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Escaping work and responsibilities for a much-needed vacation should be fun, but there's one major hurdle before you can sit back, relax, and enjoy: the perils of air travel. Your flight itself might not be too bad, but you'll have to put up with hours of airport security, crowded terminals, and expensive food and drink.
The same applies if you are traveling on business. Before striking the winning deal, you'll need to juggle connections, stopovers, or boarding delays while regularly checking into the office.
This is where airport lounges come in. Dedicated airport lounges offer quiet spots to relax or work away from busy airport gates, and the Priority Pass is one way to gain access to over 1,300 of them.
Priority Pass is a membership program that takes you to a network of independent salons in over 600 cities. All offer snacks, and most have free alcohol, Wi-Fi, and mobile charging stations.Some even have conference rooms, showers, private TV areas and games rooms, among other things.
There are several networks of airport lounges, each with their own access structure and list of services. Some are affiliated with a specific airline or group of airlines, others are standalone like Priority Pass.
How to get a Priority Pass Lounge subscription
You can pay anywhere from $99 to $429 per year for various Priority Pass membership tiers, but it's also a free perk on many premium travel credit cards, including Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and American Express Platinum Card.
If you get a subscription by credit card, it's called Priority Pass Select and can even be better than the highest paid subscription tier. Several premium cards offer unlimited visits for you and two guests, while all paid memberships cost $32 per visit for each guest.
Most credit cards that offer Priority Pass Select membership charge a hefty annual fee. If you're considering applying for one, be sure to weigh how often you'll be using the salons and the card's other benefits to determine if it's worth the cost for you.
Here are some of the best travel credit cards that offer Priority Pass Select memberships:
|Map||number of visits||Guest policy||authorized user access||Annual credit card fee|
|Reserva Chase Sapphire||Unlimited||2 free guests, so $27 per guest per visit||Sim||550 $|
|read prestige||Unlimited||2 free guests, so $27 per guest per visit||Sim||495 $|
|American Express Platinum-Karte||Unlimited||2 free guests, so $32 per guest per visit||Sim||550 $|
|Hilton honors the American Express Aspire||Unlimited||2 free guests, so $32 per guest per visit||no||450 $|
|Hilton ehrt American Express Supera||10 visits per membership year||$32 per guest per visit||no||95 $|
|Tarjeta Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express||Unlimited||2 free guests, so $32 per guest per visit||no||450 $|
If you travel frequently, it's probably best to get a premium card like one of the above, rather than paying for the subscription separately. With that in mind, here's what you need to know about membership tiers if you decide to get one directly from Priority Pass:
|annual quota||99 $||299 $||429 $|
|Member Visit Fee||$ 32||10 free visits, then $32||Unlimited free visits|
|guest visit fee||$ 32||$ 32||$ 32|
Among the paid subscriptions, Standard Plus offers the best value if you expect to use the salons 7-14 times a year. If you anticipate at least 15 visits, Prestige makes the most financial sense.
How to find Priority Pass lounges
Priority Pass, operated by London-based Collinson Group, may be available in 600 cities in 148 countries, but lounges aren't ubiquitous. Some airports have Priority Pass lounges in several different terminals, while others, even the largest airports, don't offer much, if anything.
For example, London Heathrow Airport has eight lounges in four different terminals, but Chicago O'Hare International Airport has only two lounges and both are located in the international terminal.New York LaGuardia Airport does not have one.
Also note that the lounges are not Priority Pass branded and have all sorts of names.
The best way to find out if you can trust these lounges at your regular airports is to use thesearch functionon the Priority Pass website or app. Enter an airport or city and you'll be told exactly which lounges are accessible and where they are located within the airport. You can also use the app to view maps of selected airports, check lounge access requirements and access a digital membership card.
If you are considering purchasing a Priority Pass membership orinvest in a credit cardthat comes with one, make sure you really need one first. If you have elite status in a frequent flyer program or fly in premium cabins, access to an airline's lounge network is often sufficient.
