DragonPass comes from China and it allows you to enter airport lounges around the globe. It is a competitor for Priority Pass which is a well-known airport lounge membership provider in Western countries. We made a comparison if DragonPass beats Priority Pass.
Covered in the Article
- DragonPass - Chinese Lounge Program
- DragonPass vs. Priority Pass
- Additional Services
- Comparison in Nutshell
- Where to Buy DragonPass and Priority Pass?
- Alternatives for Priority Pass and DragonPass
- Bottom Line
DragonPass - Chinese Lounge Program
Priority Pass is a well-known airport lounge membership program for business and private travellers. It comes along with many credit cards, especially American Express cards, but it can also be bought separately. There is a significant Chinese alternative for Priority Pass called DragonPass. Instead of obtaining the most popular membership, it is good to evaluate the other options too. LoungeKey is a third well-known lounge membership program.
In another review, we have evaluated if Priority Pass is worth the money.
DragonPass vs. Priority Pass
Having been a member of Priority Pass many times, we have often wondered if DragonPass would suit us better. In the following chapters, we outline the similarities and differences of these lounge programs.
Both Are Lounge Membership Programs
There is one obvious similarity. Both products give admission to airport lounges worldwide. Also, both Priority Pass and DragonPass have three membership levels which we introduce later in the article.
Similar Extra Services
Previously, the additional offerings of these lounge programs varied, but presently, the programs have increasingly similar supplementary services. Both Priority Pass and DragonPass provide discounts or free meals at specific airport eateries. Furthermore, DragonPass offers reduced rates for Meet&Greet and airport transfer services.
DragonPass sells single-entry passes for specific airport lounges. Also, a company called Lounge Pass, which belongs to the same group as Priority Pass, sells airport lounge passes just like DragonPass does.
Number of Priority and DragonPass Airport Lounges
As per the Priority Pass website, their membership grants you access to a network of over 1,300 lounges spanning more than 140 countries. Similarly, DragonPass offers access to an equivalent number of airport lounges worldwide, totalling around 1,300. In essence, both DragonPass and Priority Pass lounges provide similar benefits and services.
The absolute number of lounges isn't a key factor. A traveller cares only if there is a lounge in the airport where he/she is travelling. That is why it is important always to check which lounges Priority and DragonPass can offer at your home airport and at the most popular airports you are travelling through.
Helsinki Airport is our home base. There are four DragonPass lounges: Aspire Lounge by Gate 27, Aspire Lounge by Gate 13, Plaza Premium non-Schengen Lounge and Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge. In addition, DragonPass includes an Asian restaurant. Priority Pass offers the same lounges but no dining discounts.
We conducted a few inquiries regarding the lounges accessible at the airports below.
- London Heathrow
- Priority Pass: 7 airport lounges
- DragonPass: 8 airport lounges + 8 dining options
- Berlin Brandenburg
- Priority Pass: no lounges but 1 cafe option
- DragonPass: 2 airport lounges
- New York JFK
- Priority Pass: 8 airport lounges + Minutes Suites
- DragonPass: 6 airport lounges + 2 dining options
This brief comparison reveals that the availability of lounges is relatively similar between these two companies. Before acquiring a membership, it is advisable to verify the up-to-date list of lounges on the Priority and DragonPass websites. DragonPass may have a little better coverage in Asian countries and DragonPass offers more dining options.
Typically, airport ground service companies manage Priority Pass and DragonPass lounges. Although airlines do have their lounges, access to them is usually not permitted with either Priority or DragonPass. However, there may be some exceptions at certain airports.
One of the most important factors influencing the purchase decision is the price-to-quality ratio. Particularly, we recommend private travellers compare prices carefully to save on travel costs.
Priority Pass and DragonPass sell three types of memberships but they are named differently. Priority Pass Standard and DragonPass Classic models cost $99 per year. DragonPass gives one free lounge entry with the Classic model. Priority Pass gives nothing. All extra entries and guests cost $35 for Priority Pass members and also $35 for DragonPass members.
Priority Pass Standard Plus costs $329 and DragonPass Preferential costs $259. Priority Pass gives 10 free entries while DragonPass gives 8. One entry price will then be $32.90 and $32.38 for Priority Pass Standard Plus and DragonPass Preferential respectively.
DragonPass has one great advantage in the Preferential Level over Priority Pass Standard Plus. The 8 free-lounge entries can also be used by a guest as long as the membership owner is present during the lounge visit. This makes DragonPass Preferential a better choice for couples travelling together a few times a year. DragonPass Preferential is also a little cheaper than Priority Pass.
