On a lighter note than everything else going on right now, I think I’ve just found my new favorite Priority Pass lounge in the world (which I’ll be reviewing in greater detail in a separate post).
Most Priority Pass lounges aren’t very exciting
Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,300 lounges around the world. You can either buy a Priority Pass membership, or get one through a premium credit card. The idea is that Priority Pass gets revenue for memberships, and then Priority Pass pays lounges for each person who visits.
As you might expect, many Priority Pass lounges aren’t great:
- Since lounges are getting a fixed amount of revenue per visit, there’s not much of an incentive to provide a great experience
- In the United States Priority Pass lounges can get ridiculously crowded, given how many people have premium credit cards that offer a membership
If you ask me, Priority Pass lounges generally range somewhere between not great and okay. But at least for those of us who have visited some truly great lounges, they don’t often “wow.” I often read the posts in a Priority Pass group on Facebook, and I had to laugh yesterday when a member posted a picture of a certain lounge. Someone commented that “it looks like a hospital cafeteria,” to which someone responded “the difference is they’re free.” LOL, that just about sums it up.
Anyway, I wanted to report back on a Priority Pass lounge that I particularly enjoyed.
The Primeclass Lounge Muscat is pretty awesome
Design-wise, this is a very nice lounge, in my opinion.
Seriously, how pretty is this lounge entrance?
The main part of the lounge is in one room, with very high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Unlike some other contract lounges, the furniture here felt pretty high-end, and the finishes were well done.
I loved the amenities, ranging from a pool table, to massage chairs…
The food selection was pretty good too, even though I’m not necessarily a big lounge eater.
Much more important to me is good coffee, and that’s an area where the lounge delights, as there are proper barista-made cappuccinos and lattes. Yum.
A Priority Pass hotel room?!?
This is the area where the lounge really impressed me. Long story short, I had a 1AM flight and arrived at the airport way early, and was ridiculously tired and in need of a nap. I was considering going to the nearby Aerotel and getting a room for a few hours so I could nap.
I entered the lounge roughly six hours before departure. I presented my Turkish Airlines business class boarding pass, and was informed that lounge use was limited to three hours before departure. However, the agent asked if I had another way to enter the lounge (like Priority Pass), and I said I did. So I was able to “stack” the two, and get six hours of time in the lounge.
Even better? I was informed that stays of over three hours are entitled to a complimentary private room at no extra charge. So I was given the below room, with a comfortable bed, bathroom, and shower, to use for my entire time in the lounge. I can’t even begin to say how appreciative I was.
For us avgeeks, the lounge even had views of the apron (though they were somewhat obstructed). Plane views never help much with trying to get some rest, though!
Having a private bedroom for six hours was incredible, as I was able to get some shut eye. While there are some Priority Pass options that include nap pods or private office spaces, this is the first “true” hotel room I’ve ever been able to access with Priority Pass.
The Primeclass Lounge Muscat is exceptional, possibly my favorite Priority Pass location I’ve ever visited. Not only is the lounge itself beautiful, but those staying for over three hours can get a private bedroom.
While you’re limiting to accessing the lounge for three hours per entry method, if you’re flying business class and have a Priority Pass membership you can visit the lounge for six hours, and therefore get a private room. Being able to get some proper rest before a redeye flight can make such a difference in terms of not feeling miserable.
What’s your favorite Priority Pass lounge you’ve been to?