When I first started traveling for business, I always wondered how to get into airport lounges. To me, getting into the First Class Lounge was the epitome of luxury travel. At the time I didn’t know about the Priority Pass Lounge, or how to get an airport lounge pass. In this Priority Pass lounge review, I share our secrets.
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Priority Pass Review For 2020
After traveling to over 70 countries, now I know the secrets. In this post, I will answer the burning question: Is the Priority Pass worth it?
I will layout the different membership levels and updated 2020 Priority Pass Membership pricing. This post provides everything you need to make a decision if this lounge membership program works for you.
What Are The Different Levels Of The Airport Priority Pass?
In this Priority Pass review, I explain the different membership levels.
There are three levels: Priority Pass Standard, Priority Pass Standard Plus, and Priority Pass Prestige. Here are the details on all three memberships including what limitations there are when it comes to access to the priority pass lounges.
|MEMBERSHIP LEVEL||DESCRIPTION||PER VISIT FEE||GUEST FEE||PRICE||GET 10% OFF|
|Prestige||Full benefits, unlimited airport lounge access||All Free||$32||$429||Join Now: $386|
|Standard Plus||Receive 10 free visits per year||10 Visits Free ($32 a visit after that)||$32||$299||Join Now: $269|
|Standard||Offers discounts on each airport lounge visited||$32 per visit||$32||$99||Join Now: $89|
Priority Pass Prestige
This is the membership closest to the one we have. This is for the frequent traveler. It includes unlimited lounge access around the world. After the 10% promo code, the cost is $386.
We travel at least twice a month. This means about 3-4 lounge visits per month. If you travel like we do, then this could mean as little as $8-10 per visit.
To me, that’s totally worth it. This is particularly the case when you consider that lounges include food and drink. We often only eat at the lounge, which saves us the cost of eating at more expensive airport food and beverage outlets.
Priority Pass Standard Plus
The Standard Plus membership is best for someone who travels about once a month. This pass includes 10 visits each year. After the 10% promo, at $269, that means each lounge visit is less than $27. This is a good value option.
Priority Pass Standard
This pass doesn’t include lounge visits automatically. Instead, it offers a discounted rate off of the normal day rate for each use. Although with the 10% off discount, the price is only $89, each visit will cost $32. The cost is payable at the lounge.
Looking for more packing and travel tips? Check these out:
Which Priority Pass Membership Is Right For You
The main difference between these Priority Pass membership options is that with the higher level of membership you receive more liberal and included access to lounges. This makes it stress-free when traveling.
Determining which VIP Priority Pass membership is the right one for you depends on how much you travel. If you don’t travel a ton, then the Priority Pass Standard Plus might be enough. But, if you travel a lot (like we do) the full Priority Pass Prestige is a better value.
It also means you don’t need to keep count of visits or pass up a lounge experience to save it for a longer visit. As for the Standard Pass, this is more like a Priority Pass membership discount, because it offers discounts on each lounge visit.
Receive a Priority Pass discount – Sign up here and receive 10% off your first year
What Are The Benefits Of A Priority Pass Membership
The Priority Pass provides access to over 1300 airport lounges worldwide, with about 40 of them located in the US. In some locations, the card doesn’t provide lounge access but instead provides credit at a restaurant within the airport. This is becoming more of a trend.
Friends traveled from the US to Barcelona to visit us. They traveled with their cards and used the airport credit. They were able to rack up a rather large bill and have it all be covered because each member of the group had their own card!
Some of the Priority Pass Program benefits include:
- A VIP Priority Pass experience, no matter who you fly with, even if you fly economy on a discount airline, like Southwest or RyanAir
- No need to book Priority Pass Lounge access in advance (In most locations. We’ve seen reserved seats at one lounge over the last 3+ years)
- Access to comfortable airport lounge spaces, with free refreshments and Wi-Fi (in European and Asian lounges, this includes beer, wine, sparkling wine, and liquor)
- Many lounges allow access with a digital membership card
- Where there is no lounge, membership often includes credit at an airport restaurant
Digital Membership Card
Each membership offers different Priority Pass benefits. It depends on the type of Priority Pass card you have. We receive our membership through our Chase credit card, which has a $450 annual membership fee. We would never pay that much for a credit card annual fee except that it comes with the lounge membership.
There are some benefits to purchasing the membership directly, though. For example, we must carry our actual, physical membership card to access a lounge. Prestige and other direct memberships allow a digital membership card, which is a lot easier.
Is Priority Pass Lounge The Largest Airport Lounge Network?
The Priority Pass Lounge system claims to be the largest airport lounge network. I haven’t personally counted. I continuously update this Priority Pass review and they are always adding new lounges, new restaurants, and renovating old lounges.
They recently renovated thee Barcelona lounges, the ones we’ve used the most over the last three years. They are way nicer than before!
Priority Pass Select
First, let’s walk through a Priority Pass Select review. Priority Pass Select Membership is an airport lounge membership program that generally is received through a US financial institution, i.e. a bank or credit card company. Which credit cards offer priority pass? An example of this is that we received our membership through a Priority Pass credit card relationship with Chase. This is a slightly different product than what is available to the public generally. I will explain.
