Priority Pass Expanding Network By 20% In 2021

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Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges. We recently learned that most Plaza Premium lounges will no longer be accessible with Priority Pass as of this summer, leaving many of us wondering how Priority Pass will fill the void. We now have our answer.

Priority Pass will add 250+ new locations in 2021

It has been revealed that Priority Pass will be expanding significantly this year, and by the end of 2021 should offer over 1,500 lounges and premium experiences. We can expect that in 2021:

  • Priority Pass will add over 150 new airport lounges
  • Priority Pass will add 100 other premium experiences, including airport dining and relaxation experiences, as well as railway and seaport lounges

These additions represent 20% growth for the network this year. Priority Pass has already added 32 new locations this year, though it sounds like we should expect the pace of new additions to accelerate for the rest of the year.

For example, in the United States Priority Pass has added Lufthansa Lounges at several airports, and has also added “Be Relax” spas, where members can receive complimentary spa treatments.

Outside the USA we’ve seen some other good additions, like the Air Serbia Lounge in Belgrade.

The Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade has joined Priority Pass

My take on Priority Pass’ growth

It’s awesome to see that Priority Pass is not only continuing to grow, but is actually accelerating its growth. It sounds like we can expect 250+ new lounges and experiences this year, which is exciting, especially given that Plaza Premium locations are largely being cut.

That being said, I think Priority Pass is probably a bit optimistic if it thinks that this will lead to 1,500+ member lounges. I would imagine that we’ll also see some lounges choose to remove themselves from the network.

It seems to me like quite a few new locations have joined Priority Pass purely as an interim way to generate revenue until we see more of a travel recovery. For example, we’ve already seen the Alaska Lounge Portland rejoin Priority Pass and then leave again within a few months, clearly reflecting the way that domestic travel demand is recovering.

What intrigues me most is the addition of 100 non-airport lounge experiences, which includes things like airport restaurants and spas, as well as lounges at train stations and seaports. It’s awesome to see Priority Pass continue to grow beyond traditional airport lounges, and I can’t wait to see what else is added. However, keep in mind that those with a Priority Pass membership through Amex don’t get access to these experiences.

Over 150 airport lounges are joining Priority Pass in 2021

Bottom line

Priority Pass will be expanding by over 20% in 2021, adding around 150 airport lounges, plus around 100 other premium experiences for members. I’m particularly excited about the non-airport lounge experiences being added, ranging from airport restaurants and spas, to non-airport lounges.

This update follows the news that most Plaza Premium lounges will no longer participate in Priority Pass, so clearly Priority Pass is trying to get creative in other ways. While that may work while travel is down and lounge operators are desperate for revenue, I’m curious how many of these new locations will stick around.

What do you make of Priority Pass’ growth?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Luke

    Ben, the Star Alliance lounge at GRU is no more: https://www.staralliance.com/en/news-article?newsArticleId=GRU_STATEMT&groupId=20184

    1. Ben

      @ Luke -- Whoops, thanks! Updated the post to reflect that. I should have known better/maybe Priority Pass shouldn't send out a press release today specifically highlighting this as one of the exciting new lounges that has been added. :p

  2. CF Frost

    It would be nice to see them add Amtrak lounges.

  3. Russ

    I wonder if they’ll accomplish this by getting some member lounges from the Amex Lounge Collection back into the fold? Seems unlikely but unsure how else to get space in airports!

  4. John

    I know restaurants are now excluded from priority passes issued through Amex Platinum/Centurion cards. What about spas, airside sleeping pods, and so on? Are these also not free those who are customers through Amex?

    1. Ben

      @ John -- Yep, those are generally excluded as well (basically any non-lounge experiences), though there are exceptions.

  5. Alec

    Would be cool to get some monthly onboard credit

  6. Chris T.

    @John Sleeping pods seem to be generally included. At least MinuteSuites locations in the US are included, Sleep n fly at DXB...are included.

  7. Jan

    Pre-pandemic I am ok with just chilling in PP lounges and having a small bite of decent food, but if these lounges continue to serve COVID-tier per-packaged junk then I would welcome more restaurants. Also I am a CSR holder

  8. Justin

    It's nice that Priority Pass can release a press release saying they're adding 150 airport lounges to the network. But if those lounges are capacity controlled and/or have severely restricted hours and/or reduced amenities during those hours, as is often the case with airline lounges contracted to priority pass, then it's not nearly as good as they make it out to be. I've learned that you have to take priority pass lounge listings with a big grain of salt.

