Priority Pass Raising Lounge Per Visit Fee Effective October 1 For Some US Cards

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Priority Pass is a card that gets you into lounges around the world. You don’t have to belong to an individual lounge program, this program works to have lounges in most of the places you go.

There are over 1000 airport lounges that a Priority Pass will gain you access to, most of those are spread throughout airports around the world. Around 60 options exist in the U.S. and that increasingly includes airport restaurants.

When you have a Priority Pass card it may come with visits for you as the cardholder, and it may come with complimentary visits for guests.

However some cards,

  • Require you to pay per visit
  • Require you to pay for guests
  • Or require you to pay for your third or additional guest

If you’re buying your Priority Pass card directly, rather than getting it from a bank, you probably pay for each of your guests now and may even pay for all or some of your own visits.

Whenever you pay for a guest’s entry into a lounge with a card you got from Priority Pass directly or that came with you American Express card that cost is going to go up from $27 to $32 effective October 1 for at least some US-issued cards.

On the 1st October 2018 we will be increasing the fee for chargeable lounge visits to US$32 per visit per person. Any complimentary visits included as a part of your membership will not be affected by this fee increase.

It has been over 10 years since we have increased our visit fees and during this time we have done all we can to absorb the rising costs of providing airport lounge access to our Members. We have unfortunately reached the point where we need to make an adjustment to our prices to maintain the quality offering of Priority Pass.

The Platinum Card by American Express gives you a Priority Pass card that has unlimited free visits for the cardholder and up to 2 free guests each time. For that card the only time this matters is if you bring 3 or more guests into a lounge with your Priority Pass card.

That’s exactly the same for Priority Pass lounge access from the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card or the Starwood American Express Luxury Card.

I reached out to Priority Pass and they explained that the fee is going up for the cards they manage, including cards that come with American Express cards. Chase’s program works differently. I called Chase and was told they still show paid guests costing $27.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m sorry, but increasing the cost of extra guests by even a small amount SHOULD be accompanied by improvements in access especially at the big hubs e.g. DFW, SEA, SFO, etc etc. Alaska Lounge access should improve also. Can’t tell the number of times I’ve seen the overcrowding sign out…..

  2. Something needs to be done about PP. There’s been a waitlist the last 5 times i’ve tried to access one.

  3. @Sean “Something needs to be done about PP. There’s been a waitlist the last 5 times i’ve tried to access one.”

    It’s simple. When everyone is priority, nobody is.

  4. I’ve never been able to get into a lounge with my PP. Either the lounge is closed to PP holders after 4 p.m. (IAD) or it’s too full of people who have priority over PP. Last time I tried and left my name, I was called two hours later as my plane was taking off. In short, I think the card is worthless.

  5. “Either the lounge is closed to PP holders after 4 p.m. (IAD) or it’s too full of people who have priority over PP.”

    PP is really pretty worthless, unless you happen to fly out of one of the few places that actually aren’t overcrowded. The Turkish Airlines lounge at IAD occasionally lets a few lucky Priority Pass holders in, but only at off hours. That’s the case with many of the lounges that Priority Pass touts as “participating.” They “participate between 9:30 am and 10:30 am on Tuesdays.

    A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. But now, nearly anybody with a job and under 5/24 can get a “premium” credit card that comes with Priority Pass. So everyone’s Priority.

    And as Adam points out, nobody is.

  6. I have used my PP to access the Turkish lounge at IAD three times. Once I was turned away and told to return in 45 minutes as they were not admitting PP until 18:45 due to the high volume of partner flights. The other two times I was admitted immediately, once at 16:30 and once at 17:00.

  7. No more worrying about getting into Alaska airline lounges with PP
    the partnership ended or is ending soon

  8. All the comments seem to focus on domestic U.S. lounges. It’s true that PP is not a wonderful asset in this country. However, outside the U.S. I’ve never had a problem getting into a PP lounge and I’ve been to dozens. Some are fantastic, some are of little merit. But they’re why I make sure I always have one premium card open with PP privileges.

  9. I’d say PP serves as a good complimentary lounge access membership to alliance status access. PP is usually the best option when you’re flying low-cost and/or from airports that aren’t home to your airline alliance.

  10. It really depends on the airport. At IAD its only good, I think, for AF and VA in the morning (A gates, but that includes a lot of United regional departures). TK is often way too crowded. Other places, like BOS, The Club is about the best lounge in the airport. I find it is really best internationally.

  11. I haven’t had an issue with Priority Pass, And I’ve used it everywhere from Saint Lucia to Chiang Rai. However, I rarely fly domestically. You can’t have high expectations for a card which is handed out like candy over here.

  12. @Flip – they have made many improvements over the last few years. That price increase is small next to the access improvements they’ve added.

    What I wonder is – does the restaurant benefit go from $27 to $32 also?

    There is a change I’d like to see to the way PP works. I really don’t like being kicked out of a lounge after certain hours. PP should refuse to work with lounges that do that. I’d rather not have access at all than hear an announcement, “All PP guest must exit the lounge in 5 minutes.”

    Allowing entrance only during certain hours is one thing. I don’t care for it, still feel like a second class guest, but I understand it. But actually getting kicked out? Completely unacceptable. I will not visit a lounge again once I learn that they engage in that practice. If PP didn’t allow that, some lounges would drop PP, others would conform. Net result: I personally would be ahead of the game and PP guests would be just a little more respected and appreciated by the lounges.

    There’s always room for improvement but, overall, Priority Pass is doing a great job.

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