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TravelPriority Pass Review - Is It Worth It?

Priority Pass Review – Is It Worth It?



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Do you like unwinding in airport lounges like we do? If you’re thinking about purchasing a Priority Pass but are unsure about its value, take a look at our comprehensive review. Discover what the Priority Pass offers and determine if it’s the right fit for you.

Airport Lounges with Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a program that offers either free or discounted access to airport lounges. The usual walk-in price to an airport lounge is around 50 euros. However, by choosing the appropriate Priority Pass membership plan, you can save nearly half of the lounge fees or even more.

There are currently over 1,500 lounges and experiences available through Priority Pass, making it simple to find a lounge. It can be confidently assumed that in every major airport, there is at least one lounge accessible through Priority Pass.

Independent from Travel Class

Having a Priority Pass membership means you won’t have to declare whether you are travelling in business or economy. This applies even if you are flying with a budget airline such as Ryanair. In other words, Priority Pass is not affected by the airline or cabin class. To access a lounge, all you need is a valid boarding pass and your Priority Pass membership. In smaller airports, both Priority Pass members and airline business class passengers of airlines have usually access to the same lounges. In major airports, airlines typically have slightly better lounges than Priority Pass can offer.

When using a Priority Pass membership to enter a lounge, the cost may vary depending on your membership level. In this Priority Pass Review, we will discuss the different types of memberships and the advantages they offer.

Priority Pass Memberships Levels

We introduce the three different Priority Pass membership levels. The estimated prices mentioned in this review are subject to change and may differ based on your geographical location. It is recommended to verify the current prices directly from Priority Pass. Additionally, the official website offers the option to instantly purchase Priority Pass and begin using it immediately through an electronic membership card.

Priority Pass Standard

The most affordable membership tier offered by Priority Pass is the Standard level, however, in our view, it is also the least desirable choice. This membership requires an annual fee of approximately 89 euros but does not include any complimentary lounge visits. Each lounge visit incurs a cost of roughly 30 euros, and this fee applies to accompanying guests as well.

The Priority Pass Standard is beneficial for individuals who only travel occasionally throughout the year. However, the combination of an annual membership fee and a fee for each lounge visit results in a relatively high cost per visit, making it less advantageous for infrequent travellers. Later in this article, we will present alternative options that may be more suitable for those who do not travel frequently.

PRO TIP

If you are not interested in buying Priority Pass Standard, you may want to consider purchasing single-entry lounge passes with no obligations. For more information, visit Lounge Pass.

Priority Pass Standard Plus

For frequent travellers who take at least 5 round trips per year, the Priority Pass Standard Plus membership is more suitable. This membership option costs approximately 289 euros annually and provides access to 10 complimentary lounge visits. Once these 10 visits are used up, subsequent visits will be charged at the same rate as the Standard membership.

Opting for a Standard Plus membership is a wise decision if you make 3 to 7 round trips per year. This will result in an average lounge visit cost of approximately 29 euros, which can be considered a reasonably fair price.

Priority Pass Prestige

The Priority Pass Prestige membership provides unlimited access to lounges for its members. It costs approximately 459 euros per year. After 15 lounge visits in a year, Prestige becomes the most advantageous choice. This requires approximately 8 round trips. However, even with fewer yearly trips, Priority Pass Prestige is still the preferred option for those who have connecting flights. This allows for comfortable layovers in the lounges.

Prices

Table 1. Priority Pass membership levels and prices
Membership Model Priority Pass Price / Year Our Recommendation
Standard 89 euros Seldom a good choice
Standard Plus 289 euros A decent option for people who travel a few times in a year
Prestige 459 euros Absolutely the best choice for frequent travellers

For frequent and business travellers, Priority Pass Prestige is the best option.

Credit Cards with a Priority Pass

Several financial institutions offer a free Priority Pass membership in conjunction with a credit card. The only expense is the annual fee for the credit card, and in return, you will receive a complimentary Priority Pass lounge membership at no additional cost.

