Table of Content
- Priority pass represents the network of airport lounges. They include restaurants and mini-suites. As the latest numbers suggest, there are more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, covering more than 140 countries.
- Some expensive credit cards with hefty fees offer their clients access to airport lounges as an additional benefit. Besides having a place to relax, beneficiaries can also get free food and drink.
- The actual terms of using lounges vary, depending on the location and the credit cards. For example, if you have an American Express Platinum credit card, you can bring two guests to the airport lounges.
- There is a possibility to get access to lounges without a credit card. This usually involves registration on the android or apple application and paying for the service.
How Does Priority Pass Work?
Priority pass is a network of airport lounges. They also include airport restaurants and mini-suites to make your time in the airport more relaxed and comfortable. It includes 1,300 locations all over the world in more than 148 countries. It also includes more than 600 airports.
Only some locations are eligible, so make sure you check the airport you are going to before you arrive to see if you have access to the lounges and restaurants. You also need to pre-enroll in the program so you can have all the benefits.
You can often bring guests and children, but you might need to pay extra for them or make reservations ahead of time. Keep in mind that some clubs are nicer than others so you might not get 5-star service in every airport.
What Are The Main Benefits?
The major benefit of priority passes is access to airport lounges.
If you have a Chase, Citi, or U.S Bank card then you also get access to more restaurants at the airport and get better service. American Express holders do not have access to this perk. There are about 30 airports across the United States that offer special restaurants for cardholders.
At airports in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, you can also get access to the mini-suites which include showers and sleeping pods for resting in between flights. With a priority pass, you get access to many different perks that are not available to other travelers. If you travel often, this can make your airport experiences more seamless.
How to Maximize Your Priority Pass Select Membership?
If you have a credit card that gives you access to the priority pass and other luxury perks, you are probably paying an annual fee sometimes upwards of more than $500.
Making back the annual fee should be your number one priority otherwise the annual fee is being wasted. One way you can make the fee back is by using your points for travel. You could your points to redeem free airline perks and get upgrades when traveling.
Obviously, you want to use the lounges when flying. Make sure you are getting to the airport early enough to make sure you have time to enjoy the lounge and get free drinks and food. You also want to make sure you are taking advantage of the lounges when abroad. Anytime you have a layover, check to see the airport has a lounge you can use.
Many of the airports also allow you to bring guests. If you are traveling with other people, make sure to take advantage of the free guests by bringing your loved ones with you. On long layovers, you can also take advantage of the free showers and toiletries to help you feel cleaner and better when traveling around.
Delta Sky Club Membership: What Do You Get With Priority Pass?
Delta Sky Club has 50 lounges all over the world though only two are international; There is one in London Heathrow and one in the Pudahuel airport in Chile. Not all-sky clubs are the same so you will definitely find better amenities in some places compared to others.
All clubs have flight assistance, free alcohol, fresh food, free WIFI, and TVs. Some of the fancier clubs will have full-service bars, business centers, showers, airport terraces, and free newspapers and magazines.
There are several ways you can gain access to Delta Sky Clubs. One-day passes are no longer issued, so you will need to buy a membership pass. You can also get access to all the clubs with one of the Delta SkyMiles cards. Some offer you free access while other cards will make you pay a small fee to enter the lounge.
You can also get access by getting Delta's elite status. Diamond Medallion members are the only ones who will get complimentary service, but the other members can still access it if they are traveling internationally with one of the airport partners. For one-time access, you have to fly Delta One or SkyTeam Premium Cabin.
United Club Membership: What Do You Get With Priority Pass?
The easiest way to get access to the United clubs is to have one of their credit cards. This allows you to get into the club for free, but it comes with a large annual fee. You can also get into the clubs by getting the entry-level United Explorer Card which gives you two entries into the clubs per year. This might be a better option if you don’t fly often.
You also need to have a same-day boarding pass. United also has special Polaris lounges that will offer better amenities such as modern furniture, private shower suites, and fresh and healthy food.
They don’t allow guests and you have to be in the United Polaris business class, or the Star Alliance first class. Only Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have Polaris lounges.
Other United clubs have locations all over the world including IAD, ORD, DEN, IAH, LAX, EWR, and SFO. Right now, there are no international lounges. If you only travel internationally, having access to United clubs will not benefit you except when you are leaving the country.
Use Priority Pass on American Express Airport Lounges
American Express Global lounges can be found all over the world in 130 countries with over 1,200 airport lounges. It includes the Centurion Lounge, the International American Express lounges, priority pass lounges, escape lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Plaza Premium Lounges, and Air Space lounges.
