Exclusive: Chase airport lounge coming to Phoenix, along with 4 previously announced locations

Jan 21, 2022

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Credit card issuers compete on a lot of fronts, but one area that has been heating up the most is airport lounges.

TPG was the first to report last year that Chase would wade into the fray with its own branded lounges, dubbed “Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club.” In total, there were four planned locations: New York (LGA), Boston (BOS), San Diego (SAN) and Hong Kong (HKG).

Now, we’ve learned that Chase is laying the groundwork for a fifth lounge at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) — a plan confirmed by TPG through public board meeting documents.

Although American Express remains the undisputed heavyweight in this arena with its Global Lounge Collection, Capital One has also made a foray into the field with the opening of its first airport lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in November.

Here’s what we know about this latest proposed Chase lounge in Phoenix (PHX), plus a recap of the four other locations.

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Chase Sapphire Lounge locations

The proposed Sapphire Lounge in Phoenix is in addition to four other lounges already in the works. While none are open to the public yet, that will change in 2022. The five airport lounges Chase has planned so far and their specific locations are:

More details about Chase Sapphire Lounges

Chase is working in partnership with Airport Dimensions to build out its lounges. Airport Dimensions currently operates over two dozen lounges worldwide, most of which are branded as “The Club” or “Club Aspire” and are largely accessible via Priority Pass membership.

Chase’s lounges are expected to offer more upmarket amenities than you might find in some other Priority Pass locations, including facilities like showers and family rooms, business lounges and both wellness and rest areas.

Although we have yet to see the specific offerings each lounge will have, here’s what we found out about the fifth location and a recap of what we know so far about the other four.

Phoenix (PHX) location

The Sapphire Lounge will open within the new Terminal 4 S1 concourse. (Screenshot from the city of Phoenix)

The Sapphire Lounge in Phoenix (PHX) will be located at the new eight-gate facility in Terminal 4, with the concourse set to open in the summer of 2022. This south concourse will be the home of Southwest Airlines and a connector bridge will link to the north concourses, which includes gates occupied by American Airlines.

Three major players competed for the right to the 3,500-square-foot lounge space, according to Phoenix Airport board meeting documents: Chase with its Sapphire Lounge, Capital One and Escape (in partnership with American Express).

Competition for these types of spaces at busy airports remains fierce, as the number of applicants for this one demonstrates. (Note that there are already two Escape lounges, along with a dedicated Centurion Lounge, located at Phoenix.)

While we don’t yet know of a firm opening date, Chase is expected to commence its contract term in February and begin the build-out of its lounge soon after.

Related: Amex to scale to over 40 Centurion-branded lounges worldwide

San Diego (SAN) location

Chase has had lounges at sporting events, such as the U.S. Open. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

In early November, Airport Dimensions (in partnership with Chase) was awarded the contract to build out an 11,000-square-foot lounge in San Diego’s Terminal 2 West.

Chase’s lounge proposal beat out other key competitors, including Escape Lounge (in partnership with American Express), Plaza Premium Group and the Aspire Lounge.

The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club has a targeted opening date of November 2023 and will feature “locally inspired design, local food, beverages and art partnerships,” according to San Diego Airport Authority (SDAA) documents.

These same documents indicate that the space, once completed, will be located on the mezzanine level between Gates 46 and 47 and be part of a 10-year lease with a $17.6 million capital investment.

Boston (BOS) location

In June 2021, TPG was the first to learn that Chase had been approved to operate a new lounge at Boston Logan International Airport. The 12,000-square-foot lounge will be located in Logan’s currently-under-construction Terminal B to C connector.

According to Massport meeting documents, Airport Dimensions was awarded a 12-year lease at Logan for a new lounge with a $20.4 million capital investment.

Chase’s new lounge at Logan has an anticipated “build-out” date in the first quarter of 2022. According to slides from Massport, lounge amenities will include a wellness area, business lounge, shower suites and a family room.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

(Photo courtesy of Chase)

Hong Kong (HKG) location

The Chase Sapphire lounge at HKG will be located in the West Hall of the International Departures area near Gate 40. The lounge will also be accessible for passengers departing from the East Hall via shuttle or a 10- to 15-minute walk. While this lounge is expected to open in 2022, continuing COVID-19-related travel restrictions may push this date back.

New York LaGuardia (LGA) location

Details about this location seem the most scant. It will be located in the airport’s new Terminal B, where you’ll also find Amex’s Centurion Lounge (opened in June 2021).

Who will have access

All of Chase’s new lounges are expected to be available to both Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers as well as members of Priority Pass. Priority Pass is a perk offered by a wide swath of rewards cards from a number of issuers, including American Express, Citi and Capital One, so it will be interesting to see if folks with premium cards from other banks use them to access Chase’s new lounges.

There’s no word yet on whether folks with other Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, will get access outright, perhaps receive a few one-time passes annually or if they’ll be able to pay for entry.

“Travel has always been important to our customers who aspire for compelling and elevated experiences,” Marianne Lake, co-CEO of Chase, said in August. “We’re investing in meeting our customers where they want to be as more and more of them have the confidence to travel again.”

Aside from simply pleasing cardholders, plotting out a lounge network appears more and more to be a tactic Chase needs to commit to in order to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded field of premium rewards cards, more of which are beginning to offer access to more lounges.

Related: Chase adds bonus categories, new perks to Sapphire card lineup

Bottom line

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Related: Airport lounge wars: How credit card companies are competing for your pre-flight cocktail

For years, the network of Amex-owned and operated Centurion Lounges was the only major player in the card-run lounge space. In fact, Amex’s Global Lounge Collection, which includes its Centurion-branded spaces, took home the Editor’s Choice prize for best credit card perk at the 2021 TPG Awards.

But there’s little doubt that airport lounge competition is intensifying amongst major credit card issuers.

Just in the past three months, Capital One opened its first airport lounge, operated by the Plaza Premium Group, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. In 2022, Capital One has plans to debut additional locations at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Denver International (DEN).

For its part, Chase will be stepping into the ring with Chase Sapphire Lounges at — so far — five proposed locations, now including Phoenix. Thanks to Priority Pass, a large number of travelers might have access to these spaces, so we’ll have to see if crowding becomes an issue.

Let the lounge games continue.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy. 

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