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Is Priority Pass Worth the Money?

Priority Pass Card
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Priority Pass is your passport to airport business lounges. In this review, we evaluate if the card is worth the money.

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Table of Contents

  1. Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass
  2. Priority Pass Memberships Levels
    1. Priority Pass Standard
    2. Priority Pass Standard Plus
    3. Priority Pass Prestige
    4. Summary of Priority Pass Prices
    5. Where to Purchase Priority Pass?
  3. Priority Pass Membership with Credit Cards
    1. Priority Pass Price
  4. Priority Pass Lounges
  5. Downsides of Priority Pass
    1. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Alternatives for Priority Pass
    1. DragonPass
    2. Lounge Club
    3. LoungeKey
    4. Lounge Pass
  7. Why to Visit Lounges?
  8. How Do We Enter Lounges?

Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a membership that allows you to enter airport lounges at multiple airports for free or with a discounted price. The normal price of an 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 1,300 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. You may even be flying with a low-cost airline like Ryanair. 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 told in this Priority Pass review are estimates. The exact prices may depend on your location. We advise you to check current prices from Priority Pass. On the official web page it is also possible to purchase Priority Pass and start using it right away.

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 entry. 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 visit moderately high so obtaining the standard version does not give you much benefit. At the end of this article, we tell better options for infrequent lounge visitors.

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.

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 premium 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 the United States, Priority Passes coming from a financial institution are called Priority Pass Select.

When obtaining a 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 Price

Priority Pass price varies between 99 to 439 USD. However, it is not good just to compare the annual price but calculate a single visit price. For example, with the unlimited Priority Pass Prestige, the more often you visit the cheaper a visit will be.

Priority Pass Lounges

There are more than 1300 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 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 flying via big airports.

Alternatives for Priority Pass

DragonPass

Priority Pass has a very similar competitor called DragonPass. We have published a separate article where we compare Priority Pass to DragonPass.

Lounge Club

Lounge Club is just like Priority Pass. It is impossible to buy it with money but it comes always with a credit card.

LoungeKey

LoungeKey is another lounge membership program coming with credit cards. The lounge selection is not as good as Priority Pass has. It is still very usable product.

Lounge Pass

As we mentioned earlier, lounge membership programs 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.

Book a single lounge visit on Lounge Pass with affordable prices.

Why to Visit 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.

How Do We Enter Lounges?

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.

Please comment below if you like lounges and what is your way to access them.

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Travel Better and Safer

Reward yourself...

Start your journey pleasantly at airports! Treat yourself at an airport lounge by buying an inexpensive single entry from Lounge Pass or unlimited entries from Priority Pass.

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Comments (8)

  1. I have found Amex platinum including unlimited access to lounges (priority pass and amex lounges) very valuable. We share the yearly ($700) fee with my spouse and we both get insurances, points and free lounge accesses with that. We travel around 20-30 flights per year in total and we visit lounges always - sometimes together, sometimes with colleagues or friends (you can bring one visitor for free to lounge per card holder). When flight is late, it's hot in the airport, etc. It's super nice to stay in a lounge with AC, food and free wi-fi.

    Reply

  2. Dec 16, 2017 at 17:57 EET Ceasar/Finnoytravel :

    Hi Nora, Thank you for sharing your positive experiences with lounges and for sharing too your practical way of accessing the lounge. Indeed it is worth having it for frequent travellers like you. :) Regards!

    Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing! Have came across another membership, DragonPass, www.dragonpass.com. They seems to offer lounge access as well. But on top of that, they are offering dining discounts (up to 25%) across 1+k restaurants around the world!

    Do you think DragonPass is a good replacement for Priority Pass? Thanks. :)

    Reply

    1. Hi Vincent, thank you for your comment and for the link. We will check about this.

  4. Hi! Very nice article! I've a question about Priority Pass Platinum. I've got the offer to bet Amex Platinum and it inlcudes also the PP Platinum. Can you tell me, i didn't find anywhere the answer, if the access to lounges is only for me(cardholder) or could be for my family as well?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Mar 29, 2018 at 11:46 EEST Niko / Finnoy Travel :

      Hello.

      Thank you for the comment. Quite often PP coming with Amex platinum allows a free lounge entry to the card holder and to his (one) guest. But the terms vary between countries. We suggest you to confirm this from your country's Amex issuer. Platinum also includes often 1 supplementary card with the same benefits. But as we said, the PP terms depends on the agreement between Amex and Priority Pass so better to confirm them.

  5. Nov 29, 2018 at 18:48 EET Laurie Whitley :

    We were turned away by the Priority Club lounge at Cabo San Lucas last week. Amex Plat membership + first class tix on Alaska. Airport was packed but nonetheless disappointed in value. We were previously considering buying Priority Club memberships as Christmas gifts - but we've now read about many members turned away from Boston's Logan airport (which we frequent) when it was clearly not busy. Reviews state they're holding their space at Logan for Lufthansa flyers. It's not worth the money evidently.

    Reply

  6. Cancelling the Priority Pass card as well as my credit card.

    Went to Premier Lounge in Singapore by myself. Five days later my credit card was charge for 5 additional guests.
    Phoned Priority pass to dispute and they responded “they only do the billing, if the lounge said you had 5 guests then the lounge is correct and if a mistake was made it’s your fault for not catching it at check in time.
    After complaining for awhile a supervisor said they will contact the lounge to see how this mistake could have been made and it would take 24-72 hours for a response. After 5 days and no response I called priority pass again. This time they said “oh it can take up to 30 days for a response’ and they would have someone check on it and get back to me.
    After 30 days and no response I called again. The person who answered said it can take up to 30 days for a response. I said it’s already been 30 days at which time she replied it takes a long time.

    Contacted my credit card company who issued me the Priority Pass card to dispute it with them. After 3 weeks I got a reply from the credit card company saying if the charge is incorrect I need to provide a credit card receipt with the correct amount. Well, the entrance was suppose to be complimentary so no charge and thus no credit card receipt for a value of $0. Switching to a different type of credit card.

    Reply

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