Priority Pass, LoungeKey Members to Lose Access to Over 100 Plaza Premium Lounges

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Update: We've learned that 57 Plaza Premium lounges will be removed from the Priority Pass network as of July 1, 2021. Priority Pass lists all of the lounges on this page — along with alternative Priority Pass lounges in the same airport.

Affected countries include Canada (14 lounges lost), Malaysia (8), United Kingdom (5), Taiwan (4), China (4), Hong Kong (3), Brazil (3), Australia (2), Philippines (2), Saudi Arabia (2), Turkey (2), Cambodia (2), United Arab Emirates (1), Finland (1), Macau (1), Italy (1), Oman (1), and Singapore (1).

Priority Pass is set to lose a pretty big lounge partner in a few months. Plaza Premium — which operates 180 airport lounges across the globe — will end its partnership with Priority Pass and LoungeKey effective July 1, 2021.

That means travelers still have a few months left to access Plaza Premium lounges as part of the Priority Pass program. However, later this summer, these lounges will leave the Priority Pass program. Here's what that means for travelers — and how you can still get Plaza Premium lounge access.

The Plaza Premium Lounge Portfolio

If you've traveled outside of the United States to airports in Canada, the UK, or China, you likely came across one of Plaza Premium's 180+ lounges. Though Plaza Premium operates just a single lounge in the United States, it operates an extensive network of airport lounges in Canada, Europe, and Asia. For example, there are 7 Plaza Premium locations at Toronto-Pearson International Airport and 6 Plaza Premium locations at London-Heathrow Airport.

The quality of Plaza Premium lounges varies significantly depending on the location. For example, the Plaza Premium lounge in the domestic departures wing at Winnipeg International Airport pales in comparison to the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 2 at London-Heathrow.

Entry way and atrium of Plaza Premium Lounge at London-Heathrow Airport
Atrium of the Plaza Premium Lounge at London-Heathrow Airport (Image by Max Prosperi / AwardWallet)

Some lounges offer various basic amenities like free wine, beer, and light snacks. Others offer sit-down restaurant-style dining, shower suites, and craft drinks. That being said, like many Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium's network of lounges is very hit-or-miss.

I've found Plaza Premium lounges to be some of the best Priority Pass lounges. This is especially the case throughout Europe. Based on early reviews and descriptions of the new(-ish) Dallas-Fort Worth lounge, Plaza Premium's US lounge is quite impressive.

I've actually come to enjoy the Plaza Premium network of lounges considering I knew I could access these lounges free of charge when I presented my Priority Pass membership. Unfortunately, the days of accessing these lounges with your Priority Pass membership are limited.

The breakfast buffet at Plaza Premium's Terminal 2 location at London-Heathrow Airport
Priority Pass members will lose access to the Plaza Premium network of lounges––including the London-Heathrow T2 location––this summer. (Image by Max Prosperi / AwardWallet)

Plaza Premium Cutting Ties with Priority Pass

As of writing, you can still access the entire network of Plaza Premium lounges as a Priority Pass member. However, this will no longer be the case come July 1, 2021. That's the date on which Plaza Premium's agreement with Priority Pass and LoungeKey ends. Going forward, Priority Pass will no longer be accepted at the door.

It is not entirely clear why Plaza Premium is cutting ties with Priority Pass and LoungeKey. However, it is most likely the result of Plaza Premium wanting a larger cut from Priority Pass. Priority Pass pays a lounge an agreed-upon fixed rate each time one of its members visits that lounge. More likely than not, Plaza Premium wanted Priority Pass to negotiate a higher rate per visitor.

Whatever the reason may be for the two parties cutting ties, it's a significant loss for the Priority Pass program. Over 100 lounges will be dropped from the Priority Pass program impacting travelers at dozens of airports worldwide. Notable lounges include:

  • Plaza Premium Lounge Dallas-Fort Worth Terminal E
  • Plaza Premium Lounge Winnipeg
  • Plaza Premium Lounge Edmonton
  • Plaza Premium Lounge London-Heathrow Terminal 2
  • Plaza Premium Lounge Rome-Fiumicino
  • Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
  • Plaza Premium Lounge Sydney

If you're curious to see if this will impact your travels, Plaza Premium's website provides an entire list of their lounges. You can access that page via this link.

