The 10 best Priority Pass lounges around the world
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For most travelers, the Priority Pass Select membership that now comes with a plethora of rewards credit cards is one of the best value-added perks. If you don’t have elite status with an airline or the ability to travel in business class on your company’s dime, the extra value of a pre-departure lounge can really add up.
Although Priority Pass has been expanding from its core lounge business, including partnering with more than 30 restaurants at US airports and sending out offers to save on airport purchases, for most travelers, at most airports, a Priority Pass membership is still primarily about the lounges — even more so now that American Express cut complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences.
Since Priority Pass doesn’t own or operate the lounges itself, but rather contracts with them to give its members access, the quality can vary massively. Some lounges are little more than a small room with bottled water and dubious-looking food, but some are really as good as (or better than) what you’d get if you were flying in a premium cabin. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best Priority Pass lounges around the world, as well as which lounges are open 24 hours a day.
Further Reading: Everything You Need to Know About the Priority Pass Program
1. SkyTeam Lounge at Vancouver (YVR)
Location: Airside in the international departures area, near gate 53. This lounge is not accessible to passengers departing on Canadian domestic or US transborder flights.
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: The SkyTeam lounge in Vancouver checks all the standard boxes (showers, Wi-Fi, a good food and alcohol selection) but really goes above and beyond that. Between a multitude of spacious and private seating options, a self-serve wine bar and dining options from around the world, including made-to-order dumplings and noodle soups, this is the ideal place to relax before boarding a long-haul flight. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
2. Ahlan Lounge B at Dubai (DXB)
Location: Terminal 3 at DXB, concourse B, near gate B26 inside the ‘Cadiz Tapas Bar.’
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: This speakeasy-like lounge is an oasis amid the busy terminal. There’s a hearty buffet, massage chairs and complimentary access to the shower facilities at the Dubai International Hotel.
3. Oman Air First & Business Class Lounge at Bangkok (BKK)
Location: International concourse E at BKK
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: BKK is a massive airport, but the Oman Air lounge is worth the walk if you have time. The lounge features plenty of seating options, secluded daybeds if you need a nap before your flight and a calming underwater design accentuated by the fish tanks spread throughout the lounge. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
4. Sala VIP International at Quito (UIO)
Location: Airside at UIO, after security and passport control on the departure level, in front of the Duty Free Shop. International flights only.
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: Quito’s Sala VIP International lounge has been a repeat winner of both regional and international awards for the best Priority Pass lounge. It’s easy to see why, with an outdoor terrace, private work spaces, sleeping areas, massage rooms and showers for guests. The lounge even has its own private wine cellar.
5. Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD)
Location: Airside at IAD, near gate B43
Hours: 6 a.m. — 11 p.m.
Amenities: The Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington Dulles is hands down one of the best Priority Pass lounges in the US, between an elegant and upscale design, an appetizing buffet with plenty of hot and cold options, and model airplanes sprinkled throughout the lounge to enhance the decor. The best part, though, is the giant floor-to-ceiling windows that face out over the international concourse at Dulles, giving plane spotters plenty of live entertainment to keep them occupied. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
Further Reading: Choose this, not that: IAD Priority Pass lounge edition
6. SATS Premier Lounge at Singapore (SIN)
Location: Airside in terminal 1 & 2 at SIN
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: Singapore Changi Airport offers an astounding 11 Priority Pass lounges to choose from, but it’s also home to the SATS Premier Lounge (with one location in terminal 1 and another in terminal 2), which has been voted the best Priority Pass lounge in Asia. TPG Senior Points & Miles Writer JT Genter checked it out before boarding the world’s longest flight from Singapore (SIN) to Newark (EWR), and found that it was indeed one of the best Priority Pass lounges around — including an excellent hot food buffet, speedy Wi-Fi, surprisingly good massage chairs and spotless showers.
7. Star Alliance Lounge at Charles de Gaulle in Paris (CDG)
Location: Terminal 1 at CDG, after passport control but before security on level 11
Hours: 5:30 a.m. — 9 p.m.
Amenities: The Star Alliance Lounge at CDG is a great way to say au revoir to Paris, with an appropriately impressive selection of French wines and gourmet food. The real highlight, however, is the outdoor terrace that gives you a chance to suck in one last gulp of fresh, non-pressurized/recycled air before you board your flight.
8. Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi (NAN)
Location: International terminal departures area at NAN, airside past the Duty Free Shops on the ground level, past the escalators toward the Departure Level on the left hand side.
Hours: 5 a.m. — 11 p.m.
