Priority Pass has been adding airport restaurants to their lounge network at a furious pace. Within the past year alone, restaurants in Cleveland, Denver, Syracuse, St. Louis, and Indianapolis airports have joined the program, just to name a few. The concept is pretty simple in that each Priority Pass guest gets a $28 credit to spend on food and drink. My family has saved some significant money on food — you’d be amazed at how much kids eat — while traveling.
The proliferation of Priority Pass restaurants is leading to some interesting questions. I recently discussed whether you can visit a Priority Pass lounge on arrival, which of course can be handy if you want to grab a free (or cheap, once you include tip) bite to eat.
Reader beth asked another interesting question:
Weird question, how long do I have to wait to use my pass a second time? I have a 4 hour layover and am wondering if I can order some food and then get a drink later as a second check-in.
That’s an interesting question for sure.
With traditional lounges or airline clubs, you generally only need to check-in once for the day, even if you have to step out at some point (though some lounges do have a time limit in terms of how long you can stay).
Maybe you want to eat or do some shopping. In those cases, I just mention to the staff that I’m going to be back later, and it’s never been a problem. When you get back, you just explain that you’ve already shown your credentials, and they welcome you back in.
But with Priority Pass restaurant lounges, you specifically want them to check you back in so that you can get a fresh $28 food and beverage credit.
Adam, one of the managers from Timberline Steaks and Grille, the Priority Pass restaurant at the Denver Airport, left a comment on a Doctor of Credit post stating that they can actually check you in once every two hours using the same Priority Pass membership card:
My name is Adam and I am an assistant manager at Timberline Grille. Priority Pass allows additional check-ins after two hours, so if you have a long flight, you are welcome to get another check-in processed for another round of $28 credit after this two hour time frame has passed.
That sounds really generous to me.
And it means you can eat multiple meals at the same Priority Pass restaurant, all in the same day and using the same Priority Pass membership card. Or perhaps you want to dine, go for a walk, and then come back for dessert. That works too.
Bar Symon burger and fries
How to visit a Priority Pass lounge twice in a day
I always present my Priority Pass card to the server at the first opportunity. Either as we’re seated, or when he comes over to take our drink order, I’ll mention that we are using Priority Pass and hand him my card. He’ll usually ask how many guests I have, and then check us in right away.
I do it this way for a few reasons
- Checking in right away helps ensure I won’t forget
- If they decline my card, I can choose to go elsewhere since I haven’t ordered yet
- It starts the clock running
Now to be fair, I never really thought about the last reason until beth asked the question. But if you are aiming to have a second visit to a lounge, and hoping to get a new $28 credit, you should definitely want to get the clock started as quickly as possible since that determines how soon you can come back. Checking in shortly after placing your order, as opposed to when you leave, will allow you to come back that much sooner.
So say you eat lunch at a Priority Pass restaurant, and have them swipe your card at 12:15 PM. Even if you finish at 1 PM, you should still be eligible to return again at 2:15 PM.
Timberline Steaks and Grille cheesecake
Is this why Priority Pass restaurants can’t add guests after the initial check-in?
I’ve been to both Timberline in Denver and Bar Symon in Cleveland recently, and they both have published policies for Priority Pass guests. And in both cases, the third bullet specifically states that staff cannot add additional guests after initial check-in.
Timberline Steaks and Grille Priority Pass guest policies
Bar Symon Priority Pass guest policies
I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I’m guessing the reason that staff cannot add guests after the initial check-in is that the Priority Pass computer system simply won’t allow it. Because that would be two check-ins on the same card within two hours. I imagine that’s why you need to give them an accurate headcount when you present your card.
I’ve enjoyed the restaurants that Priority Pass has added to their network. Simply put, being able to dine before our flight departs, and (sometimes) when it lands, saves my family of five some serious money. I’ve never had a reason to visit the same Priority Pass lounge on the same day, so I had never thought about this issue. But it’s definitely good to know that if the need arises, you can check back into the same Priority Pass restaurant, and get an additional $28 credit. You just need to wait two hours.
Have you ever visited the same Priority Pass restaurant twice on the same day?