Get Plaza Premium Lounge Access Through American Express Global Lounge Collection

There is still another way to access Plaza Premium lounges without having to pay. Plaza Premium also has an agreement with American Express. One benefit offered by the The Platinum Card® from American Express is the Amex Global Lounge Collection.

In addition to Priority Pass membership, Amex Platinum cardholders also get access to:

  • Centurion Lounges
  • Escape Lounges
  • American Express International Lounges
  • Plaza Premium lounges
  • Air Space Lounges
  • Delta Sky Club access when flying on Delta flights

If you have Priority Pass access through another credit card, you might consider switching to the Amex Platinum. Check out this post to learn everything you need to know about the popular American Express credit card.

The Bottom Line

For Priority Pass members, the removal of Plaza Premium lounges is going to be a noticeable loss when traveling internationally. Some of the only lounges at select Canadian airports are operated by Plaza Premium. At London-Heathrow Airport, some of the best Priority Pass lounges are operated by Plaza Premium. So, this is a pretty significant loss for the Priority Pass program. Hopefully, an agreement can be reached between the two parties sometime between now and July 1st. Fingers crossed.

Have you ever visited a Plaza Premium Lounge? Do you still think the Priority Pass program is worth it?

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Comments

  • Not happy to hear about this as a CSR cardholder. Our travel, pre-pandemic, had already slowed a bit (with two kids over 2 vs. 1), so our UA status went from gold to silver, which meant losing access to *A lounges for international travel. Given YYZ is one of our frequent destinations (family there), without plaza premium anymore, we won’t have any more lounge access there, vs. two options before (Maple Leaf Lounge and Plaza Premium). We’ve also used these in airports in India a bit (although most have alternative options, too).

    I’m not sure if it would even be worth keeping the CSR anymore. We also used the Priority Pass lounge where we were in CVG, which was welcome, but we are now in SFO (no lounge unless flying from SJC). With both our kids beyond toddler ages, we also need to get a new card on the account for all 4 of us to have access. I’ve thought about switching to Amex Plat, but we barely use uber, so not sure we can get the value out of the AF there, and I already was concerned since the fee for a single additional card is more since it comes with up to 3, which we aren’t going to use. Also, I’ve almost lost track of the guest limits now that we aren’t traveling…so not even sure any of those fit our needs anymore.

    Think I need to completely re-think the travel card strategy. yikes!

    On the other hand, wonder if Plaza Premium is holding out for increased fees from Priority Pass, hoping they will give in and pay the higher fees, as they likely know Plaza Premium access is important to a good number of priority pass subscriptions. Kind of like the tv channels going offline from a cable provider for a few days, until they pay up for whatever the fee they want is. Hoping they will resolve amicably, so once travel starts again, we have access.

  • Hmm, what was not said in this article, I wonder if Plaza Premium is actually closing lounges and scaling back their business due to the covid-19 pandemic, as that could be a reason for cutting ties with Priority Pass.
    If so, then access through American Express won’t last either.

  • Very sad. The negative impact is gonna be huge!

  • Pretty sad to hear. There has been a steady decay of the conditions and service provided by Priority Pass, and their customer support has definitively worsened in the last few years. Hopefully as travel picks up they will start offering more benefits and opportunities.

  • I am SUPER disappointed in this change! It was one of the few perks offered to us Canadian travelers. Im very sad, I spend a lot of time in the ones in Toronto and Vancouver. Such sad news, I will have to shift things around. darn it. The strange thing is most of the time the lounges have been quite empty since Covid. I would think its good to have customers? now they will have fewer.

  • Bummer – after more than a year of no traveling due to COVID, I really need to re-assess the need for an expensive travel card (Chase Reserve). As the article implies, hope this is just a ploy on the part of Plaza Premium to get Chase’s attention.

  • Thanks for the info, I’ve really enjoyed Priority Pass through my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I’ll definitely have to re-check the updated list of PP eligible lounges the next time I plan a trip. Still, looking forward to finally traveling again once I get vaccinated!

    • With you on that. Wish Chase could re-negotiate at least some access to Priority Pass at least in Canada, this will be a really vital benefit. I need to find a way to submit this request to them.

  • Priority Pass was a great backup for places were AA didn’t have coverage, this might change some decisiones in people with both passes.

