view of outdoor patio at Austin-Bergstrom Airport
Source: Lounge Guide

Closed: Outdoor Observation Patio (AUS) Review

As on March 2023, this patio has now been taken over by the Chase Terrance and is no longer open to the public.

One of the downsides to travel is that you spend so much time inside and not enough time outside. But, over the years, some airports and lounges have opened outdoor patios to help you get some fresh air and views when traveling. Sadly, most airport lounges can't offer this amenity due to limited size, budget, or location. I recently got a chance to spend some time on the (free and open-to-the-public) East Terrace Patio located at the Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS) airport and was very impressed.

The Austin "East Terrace" patio is located on the second level (mezzanine) at the end of the Barbara Jordan Terminal near (above) gate 2 (post-security). This fantastic outdoor patio is large and covers 5,770 square feet. The patio is open 24 hours, is non-smoking, and is located adjacent to the new Delta Sky Club lounge. The patio has a view of the 9,000 east runway (18L) touchdown zone and offers excellent views for plane spotting as well as a view of the ramp area.

The patio is partially covered with sunshade and features modern-outdoor d├ęcor round tables, patio-furniture type seating, and awnings that cover the picnic tables. The landscaping includes simple water-friendly native drought-tolerant plants. If the weather is too hot or too cold, then you can sit just inside the patio and still have a view out the windows.

To prevent you from having to go back into the terminal to use the restroom, they have provided a large restroom on the patio that includes a child changing table.

As a final note, Austin airport has a policy that you can carry alcohol around the terminal that you have purchased from airport vendors, so you can take your food, drinks, and cocktails out to the patio to enjoy while you are visiting.

Pros: free, restrooms, lots of seating, covered area from the weather.
Cons: wish they had openings cut in the fence for photography, no ATC broadcast.

Closing Thoughts

In my opinion, this is the best (free) airport patio you can visit in the United States. I enjoy getting away from the crowds and watching planes. Being able to eat, drink and work makes the Austin East Terrace Patio one of my favorite non-lounge experiences.