EASY ACCESS TO AIRPORT LOUNGES WITH PRIORITY PASS
We’ve talked at length about the benefits of airport lounges in the past
Airports are crowded and stressful, and the bottom line is that if you have an hour or more waiting for a flight, a lounge is the place to be.
With that in mind, today we look at Priority Pass and its subsidiary – Lounge Club.
Priority Pass Review
is the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program.
Membership allows you to use any of 600 airport lounges worldwide, whenever you travel.
The list of lounges is extensive – with lounges in over 100 countries and 300 cities.
We believe Priority Pass is a great program for both frequent and occasional flyers, however, the important thing to note about Priority Pass lounges is that the quality varies largely between lounges. The lounges include a mix of independent lounges and airline-owned lounges and while one lounge might be pimped out with comfortable furnishings, showers, free drinks and cooked meals, others can be very basic, with a conference room and some coffee if you’re lucky. Therefore it’s worth researching what features a Priority Pass lounge has before you travel.
Some of the better Priority Pass lounges include the No 1. Lounges at Gatwick and Heathrow, London, The United Club at Houston Texas International Airport and the Pau Casals VIP lounge at El Prat Airport, Barcelona. These lounges are consistently ranked well by Priority Pass members and have won awards for their service.
We recently visited The Club at LAS on a trip to Las Vegas. Whilst the lounge was no 5 star airline lounge, it was more than satisfactory, with comfortable seating, a full bar, and a great selection of complimentary snacks.
So how do you get access?
Priority Pass membership plans vary by country of residence.
In the USA, standard membership is $99, and then the cost per lounge visit is $27.
Standard plus membership is $249, which gets you 10 free lounge passes per year. Extra passes cost $27 per pass.
Prestige membership costs $399 and this gives you unlimited lounge passes for the year.
Similarly, in the UK, standard membership is £69, and then the cost per visit is £15.
Standard plus membership is £159, which gets you 10 free lounge passes. Extra passes cost £15 per pass.
Prestige membership costs £259 and will give you unlimited lounge passes.
At these prices, we believe the program offers solid value for those who fly regularly, especially if you don’t have elite membership status with one of the major airlines. Given the exorbitant prices that airports charge for food / drink / wifi, $27 / £15 per lounge visit is not a huge price to pay to go and unwind in comfort.
Lounge Club Review
At Roll Like Boss, we always look for a shortcut.
And that brings us to Lounge Club
– a slightly scaled down version of Priority Pass in which membership comes free with certain credit card rewards programs. Membership to Lounge Club allows you access to around 350 of the Priority Pass lounges.
This is a great way to get admission to airport lounges, especially if you only need occasional access and don’t want to fork out for the Priority Pass membership fee.
By signing up for a credit card that comes with complimentary Lounge Club access, you’ll avoid the membership fee and receive several free lounge passes per year.
In the US, there are are number of cards that come with Lounge Club access. Two such cards are the American Express Platinum Card and the American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card. These cards offer a great slate of benefits, but have high annual fees of $450. We’d wait for an exceptional signup bonus of around 75,000 Membership Rewards points to compensate for such an eye-popping annual fee before considering one.
Our preferred option is the Ink Bold Business card from Chase. With a 50,000 Ultimate Rewards signup bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and the annual fee of $95 waived in the first year, this is an excellent card and a much cheaper way to get Lounge Club access. After enrolling, you’ll be sent an invitation to Lounge Club that will include two free visits to any lounge worldwide. Additional visits will then be charged at $27. Although this is a business credit card, contrary to popular belief you do not need to be a business owner to apply for a business credit card. You can often be approved by applying as a sole proprietor and using your full name as the business name on the application and your social security number as the business ID number, a process we’ll touch upon in more detail future posts.
In the UK, our preferred way to get Lounge Club access is through the American Express Gold Preferred Rewards card, which also has its annual fee waived in the first year. As mentioned here
, by signing up for this card, you’ll receive membership to Lounge Club and two free passes.
So the next time you’re waiting for a flight, don’t spend the time in a hard plastic seat, paying $12 for a stale sandwich, surrounded by screaming children. Get yourself a Priority Pass or Lounge Club membership and go and relax in a lounge.