Plaza Premium has exited the Priority Pass program, while introducing its own lounge visit passes. These are just some of a raft of changes to airport lounge access arrangements that came into effect earlier this month.
Here’s a summary of what’s changed in the recent airport lounge shuffle…
Plaza Premium exits Priority Pass program
Since 1 July 2021, Priority Pass and LoungeKey members no longer have access to any of Plaza Premium’s airport lounges. Plaza Premium operates around 130 lounges worldwide, including in the international terminals of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne airports (these lounges are currently closed due to COVID-19).
This means that Priority Pass members, including members with access via the Citi Prestige credit card, now have access to fewer airport lounges. It also appears that Diners Club cardholders have now lost access to all Australian airport lounges except for the Rex domestic lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
However, this change does not affect American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders. Plaza Premium Lounge access, along with access to Amex Centurion lounges, Virgin Australia lounges and Delta Sky Club lounges is still available as a separate benefit of these specific Amex cards.
It may not be all bad news for other Australian-based Priority Pass members. With Swissport recently taking over the former No1 Lounges in Australia, including the “The House” and “My Lounge” locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, those lounges could join the Priority Pass network in the future – filling the gap left by Plaza Premium.
Most of the airport lounges in the international terminals of Australian airports are currently closed temporarily due to COVID-19.
Plaza Premium taking over 13 former Menzies-operated lounges
Separately, Plaza Premium recently announced that it will take over 13 airport lounges across airports in Europe, South Africa and New Zealand which were previously operated by Menzies Aviation, a ground-handling service provider. These include the Manaia Lounges in Christchurch and Queenstown, which will be rebranded as Plaza Premium lounges.
Work has already begun to convert these lounges to Plaza Premium lounges, although this has not yet been completed.
Plaza Premium now selling multiple-entry lounge passes
With Priority Pass access now off the table, Plaza Premium is offering its own lounge passes for sale.
You can already purchase one-time lounge access on the Plaza Premium website ahead of a visit to any of their airport lounges. Now, you can also pre-purchase Plaza Premium lounge passes valid for 2, 4 or 6 visits. Prices, in Australian Dollars, are as follows:
- 2-visit pass for $100.50
- 4-visit pass for $201
- 6-visit pass for $265.32
Smart Traveller members can also earn Arrture points when buying lounge visit passes.