2 Great New U.S. Airport Lounge Options For Priority Pass Members

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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.

Priority-Pass

Many of you reading this should have access to Priority Pass lounges, given the credit cards that offer a Priority Pass membership. These include the following:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN2Yes$300 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Card2 Guests Or Immediate Family MembersYes$50 Per Person
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit CardUnlimited GuestsYes$0
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ CardUnlimited GuestsYes$75 Per Person

Priority Pass is constantly adding more lounges, and in the past couple of weeks they’ve added access to two more lounges in the U.S., which I think some will get quite a bit of value out of:

Minutes Suites DFW joins Priority Pass

In early March I wrote about how Priority Pass now gets you a private room for an hour at the Minute Suites Philadelphia Airport. Well, the other U.S. Minute Suites locations are in Dallas, and they’ve now also joined Priority Pass.

Priority Pass members now receive access to the Minute Suites in both Terminal A and Terminal D at DFW Airport. Priority Pass members receive one hour of free access, and then can pay an additional $28 per hour for access, which is a discounted rate.

Minute-Suites-DFW

For those of you not familiar with Minute Suites, it’s basically a concept that gives you a private room in an airport. The room has a desk, TV, and a couch of sorts on which you can sleep. Andrew B shared his experience with the Minute Suites at DFW Airport recently, and it looked pretty underwhelming. It didn’t look comfortable enough to actually sleep, there’s not a private bathroom, etc.

Minute-Suites-Review-006

I’m also not sure how useful an hour is in one of these rooms if you are trying to get some sleep. If nothing else, I think it’s nice to have a private place to escape to, given what busy places airports are.

As a point of comparison, here’s the normal Minute Suites pricing:

Minute-Suites-Pricing

The Terminal D location is right near the Amex Centurion Lounge, so you can potentially visit both during a layover.

Air Canada Lounge EWR joins Priority Pass

Priority Pass members traveling through Newark now have a second lounge option, as reported by Rapid Travel ChaiThe Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Newark Terminal A is now part of the Priority Pass network. This lounge just opened late last year.

Air-Canada-Lounge-Newark

The lounge is open daily from 4:30AM until 3PM, and is located airside in Terminal A. This is the terminal used by Air Canada, Alaska, American, JetBlue, Southwest, United Express, and Virgin America. So while this will be of limited use to United flyers (given that the terminals at Newark aren’t connected airside), this is great for those flying other airlines.

Do note that even within Terminal A there are three separate concourses, so you may have to clear security to use the lounge, and then again to get to your gate.

Maple-Leaf-Lounge-Newark

I’ve reviewed the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at LAX before (which is also part of Priority Pass), and it’s solid. This is a nice new option to have at Newark.

Bottom line

It’s fantastic to see more useful lounges added to Priority Pass, given how many people have access to this network of lounges. I’m especially impressed by how creative they’ve been getting, by not just adding traditional airport lounges, but hotel club lounges, restaurants, and even hourly rooms.

The Minutes Suites DFW are great for people looking to get some rest during a layover, while the Air Canada Lounge EWR is great for people flying a variety of airlines out of Newark.

Will you get value out of either of these Priority Pass lounge additions?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Priority Pass is a scam!

    I have been turned away several times with the last time being last week at IAH. The KLM/Priority Pass lounge had a large sign outside advertising their affiliation; however, I was told, after waiting in line, that “no Priority Pass now, too full,” as other non-Priority Pass customers were let in before and after me.

    It was embarrassing to be rejected.. not to mention I then did not have time to go to one of the other lounge options before my flight. Such BS!

  2. @Lucky,
    It appears denied access to Priority Pass airport lounges has become an increasingly widespread problem. i (and undoubtedly many of your readers) would appreciate if you could check with Priority Pass, Chase/Amex, and some of the airline partner lounges (e.g. KLM mentioned by AdamW above) to find out what their policies (and PP lounge visitor statistics, if they are willing to share them, which they probably aren’t) are regarding the increased frequency of PP members being turned away.

    Regarding Chase and Amex, I’d like to ask them if PP lounge access denials is a problem on their radar screen (or not), and if the growing chorus of reports regarding lounge turnaways impairs the value of Priority Pass membership offered by their premium (Sapphire Reserve and Platinum) cards.

  3. PP is a scam. Lucky gets paid to promote CCs that have PP privileges. He will continue to promote them.

  4. I don’t think Priority Pass is a scam, but rather a diverse network of over a thousand lounges owned by various operators and airlines, which enforce different (i.e. inconsistent) rules regarding hours and access. The proliferation of premium credit/charge cards like Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve (I’ve acquired both in the past 12 months) due to irresistible signup bonuses has caused PP membership to increase much faster than the number/capacity of the physical lounges. Hence the problem with overcrowding and access denials. It’s simple math (i.e. demand has grown much faster than supply).

