On the heels of a major 25th anniversary last year and a new “offers” program for 2019, Priority Pass, the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world, shows no sign of stopping expansion. Since reaching a milestone 1,250 lounges last year (and a reach within a whopping 143 countries), the network has continued to add some 10 new lounges per month.
Given that most premium cards grant cardholders complimentary Priority Pass membership and guest access, elite cardholders have more reason than ever to arrive at the airport early for some “treat yo’self” moments.
Here, the scoop on the latest lounge alternatives (airport restaurants and bars accepting the Priority Pass for $28–$30 off per cardmember and a guest) and the newest traditional lounges to enter the network, plus a refresher on how to take advantage of this valuable program.
The Priority Pass lounge alternative program makes a big debut in Seattle
Seattle WA–Tacoma International (SEA) welcomed its first Priority Pass lounge alternative program on February 11, Floret by Café Flora, a full-service vegetarian and vegan restaurant located airside (after security) at the intersection of Concourses A and B, next to the Delta lounge. We’re impressed to see Priority Pass welcome such a top-notch, artisan establishment into the fold!
Thankfully, all terminals are connected airside at SEA so fliers of all airlines can access Floret by Café Flora. Trust us, before your flight, you’ll want to chow down on a portobello mushroom French dip sandwich and yam fries with cayenne aioli. And it’s totally worth setting that alarm clock extra early for a breakfast of fresh-baked, vegan cinnamon rolls (with caramelized sugar, maple-toasted pecans, and vanilla icing) and avocado toast.
The Priority Pass lounge alternative program arrives in Tampa in a big way
Tampa FL International Airport (TPA) now has a lounge alternative, The Café by Mise en Place, located airside (after security) by gate F85. The cozy café is a concept by locally noted chef Marty Blitz, and a drastic departure from the prolific frozen-food style establishments common to airports.
Unfortunately, the concourses at TPA are not connected airside, meaning you’ll likely visit only if flying out of Terminal F (unless you want to clear security twice). Airlines served by Concourse F include: American Airlines, Aruba Airlines, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Lufthansa, Norwegian, and Swoop.
With the additions of Floret by Café Flora and The Café by Mise en Place, the Priority Pass network reaches 30 lounge alternatives across US airports. Considering lounge alternatives debuted just last year, that’s pretty awesome!
What are some of the latest additions to the traditional Priority Pass lounge network?
Since our last update in late fall 2018, Priority Pass lounge has added more than 30 new lounges.
Some of the more interesting additions include:
- The brand-new Ahlein-Premium Lounge at Beirut Rafic Hariri International, Lebanon (BEY), which is open 24/7 and includes a Cigar Lounge and dedicated children’s play area.
- The first lounge in the network in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, the Shanyrak Lounge at Astana Nursultan Nazarbayev International (TSE).
- Yet another fun and vibrant lounge at Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH), Atelier – The Colorful Aviator Lounge (and, boy, is it colorful!).
As a quick refresher, how can I get Priority Pass membership with my elite credit card?
What’s so great about the Priority Pass network is that complimentary membership is a core benefit of several elite credit cards. And this membership often entitles the cardholder to bring along guests into the lounge and/or Priority Pass’s “lounge alternatives.” Entry is not dependent on the airline flown, just on showing your Priority Pass membership card (and in some cases, your same-day boarding pass).
Priority Pass Select membership is complimentary 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.
While membership for the cardholder is the same across credit cards, the guest policy is not (Citi Prestige Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Mastercard, and The Platinum Card from American Express allow two comp guests into lounges and one guest comp at lounge alternatives; Mastercard Black Card and Mastercard Gold Card allow unlimited comp guests into lounges and one guest comp at lounge alternatives). Also to note: Membership may be complimentary, but enrollment in the Priority Pass program is not always automatic. Call the 800 number on the back of your credit card to ensure your Priority Pass membership is activated (or click the link, if available, on your credit card benefits page of your online account) and your Priority PassSelect card is on its way.
So, what’s the value of this? The complimentary Select membership that comes with most elite credit cards retails for $399 per year for cardholder membership. And the paid retail price per guest is $27 per lounge entry. Free membership, free guests at lounges, and free homemade cinnamon rolls? Don’t miss out!