What You Need to Know About Priority Pass Lounges

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Once upon a time, there was an exclusive area of the airport that only the most elite flyers could visit. These little sanctuaries were known as lounges. The rest of us common folk were forced to sit on hard chairs and sometimes even sleep on the airport floor. But then along came something called Priority Pass, and everything changed.

What is Priority Pass?

Priority Pass is the company that brings together a massive network of lounges — currently over 1,300 around the world. The majority of these are traditional airport lounges. But, Priority Pass also includes access to restaurants and experiences.

Unlike other lounge access options, you don't need to be flying a specific airline or cabin class to access these Priority Pass lounges. All you need is your Priority Pass membership.

There are three levels of paid Priority Pass memberships. The cheapest costs $99 per year and lets you access Priority Pass lounges at $32 per visit. The most expensive membership costs $429 per year for unlimited visits for yourself ($32 for guests).

Related Content: An Introductory Guide to Priority Pass Memberships

And then there's Priority Pass Select. This is a membership option that is available exclusively to members of certain financial institutions. Some of the most popular banks that offer Priority Pass Select are Chase and American Express. However, plenty of other domestic and international banks also offer Priority Pass Select as a perk.

Priority Pass lounge card

Priority Pass Lounge Access by Credit Card

Several U.S.-based credit cards offer some level of Priority Pass Select membership to cardholders. Here's a list that summarizes some of the top cards and their respective benefits, fees, and additional guest policies:

Credit CardComplimentary Cardholder AccessNumber of Free GuestsDigital Priority Pass CardCard Annual FeeAuthorized User Lounge AccessAuthorized User Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Unlimited lounge access2 guestsYes$550Yes$75
The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit CardUnlimited lounge access2 guestsYes$450Yes$0
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries (Enrollment Required)2 guestsYes$695 - Rates & FeesYes$175 total for first 3 AU's then $175 each - Rates & Fees
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries
(Enrollment Required)
2 guestsYes$595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) - Rates & FeesYes$300 - Rates & Fees
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardUnlimited lounge access
(Enrollment Required)
2 guestsYes$450No$0
Citi Prestige® CardUnlimited lounge access
(Enrollment Required)
2 guests or immediate familyYes$495Yes$50
Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit CardUnlimited lounge access for the primary cardholder and one additional member.$32 per guestYes$400Can gift access to one other person - doesn't have to be AU$95
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card10x free passes then $32 per person
(Enrollment Required)
$32 per guestYes$95NoN/A
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card4x free passes then $32 per visit1 guest free for first 4 visits, then $32 per visitNo$400No$0
Hilton Honors American Express Card10x free passes then $27 per visitMust use a 2nd pass for a guestYes$95No$0

Related Content: Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access

Benefits Included in Priority Pass Lounges

As mentioned above, Priority Pass includes in its network over 1,300 lounges throughout 600 cities around the world. Having Priority Pass Select means you can access most of these for free, receive significant discounts on dining, and more.

Priority Pass Airport Lounges

Airport lounge access is the highlight of Priority Pass for many. With just the (figurative) wave of your card, you can enter any lounge within the network and enjoy the unique amenities and services they offer. Some even have spa treatments included! Other benefits can include at many airports are:

  • Complimentary refreshments. Some lounges even include alcoholic beverages.
  • Private or semi-private workspaces
  • Free Wi-Fi and charging options at most lounges
  • Comfortable seating and quiet spaces
  • Rooms designed specifically for families in some lounges
  • Conference rooms, showers, and other facilities
  • Access to retail, dining even and sleeping options depending on the airports

map of Priority Pass locations

To check if an airport has a lounge and what your options are you can hop on the Priority Pass website or download the app. The app is particularly convenient as you can access your digital pass there, as well.

Priority Pass Restaurant Lounges

In addition to traditional airport lounges, Priority Pass also partners with several airport restaurants around the world. Priority Pass members can use their membership to receive a credit towards their meal. At most restaurant locations, you receive up to $28 off of your final bill.

You are generally limited to one additional guest per cardholder — meaning you can usually get up to $56 off the bill. But, check the terms and conditions carefully to see what the guest access policy is.

Note that American Express no longer includes restaurants and non-lounge experiences as part of its Priority Pass benefits.

