8 benefits of Priority Pass lounge access
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Priority Pass Is the most useful lounge membership available. It grants you access to more than 1,300 locations worldwide – so no matter where you’re trotting, there’s bound to be a lounge nearby.
You’ll receive free alcohol, free snacks, and sometimes even hot meals. Even better, you can get a complimentary Priority Pass lounge membership. Just open one of the following cards, and enroll:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
These memberships cost $429 normally so that’s one heck of a deal. You can check out our post on the best credit cards with lounge access for more details.
Let’s take a look at Priority Pass benefits – including a few that are less publicized.
Access to 90+ domestic lounges
There are currently 41 U.S. airports offering Priority Pass lounges. In all honesty, that’s a pretty modest quantity compared to the number of domestic airports. Many airports have two or three Priority Pass lounges to choose from.
If you’re traveling through any airport of notable size, the odds that you can utilize your Priority Pass membership are decent. However, many airports only have participating lounges in their international terminal, meaning they’re a bit of a pain to reach if you’re traveling domestically. If your connection is short, you won’t even bother.
Expect the number of locations in the U.S. to steadily grow. Priority Pass is surprisingly aggressive in expanding its network of lounges, having added 100+ locations globally in the past couple of years.
Access to 1,200+ international lounges
There are over 1,200 international Priority Pass lounges – meaning those who will really get their money’s worth from this membership are international travelers.
The lounges you can use abroad are almost always nicer than those you’ll find stateside, especially in countries like the UAE, Singapore, France, etc.
Access to 50+ restaurants
One of my favorite parts about Priority Pass is the ability to show your card at certain restaurants and get huge discounts.
There aren’t an overwhelming number of locations you can use this perk. There are currently 29 restaurants, bars, or food stops of some kind in U.S. airports where you can leverage your Priority Pass membership for free food — usually up to $28 per person. However, if your membership also comes with guest privileges, each guest you bring along will also get $28 off their food. In other words, if you and a partner visit a restaurant, you could easily save $56 in total.
Below is the current list of U.S. locations you can use the Priority Pass restaurant benefit to get a discount:
- Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill
- Bar Symon at Cleveland Airport
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
- Kafe Kalik
- Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
- Landry’s Seafood
- The Fan Zone
- Kentucky Ale Taproom
- Rock & Brews
- Point The Way Cafe
- Corona Beach House
- PGA MSP Lounge
New York (JFK)
- Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
- Capers Cafe Le Bar
- Westward Whiskey (distillery)
- Capers Market
San Francisco (SFO)
- San Francisco Giants Clubhouse
- Yankee Pier
- Trail Head BBQ Bar
St. Louis (STL)
- The Pasta House
- The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer
- Johnny Rockets at Syracuse Airport
- The Cafe by Mise en Place
- Barrio Brewery Co.
Washington, D.C. (DCA)
- American Tap Room
- Bracket Room
Washington, D.C. (Dulles)
- Chef Geoff’s
There are other locations not added because they appear temporarily unavailable on the Priority Pass site. I don’t know if that’s a coronavirus-related issue, or if they’re gone for good.
There were also 20+ restaurants internationally with which you could previously use Priority Pass to score a significant discount. However, none of these countries currently accept U.S. travelers except for Lima, Peru (mandatory 14-day quarantine) with two locations, and Sao Paulo, Brazil (negative PCR test requirement), with two locations.
Massive exception alert: Priority Pass memberships associated with an American Express do not receive a discount at restaurants. Your membership will need to come from a card like:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (four free entries per year for you and one guest)
- Citi Prestige® Card
The information for the Citi Prestige and U.S. Bank Alititude Reserve has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You can read our post about Priority Pass airport lounge restaurants for more details about this perk.
Minute Suite access
Minute Suites are simply a brand of lounge Priority Pass partners with. They’re worth noting, however, because they offer complete privacy. The suites are about 8×8, with a small desk and a comfy couch that’s large enough to serve as a bed if you need a bit of sleep.
With Priority Pass, you can stay one hour for free. If you stay longer, you’ll have to pay a flat rate ($28 hourly right now), charged in increments of 15 minutes. If you’re staying overnight (eight hours or more), you can often score a discount.
The lounges also have a shower, but you’ll need to pay to use it.
Minute Suites are pretty popular, but you can make a reservation long into the future.
Access to Sleep pods when flying internationally
This is pretty niche, but it’s cool if you’re in the Dubai airport.
Dubai has these things called Sleep ‘n Fly pods. There are three locations, with wide-ranging hard products. One location offers a tiny room with a bed, another looks like a lie-flat business class seat aboard Emirates, and another looks like some kind of sci-fi pod reminiscent of a personal cryogenic chamber.
You can receive up to two hours in a sleep pod, depending on which location you visit. You can even receive access to showers for free.
Spa access when flying through London (Club Aspire Lounge access)
Unique to London Heathrow Airport are a pair of Club Aspire Lounges. These are notable because they admit you into Bliss Spa for free. Yes, you’ll have to pay for any massages or various other treatments, but you wouldn’t have been able to access the spa at all unless you paid $50+ to enter the Club Aspire Lounge in the first place.
If you aren’t interested in the spa, the lounge also has sleeping pods Priority Pass members can use for free. Just note you’ll need to reserve them once you arrive.
Hotel and rental car status and discounts
- Free upgrades, when available
- Up to 50% more Avis points per qualifying dollar you spend
- Avis Preferred Plus number for reservations and customer service support
Plus, when you use this page to book, you’ll get up to a 20% discount on standard international rates.
I do want to note that it’s possible these discounts are only valid if you actually pay for a Priority Pass membership instead of getting it from a card – though that’s unconfirmed. At any rate, Avis benefits like these are nowhere near worth purchasing a Priority Pass membership. Better to just acquire membership through a credit card.
Digital membership card
A Priority Pass membership means you get a digital card that appears inside the Priority Pass app. It will have your name, your membership number, and even a QR code that you can simply scan at check-in, so you don’t have to bring around your actual physical card that they’ll send you in the mail.
While this is a nice perk, not all lounges will accept this digital card for some reason. You may find that you’ll need your proper card to get into a lounge. Fortunately, each lounge makes it very easy to find out if digital cards are accepted.
Just look at the “Facilities” area near the bottom of each lounge’s page on the Priority Pass website, and it will tell you if digital cards are accepted.
Yes, the Priority Pass lounge benefit is fantastic for free alcohol, free food, tranquility from a noisy airport terminal, free Wi-Fi, and plenty of electrical outlets. But it’s also good for other things, like rental car elite status, spa access, huge discounts at airport restaurants, and more.
Let us know your favorite Priority Pass benefit!
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