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Case Study

mLab Helps LoungeBuddy Through Parse Migration and Rapid Growth

LoungeBuddy, a platform for accessing airport lounges worldwide, used the Parse mobile Backend-as-a-Service for its consumer apps. But with a Parse shutdown looming and future growth of the company in mind, LoungeBuddy turned to mLab.

  • LoungeBuddy’s migration from the Parse mobile Backend-as-a-Service to mLab’s fully managed MongoDB solution was fast and incident-free.
  • mLab tooling and support enable LoungeBuddy to more easily develop new product features.
  • LoungeBuddy’s technical team operates more efficiently without the need for additional DBA expertise in-house.
  • LoungeBuddy’s requirements as a high growth company are continually met by mLab’s expert support and flexible plans.
Customer Profile

LoungeBuddy enables travelers to discover, book, and access exclusive airport lounges worldwide. Drastically simplifying the task of navigating complicated lounge membership and status rules at locations that were previously accessible only to elite frequent travelers, LoungeBuddy is the only service allowing users to purchase instant lounge access — in just seconds — at hundreds of global locations.

The Challenge

LoungeBuddy’s consumer apps were initially built using Parse’s mobile Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS). When Parse announced it would cease operations over the course of 2016, it was imperative that LoungeBuddy migrate to a new database solution with zero impact on the customer experience (while providing a clear path for future scaling).

LoungeBuddy was founded in 2013 as the authoritative source of data for travelers seeking access to airport lounges. It quickly grew as a platform to support lounge bookings of various types, and the company developed APIs for external partners looking to tap into those functionalities. At airports around the world, these lounges provide members with amenities including fine dining, snacks, drinks, shower facilities, business centers, and children’s areas. By extending lounge benefits to a much larger audience, LoungeBuddy quickly developed a strong user base after launching, and has continued growing as a valuable service for travelers.

LoungeBuddy’s first product, an iOS app for accessing lounges, was originally built on Parse as a proof of concept. However, it quickly took off — proving that there was plenty of untapped demand in the space. On January 2016, Parse announced that it would be shutting down over the coming year. This would require LoungeBuddy to manage its own data — and necessitated a quick migration plan.

Parse Server uses MongoDB as the underlying database technology to store data. Therefore, to self-host Parse, LoungeBuddy required a MongoDB solution. It searched for a MongoDB provider that could not only help migrate its existing data with minimal friction, but also support future growth and offer expert support whenever issues or questions arose.


LoungeBuddy chose mLab as its fully managed MongoDB database service. In addition to the platform’s technical capabilities, the team also valued mLab’s reputation for excellent support — a necessity for LoungeBuddy’s ongoing operational needs.

LoungeBuddy began using mLab’s Database-as-a-Service soon after the announcement of the Parse shutdown. LoungeBuddy engineers had familiarity with mLab at a previous company, and because of that positive experience trusted mLab to meet its requirements for ease of use, high quality support, and seamless migration. With mLab’s help, LoungeBuddy’s data infrastructure was successfully ported from Parse to MongoDB without any issues or interruptions in service.

Following the database migration, mLab has assisted LoungeBuddy in supporting new applications and expanded services and traffic needs. LoungeBuddy now has three services running with mLab — one for inventory management, one for backing its mobile apps, and one for lounge management needs. It also finds value in the tooling included within the DBaaS platform, such as Telemetry and the Slow Query Analyzer. These tools offer insights that help improve database performance, and LoungeBuddy can then rely on mLab’s support for implementation whenever needed. Additionally, the LoungeBuddy team has found mLab’s battle-tested backup scheduler to be very useful and reassuring.

mLab enabled us to migrate from Parse to its fully managed and hosted MongoDB database with no trouble at all, and put us in position to make further technical improvements as we left the Parse platform behind us. Throughout that process and beyond, we’ve found mLab’s support to be unbelievably knowledgeable and thorough, exceptional in content and response time.

Jessica Lam VP Engineering, LoungeBuddy


LoungeBuddy is set in its move beyond Parse, gaining the advantages of a MongoDB database setup that is fully managed on the company’s behalf.

LoungeBuddy has found mLab’s solution to be so reliable that the engineering team barely has to worry about its databases — a boon that allows LoungeBuddy’s team both peace of mind and the freedom to focus attention and resources elsewhere. This has contributed meaningfully to LoungeBuddy’s continual growth as a platform, which includes support for its APIs, website, mobile apps, and millions of users worldwide.

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