The Line to Get into a Priority Pass Lounge and Corruption at Detroit’s Airport

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • No longer as nice to book direct: Wyndham is reducing the value of its book direct member rate. They’ve shared that instead of a straight 10%, effective August 31 the discount will vary, “we anticipate the vast majority of our hotels will remain at the full 10% discount, through the remainder of the year.” (Emphasis mine.)

  • The CEO of Mileslife has a blog (I had no idea, though he’s a former miles and points blogger both in English and in Chinese) and he’s announced their entry into the Hong Kong market

  • Air France KLM named Air Canada President Ben Smith as its CEO. Seems like a really good pick. French unions say they are unhappy he isn’t French. They are actually unhappy because they do not perceive him to be weak.

  • Is the Detroit airport as corrupt as the Atlanta airport? And given the influence that Delta has at its hubs, why do they appear to stand idly by?

    A businessman who bankrolled former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco’s failed re-election campaign and who factored into the landmark racketeering case against ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged Monday in a multimillion dollar corruption case involving Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

    Angelo D’Alessandro, 54, of Shelby Township, is the fourth person charged in a widening criminal case involving the airport, bribes and corrupt contracts, and raises questions about whether D’Alessandro is cooperating with a separate corruption investigation targeting Marrocco and the public works office.

  • Dogs that are rejected by the TSA

  • Priority Pass lounge overcrowding: Via Ian B. here’s the Marhaba Lounge at the Dubai airport as seen from the entrance to the British Airways lounge.

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 have a very similar picture of the line waiting to get into the lounge in Lima. Fortunately, there are two restaurants that provide PP benefits. After waiting 10 mins to see if the line would clear up I gladly went to one of the restaurants, had drink and a great burger with just enough time to make my way to the gate. With all the overcrowding, I am starting to appreciate the restaurant benefits more than the lounge benefits of PP.

  2. The Club at SJC made me wait 2 hours before they let any Priority Pass members into the lounge. They make you put your name on a wait list and will call you when they decide to let you in. I got the call while I was on the jet bridge about to get into my seat. Priority Pass is a disaster with every single person out there having a Sapphire Reserve. I hope Chase raises the annual fee or limits the number if guests to 1.

  3. For those of us who remember, allegations of corruption at Detroit Metro Airport are nothing new. See, e.g, U.S. v. Kelley III, 461 F.3d 817 (6th Cir. 2006), regarding corruption in the awarding of airport contracts by the County Executive’s office during the construction of the McNamara (South) Terminal in the 1990’s.

  4. What’s driving the Dubai crowds? It can’t be primarily U.S. credit card holders like you might find in Lima (backpackers, etc) or in the U.S.

    Is ‘normal’ PP that popular in Europe / Middle East? Or is a mainstream credit card there offering it?

  5. I highly doubt that Priority Pass is the driver for crowding at that Marhaba Lounge. There are two other Priority Pass lounges with entrances literally less than 10 meters down the hall from there which are never as crowded as Marhaba is (and are nicer IMHO). The problem is that Marhaba Lounge access is offered with every two bit credit card in the UAE (independently – not via Priority Pass) and Marhaba also sells lounge access to the public for cheap.

    The Priority Pass holders who fly regularly out of Dubai know that the Ahlan Lounge and the Skyteam Lounge are better lounges and never go to Marhaba.

  6. The Ahlan First Class lounge in Dubai – used for F pax – is in Dragonpass (but not PPass) and is meant to be exceptionally good.

  7. Saw a similar mile-long line in Hong-Kong recently. Was grateful to stroll past that line and into the First Class section of Cathay Pacific lounge just a bit further down the concourse (awesome cabanas).

    It would appear that PP lounges are being loved to death just about everywhere in the world. It’s not just a Middle East/Europe/Americas problem.

  8. Gary, once again you feel the need to insult unions. Come on, man; leave your politics out of this. I know 2 or 3 AirFrance flight attendants, and they seem to be better people than your average corporate executive.

  9. Most of the lounges I have been in that allow priority pass and some Amex lounges are over crowded and in the case of priority pass also messy dumps with lame food options except for light snacks. I stopped going to United lounges for the same reason (even with free passes), they were clean but the food options were lacking. I am finding restaurants are the best options for space and food if not flying with a status that will get you into a business or first class lounge that doesn’t allow priority pass.

    The Express lounge in Reno was a surprising exception for my wife and I. While small, was clean, had some decent food options and space (bathroom outside). That is the only express lounge we have been to though.

    We mostly fly in the States, Canada and Mexico and tend not to drink in lounges.

  10. @The99%TravelsToo – i am not insulting unions, they are negative on the new ceo because an outside ceo is against their interest. that’s not a criticism.

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