  9. Francois

    I agree with Justin that adding a bunch of lounges that are open for an hour or two here and there combined with a downgraded experience is a waste and borderline misleading. I greatly welcome anything new including rail like eurostar or amtrak.

  10. William

    Amex really needs to bring back non-lounge experiences.

    People were abusing it, but getting rid of guests and limiting the benefit to just the cardholder would be a good compromise.

  11. TheJagMan

    I'm bit pessimistic on this, of the 250, I could see crazy restrictions...

    Lounges: "Tuesdays and Wednesday only, excluding holidays, between the hours of 8am-10am; one hour max, must swipe a credit when checking in, if you don't check out within an hour your credit card will be automatically charged the following: The overage fee, a $25 convenience fee, local sales tax and a 3% credit card transaction fee, for your convenience"

    Experiences: "Buy two...

    I'm bit pessimistic on this, of the 250, I could see crazy restrictions...

    Lounges: "Tuesdays and Wednesday only, excluding holidays, between the hours of 8am-10am; one hour max, must swipe a credit when checking in, if you don't check out within an hour your credit card will be automatically charged the following: The overage fee, a $25 convenience fee, local sales tax and a 3% credit card transaction fee, for your convenience"

    Experiences: "Buy two (of whatever the experience is) and receive a complimentary gift! (small bottle of branded hand sanitizer)"

  12. John

    @Ben: Thanks for clarifying.

    @Justin: I agree.

    Personally, I find Priority Pass mostly useless. I got lounge access with the three major alliances. Usually, they have the better offer than PP. It's really rare that there is a nice PP lounge when no airline-provided lounge exists or when the airline-partnered lounge is overcrowded, but the PP lounge isn't.

    Sometimes, I enter the PP lounge just out of curiosity and I typically end up being disappointed....

    @Ben: Thanks for clarifying.

    @Justin: I agree.

    Personally, I find Priority Pass mostly useless. I got lounge access with the three major alliances. Usually, they have the better offer than PP. It's really rare that there is a nice PP lounge when no airline-provided lounge exists or when the airline-partnered lounge is overcrowded, but the PP lounge isn't.

    Sometimes, I enter the PP lounge just out of curiosity and I typically end up being disappointed. So it's really only 2-3 random times per year where PP is useful. For those 2-3 times, I might as well pay for a dining establishment.

    It was different when the restaurants were included for us Amex users. Had a couple of fun dining experiences prior to the change.

  13. anonymous

    "Be Relax" sounds like a grammatical error. Stupid name.

  14. DCflyer

    They added a bunch of restaurants in Montreal and Toronto airports

  15. Leon Ivanov

    The Marhaba lounge in Melbourne is a good addition. Also used a few of their restaurants pre-Covid and was pleasantly surprised so looking forward to more of those in the network, essentially when travelling with the family.

  16. iamhere

    Agree with TheJagMan and would also add I wonder how well planned their plan is. Consider that they often have lounges that are on the international side of the terminal so how does that help people that fly domestic or vice versa or lounges only in certain terminals or landside not airside.

  17. Robin

    Hoping they add something to MDW and to ORD domestic terminals.

  18. Flyoften

    》》 “Be Relax” sounds like a grammatical error. Stupid name.

    Oh come on. Some of us were enduring Be Best for years.

    Shirley, you can Be Relax and Become Sense Of Humor?

  19. Nick

    Point the way cafe in LAX is open, but no longer giving priority pass credit.

  20. Bill

    Is it 20% growth over what PP was before or is it 20% growth from what they were after plaza premium left? Frankly plaza premium lounges were the few PP lounges that i found to be worthwhile.

Featured Comments Load all 23 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Bill

Is it 20% growth over what PP was before or is it 20% growth from what they were after plaza premium left? Frankly plaza premium lounges were the few PP lounges that i found to be worthwhile.

Steven

"Be Relax! Be Best!"

Nick

Point the way cafe in LAX is open, but no longer giving priority pass credit.

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