You may have heard of Priority Pass, but not know exactly what it is. In this post, I give a quick rundown of what Priority Pass is, and how you can become a member.
What is Priority Pass?
In a nutshell, Priority Pass is a global lounge program that can give you access to over 1000 lounges across 130 countries and 500 cities. It is a flexible program, allowing you to use airport lounge facilities worldwide regardless of which airline or cabin class you’re flying in.
This can be useful if you are using low cost carriers that don’t have lounges, such as Scoot or Air Asia. It is also useful where you have to fly an airline outside those you may provide you lounge access.
Even better – these days it’s not just about the lounges. Priority Pass has been partnering with various Bars and Restaurants to provide an alternative. In Australia, Priority Pass cardholders have access to a variety of outlets at the airports in Sydney and Brisbane.
It is important to note that Priority Pass doesn’t operate its own airport lounges. Instead, the program arranges access to existing airport lounges. These may be lounges operated by either an airline, or more commonly a third party lounge provider, or even the airport itself.
When you access the lounge, Priority Pass arranges payment for you to access the lounge. Depending on your membership, they may then charge you for the access.
Ultimately, this gives travellers access to a number of lounges, without having membership to the specific lounge. However, given the lounges are run by a range of providers the amenities in each lounge can vary.
How do I become a member?
There are several credit cards that offer a Priority Pass membership as part of the product offering. The exact type of membership varies, with some offering unlimited visits, and others offering two complimentary visits per year. Alternatively, there are paid membership options available.
Credit Cards that offer a Priority Pass Membership
Cards that offer memberships and the types of memberships are shown in the following table
|Card||Priority Pass Inclusions|
|American Express Platinum Card||Full membership with unlimited visits for the Platinum Charge cardholder and a supplementary card member per account.|
|Citi Prestige||Complimentary Priority Pass membership for the primary card holder. Provides for unlimited visits to Priority Pass lounges and one guest.|
|Citi Signature||The Citi Signature card offers a standard membership which includes two lounge visits for the primary cardholder each cardholder year. Any Guests are an extra charge|
|Westpac Altitude Black||A standard membership which includes two lounge visits for the primary cardholder each cardholder year. Guests are extra|
|St George Amplify Visa||A standard membership which includes two lounge visits for the primary cardholder each cardholder year. Guests are extra|
Purchasing a membership
The alternative is to buy a lounge membership directly from Priority Pass. There are three versions available for purchase:
- Standard – membership fee is USD99, then costs USD27 per visit (Guest extra)
- Standard Plus – membership fee is USD249, includes 10 visits, then costs USD27 per visit *(Guest Exra)
- Prestige – membership fee is $399 for unlimited visits. (Guest extra)
Lounges in Australia
Australia has fairly limited offerings for Priority Pass members. While the lounges have changed over time, at present they offer access to lounges at three airports:
While there are only limited lounges in Australia, when travelling overseas there are many more options available. Across South East Asia, many of the Plaza Premium lounges participate in the program.
In Singapore, for example there are currently 11 lounges available. These are spread across the three terminals and include Plaza Premium and SATS Premier lounges.
Overall, there are over 1,000 lounges around the world available. The quality may vary between lounges, but they can be useful when travelling around the world.