It is usually possible to associate with more than one Access Point (AP) in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs. AP selection is a crucial issue because the performance achieved by a user heavily depends on the AP selected. A received signal strength (RSS)-based association mechanism is specified by the IEEE 802.11 standard. However, this does not consider the channel conditions and AP load, which leads to a low throughput and a low user transmission rate. An alternative to using the RSS is to exploit the airtime metric, which provides users with information on how busy the channel is, but the results of our simulations show that the airtime metric cannot indicate the exact status of the channel. In this paper, we present a new association framework using channel occupancy in order to provide users with exact channel status information of APs. Via the proposed scheme, users can compare the achievable throughput provided by each AP and select the best AP. We validate our proposed association method via simulation results, which show that the throughput improvement of the method is worthy of notice.