Home Comparing Benefits Priority Pass™ Adds a Surfeit of New Lounge Alternatives—and a Major Caveat

Priority Pass™ Adds a Surfeit of New Lounge Alternatives—and a Major Caveat

The Priority Pass lounge network seeks to mitigate lounge overcrowding with a grand expansion of lounge alternatives. However, guest access is less generous.

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If you’ve traveled lately, you’ve likely noticed that airport lounges seem to be getting more and more crowded. There are even some time restrictions in place for specific lounges as well as limited “access hours” for those not flying an international business- class ticket. Well, Priority Pass has taken note and has been busy implementing its solution: lounge alternatives.

On the heels of a major 25th anniversary, the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world celebrated its 1,200th lounge and its reach within a whopping 143 countries. But even before this milestone, lounge overcrowding had prompted Priority Pass to begin offering customers more than complimentary lounge access—the portfolio expanded last year to include a handful of airport restaurants and bars as lounge alternatives. Priority pass members receive approximately $28 per person off the bill at select food and beverage outlets at airports around the country and across the world.

The lounge alternative program has been so well received with Priority Pass members in the United States that the network has continued to add more restaurants and bars across the country. In the past month, the number nearly doubled to 25 outposts at US airports.

However, with this great news comes a new condition. According to Priority Pass, at the recently added lounge alternatives, the “Cardholder may only register 1 Guest per visit to receive US$28 deduction. Any additional guests will not be eligible for US$28 deduction.”

Given that most premium cards grant cardholders complimentary Priority Pass membership and guest access, this still translates to hundreds in savings annually. Yet those accustomed to using the Priority Pass for more than one guest may be disappointed.

Here, the latest lounge alternatives accepting the Priority Pass and how to take full advantage of this valuable program.

The Priority Pass lounge alternative program arrives in Houston

The program is now available at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at two locations. Note that all terminals at IAH are connected airside (post-security) using the skyway train, so it’s possible to access either restaurant even when flying out of other terminals. Just allot sufficient time.

• Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar – This Mexican restaurant is located airside in Terminal A (near A17). Terminal A serves Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta Frontier, Spirit, United, and WestJet.

• Landry’s Seafood – This popular chain seafood restaurant is located airside in Terminal C (near 42C). Terminal C serves United.

The Priority Pass lounge alternative program arrives in San Francisco

The program has also expanded to two locations at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Both restaurants are located in Terminal 3, which serves United.
Not all terminals are connected airside so you may need to go through security twice if choosing to visit the lounge when flying from a different terminal. Note, it’s entirely possible to double-dip and visit both restaurants back-to-back.

• San Francisco Giant’s Clubhouse – Feast on the “ballpark menu” at this sports bar located airside in Terminal 3, Concourse F (near F82).

• Yankee Pier – This California seafood restaurant is also located airside in Terminal 3, Concourse F (near F72).

The Priority Pass lounge alternative program arrives in Boston

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) now has two lounge alternatives, one of which is located landside (before security). This means it’s possible to eat, drink, and then head to your flight on any airline.

• Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill – Enjoy the food and drink of this sports bar, located landside opposite the Alaska Airlines’ check-in counter in Terminal C, serving JetBlue, Alaska, Sun Country, Cape Air, Aer Lingus, and TAP Portugal. Note that Priority Pass members can only get their discount between the hours of 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

• Stephanie’s – Dine at the airport outpost of this Boston institution, located airside in Terminal B (near B24). Terminal B serves American, Spirit, and United.

The Priority Pass lounge alternative program arrives in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) now has a lounge alternative, located airside in Concourse D. This concourse is connected airside to Concourses A, B, and C.

• Il Viaggio – Fill up on casual Italian fare before your flight at this restaurant and grab-n-go market located in Terminal 2 (near D4).

There are new additions to the Priority Pass network in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) are welcoming new members of the Priority Pass lounge alternative program.

• Campanile at LAX – Chow down on burgers and warm up with French onion soup at LAX in Terminal 4 (near 42B). Terminal 4 serves American Airlines, but this terminal is connected airside to Terminals 5, 6, 7, and Tom Bradley International.

• P.F. Chang’s at LAX – Enjoy your favorites from this popular chain restaurant at LAX in Tom Bradley International.  This terminal is connected airside to Terminals 4, 5, 6, and 7.

• American Tap Room at Washington Reagan Airport – Sip on beer and dine on American cuisine at DCA in Terminal C (after checkpoint for gates 35–45). This area serves American Airlines. If you are flying out of a different gate, you’ll need to go through security to get here and then again to get to your gate.

How do I use my Priority Pass at these airport restaurants and bars?

Cardholders can use their Priority Pass card to receive $28 off the bill at these select airport restaurants and bars for each person covered by the Priority Pass membership. The number of guests covered for these new alternatives is limited to one. So a cardholder plus a guest would get a total of $56 off the bill. 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.

What are the other Priority Pass lounge alternatives in the United States and how do they differ from the new additions?

Below is a list of the Priority Pass lounge alternatives prior to August 1, 2018. Note that these restaurants and bars do not limit complimentary tabs to one guest. The number of complimentary guests is instead limited by the amount allotted by your credit card agreement. (To refresh: Mastercard® Black Card™ and Mastercard® Gold Card™ offer an unlimited guest policy. Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, Citi Prestige® Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express allow cardholders to bring two guests. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card allows four guests per year.) Cheers to that!

• House Spirits Distillery – Portland International Airport (PDX)
• Capers Cafe Le Bar – Portland International Airport (PDX)
• Capers Market – Portland International Airport (PDX)

• Timberline Steaks & Grille – Denver International Airport (DEN)

• Corona Beach House – Miami International Airport (MIA)
• Viena – Miami International Airport (MIA)
• Air Margaritaville – Miami International Airport (MIA)

• The Pasta House – St. Louis International Airport (SDX)

• Kentucky Ale Taproom – Blue Grass, Lexington Airport (LEX)

• Bobby Van’s Steakhouse – New York JFK Airport (JFK)

• Bar Symon – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

• Johnny Rockets – Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR)

• Barney’s Beanery – Los Angeles International (LAX)

• Bracket Room – Washington Ronal Reagan (DCA)

• The Fan Zone – Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

• RJ Rockers Flight Room – Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP)

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 132 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Florida Design, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Robb Report.