City/AirportRestaurant Name + LocationSpecial Conditions
Boston, MA (BOS)Stephanie's - Terminal B
Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill - Terminal C
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Charlotte, NC (CLT)Minute Suites - Main Atrium• Complimentary 1 hour stay for the cardholder + 3 guests in same suite
Washington DC (DCA)Bracket Room - Terminal B
American Tap Room - Terminal C
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Limit 1 Guest at American Tap Room
Cleveland, OH (CLE)Bar Symon - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Houston, TX (IAH)Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar - Gate A17
Landry's Seafood - Gate C42
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest - 1 guest allowed
Washington Dulles, VA (IAD)Chef Geoff's - Gate C14• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest - 1 guest allowed
Indianapolis, IN (IND)The Fan Zone - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Los Angeles, CA (LAX)Rock & Brews - Terminal 1 - Gate 11B (Priority Pass credit suspended; this location is currently operating as a bar and is not offering credits for dining)• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Lexington, KY (LEX)Kentucky Ale Taproom - Concourse B (next to entrance)• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Only valid for domestic flights
Miami, FL (MIA)Corona Beach House - Concourse D• Receive US$30 off the bill per Guest
• 18% gratuity is automatically added to the final bill
• Free Wi-Fi is limited to 45 minutes
Miami, FL (MIA)Viena - Landside - Concourse E
Air margaritaville - Landside - Concourse E
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
New York, NY (JFK)Bobby Van's Steakhouse - Terminal Eight• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest. Limit 1 guest.
Portland, OR (PDX)Capers Cafe Le Bar - Concourse C
House Spirits Distillery - Concourse C
Capers Market - Concourse D
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Capers Market & Capers Cafe Le Bar Additional Conditions
• Excludes bottle sales & merchandise
San Francisco, CA (SFO)Giants Clubhouse - Terminal 3
Yankee Pier - Terminal 3
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Limit 1 Guest
St Louis, MO (STL)The Pasta House - Terminal One
The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer - Terminal Two
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Free Wi-Fi is limited to 20 minutes
Syracuse, NY (SYR)Johnny Rockets - Concourse B• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Tampa, FL (TPA) The Café by Mise en Place - Airside by Gate F85• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Tuscon, AZ (TUS)Noble Hops - Landside 2nd Floor• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Helsinki, FI (HEL)Fly Inn Restaurant - Terminal 2• Selection of Menu Items
London Gatwick, UK (LGW)Grain Store Café & Bar - South Terminal• Receive £15 off the bill per Guest
Sydney Kingsford Smith, AUS (SYD)Better Burger - Terminal 1
Mach2 - Terminal 1
Peroni Bar - Terminal 1
Bistro 2020 & Bar - Terminal 2
Movida - Terminal 2
Bar Roma - Terminal 3
Wok On Air - Terminal 3
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
Brisbane, AUS (BNE)Graze Grill & Bar - Domestic Terminal
Corretto Cafe & Bar - International Terminal
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
Gold Coast Coolangatta, AUS (OOL)Coffee & Co - Airside - after Security, near Gate 5.• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
Sao Paulo, BR (GRU)La Bonbonniere - Landside
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Airside - after Passport Control
• Receive US$27 off the bill per Guest.
Lima, Peru (LIM)La Bonbonniere - Airside
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Landside
• Receive US$27 off the bill per Guest.

Types of Priority Pass Lounges

Here are a few of our favorite Priority Pass lounge types:

  • Minute Suites — Provides a private room complete with a daybed sofa which can transform into a bed. It also offers office space to guests with Wi-Fi and charging stations.
  • Be Relax Over 40 locations worldwide. Be Relax offers spa services including massages and beauty services.
  • The Club — Located primarily in the United States and the U.K., The Club airport lounges offer complimentary snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, charging areas, newspapers and magazines, TV, and workstations in a quiet and comfortable environment. Some lounges even include shower facilities.
  • Airline-operated lounges — Many foreign (and some U.S.) airlines allow access to their own lounges with a Priority Pass membership. Examples include Virgin Atlantic, KLM/Air France, Lufthansa, Turkish, Alaska Airlines, and more.
  • Independent Lounges — Other independent, single-location lounges are also included. Amenities and benefits vary by location. A few examples include Gameway lounges located in DFW, IASS Hawaii lounge located in HNL, PGA Lounge at MSP, and many more.

Tips for Using Priority Pass

  • Enrollment is usually required to get your Priority Pass Select benefit from a credit card. So, make sure that you enroll well before you plan to use your membership as your Priority Pass Select card is generally sent via snail mail.
  • Each card has its own guest policy, so make sure to familiarize yourself with your card's policy.
  • Download the Priority Pass app and sign in for easy lounge access and to find which locations are available to you.
  • Some lounges have capacity limits and you may not be able to enter if it is full.

