Priority Pass Loses One LAX Restaurant

Filed Under: Great Deals

One of the greatest improvements we’ve seen to Priority Pass the past couple of years is the addition of airport restaurants. Priority Pass has partnered with some airport restaurants to offer members a certain dollar amount credit (typically $28-30) that they can use towards purchasing food and drinks at those restaurants.

This network has been growing significantly, and in the US we’re now up to about two dozen Priority Pass restaurants, which is great.

LAX is one of the airports that has benefited from this, and over the past few months we’ve seen three new restaurants added at the airport:

  • In June, Barney’s Beanery in Terminal 2 was added to the Priority Pass network
  • In September, Campanile in Terminal 4 was added to the Priority Pass network
  • In September, PF Chang’s in Tom Bradley International Terminal was added to the Priority Pass network

This is a great selection, and I in particular appreciate how spread out the restaurants were, which benefits people traveling from multiple terminals.

Well, unfortunately it looks like Campanile’s in LAX’s Terminal 4 has been removed from Priority Pass. I’m working on finding out what caused this, and if this is temporary or permanent. However, in the meantime I figured it was worth a post, to prevent anyone from dining there only to find out their Priority Pass membership no longer works there.

What could the cause of this be?

  • It could be that they’re just having some sort of technical issues
  • It could be that the demand was too great, and that it got in the way of their usual business and just wasn’t worth it

The good news is that Tom Bradley International Terminal is only a very short walk from Terminal 4, and it’s connected airside. PF Chang’s is also one of my favorite chain restaurant, so I don’t mind walking over there. The only downside is that PF Chang’s only opens at 11AM, so this doesn’t help those that were hoping to have breakfast at Priority Pass’ expense.

PF Chang’s LAX

Were you able to eat at Campanile’s before it was pulled from Priority Pass?

(Tip of the hat to iamhiro)

  1. Unfortunately Fortunately I stopped flying American since Campanile became a part of priority pass
    So I paid 6 times in the past
    But seriously 8 bucks for a cronut?
    The original Campanile on La BreA was a legend where
    Foodies and celebrities like Steven Spielberg flocked when Nancy Silverton owned it and put out some of LAs best
    It’s sad to see them buy the name and damage the former brand
    No one on the worst day would mistake what the restaurant became which is a slightly better than average airport restaurant
    None the less it was one of the better outlets in term 4 simply because most else there sucks
    It would be interesting to know why they pulled out if u can find out
    It was certainly a choice when the chips are down and u need something to eat

  2. I tried to eat there this past weekend and sat at the table for 25 minutes with no service. I had a 4 hour layover and decided to walk out and walk over to Terminal 3 and eat at the Beanery, which was pretty good for an airport restaurant.

  3. The SLC PP restaurant was also removed within a day of starting to accept PP. They claimed the airport was not informed ahead of time and denied PP from being accepted, or something like that. Very odd.

  4. I ate at the Priority Pass with my family three weeks ago using the Priority Pass. We all had breakfast, the chicken was juicy but tasteless. The waffles looked good but were very rubbery and no taste either really. It was great for a free breakfast, I certainly wouldn’t pay $90 for that again for family of 4. There was a little confusion on how to charge us properly using two PP cards for same table.

    I wondered if Campanile didn’t feel people were tipping them. They couldn’t print out a regular receipt to add the tip. I gave them all the cash I had. I wonder if that was the real issue.

  5. I ate at Campanile’s with a guest the first or second day after it joined PP. It was relatively empty, but still a disappointing experience with regards to both food and service.

    While I don’t think it’s ever good to lose any of the available options, this one is very low on the list of places that would be missed.

  6. I ate at Campanile on Friday morning. It was still on Priority Pass website and app. When I went to pay the bill with my PP card, the restaurant said they didn’t accept it any more. When I called PP, they said I was out of luck. Nice company

  7. I bet more and more will go away. As bloggers blog and blog and blog these places get over-used. People abuse these privileges BIG time. How can this be financially viable long term with people going to 2-3 restaurants per day with 2-4 people on their “bill”. Most frequent flyers are cheap-a**** who do not tip , or leave a dollar or 2. Wait staff complain, someone is losing money somewhere. You will see more and more of these disappear. I guarantee it. We simply cant have nice things.