  • After one year of almost no utilisation of my Priority Pass (they extended the validity of only three months), now there are al lot of lounges not available anymore to Priority Pass customers.
    Definetely not a good news.

  • So after Covid19 Pandemic when the word feel save again to travel we might ditch our Priority Pass card. There is no use of it anymore .

  • It’s a hit for Priority Pass, but it might be one reason to consider sticking with AMEX Plat if the price of it goes up.

  • It’s getting harder to justify some of my premium cards with changes like this and already reduced travel. At this point I think I will scale back and look for a new batch with sign up bonuses when I resume travel.

  • SAAHIL VIJ says:

    A whole year of missed travel, and now when we finally get back to it there will be very little value of the priority pass 🙁

  • Rogelio fernandez says:

    Cada vez más acotado lamentablemente…

  • Priority Pass is losing a lot of value lately

  • Wow, this leaves quite a few airports without any Priority Pass lounges.

  • Scott Berry says:

    Thats a big bummer, i wonder if that has to do with COVID. I like the PP but unless its free I’m on the fence if its worth the $120 year fee.

  • This is disappointing to hear. I’ve been a long time CSR cardholder and have frequented Plaza lounges when traveling internationally across Asia. This may impact my decision to renew my separate CSR vs. consolidating with my significant other’s CSR as an authorized user…

  • I had always wondered why I was able to get 4 people in to the Plaza Premium lounges with a combination of my Amex Platinum and Priority Pass card, and this totally explains it (though now I guess I’ll be down to only two people). These are the only lounges that are in the transborder terminal at Pearson that you can get into with the Platinum card (the Maple Leaf Lounges aren’t included), so it’s kind of a shame to lose them as part of Priority Pass.

  • We love the lounges! It makes travel so much better! Hopefully they will stay open!

  • This devaluation is happening with every LoungeKe . But I hope that this situation improve after pandemic.

  • Gilberto Souza de Morais says:

    İt seems both Priority Pass and Lounge key programs are not worth the membership from July 1st.

  • Why is the Winnipeg International Airport Plaza lounge such a loss compared to other Canadian cities? My only flying this year during the pandemic was to Winnipeg, and the lounge wasn’t even open.

  • This is pretty unreal given the state of international travel. These programs risk death spirals of cutting benefits, forcing attrition…when they need the revenue most.

  • This is a significant devaluation for priority pass members

  • The Plaza Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 2 is a really nice lounge and certainly the best third party lounge I have ever visited and will be a sad loss to Priority Pass. Not as high standard as Terminal 2 but I really like the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 5 as well. Although it was never accessible with Priority Pass, the Amex Platinum partnership allowed me to gain entry.

  • This is a real shame and takes some value out of Priority Pass, and Amex Platinum. Seems many companies are happy to keep chipping away under the guise of Coronavirus.

  • Quite a shame priority pass is being devalued a bit. Hopefully they add more offerings!

  • Such a bummer. The one in LHW was my go-to for waiting in before checking in at my hotel since we always got in too early.

  • This is really disappointing for international travelers…

  • The impact of the LoungeKey loss is massive, wow.

  • Not a big deal now, but this will significantly lower the appeal of priority pass memberships I think once international travel finally rebounds post pandemic….very sad….but there will likely be more shakeups in the airport lounge biz before things get back to normal.

  • Loss for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, just another Monday for Platinum! (Tongue-in-cheek joke: I have the Amex Plat and the Sapphire Preferred)

  • Not surprising when paired with all the overcrowding pre ‘Rona. Oh well. Life goes on.

  • Jesica Dillon says:

    I hope the get to an agreement. During covid lockdowns was not able to enjoy the one in Fiumicino and the only one open in Heathrow, if remembering correctly , served its purpose but rather on a humble way. Fingers crossed it gets solved… heard some were realy good!

  • This is huge, New Delhi has the lounge I used with chase sapphire and now it will begone

  • This is a significant devaluation for priority pass members. Hopefully they will come up with a better or equal alternative.

    • Yes; as a CSR customer, I’m hoping to soon read about a resolution between Priority pass and Plaza Premium AND the CSR’s introduction of an alternative. Given the certainty that lounge overcrowding will resume as more people get vaccinated and international travel is restored to previous levels, CSR needs to always be on the lookout for ways to accommodate Priority Pass users.