What to know about Priority Pass memberships and lounges

Businesswoman waiting at airport lounge

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Imagine saying goodbye to long, stressful layovers and trying to carve out a small space at a crowded gate. Wouldn’t it be nice to kick back and relax in a comfortable lounge instead, preferably with a free snack and a cocktail? Airport lounge access used to be a feature only celebrities and high rollers could enjoy, but now it’s accessible for anyone looking to up their travel game.

Having a credit card that lets you get a Priority Pass membership means you have the opportunity to enjoy more than 1,300 lounge locations in 600 airports across 150 countries. Members with a Priority Pass subscription can enter lounges regardless of what airline they’re flying. Perks in lounges typically include free WiFi, complimentary food and alcoholic beverages, reading material, TVs and flight information, however each facility operates differently and varies in quality.


Most Priority Pass lounges are located outside of the US. While domestically it’s accepted at more than 40 airports, it’s still not available in some major hubs, including LaGuardia, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby.

How To Get A Priority Pass Membership

While you might already have a premium credit card sitting in your wallet with a Priority Pass Select membership, you may still need to enroll to start your benefits. The good news is that some premium travel credit cards don’t even charge for this deluxe perk.

If you don’t have a card that gives you the feature for free and are a frequent flyer, consider applying for an American Express, US Bank, Chase, Citi or Barclays credit card that offers this option. Or simply purchase a membership separately. Annual fees start at $99 plus $32 per member. If you’re purchasing a membership separately, it’s most cost-effective if you’re a frequent flyer.


Additional Perks

Priority Pass members may also take advantage of perks outside of traditional lounges. These might include deals at airport restaurants and access to mini-suites in locations that don’t have lounges. While it varies from place to place, the average restaurant credit is roughly $28 per person. Similar to buffets, most restaurants won’t let you take food to go. Remember to tip because gratuity isn’t included.

If you travel a lot, this perk could help enhance your trips. Members can even strategically plan their layovers for airports that contain lounges or other membership perks.

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.

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