  8. I ate there on the last day of PP on Monday… the bartender basically said the experiment failed miserably….

  9. One aspect never discussed is cash flow for restaurants. If a diner pays by cash / card the restaurant’s account is credited within the banking cycle. That can then be used to buy new ingredients etc for diners in the next few days.

    In contrast, under PP the restaurant will need to wait for PP to reimburse the $28 (or probably less). How long does that take? If days it could kill a business.

    And that’s assuming PP reimburse in full. Do they withhold a referral commission? If the restaurant has allowed someone arriving to use PP but PP decide that is invalid, does the restaurant not get paid at all?

    I also suspect most PP diners stick within the free allowance and any extra profit restaurants were expecting doesn’t materialise.

    It is a brave experiment but I wonder whether it is sustainable for restaurants.

    A more sustainable approach would be for travellers to pay in full and reclaim a subsidy from PP after the event subject to certain limitations

  10. Does PF Chang would allow domestic BP to use PP benefit?

    On PP website it says BP required as well as for International departures only.

    Before you direct people to use PF Chang, may be you should check with both PP and PF Chang at TBIT to clear the admittance criteria first.

  11. Two weeks ago:

    Yes to PF Chang’s, on a wholly domestic itinerary (but ymmv, they weren’t busy and I’m smooth!)

    Yes to Campanile, and it was disgusting. Long wait to be seated even though they weren’t busy, soggy oily fries, and small but decent portion of steak. Would have left/sent it back if I wasn’t paying.

    Ordered drinks both places to get a bill and tipped on full amount because I’m not a deadbeat.

    Also grabbed a shower at the Korean lounge!

  12. The chicken and the short ribs were ok at Campanile
    Def doable 🙂
    Oh well that didn’t last long!

  13. @ Eric
    If I were you I would call the credit card that provided you with the Priority Pass assuming that you got yours that way and complain
    They might do something for you
    Either the credit card provider should make good or PP their partner
    Otherwise a total bait and switch situation

  14. I ate at Campanile last Monday and the waitress commented that many PP clients exceeded the 28 USD amd just left without checking out and that this became a problem as they had to cover this delta.

  15. Corona beach house at MIA no longer allows you to use PP for buying food from the “ to go “ counter. This is bad because I used to grab a beer, coffee, Sandwich, chips etc and just have the cashier scan the PP card. As of Oct 1st, PP is only accepted when dining in.

  16. Ate at Campanile twice in late September. Completely acceptable brunch and dinner. Too bad, because the Alaska lounge gets filled up. If the new lounge in TBIT is available that’s ok, but it was already a long walk from the Alaska gates to T4.

  17. Servers at every PP restaurant I’ve been to have complained about no tips. Folks really need to tip and PP needs to start funneling some money over to the waitstaff.

  18. @Eric, that really sucks but if you followed the PP rules you wouldn’t have been bit. Per Priority Pass terms: “To be eligible, Cardholders must present a valid card before placing an order. “

  19. We ate there last Monday. The servers were super nice and the drinks and food were pretty good… I’d order the Mahi-Mahi tacos again. They were busy, there was a line-up, and we noticed a number of the tables were also using Priority Pass.

    The challenge the servers were having was the technology was garbage. It took them forever to check Priority Pass members in when they arrived. They had to use those stupid little mobile devices with the little pen which took forever.

    I’m not surprised they got rid of them. With the technology PP uses it was causing problems with customer flow.

  20. @Eric – I call your “BS”. I was at LAX on Wednesday, definitely not on the app and website. @Ed also noted it ended on Monday. Good that you can “BS”, if you “BS” enough to the bank, they might give you a courtesy credit.