Final Thoughts

The hustle and bustle of airports is never going away. In fact, as travel becomes more and more accessible to the average person, airports will likely get busier and busier.

Having the ability to access lounges thanks to programs like Priority Pass can really enhance the travel experience. What's better than being able to relax and unwind before a big trip or after a long journey?

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Comments

  • Ritz carlton does not have a digital priority pass card.

  • Following up on Rosario’s comment below, I’d be great if we could have an update on how lounges are operating internationally with all COVID-related restrictions, in terms of capacity, booking requirements, food and beverages offered, etc. Can that information be obtained anywhere? I’ve recently read many experiences in Argentina about passengers being unable to enter Priority lounges for lack of capacity.

    • Thanks for the feedback Veronica. It hasn’t been easy to find reliable information about individual lounges. So far, I’ve had decent luck with lounge buddy in terms of what is open/closed, but I haven’t seen any resources that address capacity or what features are accessible in real-time.

  • I had a paying Priority Pass subscription but I have cancelled it for the following reasons:
    – less trips
    – some lounges are still closed
    – the majority of the lounges now have some limited services (especially very reduced food choice).

    • On the food front, I hope the lounges and visitors follow the science in the sense that I don’t believe we’ve seen many cases at all of surface/ food transmission of Covid. I totally get why food would be an initial safety concern. But, if transmission is overwhelmingly airborne, I hope the lougnes reflect that and regain some confidence around providing food in a thoughtful manner.

  • Aurelio Fernandez Darritchon says:

    Great info!

  • I had gotten the aspire hilton card and have yet to use this benefit. I am eager to finally try this out! But it does make me wonder if I still need the aspire card if I am not traveling right now.

  • It’s good to have such a great way for lounge access around the world, as it’s pretty convenient during domestic or international travels. As lounges are currently reopening, it’s intriguing to utilize these offers provided. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sorry, but I think the list of the restaurants you provided here is most likely outdated.

    Speaking of LAX
    – P.F. Chang’s in TBIT have left the PP back in 2019 (we visited it in October, and they were out by December),
    – Rock & Brews in T1 is closed as a restaurant right now (due to COVID)… they are open only as a bar, which is not a part of PP. I also asked them and they are not sure if they will re-join the PP network when they re-open.

    So, as of now LAX has no PP restaurants.

  • Great list of cards with associated fees that offer access. Hilton card for 95 a year with 10 passes is a great deal. Fairly easy to get 10 of value out of a PP lounge if your airport has one.

  • Priority Pass is still my favourite third party lounge access

  • So here’sa question. Which has more value? The Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ritz Carlton? Just looking at the chart above the Ritz seems more affordable if you have another authorized user. It’s $100 cheaper on the annual fee. But I know the CSR is more popular. I currently have the CSR now but wondering.

  • Accessing a lounge at the airport makes the difference in a trip of many hours or while waiting for a combination flight. Priority pass gives us that opportunity for a better travel experience

  • I didn’t realize that the Priority Pass was only $429 yr (non credit card). I thought it was closer to 6 bills. Once I start traveling more often I may opt for that over one of the high rate cc’s.

  • Unfortunately PP is becoming worthless – with the exception being restaurants if you’re lucky enough to have regular access to one of the few of them. Too many lounges deny entry because they’re too “full” with huge quotes. Don’t they get paid per entry? Why deny people?

  • James Katz says:

    Very helpful article. Having enjoyed the wonderful Icelandair Airport lounge in Reykjavik including showering during a lengthy layover, I’m hooked. This article will help me choose the best rewards card for lounge access when my air travelling resumes . As an occasional traveller, Hilton Honors pass looks intriguing. Thanks!

  • Are lounges more crowded because of the wide-spread availability of Priority Pass?

  • I love priority pass, have had it since I started my CSR and its great for world travel!

  • This can be a good benefit if you travel frequently and have a primary city with a participating restaurant.

  • Thank you for the information. I need to fly more!!!

  • They need to add more AS lounges.

  • I always fly to cities with no lounges or restaurants included in Priority Pass. Or they are in a different terminal.

  • Very useful information, thanks for gathering all this

  • This says the Ritz card is only two guests but over and over its been printed elsewhere its unlimited guests (as long as the lounge allows it)

  • I wish Priority Pass lounges were more widely available in the USA.

  • PenFed Credit Union’s Pathfinder Rewards Visa also comes with a free Priority Pass membership.

  • Great to see more and more lounges have reopened in the US.