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Priority Pass 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 beyond that.
Priority Pass is getting creative with the “lounges” they’re adding
I have to commend Priority Pass for how creative they’ve been getting in terms of adding locations for members, especially at airports where they have a hard time adding partner lounges. 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.
They’ve even added a restaurant at London Gatwick Airport to their network, where Priority Pass members get 15GBP of free food and drinks.
In the past few months Priority Pass has also added free rooms for one hour at Minute Suites locations in Dallas and Philadelphia.
I appreciate their creativity, and that they’re giving members more options outside of traditional airline lounges.
Priority Pass finally has options at Sydney Airport
Up until now, Sydney Airport hasn’t had any Priority Pass lounges, which seems a bit odd, given how big the airport is. It’s one of the biggest airports in the world not to have a Priority Pass lounge.
While they still don’t have an actual lounge, Priority Pass has just added seven restaurants at Sydney Airport to their network. Priority Pass members now get 36AUD (~27USD) of credit per person to spend at seven restaurants at the airport. If you have a membership with guesting privileges, your guests can each enjoy 36AUD of spend as well.
The seven restaurants are spread across three terminals, as follows:
- Benny Burger
- Peroni Bar
- Bistro 2020 & Bar
- Bar Roma
- Wok on Air
While many will prefer a lounge, I consider this to be an awesome development. For example, if you’re traveling with two other people and have a Priority Pass membership with guesting privileges, you could potentially spend 324AUD at Terminal 1 alone (108AUD at each of the three restaurants). I’m not saying you’d necessarily want to do that (that sounds like a lot of food and drinks), but it’s a nice option to have. Based on the terms each of these should be viewed as a separate “visit,” so there’s no reason you can’t visit all the restaurants in your departure terminal.
In case anyone is curious about the business model here, Priority Pass reimburses lounges for each individual visit, and I believe it’s typically somewhere in the range of 20-25USD per person per visit. What’s happening here is that Priority Pass is basically paying the restaurant what they’d otherwise be paying a lounge.
Cards that offer a Priority Pass membership
Several premium credit cards issued in the US offer a free Priority Pass membership, along with guesting privileges, as follows:
|Card||# Of Guests Who Get Free Access||Authorized User Access||Cost To Add Authorized User|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||2||Yes||$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That|
|The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN||2||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|
Also keep in mind that there’s an Amex Centurion Lounge at Sydney Airport, which you have access to if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. While the lounge isn’t quite as nice as some of the US Centurion Lounge locations (in my opinion), it’s still a nice enough lounge.
Do any Priority Pass members plan on checking out one of these Sydney Airport restaurants?
(Tip of the hat to Points from the Pacific)