The Ultimate Guide to Priority Pass Lounge Access!

Visiting airport lounges during your trips is the best way to make the airport more pleasurable, or at least bearable. Numerous alternative airport lounge networks may be found throughout the nation and the world, despite the abundance of airline-specific lounges that demand expensive subscriptions or top-elite status. And few are bigger or more effective than Priority Pass, which has over 1,000 lounges across the globe.

What’s the best aspect? If you have the appropriate credit card, you can enter Priority Pass lounges for free. Beyond lounges, certain Priority Pass memberships also grant you access to mini-suites and complimentary meals at airport eateries. However, what precisely is a Priority Pass? What are these lounges like and how can one access them? For a comprehensive guide on using the Priority Pass Lounge, continue reading.

Priority Pass: What is It?

It’s likely that during your trip, you’ll be able to use an airport lounge, mini-suite, or restaurant if you have a Priority Pass Select membership. A global network of more than 1,200 airport restaurants, lounges, and spa services is called Priority Pass. Experiences with Priority Pass are presently offered in more than 600 cities across 148 nations. There are always new lounges and eateries opening.

Lounges are, of course, the main attraction. The amenities, cuisine, drink, and size of each lounge might differ greatly from one another. Priority Pass lounges outside of the United States are usually far nicer than those inside. Without a doubt, the American Express Centurion Lounges are the greatest in the United States.

To be sure, anything is preferable to waiting at the gate for your flight—even the worst Priority Pass lounge. You can obtain complimentary drinks, light snacks, and water at the very least. Free Wi-Fi, outlets and a cozy seat should always be available.

Particularly the enormous Primeclass Lounge in Muscat (MCT), which includes many bars, made-to-order food options, and even sleeping accommodations specifically for extended layovers, are examples of Priority Pass lounges that go considerably beyond abroad.

How to Obtain a Membership in Priority Pass

You can purchase three distinct membership tiers on the Priority Pass website. We would, however, never advise it. That’s because an increasing number of travel rewards credit cards come with a free Priority Pass membership as a perk. In addition to the Priority Pass membership, the majority of credit cards offer numerous additional perks with annual fees ranging from $400 to $695.

Holding one of the cards below is therefore always preferable to paying for a membership up front. You will receive what is known as a Priority Pass Select membership if you own one of these cards. Furthermore, compared to outright memberships, these card-based options are superior in nearly every regard. This is because most of these card alternatives allow you unlimited trips. Additionally, there will be no additional fees for you to invite up to two visitors.

Credit CardNumber of Guests With Free AccessNumber of Lounge VisitsCard Annual Fee
Capital One Venture X CardUnlimitedUnlimited$395
Chase Sapphire Reserve2Unlimited$550
Platinum Card® from American Express2Unlimited$595 or $695 if the application is received on/after 1/13/22
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express2Unlimited$595 or $695 if the application is received on/after 1/13/22
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card2Unlimited$450
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card2Unlimited$450
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card2Unlimited$400
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardPasses can be used for guests10 per year$95
Hilton Honors American Express Business CardPasses can be used for guests10 per year$95

Complete Guide to Priority Pass Restaurants

There isn’t even a lounge involved in one of the best benefits of having a Priority Pass. Priority Pass has been working hard to establish agreements at an increasing number of airport eateries over the past few years so that members can utilize credits to eat for free while traveling. When you frequently pass through an airport with a Priority Pass restaurant available, it can be a great value.

Lounges for Priority Pass

For members passing through Houston (IAH), there is Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar. Generally, a credit of $28 (plus an additional $28 for a guest) is given to you for meals at specific airport restaurants worldwide. Remember to tip your servers individually depending on the entire cost as tips are not included with these credits.

It’s a really big benefit, maybe too big. American Express most likely discontinued offering such restaurant credits in August 2019 for this reason. This implies that the free meals associated with Priority Pass memberships on American Express cards—such as the Platinum Card® from American Express or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card—will no longer be available.

That means that, in our opinion, the best way to obtain an unlimited Priority Pass membership is through the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you frequently travel through airports with food options, these restaurant credits are really valuable.

How do Priority Pass Lounges Function?

  • The fact that the experience varies so greatly between Priority Pass lounges may be the largest criticism of them.
  • What you receive will largely depend on which particular lounge you visit. In terms of amenities and quality, you’ll discover that the lounges are dispersed around the area.
  • Usually, the best Priority Pass lounges are located outside of the United States. This is what happened to me when I visited the El Dorado Lounge at Bogotá International Airport (BOG).
  • Alternately, use the pool-equipped VIP Lounge in Terminal B of the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic to freshen up before your return flight. It’s not a common feature at any airport lounge.
  • Still, The Club Lounge in Las Vegas (LAS) is nothing like these lounges. This lounge is just a big space furnished with leather couches, a few TVs, and a snack bar serving a variety of beverages.
  • For instance, if your American Express Platinum Card® is the source of your Priority Pass membership, you would much rather visit the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas instead of using Priority Pass at all.
  • Ultimately, the airport gate area with the worst Priority Pass lounge is preferable to the one with the greatest lounge. Free water, snacks, light meals, and, depending on the lounge, alcoholic beverages are also included.
  • If you visit lounges frequently enough, you can easily make up the annual credit card premium that you paid to obtain your Priority Pass membership. This is a major factor in the recommendation that we always make to do the math and choose cards with hefty annual fees.
  • However, it’s important to remember that many Priority Pass lounge services are extra-chargeable when traveling. However, regardless of your location, food, drinks, and WiFi will always be free.
  • Downloading the LoungeBuddy mobile app is highly recommended. This is a fantastic method to discover what advantages are offered at each different Priority Pass Lounge. Anywhere in the world, you can use reviews to ensure that you visit the best lounge in your particular airport.
  • Additionally, remember to download the Priority Pass app on your phone. You may keep your actual Priority Pass card at home or in your wallet because it will also show you all the lounges to which you are entitled and issue you a digital membership card.

Turning on Your Membership

  • Your Priority Pass membership won’t be immediately activated just because you own one of the credit cards mentioned above. Indeed, one of the first things we advise new American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders to do is log into their accounts and activate Priority Pass.
  • After it’s activated, your Priority Pass Select membership card ought to arrive in the mail in about a week.
  • To register your account online, make sure you retain the paperwork that arrives in the mail. At lounge gates, you can use the Priority Pass app to access your digital card instead of carrying the actual card in your wallet once you’ve logged in. But exercise caution. Carrying the actual card with you on trips is usually a smart idea because not all Priority Pass lounges accept the digital card on your phone.
  • One more word of caution: Priority Pass holders may only visit certain lounges during specific hours. It can be erratic and vary greatly depending on the lounge. However, be advised that during busy hours, you can be denied entry to some lounges.
  • The lounge in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in San Francisco (SFO) is an ideal illustration. Even though it’s formally included in the Priority Pass, you can only access it at specific hours. Additionally, if it becomes too crowded, they can completely stop allowing Priority Pass members admission.

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