The unlimited levels give unlimited lounge access. Priority Pass Prestige costs $469 / year and DragonPass Prestige $429. The guest prices will be $35 for Priority Pass members and $35 for DragonPass members.
The prices are not the full truth. For example, we reside within the Eurozone and it's a special note that Priority Pass has different prices for European customers. In contrast, DragonPass offers the same dollar prices also for Europeans.
Discounts at Airport Restaurants
DragonPass offers up to 25 percent discount in airport restaurants. Unfortunately, the exact discount percentages are not specified on the web.
Priority Pass provides discounted rates for airport dining services as well in selected airports.
DragonPass offers discounted Meet&Greet and airport transfer service. These benefits are not offered by Priority Pass. The exact prices are shown on the DragonPass app when booking a service.
Comparison in Nutshell
The pricing for Priority and DragonPass is nearly identical. In some scenarios, DragonPass becomes slightly cheaper. Initially, DragonPass had an advantage over Priority Pass in terms of digital capabilities. However, Priority Pass has caught up and now both offer digital membership cards.
We have utilized Priority Pass due to the inclusion of membership with our credit cards. If we were to independently purchase lounge memberships, we would thoroughly compare DragonPass and Priority Pass. Despite Priority Pass being more widely recognized, DragonPass presents a slightly more versatile and intriguing alternative. The selection of lounges offered by DragonPass has expanded rapidly, and it now boasts a greater number of lounges in numerous major airports.
Although DragonPass offers slightly cheaper prices and additional services compared to Priority Pass, the differences are minimal. However, what truly matters is the lounge coverage available at your preferred airports.
Where to Buy DragonPass and Priority Pass?
Priority Pass and DragonPass memberships come often with a credit card. We assume that Chinese banks prefer DragonPass over Priority Pass.
Both DragonPass and Priority Pass are available for purchase on their respective websites using monetary payment.
Alternatives for Priority Pass and DragonPass
LoungeKey is a lounge membership program coming with certain Visa and Mastercards. It can't be purchased with money. The program is similar to Priority Pass and DragonPass but the lounge selection is a little smaller. However, LoungeKey is a good perk if it comes free of charge with a credit card.
If you are travelling only a few times a year, the payback of a lounge membership program is low. In that case, purchasing any lounge membership is not worth the money.
For less frequent travellers, we recommend Lounge Pass to buy discounted single entries for airport lounges. Lounge Pass has a huge selection of airport lounges for competitive single-entry prices. Buying single lounge passes is now even more appealing when lounge membership programs have become pricey. A prepaid lounge pass guarantees entry even during busy hours.
Nearly all lounges offer a walk-in option, without requiring any membership or lounge pass. However, the walk-in rates tend to be expensive, making this method of accessing lounges less cost-effective. If affordability is not an issue for you or if you infrequently visit lounges, then paying the walk-in rate may still be a viable solution.
- Which option is more cost-effective, Priority Pass or DragonPass?
- In certain situations, DragonPass might be slightly cheaper.
- How many lounges does Priority Pass provide?
- Approximately 1300.
- How many lounges does DragonPass have?
- About 1300 as well.
- What additional perks does Priority Pass offer?
- Members of Priority Pass can enjoy discounted airport dining, retail, and spa services.
- What additional benefits does DragonPass offer?
- Alongside discounts at select airport restaurants, DragonPass members can also purchase discounted Meet&Greet and airport transfer services.
- Where can you buy a DragonPass membership from?
- You can get one together with a credit card or purchase directly from the official website of Dragonpass.
- Where can you purchase a Priority Pass membership from?
- Obtain one as a credit card perk or purchase directly from the official website of Priority Pass.
Airport lounges have become an essential component of our travel experiences, as they offer a much more enjoyable alternative to crowded public spaces. While the overall travel expenses may only slightly increase, the benefits of relaxing and unwinding in airport lounges are immeasurable. It is hard to imagine embarking on a journey without access to these comfortable havens.
How do you gain entry into airport lounges? Share your preferred method in the comments below!
About the Author
Ceasar, an immigrant in Finland, co-founded Finnoy Travel out of his passion for exploring new horizons. His content primarily centres around immigration, travel, and life in Finland. An avid road tripper, Ceasar also shares insider tips on car driving abroad.
When not embarking on adventures, he meticulously proofreads every article before it gets published on the Finnoy Travel site. His responsibilities also extend to managing the social media channels of Finnoy Travel.