Chase announced today that they’re introducing their own network of airport lounges, though little details are provided on forthcoming “Chase Sapphire Lounge® by The Club” products. To date Chase has relied on Priority Pass to offer lounge access to its premium Reserve cardmembers. They’re the third card issuer to build a network of lounges in U.S. airports.
Credit Card Sponsored Airport Lounges Began As A Defensive Move By Amex
American Express used to have Northwest Airlines lounges. Northwest got acquired by Delta, and they still partner with Delta’s airport lounges.
American Express used to have Continental Airlines lounges. They lost that access when Continental and United merged – Chase had credit card exclusivity to these lounges.
American Express used to have US Airways and American Airlines lounges. They lost that access when these two airlines merged, and when Citibank gained credit card exclusivity for accessing American’s lounges.
The credit card issuing giant didn’t take this all lying down. They built out their own network of Centurion lounges which features current U.S. locations in Charlotte, Dallas – Fort Worth, Denver, Houston Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK and LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle – all while still providing lounge access to Platinum and Centurion members through Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, Escape, Delta Air Lines, and Airspace lounges.
Now Capital One Is Launching Lounges
Capital One, newly aggressive in the premium travel card market, is launching its own network of lounges beginning with Dallas – Fort Worth and then Washington Dulles.
Credit: Capital One
What Will Chase Be Offering?
We know very little so far other than a promise of “a fresh approach to the lounge experience with locations to be announced in select markets over time.”
The first location will be in Boston in the Terminal B-C connector and span 12,000 square feet offering “showers, a family room, a business lounge and rest and wellness areas.”
It’s not clear who will have access, either complimentary or on a pay-in basis, although access might extend to Priority Pass as well as Chase-branded cardmembers.
Chase suggests they’re old hats at this, because “Chase Sapphire has activated lounges across the country at marquee events, serving as hubs for unique access at culinary, entertainment and cultural experiences.” And indeed other elements of Chase’s portfolio have run popup lounges for a long time – think the annual holiday lounge for United cardmembers at the mall in Short Hills, New Jersey.
I am not sure we can count on very much ‘fresh’ this is a collaboration with Airport Dimensions, a Collinson company which brings us Priority Pass and The Club airport lounges already. More likely it will be a familiar set of offerings, spruced up because Chase won’t want to underinvest reputationally compared to American Express or Capital One.