Amenities: Although Nadi airport historically hasn’t been known for its lounge offerings, Fiji Airways’ somewhat new flagship lounge is a great option. Guests will enjoy chef-inspired menus, baristas, spa (charges apply), nanny service and the exclusive ‘Fiji Bean Cart’. A locally inspired design, including a live greenery wall and constellation lighting representing the Fijian summer and winter skies, will help stretch your vacation out until the last possible minute.
9. The Grand Lounge Elite at Mexico City (MEX)
Location: Airside in terminals 1 and 2 at MEX
Hours: 24 hours daily.
Amenities: The Grand Lounge Elite operates three lounges at MEX (three in terminal 1 and one in terminal 2). They each offer complimentary shoe shines, massages, manicures and shower suites. They also have full a la carte menus you can order made-to-order food and drinks from, and if you don’t feel like walking to your gate after your visit, they’ll even drive you there in a golf cart.
10. Almost@Home Lounge at Helsinki (HEL)
Location: Airside at HEL in the Non-Schengen area before Gate 32. Non-Schengen flights only.
Hours: 5:30 a.m. — 11:30 p.m.
Amenities: The Almost@Home Lounge in Helsinki offers varied seating options and a tremendous food selection, including regional specialties, and a cooking area where guests can even make their own meals. The lounge also features showers, complimentary Wi-Fi, wine, beer and soft drinks.
Lounges open 24 hours a day
Although most people don’t plan on staying at an airport overnight, delays/cancellations happen and plans sometimes change. Additionally, if you’re a budget traveler, you might not be willing to shell out the high cost for an airport hotel room for such a short stay. As you can see above, many of the best Priority Pass lounges do close at night, but fortunately, there still are many that stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the US, the only options open and accessible to Priority Pass members around the clock are Sleepbox and Minute Suites. These are essentially private rooms designed for napping and working and can be found inside terminals at airports such as Atlanta (ATL), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Philadelphia (PHL).
However, you’ll find a plethora of traditional lounges open around the clock elsewhere around the world. For instance, major airports like Mexico City (MEX), Madrid (MAD), Paris (CDG), Cairo (CAI), Dubai (DXB), Hong Kong (HKG) and Singapore (SIN) all have terrific 24-hour Priority Pass lounges.
Priority Pass membership as a credit card benefit
A Priority Pass Select membership is included with the following premium credit cards, although enrollment is required. Note that this list doesn’t include cards that are no longer available to new applicants or are invitation-only.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Membership is included for both cardholders and authorized users, along with two guests. The card costs $450 annually, plus $75 for an authorized user.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express $550 (see rates & fees) and $595 annual fees (see rates & fees), respectively. Access for both primary card holders and authorized users, along with two guests. Platinum cardmembers can also access Delta Sky Club lounges when they’re traveling on a Delta flight the same day, with guest access at a reduced fee ($29 per person for up to two guests); Airspace lounges (with two guests); Escape lounges (with two guests) and American Express Centurion Lounges (with two guests). Authorized users cost $175 annually for the personal card (see rates & fees) and $300 for the business version (see rates & fees).
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Primary cardholders receive a Priority Pass Select membership good for themselves and two guests. There’s a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees) for this card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: This card offers a Priority Pass Select membership with unlimited complimentary access for the primary cardholder and two guests. The card has a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: This card includes a Priority Pass membership; however it offers only 10 free visits a year, with no free guests. You can visit by yourself 10 times, or visit once with nine guests. After that, you’ll have to pay a $32 fee per person per visit. There’s a $95 annual fee (see rates & fees) for this card.
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card: This card comes with a limited Priority Pass Select membership for one cardmember per account, including authorized users. The member will receive complimentary access to participating lounges for the first four visits as well as four individual guest visits. After the free visits are used, the discounted $32 per visit entry fee will apply to cardholders and guests. There’s a $400 annual fee for this card.
- Citi Prestige® Card: Cardholders and authorized users both get Priority Pass Select with access for immediate family members (a spouse, children or domestic partner) or up to two guests. The annual fee is $495, and the primary cardholder may add authorized users for $75.
Many major international airports now have more than one Priority Pass lounge or affiliated restaurant, with some like Singapore (SIN) even having 10 or more. Many even have lounges that are open around the clock. It’s important to do your research and read lounge reviews whenever possible to make sure you spend your layover at the most pleasant lounge possible and not get turned away because you showed up outside of the hours Priority Pass members are admitted.
Further Reading: The 9 best Priority Pass lounges in the U.S.
Featured image courtesy of SkyTeam.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass, please click here
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, please click here
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