Benefits beyond lounge access
At some airports, Priority Pass members can use their benefits to cover the cost of a private meal or suite. Priority Pass uses a credit system where these non-room benefits count as one visit towards the room rate.(This is an especially valuable benefit if your subscription has unlimited views.)
For example, at partner restaurants, you can use a salon visit as a $28 credit toward your meal. Guests who dine with you will receive the same credit, which will be deducted from your visit permit.
Or, if you're at airports in places like Atlanta, Dallas, Fort-Worth or Philadelphia, you can use your lounge for a one-hour layover with Minute Suites. These soundproofed suites feature a chaise longue and a work station.
In 2019, American Express removed restaurant access from the Priority Pass Select memberships it offers on its credit cards.
Other details you should know
Before paying for a membership or signing up for a credit card offered by Priority Pass, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Some credit cards require you to enroll in the program in order to use them. So check your credit card agreement. Registration is usually quite easy.
- You must present a scannable membership card before entering a lounge. This can be a digital membership card stored in your mobile app or a physical card. (Some salons don't accept digital memberships, so it's best to bring a physical card as well.)
- You may be turned away if the lounge is full or nearly full, and this may be more important when Priority Pass lounges are operated by an airline.
- Other access restrictions may apply. For example, you may have to wait up to three hours before your scheduled flight departure time to be admitted, or your stay may be limited to a maximum of four hours.
- Lounges are managed by third parties, including airlines, ground agents, and airport authorities, so rules and amenities are not uniform.
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Does Priority Pass get you into every lounge? ›
The Priority Pass membership, included on many credit cards with annual fees of $400 or more, can get you through the door at more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide at no additional charge.How many guests do you need for Priority Pass lounge? ›
At any visit to a Priority Pass lounge, you may bring in one guest at no charge. You will be charged the prevailing retail rate for any additional guests.Does Priority Pass gives free lounge access? ›
Are Complimentary visits applicable for Priority Pass Lounges within India? No. Complimentary visits are applicable only for International lounges i.e. lounge under Priority Pass Program outside India. Complimentary visits are not applicable for Domestic and International lounges within India.How is Priority Pass different from lounge access? ›
Priority Pass doesn't actually operate any airport lounges of its own. Instead, they have partnered with existing airport lounges to give access for its members. Priority Pass lets you to use their affiliated airport lounges regardless of which airline you're flying or which travel class you've booked.How many times can I use Priority Pass in a day? ›
Can I use Priority Pass twice in one day? There's no limit on how many Priority Pass lounges and restaurants you can visit in a day. So if there are three Priority Pass lounges in an airport, you can visit all three in one day at the airport.How long can you stay in Priority Pass lounge? ›
Like all airport lounges, some Priority Pass lounges have a cut-off time. This means that you might not be able to stay for more than, say, three hours at a time.Can I let someone else use my Priority Pass? ›
The Priority Pass website specifies that memberships are valid for the person whose name appears on the card, and can't be used by someone else to gain access.Can I bring a guest with me Priority Pass? ›
Most lounges will allow any number of guests, but some lounges may apply guest limits. It is advisable to check Lounge Information on our app or website before you travel. You will need to know if guests will be charged prior to arriving at the lounge.Can my wife use my Priority Pass? ›
That's because most of the cards with complimentary Priority Pass Select membership also allow you to bring at least 2 guests at no additional charge. Your travel partner will receive lounge access as long as you are with them.Does Priority Pass have PIN? ›
Your unique Validation Code/Web Pin is provided in your Priority Pass welcome letter, found in the welcome pack. This 4-digit number is a one-time use code needed to create your online account and set up your username and password for future log ins.
How many times can I use Priority Pass in a year? ›
Standard Plus ($299) -- Members receive 10 free visits, after which they are charged $32 per person, per entry. Guest access is $32 per person. Prestige ($429) -- Members receive unlimited free access to any Priority Pass lounge for the entire year.