In our perspective, having a credit card that includes Priority Pass can be a favourable choice. It is important to assess the value of the Priority Pass membership. Additionally, it should be noted that the terms of Priority Pass cards that come with credit cards may vary. Some may offer 4 complimentary lounge visits, after which standard visit fees apply. On the other hand, certain high-end credit cards provide a Priority Pass card with unrestricted access to lounges, including a free guest.

Before acquiring a Priority Pass from a financial institution, it is important to carefully assess its worth. This can be done by determining the value of the credit card and then factoring in the remaining annual fee for the Priority Pass using the formula:

Price of one lounge visit = (annual credit card fee – the estimated value of credit card) / (maximum number of complimentary lounge visits per year or number of visits planned).

Priority Pass Select

In the US, financial institutions refer to Priority Passes connected to credit cards as Priority Pass Select. These passes vary in terms of the number of individuals they cover, with some catering to single individuals and others allowing for additional guests. Additional guests can be accommodated by Priority Pass Select members through payment.

Travel Companion without Membership

In most cases, Priority Pass lounges permit you to bring along at least one companion. Depending on the situation, you may have to pay an additional fee for your guest or they may already be covered under your Priority Pass membership. Typically, Priority Pass memberships that are linked to high-end credit cards include complimentary access for 1 or 2 individuals. It is advisable to verify the details with the provider of your Priority Pass membership.

Cons of Priority Pass

The present cost for a Priority Pass membership may be considered expensive for those who travel occasionally. Additionally, not every airport offers lounges for Priority Pass members. It is recommended to check the lounge selection on the official Priority Pass website before buying a membership.

Unfortunately, in the busiest airports, Priority Pass lounges sometimes become so crowded that you are denied entry. If there are many lounges at the airport, you can try to access another one. Some of the lounges allow also pre-booking. In the worst cases, you are not able to visit a lounge with your valid membership.

For frequent travellers who go through major airports, Priority Pass remains an excellent option.

Other Options for Priority Pass

DragonPass

A rival of Priority Pass, known as DragonPass, has a strikingly similar business model. We have released a distinct post where we evaluate the differences between Priority Pass and DragonPass.

LoungeKey

Many premium Visa and Mastercard payment cards are linked to the LoungeKey program. LoungeKey is like the Priority Pass but the amount of lounges available is not on par with the Priority Pass.

Single Access without Membership

For individuals who do not travel frequently, lounge membership programs may not be the most suitable choice. However, if you still desire to access lounges a few times per year, there are alternative options available besides the ones mentioned previously. For instance, you can opt to pay the regular lounge entry fees or purchase a business class ticket, although these methods may be less cost-effective.

If you don’t visit lounges often, we suggest purchasing entry passes from Lounge Pass. They offer discounted single entries, sometimes up to 40% off.

Is Priority Pass Worth It

When you are inside an airport lounge, you can expect a tranquil ambience. Complimentary snacks and sometimes even hot meals are provided. You can also enjoy a variety of warm, cold, and alcoholic drinks at no extra cost. Additionally, there are comfortable chairs and free Wi-Fi available for your convenience. These small amenities become even more valuable when you are feeling fatigued. Many lounges even offer complimentary showers for their guests. The top lounges may also offer sleeping arrangements and spa services, although these may come with an additional charge.

While having a lounge membership may add to your travel expenses, the experience is well worth it! Priority Pass is your key to these benefits. It may not be the cheapest lounge program but it is one of the best of them. That is why also we are members of Priority Pass.

LoungeKey vs Priority Pass

Some financial institutions offer their customer LoungeKey instead of Priority Pass. LoungeKey is another good lounge membership program but its lounge and experience selection is not as good as Priority Pass has. However, if LoungeKey has lounges in your favourite airports and you get this membership cheaper than Priority Pass, we think it is a fair choice.

Is Priority Pass the Best Lounge Program?

No one can say absolutely which lounge program is the best. There are only a few options in the world and not a single choice is suitable for everyone. People living in Asia may prefer DragonPass while Europeans and Americans prefer Priority Pass. The most important question is if the program offers the services that you are expecting and if the price is good. For us, Priority Pass is the best lounge program.

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