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Review: Does DragonPass Beat Priority Pass?

  • By Finnoy Travel
  • Updated: 05/29/21 | May 29, 2021

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Table of Contents

  1. DragonPass - A Chinese Priority Pass
  2. Comparison of Dragon and Priority Pass
    1. Both the Products Are Lounge Memberships
    2. Similar Extra Services
    3. Number of Priority and DragonPass Airport Lounges
    4. Prices and Benefits
  3. Extra Services of DragonPass
    1. Discounts at Airport Restaurants
    2. Airport Services
  4. Conclusion
  5. Where to Buy DragonPass or Priority Pass?
  6. Other Options
  7. Bottom Line

DragonPass - A Chinese Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a well-known airport lounge membership for business and private travellers. It comes along with many credit cards but it can also be bought separately. In our separate review we have evaluated if Priority Pass is worth the money.

Priority Pass may be popular but there are other lounge access options too. Instead of obtaining the most popular one, there is another very similar competitor. DragonPass, which comes from China, has a very similar model with Priority Pass.

Comparison of Dragon and Priority Pass

We have been holding many times Priority Pass cards but after learning about DragonPass airport lounge membership, we decided to write a brief comparison of these two great lounge membership programs.

Both the Products Are Lounge Memberships

There is one obvious similarity. Both services offer an access to airport lounges all over the world. Both Priority Pass and DragonPass have three kinds of membership options.

Similar Extra Services

Earlier, the differences came with the extra services but currently, the extra services are quite equal. Both Priority Pass and DragonPass offer discounts in selected airport restaurants. In addition, DragonPass has discounted Meet&Greet and Limousine services available.

DragonPass is fully digital but Priority Pass has now a digital membership card too. You need a mobile app to your iOS or Android phone to be able to access lounges. Priority Pass members can transact also using traditional plastic membership cards.

Priority Pass and DragonPass have a difference how to charge lounge visits after the free ones. In DragonPass program, you should pay the lounge access fees beforehand but in Priority Pass you will pay your lounge access fees during your visit but not prior to it. DragonPass sell also single entry lounge passes to certain airport lounges.

Number of Priority and DragonPass Airport Lounges

According to the website of Priority Pass, the membership allows you to visit over 1300 lounges in more than 140 countries. DragonPass welcomes you at the same number of doors. They have about 1300 lounges available all over the world.

The absolute number of the 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 you should always 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 two Priority Pass lounges called Aspire Lounge and Plaza Premium Lounge and unsurprisingly these 2 lounges are also included in the DragonPass airport lounge list.

We made also a few random searches about lounges available in the following airports:

  • London Heathrow
    • Priority Pass: 8 airport lounges
    • DragonPass: 10 airport lounges
  • Berlin Brandenburg
    • Priority Pass: none
    • DragonPass: 1 airport lounge
  • New York JFK
    • Priority Pass: 8 airport lounges
    • DragonPass: 4 airport lounges

The short comparison above shows that there are no big differences between the lounge availability between these two companies. Before purchasing any membership product, you should check the current lounge list on Priority and DragonPass websites.

Check the Priority Pass lounge list and the DragonPass lounge list.

Priority Pass lounges and DragonPass lounges are usually maintained by airport ground service companies. Airlines have their own lounges and normally you are not allowed to enter them neither with Priority nor DragonPass. However, there may be exceptions.

Prices and Benefits

One of the most important factor for a purchase decision is the price-to-quality ratio. Particularly, we recommend private travellers to compare prices carefully.

Priority Pass and DragonPass both sell three types of memberships but they are named differently. Priority Pass Standard and DragonPass Classic models cost 99 USD per year. However, DragonPass gives you one free lounge entry with the Classic model but Priority Pass gives nothing. All extra entries and guests cost 32 USD for Priority Pass members and 31 USD for DragonPass members.

Priority Pass Standard Plus costs 299 USD and DragonPass Preferential costs 219 USD. Priority Pass gives 10 free entries while DragonPass gives 8. One entry price will then be 29.90 USD and 27.41 USD 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 in a year. It is also a little cheaper than Priority Pass.

The unlimited levels give you unlimited lounge access. Priority Pass Prestige costs 429 USD / year and DragonPass Prestige 399 USD. The guest prices will be 32 USD for Priority Pass members and also 32 USD for DragonPass members.

However, this comparison is not the full truth. For example, we reside within the Euro zone and its a special to note that Priority Pass has a little different prices for European customers. In contrast, DragonPass offers the same dollar prices also for Europeans.

Extra Services of DragonPass

Discounts at Airport Restaurants

DragonPass offers up to 25 percent discounts in airport restaurants. For example, in Finnoy Travel's home airport at Helsinki, there are 5 restaurants listed in DragonPass website that offer discounts. Unfortunately, the exact discount percents are not specified on the DragonPass' website.

Nowadays, Priority Pass also offers discounts for services at the airport.

Airport Services

DragonPass offers discounted Meet&Greet and Limousine services. These benefits are not offered by Priority Pass. The exact prices will be shown on the DragonPass app when booking the services.

Conclusion

Priority and DragonPass are almost equal. Earlier, DragonPass was more modern and thus it was able to beat Priority Pass in digital aspect. However, Priority Pass has also developed digitally.

The pricing of both lounge programs is quite equal but in some scenarios, DragonPass becomes slightly cheaper.

We have been Priority Pass card holders because the membership has come with our credit cards. If we bought a lounge membership separately, we would probably carefully compare between DragonPass and Priority Pass. Even though Priority Pass may be more popular, DragonPass is a little more versatile and an interesting option.

Where to Buy DragonPass or Priority Pass?

Priority Pass and DragonPass come often with credit cards. We assume that Chinese credit cards holders prefer DragonPass over Priority Pass.

DragonPass and Priority Pass can be bought on their websites. We are not a partner with them and we do not have any recommendations about the purchase process.

Other Options

If you are travelling only a few times in a year, the payback of lounge membership programs is low. In that case, purchasing Priority Pass or DragonPass 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.

To get more familiar with airport lounge business, read also the following articles:

Bottom Line

We could not imagine travelling without airport lounges. The overall travelling budget will slightly increase but spending time at airport lounges is much more pleasant. Therefore, airport lounges have became a part of our travels.

What is your way to access lounges? Comment below!

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Readers' Comments (38)

  1. 02-13-2020 at 4:19pm UTC by Chris :

    I got the Dragon Pass app through a promotion and have yet to purchase credits to visit a lounge.
    Checking lounges in the airports I will be flying to in the next few weeks (DUB, FRA, JFK) through the DP app reveals an astonishing number of reviews where people said they would not actually be allowed in the lounge that DP lists as participating?
    Can not compare to PP but may look into other booking options for pay lounges as a backup?

  2. 11-22-2019 at 10:51pm UTC by Peter :

    Dragon Pass continues to fail its NatWest Customers.

    No lounges at the fabulous new IGA airport in Istanbul. No lounges in Miami for BA passengers, no access in Panama City, no lounges in Bogota to name but a few where Priorty Pass welcomes you. Pathetic!

    I raised this issue with natwest@dragonpasspremier.com and received a totally inadequate answer telling me that lounges I required may or may not be added to Dragon Pass some time in the future but if I didn't like it don't complain to them, complain to NatWest. I was astonished by their reply...

    ...so if you don't like Dragon Pass complain to customer.relations@natwest.com .

    Oh, and Natwest claim that they only switched to Dragon Pass because this allowed clients to pre-book at busy airport. Fair enough, but Priority Pass now allow this as well.

    A truly dreadful service from Dragon Pass. Beware!

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