Visiting a Lounge Twice in One Day — Reader Mistake Story
Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader Abby, who encountered a restriction on lounge access she hadn't anticipated:
I flew to Boston (BOS) and back the same day for a meeting. I had booked flights that left time for delays on both ends, but because the flights were on time and security lines were empty, I ended up with about an extra hour on both sides. Upon landing in Boston, I visited Stephanie’s with my Priority Pass to get tea and an English muffin. When I arrived back at Logan airport, I stopped in at Stephanie’s again, assuming that I could use the benefit before my flight home.
Unfortunately, Stephanie’s limits customers to one Priority Pass check-in per 24 hours. I didn’t realize this, and thought that I had been able to check in twice at other Priority Pass locations on other trips, so I ended up paying for another tea and a glass of wine. It wasn't a big deal in the big picture, but had I known about that restriction, I might have gone to a different terminal.
In recent years, Priority Pass has augmented its network with a collection of restaurants and other facilities members can use in transit. Much like the program's traditional airport lounges, those alternative locations are free to impose their own rules and restrictions on access, including limited hours, limited guest policies and even dress codes. You'll typically find such restrictions noted on the Priority Pass website or app, but not always. For example, neither one mentions a cap on the number of daily visits to Stephanie's in Boston, but as reported by Frequent Miler, some Priority Pass restaurants are limiting how often you can check in. To their credit, those locations appear to at least be notifying members with signage provided on site.
As Abby points out, she could have gone to a different lounge in Boston if she had been aware of the restriction, since members are free to visit multiple lounges in the same airport. You might also be able to circumvent the daily limit if you have two separate Priority Pass accounts (from two different credit cards that offer access, for example), but make sure you can distinguish between your membership cards so you don't end up accidentally getting charged for entry. If you're planning to visit a restaurant lounge more than once in a 24-hour period, clarify the rules upon your first visit. That way you can put your credit toward whichever bill you expect to be higher in case only one visit is permitted.
And of course, be aware of American Express' new restriction on Priority Pass restaurants that kicks in August 1, 2019. Thankfully, other issuers have publicly committed to maintaining restaurant access for cardholders, so hopefully this won't become a trend with other cards that provide lounge access.
I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Abby a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I'd like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put "Reader Mistake Story" in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.
Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!