Airport lounges, with unlimited buffets of food and drink, comfortable chairs, and other luxurious amenities, garner as many enviable stares from economy travelers as the first class cabin does on a plane. These exclusive spaces may seem out of budget at first glance, but there’s a simple (and affordable) way to get inside, even if you’re holding a coach ticket—a Priority Pass membership.
What is Priority Pass?
Priority Pass is a network of more than 1,300 airport lounges (and lounge-like spaces such as sleep pods). You can find Priority Pass lounges in airports across 148 countries.
A Priority Pass membership will get you entry to lounges within the Priority Pass network.
Priority Pass Cost
Priority Pass offers three different membership tiers:
- Standard: $99 annual fee. Members must pay $35 per visit and $35 to bring a guest.
- Standard Plus: $329 annual fee includes 10 free visits. Additional visits and guest visits cost $35.
- Prestige: $469 annual fee includes unlimited member visits. Guest visit fee of $35 applies.
What Are Priority Pass Lounges Like?
Priority Pass lounges are designed to be quiet oases where travelers can escape the chaos of crowded boarding areas. I recently tested out a Priority Pass membership in Qatar during an eight hour layover in Doha International Airport. Since the in-airport hotel cost over $300, lounge access was a welcome affordable alternative.
Priority Pass members can visit the airport’s Al Maha Lounge which is open 24 hours a day. The quiet and spacious lounge has plenty of seating as well as designated sleeping areas with reclining chairs. (Unfortunately, the sleeping areas are fairly small and tend to fill up quickly on a first-come, first-served basis.) The lounge offers private shower rooms and complimentary dental kits to help travelers freshen up before or after a long flight.
There are two large buffets laden with free food and drink (including alcohol)—a much-appreciated amenity in pricy Doha Airport which features expensive dining options such as Harrods Tea Room and a Fendi Cafe.
Priority Pass FAQ
Where can I use Priority Pass?
Priority Pass is accepted at over 1,300 lounges and airport experiences worldwide. Visit Priority Pass’ website to see a full list of participating locations.
Can I bring a guest into a lounge with Priority Pass?
Depending on your membership level, you can bring a guest but you may need to pay a $35 guest visit fee.
How do I get in a lounge?
Simply scan your digital membership card or show a printed copy to gain lounge access.
Editor’s Note: The author of this story was given a free one-time lounge pass by Priority Pass in order to test the service.
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