The Priority Pass Select benefits include access to Priority Pass Select Lounges for members. Each Priority Pass Airport Lounge is different, and it really depends on the airport location.
Through the Priority Pass Select membership, we generally receive access for Eric and two guests through his card. But, this Priority Pass Select membership is limited to people who live in the US and can get approved for a Chase Reserve Priority Pass credit card or an American Express Platinum Priority Pass enabled credit card.
This is pretty much impossible for international travelers who don’t live in the US, and even for many Americans as well. This Priority Pass Lounge review focuses on the type of membership that people who don’t have credit cards have access to. But, I wanted to note this difference.
Receive access to some of the best airport lounges around the world with the Priority Pass Lounge membership card. Save 10% here.
Priority Pass Lounge Review – Is Priority Pass Worth It?
So, Is Priority Pass Worth It?
We have our Priority Pass Card through our Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which is not cheap. It’s USD $450 a year but comes with a load of benefits. Having Priority Pass Lounge access is just one of the benefits.
Even if we didn’t have Chase Priority Pass Lounge access I would still purchase this membership. It’s one of the best benefits we get from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. For 2020, the Priority Pass cost is only $426 (before the 10% discount). The price comes down to $386 with the 10% discount.
With that, it provides free airport lounge access at over 1200 lounges around the world. This included Barcelona, when we lived in Spain, and Dublin airport, now that we live in Ireland.
I will say, many of these lounges are outside of the US, like almost 1200 of them. So, it really is a benefit for international travelers who don’t travel in business class, and otherwise had airport lounge access.
Using The Priority Pass Digital Card
And, there is usually the possibility to use the Priority Pass digital card, within the Priority Pass app, to access a lounge, even if you forget your physical card at home.
Something we struggled with at the Frankfurt airport years ago, when they wouldn’t let us access the Star Alliance lounge solely based on our status written on our boarding pass. We needed to have the actual card.
With the Priority Pass airport lounge club, that’s not a problem. We’ve never had a problem accessing a lounge.
How Do We Use Our Airline Lounge Access
In general, I find it so much more relaxing to be in the airport lounge rather than in with the “general public.” Maybe that makes me a snob. I like to think it makes me a professional traveler. There is food and drink, and usually alcohol, along with wifi and private bathrooms.
So, is the Priority Pass worth it? Generally, every time I sit inside a Priority Pass Lounge during our trips, and I log on to the internet, get a glass of wine, a little snack, and a bottle of water to bring on board, I could scream yes! We don’t need to buy food or drink at the airport, which saves us money on each trip.
Skip The Line Access
We really made the most of our lounge club membership when traveling from Jamaica. At the Montego Bay Airport, the line for security was so long it made my head spin.
But, I saw that Priority Pass members got to skip the line! It saved us at least 45 minutes. We were also able to scarf down one more Jamaican meat pie too, all in the lounge!
Great For Long Airport Visits
And, when traveling from Dusseldorf, we had extra time to kill between when we needed to check out of our hotel, and when our flight took off. It was particularly hot that summer day in Germany, and the airport, in general, felt overheated.
But, in the Priority Pass Lounge Dusseldorf, it was pleasantly cool. I enjoyed a final German beer, with air-con, and actually whipped out my laptop and wrote for a good two hours while charging my devices. I felt much more productive.
It was one of those times that having free airport lounge access felt more like a mirage!
We’ve also used our lounge access to make overnight unbearable layovers in the Middle East, slightly more bearable! So, yes, the priority pass is definitely worth it.
Receive a Priority Pass discount – Sign up here and receive 10% off your first year
FAQS – WHAT IS PRIORITY PASS MEMBERSHIP
The best and most updated list is on the Priority Pass app. Also, every lounge at every airport has a list of who can access it. So, even if a traveler is unsure, follow the signs for the VIP airport lounge access and see if the Priority Pass Lounge logo is among the list. You’d be surprised where you might find a Priority Pass airport lounge.
The Priority Pass guest policy depends on the type of membership you have.
Every airport premium lounge has restrictions, and with the Priority Pass offers, restrictions depend on the membership level and the individual lounge. For example, some limit the time in the lounge to two or three hours or the number of alcoholic drinks. That said, even when we’ve seen “restrictions” on Priority Pass airport lounge access, like the number of hours or drinks, we’ve never had issues getting a third drink, or staying a little longer during a layover.
The price depends on the membership level and ranges from $99-$426 before the 10% discount offered above.
If you purchase membership direct from Priority Pass they offer a digital membership card. That means it’s possible to apply today and have lounge access immediately! Some lounges do not accept the digital card, but the app will say which ones so you can plan ahead.
When you hold Priority Pass Lounge membership, absolutely not! I’ve heard from people who have tried to purchase day passes at Priority Pass lounges that they are full up. But, we’ve never been turned away with our Priority Pass card. We had one problem with a lounge under renovation and they asked members to reserve tables. It was kind of pain to find a table, but the staff helped shuffle things around for us.