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Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass
Priority Pass is a membership card 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 lounge card, you can reduce your lounge costs almost by 50 percent by using a right membership model. There are currently more than 1,000 Priority Pass airport 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 card.
Entering the 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.
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 27 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 make the average cost of a lounge moderately high so obtaining the standard version does not give you much benefit. For random lounge visitors there are better options.
Priority Pass Standard Plus
Priority Pass Standard Plus is much better for a traveller who makes at least 5 return trips per year. Standard Plus membership costs about 250 USD per year and it includes 10 free lounge accesses. After these 10 free visits, the following visits will be priced like in Standard membership model.
Standard Plus card 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 25 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 400 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 at cosy lounges between your flights.
For frequent and business travellers, Priority Pass Prestige is the best option.
Priority Pass Membership with Credit Cards
Many credit card companies offer Priority Pass membership freely with their credit cards. You only pay the credit card annual fee and you will get Priority Pass lounge card 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 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.
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)
Alternatives for Priority Pass
As we have stated earlier for less frequent travellers, Priority Pass may not be the best option. 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 discounted about 40%. Check Lounge Pass web page to see the exact prices.
Why to Use Lounges?
Finally we would like to motivate you considering using airport business lounges.
People usually feel airports to be 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 USD. 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. If you are still feeling unsure, try lounges once via Lounge Pass.
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 are using Priority Pass membership that has come with a credit card. Sometimes we access lounges also with Finnish Diners Club card that gives us much discounted lounge entry.
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.