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For those of you not familiar, Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges. Priority Pass doesn’t operate any lounges themselves, but rather gives you easy access to 900+ airline lounges around the world.
While you can buy a membership to Priority Pass directly, the much better way to get Priority Pass lounge access is through one of the credit cards that offers it. For example, the following cards offer a Priority Pass membership, and represent a better deal than buying a membership outright, in my opinion:
- The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a Priority Pass membership, and you can take two guests or immediate family members for free
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN also come with a Priority Pass membership, and you can take two guests for free
The quality of Priority Pass lounges certainly varies greatly, though in general I’d say they’re among the less nice lounges out there. After all, if they’ll let in anyone with a card for some small amount per visit, chances are it’s not one of the world’s best lounges.
Nonetheless there are some nice ones and also some not so nice ones.
The Almost@Home Lounge Helsinki Airport is an example of an actually nice Priority Pass lounge…
The Changsha Airport VIP Lounge, on the other hand, not so much…
Anyway, Priority Pass has recently added a unique lounge to the mix, one that isn’t (technically) an airport lounge at all.
The Sofitel is generally regarded as the best hotel at Heathrow Airport, so this allows you to use the lounge without staying at the hotel.
Priority Pass members can use the lounge between the hours of 7AM and 9:30PM, and are limited to a stay of five hours. Priority Pass members can also use the shower facilities and spa. To gain access, you’ll have to go to the guest relations desk in the main reception area of the hotel.
What I’m not sure of is if you can use the lounge even without a same day arriving or departing boarding pass. If you don’t need one, then in theory you could use the lounge even if staying at the hotel, or just if you lived in the area (I can’t imagine it’s worth the effort, but just saying…).
I can potentially see value in using this lounge in conjunction with a flight. A few months back I was waiting for someone at Heathrow who was landing after me, so I sat in the arrivals area connected to wifi and working. It would have been so much nicer to work from a hotel club lounge.
As you’d expect, you’d get full access to their breakfast and evening buffet.
This is the first time I’ve seen a hotel lounge be included as a Priority Pass lounge. Long term it would be really cool if some more hotel lounges were included with Priority Pass, even if it’s not the core benefit of an airport lounge membership. Sofitel Heathrow lounge access could prove very useful if you want a shower before heading into the city (and don’t have access to an arrivals lounge), or if you’re waiting for someone else to land.
Could you see yourself using the Sofitel Heathrow Airport Lounge through your Priority Pass membership?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)