If you want maximum access to lounges all over the world and you spend a lot of time traveling internationally, this might be a could option to have.
If you have a platinum card membership, you get to bring two guests to most lounges. All amenities and services are free, but you need to have a same-day boarding pass and your Amex card with you.
In international airports, the terms and conditions may vary. American Express lounges can be found in Argentina, Australia, India, and Mexico. Escape lounges are found primarily in the United States.
Plaza Premium lounges can be found in 50 countries worldwide and give you access to the lounges no matter your airline or ticket class. Airspace lounges are only in the United States and are open to all platinum card members or higher.
If you have a lower-tier card, you might not have access or you might need to pay an additional fee for access to the lounges.
Amex Platinum, Gold or Blue Cash Preferred: Compare Lounge Access
The American Express® Gold Card does not have free access to the airport lounges. You will still be able to get in for a discount price though compared to one the airport lounges used to charge for a one-day pass.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express card gives you free access to most lounges around the world including the Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges, priority pass, and airspace lounges.
Similar to the gold card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card is not a travel card and does not give you access to airport lounges for free. You have to pay an additional fee if you want to hang out in the lounges while traveling.
If you are a frequent traveler and want access to the most lounges, you need to get the Business Platinum card.
How to Access American Airlines Admirals Lounges?
Like Delta and United, American Airlines also has access to admiral airline lounges. However, you have to be able to access the clubs based on some criteria that need to be met before you enter the airport. First and business classes always have access to the lounges if they are on an American Airlines flight or flying with a OneWorld partner airline.
You can also have AAdvantage status with certain cards like executive platinum, platinum pro, and platinum. Citi executive cards also get access if you are on a qualifying flight. You also get automatic access to the clubs if you are military personnel flying in uniform on an American airline flight.
If you do not meet these criteria, but you want to be able to fly, you can buy a one-day pass for $59. You need an eligible boarding pass. You might not be given access if the lounges are meeting capacity as the airline wants to give their credit card users and frequent flyers more priority.
Leverage Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass
The only card that offers free airport lounge access is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The cardholder has to be present, and you’re allowed to bring 2 guests.
You will have access to 1,300 airport lounges from all over the world. This includes over 600 airports around the world. This is one of the better options if you fly internationally and want to be able to get into lounges from all over the world.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives you priority pass access which we discussed earlier in the article. You will get all of those perks and rewards when it comes to airport lounges and other airport perks when traveling.
You can also use the priority pass restaurant features if you want. Make sure you check the airport or restaurants ahead of time to see if they have access to the priority pass, so you know before you travel.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve Priority Pass: Comparison
With Chase Sapphire, you get access to new airport lounges such as The Club ones in LGA, BOS, and HKG. These lounges include both domestic and international choices.
You only get access to The Club lounges which gives you many options, but fewer choices than you would get with the Priority pass that comes with Chase Reserve. All The Club lounges have fresh food and drinks as well as entertainment and wellness options.
Along with all The Club choices, Chase Reserve cardmembers have access to over 1,300 lounges in addition to the Chase Sapphire lounges.
With the priority pass, Chase Reserve cardmembers also have access to mini-suites and restaurants in lounges all over the world. If you love international travel or your job takes you across continents, the reserve card is probably worth more.
The Chase Sapphire has a smaller annual fee, so it could be a better option if you only travel sometimes and just want access to a few lounges when going abroad or staying within the United States. It also doesn’t give you access to the restaurants or the mini-suites.
Priority Pass Without a Credit Card?
You can get a priority pass on your phone through an app on your iPhone or Android. You will need to make an online account and pay for a membership and then make sure you have your membership number handy. You can then access the My Digital Card under the account screen. It will come with a QR code that can be scanned by app the lounges and airports in the world.
Even though you don’t have a credit card, you will still need to get a membership and make sure you have paid the fees online before you can have access to the lounges and other perks.
United Lounge SFO vs AmEx Lounge SFO
San Francisco International Airport has a United lounge and an AMEX lounge. You can check-in at the gate or you can check in on your mobile device, so you don’t have to wait in line. There is a full business center if you need to work and a full bar and dining area. There’s even a wine tasting section.
The United lounge has many of the same features including free drinks and bar service. They offer more light snacks than full meals like the AMEX club. They also have free WIFI, private phone, and a customer service desk to make it easier for you to make flight changes.