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I’ve written extensively about Priority Pass, which is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,000 participating lounges around the world. Some of these are airline lounges, some are contract lounges, and lately they’re even expanding a bit beyond that.
For example, last year the executive lounge at the Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5 was added to the Priority Pass network. This means you could use the hotel’s club lounge during a long layover. Or in my case, I even used it when staying at the hotel, as they didn’t actually verify that I was flying the same day.
Well, it seems like the creative expansion on the part of Priority Pass has been extended even further.
Grain Store Cafe & Bar, a restaurant at London Gatwick’s South Terminal, has been added to the Priority Pass network. The restaurant is located airside after security, and is open daily from 4AM until 9PM.
Those who present their Priority Pass card will receive a 15GBP credit. The best part is that the credit is per person. So if you have a Priority Pass membership that allows guesting privileges and are traveling with others, you can take advantage of this for multiple people. A party of four can essentially get a 60GBP allowance towards food and drinks. You can find the lunch & dinner menu for the restaurant here.
Obviously you’re responsible for any overages, and there’s no cash value if you don’t use the entire credit.
This is a creative new way for Priority Pass to partner with airport vendors, in my opinion. If I understand the Priority Pass business model correctly:
- Priority Pass pays lounges an undisclosed amount for each visit
- Generally the credit card companies pay Priority Pass a fixed amount for each membership they issue, meaning the “risk” lies with Priority Pass; they lose money on some customers (those who use lounges a lot), but make money on most customers
- I suspect Priority Pass compensates lounges somewhere around 15GBP per visit per person, so in this case the restaurant is basically giving you an allowance for the entire fee, and viewing this as an opportunity to get more guests and hopefully have you spend beyond that amount
This is awesome, and I’d love to see this idea extended to more vendors at more airports. I’ve never flown out of Gatwick Airport so I doubt I’ll get much use out of this, though hopefully others will.
As a reminder, here’s a table with some of the major credit cards offering Priority Pass memberships, as well as their respective guesting rules:
|Card||# Of Guests Who Get Free Access||Authorized User Access||Cost To Add Authorized User|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||0||Yes||$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN||0||Yes||$300 Per Person|
|Citi Prestige® Card||2 Guests Or Immediate Family Members||Yes||$50 Per Person|
|The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card||Unlimited Guests||Yes||$0|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card||Unlimited Guests||Yes||$75 Per Person|
What do you make of Priority Pass adding an airport restaurant to their network?
(Tip of the hat to Head for Points)