Priority Pass pulls shady move with latest lounge additions
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Two former Etihad Airways lounges have recently joined Priority Pass. ‘The House’ lounges at both the Melbourne and Sydney airports are now a part of the Priority Pass network, according to One Mile At A Time. For travelers through either of these airports, this will give a boost to the otherwise slim lounge offerings for Priority Pass members.
Priority Pass members will be able to access the Melbourne lounge from 5:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. and the Sydney lounge from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. This will be the second Priority Pass lounge at both Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to a plethora off restaurant options.
There is a bit of a catch with this latest addition, however. Priority Pass members will be charged a fee of 20AUD or about $13.75 to use either of the lounges. While it’s not an outrageous fee, it’s still a fee. Worst case, this could be a trial for other lounges to see if Priority Pass members are willing to pay a small fee to access lounges that are part of the network.
At its core, Priority Pass is a rapidly expanding network of airport lounges, mini-suites and restaurants. It boasts more than 1,200 eligible locations in some 600 airports in more than 140 countries. The company was created in 1992 and it claims to be the largest airport lounge network in the world. Although these numbers sound impressive, the vast majority of lounges are outside of the US, and many are in small airports.
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. That is, unless we have to start paying additional fees to use these lounges.
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