  21. I ate breakfast there about ten days ago, and like others were disappointed in the food. Real shame that the Campanile name was whored, as the original mid-city L.A. property was an important part of the City’s food history,

    Waitress was clearly put out by the fact I was using PP, despite telling her at the beginning of the order, and she struggled with the held-held POS machine to close the transaction. As to tipping, I couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t leave anything. In my view using PP is akin to a gift card that covers the exact amount of the food charges. My bill was $19.38, so I left three dollars cash (more than she deserved, due to her attitude about PP, and the fact she never bothered checking up on my meal – the food was delivered by a runner). Not sure how troublesome it would have been if one didn’t have cash, and had to run a tip through a credit card.

  22. @Girth – If I were you, I would have given $2 through a credit card.

    Tipping system is broken. You should not tip her more than what she deserves, you are part of the broken system. Cash is also part of this broken system, they prefer cash over credit to report less income. Tipping should be optional, 0% tip is acceptable.

    One way to fix this broken system is to remember this “tip the xx% PRE TAX”. Do not follow the tip guideline as they calculate 15% 18% 20% AFTER tax, which is misleading.
    Another way is for the PP issue is to give out $22 credit and $6 goes straight to tips.

  23. Tipping culture was pushed by herman Caine association. The same Republican candidate. They do this so they can pay wait staff less than minimum wage and guilt customers into paying tips.

    Not so in liberal California. They make at least minimum wage. Tip is on top of that.

    This brings me to what scum white Republican males are. Absolute sub human POS. They even try to take food away from hard working people.

  24. Campanile at LAX, in my opinion has been a mismanaged total fail from day 1. My 1st visit was to grab a tuna sandwich out of a case and a Diet Coke. The cashier suggested I grab chips or fruit, and then asked me for $24.00. I just put it all back. The reviews since day one have been abysmal. A total remake is in order with new management and a new concept. No surprise they could not make it work with PP.

  25. Debit = Is everything you read nothing but politics? The backbone of our federal tipping laws were done under a Democrat president and congress in the 60s. Herman caine’s firm had nothing to do with that. And there are only a very small handful of states in the US that allow regular min wage.

    Here is a history on tipping

    Lay off the bong man

  26. Has anyone noticed the the PP app/website is out of date?

    The Alaska Airlines lounges in PDX and LAX are still listed but will not allow you to gain access. Anyone know about the status of the KLM lounge at LAX?

    Not too much value with PP anymore as they are really non existent on the West Coast.

  27. Just ate at PF Chang last Friday after learning they were PP restaurant. Not a problem at all and they clearly explained how it worked and it was a very generous deal. They were glad to have us and it was sincere. We flew out of AA Terminal 4 to LHR, and they didn’t even ask for our boarding pass. They just entered my PP number. My wife and I had $60 to spend. Keep in mind the airport prices are higher than on the street, but the food was good and the service was excellent.

  28. We ate there a few times last month before AA flights. It seemed super busy and overcrowded, so maybe it was too much for them to handle. Food was o.k., eggs cooked perfectly. We left a good tip in cash. FYI, the Admirals club adjacent has good breakfast fare..avocado toast and lox. So it’s there from now on in the a.m.

  29. Ate in Campanile twice using PP. Both times the service was excruciatingly slow, and the food very poor. Even just asking for mustard when the food arrived led to a 5min+ wait. We had to chase down the check in order to make our flight as the small meal we had ended up taking over an hour.

    Our honest feeling was that it was barely worth the effort, even when free. I can’t imagine what people feel like if they pay full price. I would never pay to eat there based on this experience.

  30. Kevin, why would one tip on an amount beyond what was actually spent? My meal cost a total of $19.38 (inclusive of 9.5% sales tax). This was fully covered by PP.

    I left $3. Unless my math is bad, that is 17% of the pre-tax amount, or 15.5% of the after tax bill. Relatively generous for indifferent service, IMO.

  31. While this is getting off topic: because the amount spent includes the PP credit. You’re still spending that amount, PP is essentially just a different form of payment for a portion of it.

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