Monday, August 7, 2017

Alternative for an actual Priority Pass Lounge

I'm not a huge lounge person. There are a few international First Class lounges that still have a huge wow factor, but Business Class lounges – especially ones in the US – are increasingly crowded and often don't even include free drinks or hot food.

Meanwhile, the terminals themselves have been getting increasingly nicer:
  • food from famous local restaurants
  • healthier and more interesting food and beverages
  • flexible seating with USB and chargers
  • gate-side seating so you can keep an eye on your gate while you wait to board... 
I recently had a friend ask me about the lounge in JetBlue's main terminal and I told him it wasn't even worth visiting.


Priority Pass is a lounge membership program that lets you enter a selected list of lounges around the world for a fee (their hand app lets you see which ones they partner with). Due to the huge popularity of the Chase Sapphire Reserve (which includes a free membership), lots of people ended up with a free Priority Pass membership this past year. This has only exacerbated the overcrowding problem.

I was eyeing a flight to Portland from San Francisco (so I could fly through the eclipse!) and I noticed something interesting at PDX – Priority Pass will now give you a $28 food and beverage credit for select restaurants inside the main terminal. From reading through the details, it also sounds like any official "guests" you bring also get the $28 credit.

I can totally see myself using this. If I have a long layover where I need to eat, I don't even consider a lounge a viable place to have a proper meal (again, unless it's in an international First Class lounge like the Concorde room). Hopefully this will become commonplace, as I doubt the lounges are going to get nicer anytime soon.