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Over the last few years, the Priority Pass lounge network has been growing by leaps and bounds. With over 1,000 locations worldwide to date, it’s been easy to find a lounge at airports outside of the US, though domestic locations have proved more challenging. Recently, Priority Pass has tried to rectify that disparity by adding non-lounge perks for airport restaurants and bars, with Priority Pass members getting a voucher at these establishments to offset the cost of food and beverages.
Now, the company has made a significant addition to its roster of actual lounges, and in the second-largest city in the US. Starting Monday, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in LAX’s Terminal 2 will become a part of Priority Pass.
It’s important to note that Priority Pass cardholders will not have the same access that Upper Class Virgin Atlantic passengers and elites get at the Clubhouse. Previously, the lounge only opened four hours before Virgin’s first London (LHR) departure, which is normally in the late afternoon after 5pm. Now, Virgin will open the lounge early for Priority Pass members, whose access is restricted to 5am through 12:30pm. This is undoubtedly because Virgin Atlantic is taking advantage of previously unused Clubhouse capacity.
Second, while the Clubhouse normally offers a complimentary full-service menu and open bar, neither of those features will be available during Priority Pass hours. Instead, lounge occupants will get complimentary beer and wine only, along with a cold buffet.
While it’s definitely not the full Clubhouse experience, this is still excellent news for folks with a Priority Pass membership. Since the Virgin America Loft in Terminal 3 closed in May, there have only been two Priority Pass lounges at LAX — the Alaska Airlines Board Room at Terminal 6 and the KAL Lounge in the Tom Bradley Terminal. It’s great to have a new third option, and especially in Terminal 2 which is now occupied by Delta after a major airline reshuffling earlier this year. Other airlines who depart from Terminal 2 are Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, WestJet and of course Virgin Atlantic.
If you’re interested in a Priority Pass membership, you can buy one directly at prioritypass.com. But often a better option is to get one for free as a complimentary benefit of many premium credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees), the Citi Prestige, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card and others. Even though the annual fees on these cards can run between $450 and $550, that’s only slightly more than buying a full Priority Pass membership, and you’ll get numerous additional benefits with a premium credit card.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here.
Featured image by Virgin Atlantic.
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