    That said, premium CC holders have a right to enjoy/exercise benefits that were advertised, and any worsening of the lounge access problem will likely cause a backlash against either Priority Pass or the premium CC issuers.

  5. I’m glad they’re enforcing these PP customers more strictly. Having to deal with overcrowding when you’re on a paid ticket is very frustrating.

  6. The SFO Air France lounge is ALWAYS denying access – they may as well not be a PP member pretty useless when flying Alaska or Jetblue out of that terminal.

    Why market this as a feature and to take the credit card when PP doesn’t get you into many key lounges which matter.

  7. RC, if those rules are clearly stated and communicated in advance (for example, Air France’s well known blocking of PP members during their peak hours at JFK), I also congratulate the lounge for putting its premium paying passengers first. If we’re talking about random rules made up to compensate for poor planning, that is not acceptable at all. There’s a reason it’s called a “contract lounge.” Priority Pass has a contract with these lounges that is as binding as your premium cabin ticket. If you don’t like it, you have the option of flying a carrier that doesn’t have such agreements with PP.

  8. I don’t like traveling to a far off terminal just to access a lounge and being told, sorry not today. PP has become Standby Pass and all they respond with is ‘sorry…’.
    At DFW, getting into the lounge has become very difficult especially during the times they use ‘the closet’ as the agents call it. If PP just made arrangements with just one of the other lounges in that hall they could solve the problem but they have no desire to do so.
    I am no longer able to use lounges at the two airports I frequent due to recent restrictions.
    Those that paid for it should be asking for their money back.

  9. Priority Pass is invaluable when you are traveling in an international destination in economy or premium economy. The span of the longes across global destinations is unmatched. I’ve been a Priority Pass member for more than a decade. Until recently, it was targeted for international travelers and not domestic travelers in North America. The huge increase in premium cards in the USA caught even Jamie Dimon of Chase by surprise. It will take awhile for Priority Pass to catch up in the USA, if it chooses to, just as AMEX is gradually building out its Centurion Lounge network. I suspect plenty of the recent premium card owners will not renew at the time the annual fee is due and Priority Pass memberships and lounge availability will stabilize in equilibrium within three years. Perhaps sooner if the economy tanks.

  10. @Bob, I agree – the value for me for PP is definitely international – there simply aren’t enough in convenient locations in the US. The lounges are nicer and in almost every major Southeastern Asia airport, unlike the US. And I saw many signs in Asia promoting economy passenger same-day purchase of airline lounge access (not PP), with no crowding issues anywhere. And now that AmEx Platinum doesn’t charge for guests, I have two cards with the same access, but the CSR doesn’t offer Sky Cub or Centurion access, so that will be the easy one to let go at renewal time.

  11. The whole allure of Priority Pass to the lounges is to be able to fill their lounge during off-peak times, thus maximizing their investment. I would hope that an airline would be putting their own customers over Priority Pass members. If I have elite status with an airline or have a paid F ticket, I’d be beyond pissed off if the lounge was unavailable due to crowding.

    In many ways, PP really is a Standby Pass. Given what I pay for access with my CSR, I’m disappointed when lounges are full, but not terribly so about it. Now, if I had a PAID Priority Pass membership, I’d be most unhappy with this arrangement.

    @Rae: Amex Plat got the boot from me. Lounge access has been consistently getting worse from this card over the past few years. Now DL is just access when you’re flying DL and no more free guesting. Centurion lounges have become a victim of their own success.

  12. @AlexS

    The BA lounge at IAD is among the ones that get this right – as reflected on PP’s site, they admit PP cardholdser only until 2:00 p.m., after which their own flights start to run, thus avoiding overcrowding when BA’s elites and premium cabin pax need to use the lounge.

    Surely PP members know when similar spikes in demand will occur and can adjust their hours on the Priority Pass website.

  13. @ Rick —

    I agree. I think the issue is that many people who have received the benefit through their credit cards aren’t familiar with exactly what Priority Pass is and just assume it means access to all lounges in any airport. I’ve had friends complain that their CC Priority Pass card couldn’t get them into the Delta Sky Club, for example. I’ve found that the PP app does a good job at noting which lounges have time restrictions (for example, I frequently use the Korean Air lounge at Tom Bradley when I’m flying American and I knew beforehand there was a time restriction, but I’m sure the more casual flyer wouldn’t realize to look this up before trying to get in). I think there just needs to be a more proactive education process as more and more people are getting this benefit from their CCs.

  14. @AlexS, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. “In many ways, PP really is a Standby Pass.” Priority Pass is indeed a misnomer, they should rename themselves SLAP (Standby Lounge Access Pass).

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