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Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass
Priority Pass is a membership that allows you to enter airport 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 with 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 Priority Pass lounge.
We have also published The Ultimate Guide to Airport lounges.
With 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 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 same 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 the different membership models.
Priority Pass Memberships Levels
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
Priority Pass Standard 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 lounges 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 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.
After the price changes during past years, Priority Pass Prestige is the only level that gives you a good payback.
Summary of Priority Pass Prices
|Membership Model||Priority Pass Price / Year||Our Recommendation|
|Standard||99 USD||Seldom a good choice|
|Standard Plus||299 USD||A decent option for people who travel a few times in a year|
|Prestige||429 USD||Absolutely 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 also an electronic membership card so you can start using the membership 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 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)
Priority Pass Lounge List
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 Priority Pass lounge list can be found on their Priority Pass website.
Downsides of Priority Pass
The current price of Priority Pass membership is 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 website whether 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 website to see the exact prices and the lounge selection. Lounge Pass is a really competitive option after Priority Pass increased its fees.
Why to Use Priority Pass Lounges?
Finally we would like you to understand the benefits of using airport business lounges.
People feel airports stressful places. Airports 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. Usually we are using Priority Pass membership that has come with a credit card, but sometimes we just buy single entries from Lounge Pass. We have also accessed lounges with Diners Club card.
We recommend you 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 wide enough. 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.
- Got interested? There are two easy ways to enter lounges:
- Buy an inexpensive single Lounge Pass.
- Or buy Priority Pass Membership.
Please comment below if you like lounges and what is your way to access them. More information you will also find from our Ultimate Guide to Airport Lounges.
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