For those of us who use elite credit cards to access airport lounges, here’s some good news: The return on investment continues to rise in 2018.
On the heels of American Express announcing plans for its largest Centurion Lounge to date at New York’s JFK International Airport, plans have emerged for an almost equally large lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN).
Meanwhile, the Priority Pass Lounge Network continues to expand with 53 new lounges, restaurants, and bars accessible to cardholders. Here’s the scoop on both.
American Express will likely debut a Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport
Though American Express has yet to formally release any information, plans have emerged for a new Centurion Lounge at DEN. According to official documents filed online, the Denver City Council is working on approving a lease for a 14,650-square-foot lounge in Concourse C.
The plans submitted to the Denver City Council detail high-end amenities aplenty. These include: a spa, wine and beer-tasting areas, and a tranquility area for sleeping. But since American Express is keeping hush-hush on the news, we still don’t have a proposed opening date or a timeline for its development as of yet. Stay tuned!
How will I be able to gain complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge in Denver?
The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for Platinum Card and Centurion Card members as well as for two travel companions (additional guests will cost $50/each entry).
Though American Express previously allowed entrance to Gold and Green Card members for a $50 fee, entrance is now exclusive to Platinum Card and Centurion Card members. Note that the lounge does not place restrictions on which airline—or class—you fly. So economy-class passengers are welcome!
The new lounge will be in Concourse C, which services Alaska, Allegiant, Southwest, and Spirit. However, since all terminals are connected airside at the airport, it will be possible to visit the lounge after passing security, regardless of airline flown. It will just take a bit more time to get between your gate and the lounge if not flying the Concourse C airlines.
What’s news with the Priority Pass Lounge Network so far in 2018?
The Priority Pass Lounge Network celebrated its 1,000th lounge in early 2017 and has already added 53 new establishments to its network for 2018. Of note is the Marco Polo Club at Venice Marco Polo (VCE) airport in Venice, Italy, and the design-forward Eventyr Lounge in Denmark at Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH) international airport.
In addition, the Priority Pass Lounge Network continues to offer customers more than complimentary lounge access with its expansion to select airport restaurants and bars worldwide. New “Lounge Alternatives” for 2018 include Bar Symon at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Bobby Van’s Steakhouse at JFK International Airport (JFK). The full list of additions can be found on both the website and the app for Priority Pass.
Also note that while Denver International is gearing up for a Centurion Lounge, it already has a “Lounge Alternative” in Concourse C: Timberline Steaks & Grille, a steakhouse with a large menu that includes buffalo sirloin steak and trout almandine.
How can I gain complimentary access to Priority Pass Lounges?
Priority Pass Select membership is complimentary with most affluent credit cards. It’s a key perk for cardholders of Citi Prestige® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve, Mastercard Black Card, and Mastercard Gold Card offer an exceptionally generous unlimited guest policy.
Citi Prestige Card and The Platinum Card from American Express allow cardholders to bring two guests while U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card allows four guests per year.
How can I get free bar tabs and comp’d restaurant bills with Priority Pass at airport restaurants and bars?
Cardholders can use their Priority Pass card to receive $28 to $30 off the bill at select airport restaurants and bars for each person covered by the Priority Pass membership. This amount is valid toward the purchase of any meal and/or drinks, including alcoholic beverages. A valid card must be presented before placing an order, and the cardholder must pay any excess. Note that 18% gratuity will be automatically added to the final bill (before the discount) and will be paid by the cardholder.
The number of guests covered depends on the guest policy of the Priority Pass membership. For example, holders of elite credit cards Chase Sapphire Reserve, Mastercard Black Card, and Mastercard Gold Card could possibly get a $200 bill comp’d (card holder + your spouse + three kids + two friends, all @ $28 each = $196 tab) thanks to the unlimited guest policy.