Priority Pass Restaurant Concept Expands To Indianapolis & Greenville-Spartanburg

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Over the past year we’ve seen several airport restaurants and bars in the US join Priority Pass. The concept is that at some airports Priority Pass has a tough time striking a deal with a major lounge due to crowding issues, so when that’s not possible, they instead work with a restaurant.

Priority Pass pays a fixed amount for each guest who enters a lounge, so instead Priority Pass is just paying these restaurants a fixed amount, and then you can spend some dollar amount at that restaurant (typically $28-30). So far in the US, Priority Pass restaurants & bars include the following:

Priority Pass has just added two more US restaurant locations – The Fan Zone at Indianapolis Airport (IND), and RJ Rockers Flight Room at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP).

As a reminder, the following are some of the most popular credit cards that come with Priority Pass memberships (I’ve also listed the respective guesting privileges):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express2Yes$300 Per Person
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card2Yes$75 Per Person

The Fan Zone at Indianapolis Airport

The Fan Zone at Indianapolis Airport is open daily from 8AM until the last flight departs. As they describe it, The Fan Zone offers starters such as pretzel and pizza sticks, hot deli sandwiches served on croissant rolls, and local craft beers on tap. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a menu online.

The restaurant is located airside (after security). Once you pass through security just turn left, and it’s located at the end of Concourse B, near gate B17.

Priority Pass members will be entitled to $28 worth of food & drinks per person. In order to be eligible you need to have a same day day confirmed boarding pass, though there’s no explicit requirement that it needs to be an outbound boarding pass (so in theory you could visit on arrival).

The Priority Pass member will be responsible for any overage beyond the $28 credit, and that credit can’t be applied towards gratuity (and personally I think it’s appropriate to tip, as a Priority Pass membership is just a form of payment here).

RJ Rockers Flight Room at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport

RJ Rockers Flight Room at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport is open daily from 3:30AM until the last flight departs from the concourse. As they describe it, RJ Rockers is a full service restaurant featuring local craft beers and a menu inspired by the brewery’s unique flavors and pairings. I also wasn’t able to find a menu online for this place.

The restaurant is located airside (after security). Once you pass through security just turn right, and it’s located opposite gate B3.

Priority Pass members will be entitled to $28 worth of food & drinks per person. In order to be eligible you need to have a same day day confirmed boarding pass, though there’s no explicit requirement that it needs to be an outbound boarding pass (so in theory you could visit on arrival).

The Priority Pass member will be responsible for any overage beyond the $28 credit, and that credit can’t be applied towards gratuity (and personally I think it’s appropriate to tip, as a Priority Pass membership is just a form of payment here).

Bottom line

It’s really cool to see the Priority Pass restaurant concept extended to some smaller airports that otherwise lack lounges where Priority Pass would likely never be able to reach an agreement. While these aren’t mega-hubs that most of us travel through often, this is great for anyone who is a regular at either of these airports.

Is anyone planning on checking out either of the new Priority Pass restaurants in Greenville-Spartanburg or Indianapolis?

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Comments

  1. I’d rather have free food than free food and have to pay a tip on top of it. It’s ridiculous that we can’t use the $28 credit towards tips because most people aren’t going to use the whole $28 on the first place. Of course, tips and tipping culture is the more ridiculous thing in the first place.

  2. Airport restaurants charge a high markup and i doubt these restaurants will let you sit there one you are done eating, so its not a good substitute for a lounge if you are looking for a quiet place to sit. If this is the wave of the future for PP I’ll ditch it.

  3. As an IND based DL flyer with an AMEX Platinum, this is great news! I can get a full meal at The Fan Zone and then head to the DL lounge if I have any extra time to relax.

    Thank you Lucky for these updates!

  4. They probably can’t have tips included because otherwise people would just use the remainder of their allowance on tip which would suck for the restaurant if someone just bought a bottle of water and tipped the server $24 to use up the credit.

    Actually, what happens if someone doesn’t use up the whole credit? If I purchase a $4 water bottle and use my PP card, surely the restaurant doesn’t get paid $24? Otherwise, every restaurant would be clamoring to sign up.

  5. The photo shows a 900 calorie cheeseburger accompanied by French fries. Welcome to the fat farm.

  6. @Thomas V. Arnoldi, well it is an article about a lounge in Indiana….one of the unhealthiest, most obese states in the nation.

  7. So if I have PP on my CSR and I go in with my girlfriend, will we be allowed $28 each? Technically I’m allowed a guest at lounges so am I allowed 56 in total bill?

