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INSIDER SECRET: The Priority Pass Select membership that comes with certain premium credit cards is better than the most expensive Priority Pass membership you can buy because you’re often able to bring two guests along for free.
When you’re stuck with a long layover or delayed flight, airport lounge access can be invaluable. Airlines and airports have recognized this need and are continuing add new lounges all the time.
Recently, new lounges have opened or are opening in Charleston, London, New Orleans, Sacramento and in other cities this year. Let’s take a look at some of the lounges and which credit cards with airport lounge access can get you in.
New Airport Lounges Opening in 2019
Priority Pass is the most common airport lounge membership that comes as a credit card perk.
These are a few of the cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
With each of the cards listed above you get unlimited Priority Pass lounge visits for you and up to two guests. However, other cards have a limited number of visits per year, such as:
It’s important to note that any Priority Pass membership associated with an Amex card will no longer get you access to non-lounge benefits, like credits at Priority Pass partner restaurants. But if you have either of the Amex Platinum cards (personal or business), you’ll have access to the Amex Global Lounge collection, which includes all Delta SkyClub lounges, Centurion lounges, Escape lounges and Airspace lounges.
You can also get access to airline-specific lounges with cards like these:
- Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express — Delta SkyClub lounge access
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card — Delta SkyClub lounge access
- United Club℠ Card — United Club lounge access
- United Club℠ Business Card — United Club lounge access
- United℠ Explorer Business Card — Two one-time United Club passes per year
- United℠ Explorer Card — Two one-time United Club passes per year
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® — American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access
1. The Club at CHS
The Charleston International Airport now has its first Priority Pass lounge, The Club at CHS. The lounge is open to guests, although its 1,200-square-foot bar area is still under construction.
Your Priority Pass membership will get you access, although The Club at CHS wasn’t showing up on the Priority Pass app just recently. If you don’t have an airport lounge membership, you can pay $40 per person to visit.
2. Sacramento Adds Two Escape Lounges
Escape Lounges is a small network of airport lounges that don’t offer memberships and aren’t part of the Priority Pass network. There are two ways you can get access to an Escape Lounge:
- Pay $45 a person (you can save $5 by booking online)
- Get in for free with an eligible Amex card like the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
I’ve visited the Escape Lounges location at the Minneapolis airport and it’s nicer than most domestic airline lounges but a notch below the better international business- or first-class lounges. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s worth $45 a person to visit, so I only recommend it if you can get in for free with your Amex Platinum or Centurion card.
Sacramento International Airport recently added two new Escape Lounges, which is great because previously there were no Amex Global lounges at the airport.
3. Other Airport Lounges Opening in 2019
In addition to the airport lounges that have already opened this year, there are many more scheduled to open in 2019. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
London — Centurion Lounge
Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest airport retreats, but you can’t get in with a Priority Pass membership or just because you’re flying first class. You’ll need to have access to the Amex Global lounge collection, which you can get with The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express or Centurion cards.
New Orleans — United, Delta and Priority Pass
When the new terminal is finished at Louis Armstrong International Airport (delayed until fall 2019), it will include a United Club, Delta SkyClub and a Priority Pass lounge. These three lounges are joining
Istanbul — Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines already has a swanky lounge at the new Istanbul Airport and this fall it’ll be adding another. The new Turkish Airlines Exclusive Lounge will be open only to Turkish Airlines business-class travelers who are also top-tier Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Elite or Elite Plus members.
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