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Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass
Priority Pass is a membership that allows you to enter business lounges at selected airports for free or with a discounted price. The normal price of an ordinary airport business lounge lies usually between 40 and 50 USD. With Priority Pass membership, you can reduce your lounge costs almost by 50 percent by using a right membership model. There are currently more than 1,200 Priority Pass lounges in the world so finding a lounge is easy. It is almost sure that in every big airport there is at least one lounge to where you can enter with your Priority Pass membership card.
We have also published the Ultimate Guide to Airport lounges.
With the Priority Pass no-one will ask if you are flying in business or in economy. Airlines and cabin classes have nothing to do with Priority Pass. You just need to present a valid boarding pass together with your Priority Pass membership card and you are allowed to enter a lounge. In many airports Priority Pass customers and airlines' business class passengers end up to sames lounges.
Entering a lounge with Priority Pass membership may be totally free or discounted depending on your card type. We decided to write this Priority Pass review to introduce you different membership models.
Three Main Types of Priority Pass Memberships
Please be aware that the prices we mention are only estimates. The exact prices may depend on your location. We advise you to check current prices from Priority Pass* web pages. On the official web page it is also possible to purchase Priority Pass.
Priority Pass Standard
Standard Priority Pass is the cheapest membership model but according to our opinion it is also the worst option. You need to pay about 100 USD annual membership fee but you still don't get any free lounge entries. Using the lounge services costs about 32 USD / visit. A guest with you costs the same.
Standard Priority Pass could be useful for people who travel only a few times in a year. The annual membership fee and per lounge access fee makes the average cost of a lounge moderately high so obtaining the standard version does not give you much benefit. For infrequent lounge visitors there are better options.
Priority Pass Standard Plus
Priority Pass Standard Plus is better for a traveller who makes at least 5 return trips per year. Standard Plus membership costs about 300 USD per year and it includes 10 free lounge visits. After these 10 free visits, the following visits will be priced like in Standard membership model.
Standard Plus membership is a good choice if you travel from 3 to 7 return trips per year. The average price for a lounge visit will then be about 31 USD that is a moderately good price. Priority Pass has increased its price in 2018 so the Standard Plus membership is not as good as it has been.
Priority Pass Prestige
Priority Pass Prestige has unlimited free lounge entries for the card holder. The cost of the card is about 430 USD yearly. Prestige becomes the best option after 15 lounge visits per year. That means that you should do about 8 return trips in a year for it to be a good choice. If you prefer having connecting flights, this is absolutely the best choice for you. You can spend layovers in cosy lounges between your flights.
The Summary of the Pricing Model
|Membership Model||Price / Year||Our Recommendation|
|Standard||99 USD||Seldom a good choice|
|Standard Plus||299 USD||A good option for people who travel a few times in a year|
|Prestige||429 USD||The best choice for frequent travellers|
For frequent and business travellers, Priority Pass Prestige is the best option.
Where to Purchase Priority Pass?
The safest place to purchase Priority is their own web page*. Priority Pass has now also an electronic membership card so you can take the card to use right away after joining. You just need to install their app to your phone.
Priority Pass Membership with Credit Cards
Many credit card companies offer Priority Pass membership without extra cost with their credit cards. You only pay the credit card annual fee and you will get Priority Pass lounge membership free of charge.
According to our opinion this is often a very good option. However, you should calculate how much benefit Priority Pass is giving you. Notice also that Priority Pass cards coming with credit cards often have different terms. Many of them include 4 free Priority Pass lounge visits and after that, you will pay Standard visit fees. With some luxury credit cards, you as the card holder may get Priority Pass card with unlimited free access and also for the guest who is travelling with you. In United States Priority Passes coming from a financial institution are called Priority Pass Select.
When obtaining Priority Pass credit card, calculate its value carefully. Estimate what is the value of the credit card itself and target the rest of its annual fee to Priority Pass costs by using the following formula: One lounge visit price = (credit card annual fee - your estimate of credit card's own value) / (maximum free lounge visit the card has or you will use in a year).
One lounge visit price = (credit card annual fee - your estimate of credit card's own value) / (maximum free lounge visit the card has or you will use in a year)
How to Find Priority Pass Lounges
There are more than 1200 Priority Pass lounges so finding one is an easy task. Big airports have usually multiple lounge options and smaller ones have normally at least one lounge where you can enter with Priority Pass. The current list of all Priority Pass lounges can be found on their webpage*.
Downsides of a Priority Pass
The current prices of Priority Pass if quite high so it is not as good product as it has been. Also, not all airport have Priority Pass lounges. Before purchasing a Priority Pass, you should check their web page if your favourite airports have lounges.
Priority Pass is still a great product for frequent travellers who are using big airports.
Alternatives for Priority Pass
Priority Pass has a very similar competitor called DragonPass. We have published a separate article where we compare Priority Pass to DragonPass.
As we mentioned earlier, Priority Pass may not be the best option for less frequent travellers. If you still would like to visit a lounge a few times in a year there are some other options aside from those enumerated above. For example, you can pay the the normal lounge entry prices or to buy a business class ticket but these ways are obviously less affordable.
For infrequent lounge visitors, we recommend buying lounge entry vouchers from Lounge Pass*. You can buy single entries that are often discounted even 40%. Check Lounge Pass web page to see the exact prices and the lounge selection. Lounge Pass a really competitive option after Priority Pass increased its fees.
Why to Use Lounges?
Finally we would like to motivate you considering using airport business lounges.
People feel usually airports stressful places. They are crowded and noisy. Airport restaurants and cafes are really overpriced. Having a light meal, snacks or coffee will often cost from 20 to 30 dollars. Why not treat yourself with the same expenditures at a relaxing lounge?
In the lounge, the atmosphere is more peaceful. Snacks or sometimes even meals are free. Warm, cold and alcohol drinks are usually included too. You get a comfortable chair and free WiFi. When you are feeling tired you really appreciate these services. Even though the lounge visit may cost a little, it will be worth it!
Even better, many lounges have showers for free use. What could be better than have a fresh shower before a long flight. The best lounges have even sleeping facilities and spa treatments but these services may be charged with a small extra fee.
What Option Do We Use Ourselves?
We visit lounges often when travelling. We have been using Priority Pass membership that has come with a credit card. We have also accessed lounges with Finnish Diners Club card that gives us much discounted lounge entry. Just now we are mainly using Lounge Pass prepaid vouchers and Eurocard to get discounted lounge prices at our home airport. However, we are planning to apply Priority Passes again - directly or via a suitable credit card.
We recommend you also to check your country's available credit cards. As we have mentioned earlier, many credit cards are linked to lounges someway. The credit card selection differs so much between countries that we decided not evaluate credit cards in this article. We are based in Finland and for example in our country the selection is not that good. If you are totally new to airport lounges, the best strategy could be try lounges once via Lounge Pass discounted voucher. If you like them and you want to use them more often, Priority Pass is a good choice. Evaluate carefully which model is the best for you.
Please comment below if you like lounges and what is your way to access them.
Got interested? Check this Priority Pass* link to see if they have a sale campaign going on. Or visit Lounge Pass* if you are only interested in single lounge entry vouchers. More information you will also find from our Ultimate Guide to Airport Lounges.
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