The Club Airport Lounges Introducing New Restrictions for Priority Pass Members

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INSIDER SECRET: If you’d like to get airport lounge access without paying a huge annual fee, consider the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. It comes with 10 Priority Pass lounge visits per year and only has a $95 annual fee (See rates & fees).

Airport lounge access is a game changer for those long layovers, delays or just getting away from the crowds to relax. Getting into a fancy lounge isn’t as hard you’d think — you don’t necessarily need to be flying first class or have top-tier elite status with an airline because you can simply open a credit card with airport lounge access.

The Priority Pass airport lounge network is one of the most extensive and popular memberships and it comes as a benefit with cards like these:

The information for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite, and the Citi Prestige credit 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.

Airport Lounge Restrictions at The Club Locations

Because it’s so easy to get a Priority Pass membership, some lounges have suffered from overcrowding during peak travel times. To combat this, select locations have implemented restrictions limiting when your Priority Pass membership will get you access.

Over the weekend Doctor of Credit reported that starting on September 1, 2019, The Club lounge locations will be restricting Priority Pass members’ access to three hours before your scheduled flight departure, which means you also won’t be able to visit The Club lounges on arrival. This change will impact The Club locations at these airports:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Charleston
  • Cincinnati
  • Dallas
  • Jacksonville
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Seattle
  • San Jose, California

The only US The Club location which doesn’t have the new restrictions added to its terms on the Priority Pass website is the Pittsburgh lounge. Maybe the Pittsburgh location isn’t as busy or it’s possible that the new restrictions will apply, but the terms on the Priority Pass website just haven’t been updated.

Also, both international The Club lounges (London Heathrow and London Gatwick) already have a strict three-hour maximum stay, which is a bit more harsh although I’m not sure how it is enforced.

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Ryan James
1 year ago

We were in Newark Airport in July. There was a sign outside that said “No Priority Pass Holders due to space restrictions.” We walked in and was again told of the restriction before we had a chance to say anything.

We pulled out our Diners Club card which has lounge access. We were admitted immediately, but no apology for the rude reception.

Sadly, this credit card is no longer accepting members.

1 year ago

My son was denied access to the Seattle lounge (before an outgoing flight) because they said it’s not available to PP members from 1-5pm. I’m arriving into Seattle on Sept 4 (after the Sept 1 change) and was hoping to visit the lounge when I arrived so this article bums me out, but I’m going to try anyway. First my son’s experience for mid-day restrictions, and now the arrival restriction. Ugh!

1 year ago

I have found that several times I’ve been denied access for “crowding” reasons. On one occasion I was treated like a nuisance because I had a priority pass. While I completely understand the airlines perspective I think folks should understand that going in and certainly don’t get a credit card thinking they’ll always have access to a lounge. Just recently I saw a sign that said lounge was closed to priority members but I took a chance and took the elevator up to the lounge anyway. I was admitted in. I found that the lounge had very few people in it. I just think the airline workers don’t like priority pass holders.

Andrew Wan
Reply to  Larissa
1 year ago

That certainly might be the case. And while it’s not always possible, I’m thinking this is why it’s good to have a “backup” lounge just in case. For instance, getting access to a priority pass AND Amex Centurion lounge or something, just in case you get denied entry to one of them.

Ryan James
Reply to  Andrew Wan
1 year ago

This may only work in certain situations. Not all lounges are located in the same terminal or near convenient gates.

Andrew Wan
Reply to  Ryan James
1 year ago

You’re absolutely right 🙂

1 year ago

It is precisely when irrops force you into a long layover that you really need a lounge. Recently I arrived at an airport for a flight that was then delayed to 12:40 a.m. I was told at 7:30 p.m. that I could not get into the lounge until 9:40. Never mind that the bar would close at 9:30, the lounge at 10, and it was clear from looking inside that the place wasn’t crowded. Rules are rules.

The AMEX Platinum card is rapidly losing its appeal. First it was the AMEX Centurion lounges limiting it to three hours before a flight, then elimination of the Priority Pass restaurants, then this.