Are you looking for a way to make your air travel experiences more comfortable and enjoyable? One way to do this is by gaining access to the Priority Pass™ network of airport lounges.
Imagine sitting in a spacious lounge while you leisurely sip a cup of coffee and wait for your flight in peace. You find a charging station for your phone and laptop and now have a quiet moment to get some work done. Knowing you have a long flight ahead, you enjoy a free hot breakfast.
These may be just a few of the ways you can maximize your time at a lounge in the Priority Pass network. In this article, we'll share more information and insights about these lounges, including how to get access before your next flight.
What is Priority Pass?
Priority Pass™ is a network of airport lounges, mini-suites and even airport restaurants. It has 1,300 locations in more than 600 airports in 148 countries.
Priority Pass membership means you can utilize these lounges, by paying a fee if applicable, regardless of the airline you're flying or the class of your ticket.
Each lounge is slightly different, offering unique features depending on the city. However, most Priority Pass airport lounges include:
- Complimentary refreshments, including alcohol (where allowed)
- Spacious and comfortable lounge areas to stretch out
- Comfortable seats and quiet spaces
- Outlets for charging
- Free Wi-Fi in most lounges
- Some include conference rooms, showers, beds and spa facilities
These lounges are not in every airport, so be sure to find out ahead of time if there is one at your departure and arrival airport by visiting the Priority Pass website. Lounges at busy airports during peak travel times can often fill up fast.
Accessing an airport lounge with your Priority Pass membership
You can purchase a membership directly with Priority Pass. Depending on your travel preferences and frequency, there are several levels of membership to choose from:
- Standard: $99 annual fee plus $35 for each visit by a member. Guests are also $35 per visit.
- Standard Plus: $329 annual fee, members get 10 free visits then $35 for each visit after that. Guests are always $35.
- Prestige: $469 annual fee, all visits are free for members. Guests are $35 per visit.
Priority Pass members also get access to benefits beyond just lounges. If you download the Priority Pass app, members will find tons of discounts and special offers from restaurants and retailers inside whatever airport you find yourself in.
Sign up for a travel credit card that offers Priority Pass as a benefit
Did you know that certain credit cards offer their cardmembers complimentary access to the Priority Pass network of lounges? Here's how it works. Some travel rewards credit cards come with Priority Pass membership as one of the benefits. So once you get approved for the credit card, you can register for your Priority Pass membership and start taking advantage of it right away.
The associated rewards, discounts and annual fees will vary from card to card. But many cardmembers find that the welcome bonus (which is often tens of thousands of points) and the long list of travel benefits are worth the annual fee. For example, with many travel credit cards, you're able to earn points for purchases you make, even on weekly staples like gas and groceries. If you use the card to pay for your travel-related expenses, you earn even more points.
You'll want to do some math to see if this option makes sense your lifestyle and spending habits. In some cases, having one of these cards could be more economical than buying the top-tier Priority Pass membership directly.
Purchase a day pass
If you're an infrequent traveler but still love the idea of chilling out in a lounge whenever you're at an airport, you can buy a one-time day pass. Day passes typically range between $29 and $75. You can book a pass in advance on the lounge's website or purchase one at the door, though you may be denied entry if they're at capacity.
This is a great way to indulge in the benefits of a lounge without paying for the full membership or a first-class ticket. A few hours of comfort and snacks may be worth every penny.
Can I access a lounge that participates in Priority Pass for free?
Yes, it's possible to get Priority Pass for “free" by having Priority Pass Select, but this kind of membership comes through a credit card with an annual fee. The good news is that these kinds of premium cards are also packed with valuable rewards and travel perks beyond just the Priority Pass membership.
Whether it's the complimentary food and drinks or just a comfortable space to spread out, airport lounges may help to make air travel less stressful. Determine how often you'll have the opportunity to visit a lounge within the Priority Pass network, then decide if it's best to purchase a membership directly, go through a travel credit card or just be a one-time visitor with a day pass.