lounge on the way home, too.
If you’re paying cash to game at Gameway, you can choose from 3 rate options:
Gameway also offers a 10% military discount.
Reservations are accepted whether you’re paying cash or using Priority Pass.
Gameway is a cool-looking lounge, with blue lighting illuminating the entire space and delivering a “wow” factor before you even walk in the door. Once inside, we were continually impressed by the helpful staff, comfortable gaming stations, and the tasty snack selection.
The looks on my kids’ faces were priceless when we told them they could choose any game console they wanted and take their choice of snack or drink off the wall. I think they questioned for a moment whether it was all real or not, and they were ecstatic to dig in.
I counted just over a dozen gaming stations in the lounge — 4 PC stations in the middle and 10 console stations along the walls. There was an extra armchair in a back corner, which I snagged, but I didn’t see any other seating for non-gamers.
Each station had a 43-inch 4K TV, noise-canceling gaming headphones, charging ports, and luggage storage space underneath. The PC stations had Razer gaming chairs, like office chairs on steroids, while the console stations had leather armchairs. Both were comfortable, and everyone liked having their own area to sit before we crammed ourselves onto a Frontier flight.
The staff carefully wiped down consoles, tables, and headphones between guests, so we felt at ease using clean gaming stations.
While it was an exciting place to game, it was also a pretty calm environment and never even close to full during our visit. I was surprised by how quiet this small space was. Aside from my kids’ shrieks of joy and the attendants helping people at the front desk, there wasn’t much noise. There was no music overhead, and we didn’t hear any game noises because every station had headphones.
I had no problem posting up in a comfy corner armchair to catch up on messages while my family gamed to their heart’s content. I’m sure if I’d asked for a station to set up a laptop and hook up to Wi-Fi instead of gaming, the staff would have been happy to accommodate that.
Gameway wasn’t the kind of lounge where I’d expect a full-service bar, buffet, or made-to-order hot meals. There wasn’t any room for that, and it would be awkward to eat full meals at a gaming station, anyway. But they did have great snacks.
This gaming lounge could have phoned it in with mini soda cans and a few bags of pretzels or chips, and we probably would have been pleased with that. Gaming was the main draw of the lounge for us, after all. But we were pleasantly surprised to find what I consider premium junk food — and I felt no shame taking our full allotment of snacks and drinks because this was good stuff.
We had our choice among a small wall of candy near the register or a large wall of mostly salty snacks next to the refrigerator full of drinks.
The candy wall featured full-size candy bars, cookies, gummy snacks, and more. Each candy choice was large enough to enjoy while gaming and save some for later on the flight. At least, that’s what I (somewhat successfully) encouraged my kids to do.
The wall of snacks was a junk food junkie’s delight with Cheez-It Puff’d, Combos, Paqui hot chips, Flipz chocolate-covered pretzels, and much more. There were also somewhat healthy options, including trail mix, popcorn, and keto-friendly cheese crisps.
Drink selections included mostly Coca-Cola products with water (regular bottled or sparkling), tea, sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks. We were advised that our admission included anything in a bottle — not the cans.
I’d already packed more sensible snacks in our bags ahead of our trip, so I gladly snapped up some junk to enjoy. Pizza Combos are pretty great, but even more so when they’re free!
Gaming was the main amenity on the menu at Gameway, and this lounge delivered it well. The lounge had the latest gaming consoles, extensive preloaded games, headphones, charging ports, and high-speed internet.
When we arrived, the attendants asked how each of us wanted to game. We could choose from a PC, Xbox, or PlayStation. Each console or PC was preloaded with games, and games that required a login used a Gameway account, so it was easy to sit down and get right to playing.
I loved that every member of my family could sit down at their own gaming station — with headphones — and quietly enjoy a game and a snack. No worries about kids getting antsy at the gate, draining batteries on their devices before we even get on the plane, or running to an airport shop to stock up on overpriced snacks for the flight.
We all walked away from this lounge, relaxed, entertained, and loaded with treats. It was a great way to start our travel. Given the chance, I’d visit before every flight with my family.
While Gameway didn’t have a restroom inside the lounge, there were large restrooms just a couple of doors down. You could keep your station if you needed to run over for a pit stop, but the clock on your game time won’t pause, so it’s best to time bathroom breaks before or after your visit. That said, the lounge was empty enough that I didn’t notice the attendants being sticklers for time during our visit, so you probably have some wiggle room unless the lounge is packed.
The staff at Gameway was accommodating. I got the impression that they’re excited to work in the coolest (ok, only) lounge at Hobby, and they were so nice about getting us hooked up with gaming and eats. They were equally helpful with other Priority Pass members who just stopped by to grab food and drinks without gaming. We felt welcomed and comfortable, and I was confident they’d happily assist us with anything we needed.
I can’t believe the good luck we had landing a Gameway at Hobby when it opened in December 2022. I thought I’d have to get a connection in Dallas or elsewhere to visit one of these gaming lounges, but now I’ve got one at my home airport.
We probably would have been impressed with basic gaming and good-enough service, but Gameway delivered super-helpful and friendly staff, an impressive snack selection, and the latest gaming tech in a cool, comfortable lounge. My only complaint is there isn’t a Gameway at the other major Houston airport we fly out of, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), because my kids will be annoyed when our next flight doesn’t start with an hour-long gaming session.
Gameway is in Hobby Airport’s West Concourse near gate 1. Take a right once you pass through security and take the 3- to 5-minute walk to the concourse. Gameway is between a couple of other shops at the end of the walkway and across the walkway from Chick-fil-A.
Gameway accepts qualifying Priority Pass memberships, including Priority Pass Select, available with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Priority Pass members can use the snack and drink benefit without gaming or choose to stay and play. You can also pay to use a gaming station for $15.99 to $45.99, depending on how long you want to stay in the lounge.
Gameway offers popular gaming titles for Playstation, Xbox, and PC gaming, including “Fortnite,” “Call of Duty,” “Halo,” “Star Wars Battlefront,” “Overwatch,” “Plants vs. Zombies,” “Minecraft,” “Rocket League,” and “Madden.”
While there isn’t a hot buffet or bar at Gameway lounges, Gameway offers packaged snacks and drinks you can consume onsite or take to go.
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