The Fastest Growing Airport in the US Gets Its First Priority Pass Lounge
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Priority Pass has an extensive lounge network of over 1,200 lounges, including 28 restaurant lounges in US airports in addition to hundreds of traditional lounges. However, the lounge distribution across airports certainly isn't even. While Los Angeles (LAX) has five Priority Pass lounges and Washington Dulles (IAD) has four, airports like New York LaGuardia (LGA), Nashville (BNA) and Chicago O'Hare (ORD)'s domestic terminals have zero.
Up until this week, one of the fastest growing airports in the US, Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), didn't have a single shared-use lounge, much less a Priority Pass lounge.
Thanks to adding numerous new airlines and routes in 2018, JAX grew its capacity by 15.4% from 2017 to 2018, edging out Austin's (AUS) 13.8% capacity growth to be the fastest-growing mid- or large-sized airport in the US. And those newly-added seats didn't go out empty. JAX had 434,000 more enplanements in 2018 — a 16.1% increase from the year prior. That's the fastest percentage growth of the 99 busiest airports in the US.
As of this week, those passengers will now have a new lounge to use before their flight. The Airport Lounge Development Inc — a subsidiary of Priority Pass' parent company Collinson Group — opened its 16th US lounge on Wednesday: The Club JAX. And, from the photos that Priority Pass sent over, it looks pretty good.
To be sure, it's a small lounge. The 3,000-foot lounge only has space for 52 passengers to visit at one time. With around 665,000 passengers passing through JAX in March 2019, the lounge could get crowded at points. Operating hours won't be a limitation though with the lounge operating from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET.
Passengers with a Priority Pass membership will get free access to the lounge. Priority Pass membership is a perk of numerous cards — including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required). Passengers who don't have a lounge membership can pay $40 per visit for a day pass.
RELATED: The best cards for lounge access.
The Club has six "signature zones" for visitors to enjoy: a Relax Zone, Productivity Zone, Kids Zone, Replenish Zone, Resting Zone and Refresh Zone — which includes a "spa-inspired shower."
The Replenish Zone offers a hot and cold buffet and snacks in addition to a bar with complimentary cocktails and spirits. The Club even created a signature cocktail for the JAX lounge based on the local Manifest Distilling's Citrus Vodka.
The Club becomes the third lounge at JAX, joining the Delta SkyClub and USO lounges. The Delta SkyClub is available for passengers with a SkyClub membership, Delta One or SkyTeam business class passengers on international itineraries, SkyTeam elite travelers on qualifying itineraries, and passengers traveling on Delta with a qualifying card like The Platinum Card from American Express or the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express. The USO lounge is accessible by members of the military and their families.
RELATED: Airport lounge access policies for active duty military members.
Along with this opening came good news for other passengers who frequent other lounge-lacking airports. The Airport Lounge Development company is also planning to open lounges in Charleston International (CHS), Buffalo Niagara (BUF) and New Orleans (MSY) — plus a second lounge in San Jose (SJC).
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