Can I get into a Priority Pass lounge without a card? No. You will need to present your physical membership card or your digital membership card through your Priority Pass app. While most Priority Pass lounges accept the digital membership card upon entry, some may not accept entrance without a physical card.Can I use same card twice for lounge access? ›
Ans: No, you cannot use the same credit card twice to access the same airport lounge. You can swipe for two different lounges at the same airport. However, you need to wait for some hours if you want to do so.What are benefits of Priority Pass? ›
- Access to over 1300+ airport lounges worldwide in over 130 countries.
- Complimentary refreshments including alcohol in most lounges.
- Space to work or wind down before your flight.
- Free Wi-Fi and handy charging points in most lounges.
Priority Pass is a membership which includes access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. You don't have to be an elite traveler or frequent flyer to enjoy free food, alcohol, Wi-Fi, and a comfortable private seating away from the bustle of the busy terminal.Do you have to pay for food with Priority Pass? ›
Priority Pass Is the most useful lounge membership available. It grants you access to more than 1,300 locations worldwide – so no matter where you're trotting, there's bound to be a lounge nearby. You'll receive free alcohol, free snacks, and sometimes even hot meals.Can my sister use my Priority Pass? ›
Can my membership card be used by someone else? The Priority Pass membership card is non-transferable. When you access a lounge, the staff will need to check that the name printed on your membership card matches your boarding pass.Does Priority Pass get you through security faster? ›
Priority Lane will provide Priority Pass Members with access to the “fast lane” at airport security and passport control checkpoints at an additional fee, meaning you have the chance to reduce your wait time, and spend more time in the airport terminal exploring all the benefits you're entitled to as a Priority Pass ...Do Priority Pass lounges have showers? ›
There are clean restrooms but no showers, unfortunately. Hot Tip: The Priority Pass lounge network offers 4 options at SFO, including access to 2 Priority Pass restaurants (San Francisco Giants Clubhouse and Yankee Pier).Can I use Priority Pass for my family? ›
You can invite friends and family to join you in a lounge. You need to be aware of these things: Most lounges will allow any number of guests, but some ...
Can I use 2 Priority Pass at the same time? ›
If you happen to be in an airport that has more than one Priority Pass restaurant, and you have a membership with unlimited free visits, you can visit them all for free and have multiple square meals every time you're at the airport.Can my father use my credit card for lounge access? ›
Many of us hold credit cards (including priority pass) for free acces to domestic and international lounges. Your spouse and parents are also able to access these lounges using their cards or as an add-on to your card.Do they check name on Priority Pass? ›
Check below to see how your name will appear on your membership card. It's important that it matches the name shown on your flight boarding passes, as the lounges will ask to see your boarding pass as proof of identity.How soon can you use Priority Pass? ›
Memberships which offer access to a Digital Membership Card (DMC) will give you immediate lounge access. Check your online account to see if you do - it's activated right away once you register your online account.What does Priority Pass entitle me to? ›
What is Priority Pass? Priority Pass is a card membership scheme which gives you access to 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.What benefits do you get with Priority Pass? ›
Priority Pass Select membership is a perk that comes with several high-end travel credit cards and gives members access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world. The lounges offer a variety of amenities, including complimentary food and drinks, free Wi-Fi and more.How do I use Priority Pass for lounge access? ›
- STEP 1: ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT. ...
- STEP 2: ENTER MEMBERSHIP NUMBER. ...
- STEP 3: ENTER VALIDATION CODE. ...
- STEP 4: CREATE ACCOUNT. ...
- STEP 5: ONLINE ACCOUNT CREATED.
Is Priority Pass worth it anymore? Priority Pass is definitely still worth it for the right traveler. If you're traveling to/from different airports without flying in business or first class, Priority Pass can get you lounge access, even on an economy ticket.Can a friend use my Priority Pass card? ›
Can my membership card be used by someone else? The Priority Pass membership card is non-transferable. When you access a lounge, the staff will need to check that the name printed on your membership card matches your boarding pass.Can I bring family with Priority Pass? ›
You can invite friends and family to join you in a lounge. You need to be aware of these things: Most lounges will allow any number of guests, but some ...