  8. I never tip. We should use market prices to signal consumer choices.

    My choice is I don’t need a server. I can go pick up the plate from the counter myself. Don’t force me into a situation where the only option is to tip.

    The waiters need to value add to earn the tip. Most of the time the tip is a forced subsidy. Let’s bring a case to the WTO: illegal subsidy.

  9. Fort Lauderdale has Emirates flights, British Airways, Southwest, Jetblue, AA, DL, UA and not a single priority pass restaurant/lounge. I emailed PP about this and they gave me a general answer of course.

  10. This is awesome as GSP is my home airport. Basically better than average bar food but also have a grab and go area. I think Priority Pass is going to lose their shirt on me. 😉

    All of GSP is behind one security checkpoint although this will be more convenient for passengers on United, American, and Southwest as they fly out of Terminal B and Delta flys out of Terminal A (only 5-1 minutes walk though).

  11. Lucky: Perhaps this is worth a full article instead of just a reply, but how is money made between the credit card companies, PP and a restaurant. For example, I used my PP card, which I got through the Amex Hilton Honors Ascend card to go the the Timberline at DEN. As I ate less than $28, the only money I paid out was for the tip. So who makes money in this situation? Thanks in advance.

  12. I do appreciate hearing about new Priority Pass options, and while I’m sure it’s not for everyone, I like the option of getting a decent meal of real food–let’s be honest, the buffets in most PP lounges aren’t quite Polaris a-la-carte dining. I had a layover in IND last fall, and I certainly wouldn’t have objected to a meal option.

  13. I find PP is getting more useless all the time. More and more lounges are time restricted and so are some of these restaurants. You got to be lucky enough to fly from the same friggin terminal where the lounge is and then on top of that be there in the right time, e.g. when no one else is going to take a flight and so on. Becomes more of an “as if” thing…

  14. PDX Capers is great! However, I don’t understand why you aren’t promoting Amex Ascend card with 10 FREE priority pass visits annually for a low annual fee. For retirees like myself and my wife who each have that card, that is 20 visit credits per year that you can share with family or other guests when they travel with you. And we got a total of 200,000 AA miles when we signed up! I think that card should be on your chart 🙂

  15. @Lucky agree with @GSBEWR. Would be great to clarify exactly how PP works. As I understand it, the restaurant gets an agreed amount that is less than $28, but no idea how much of a haircut they take (ie while $28 is the notional amount, PP assume on average day $20 is spent, so they agree to pay the restaurant $24 per person. Restaurant the. Gets the unders / overs).

  16. I live in Greenville, so this is very welcome news. Love our local airport for how easy it is to get to and quick security is but it does lack a lounge. There is a private lounge in the planning, but this is good news for me personally.

  17. @John – if PP is getting more useless, then cancel it! Buy a Business / First ticket and use the airline’s lounge. Easy solution. PP have added more choice – how’s that a bad thing? Sure some lounges are over-crowded and restrictions are put in place..and yes, that’s frustrating. But hey, if you don’t like it, put your hand in your pocket and pay for a meal and a drink and use the airport’s wifi. Stop your grumbling!

  18. After reading these comments, I think people are living in another universe. Priority Pass NEVER had many lounges in the US that credit card holders could access. Yes, in a era many, many years ago United Club’s were part of Priority Pass, but only for folks who didn’t get their Priority Pass from a financial institution (e.g. paid cash or per use through Priority Pass.) The airlines for the most part have no interest in having their lounges joining Priority Pass because they want you to fly just them and have access through their co-branded credit card, or through their paid membership program. The one airline that did (Alaska), just announced that they are pulling out their lounges in their hub!

    If you want exclusive lounges withing the continental United States, get an Amex Plat, in addition to all the Priority Pass lounges, they have their own Centurion lounges AND Escape Lounges, Airspace Lounges plus of course Delta Skyclubs (the latter requires you to be flying Delta.)

    Finally, I don’t get the opposition to a tip? I mean if you tip 20% and assuming you spend the full $28 that is $5.60. Almost all the restaurants Priority Pass is adding are in places they didn’t have lounges, so absent the restaurant what could you buy at the airport for $5.60? Probably not even a cold sandwich! Remember, for these restaurants part of the reason they sign up is to bring in more customers who tip and that makes it easier for them to attract and keep wait staff. All the folks, who don’t tip ruin that business model, and some restaurants will then just drop out. I usually travel with my wife, and really paying around $11 for a meal while at an airport is a steal, and it’s better the carrot sticks and soup you’d get at most airline lounges, so folks should be rejoicing instead of whining!

  19. @Arlington Traveler: Debit is a troll. Just ignore him like the rest of us. Most people with any amount of decency tip.

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