Access to airport lounges is normally a perk of flying Business class or holding elite airline status. But even if you’re not a frequent flyer, you can enjoy access to airport lounges around the world with a Priority Pass membership.
Priority Pass members have access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in six continents. But the real beauty is that you can use the lounge regardless of your class of travel or the airline you’re flying. (One of the limitations of Qantas Club or Virgin Lounge membership is that you can only use the lounge when flying with certain airlines.)
Priority Pass Lounge Network
Priority Pass boasts an impressive network of over 1,200 airport lounges. For example, you’ll find lounges in Singapore, Denpasar, Auckland, Nadi, Dubai and London Heathrow, to name just a few airports. Most are third-party and contract lounges, rather than airline-specific lounges.
There are currently 8 Priority Pass lounges located in Australia. Three of these are REX domestic lounges, located in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Lounges can also be found in the international terminals of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Darwin airports. Note that access to “The House” lounges in Sydney and Melbourne requires a AU$20 surcharge, payable at the door – however these are very nice lounges, so it may be worth paying the extra charge.
Priority Pass also partners with various airport restaurants, cafés and bars. In lieu of a lounge visit, members can claim a AU$36 credit at eateries in the domestic terminals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast, as well as the international terminals in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. That means you can get a free meal every time you fly from one of these airports! Unfortunately, this benefit is no longer available to Priority Pass members that received complimentary membership via an American Express credit card.
There are 3 membership options: Standard, Standard Plus and Prestige.
Standard membership (USD99/year) entitles you to access any affiliated lounge for a fee of USD32 per visit, while Standard Plus membership (USD299/year) includes 10 annual lounge visits. Prestige members (USD429/year) receive unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for a whole year – which can be quite a good deal if you’re flying a lot. Priority Pass members can bring one guest with them into the lounge for an additional USD32 per visit.
By signing up through Australian Frequent Flyer, you can receive 20% off Standard membership and 10% off Standard Plus membership for the first year.
You may bring up to one guest into the lounge with you for an extra USD32 per visit.
Complimentary Priority Pass Membership
Rather than buying membership directly, some Australian credit cards offer complimentary Priority Pass membership as an included perk!
Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige cardholders enjoy complimentary Priority Pass Prestige membership. This comes with unlimited airport lounge access for the cardholder plus one free guest per visit! This is a great benefit, although Amex cardholders are not eligible for airport restaurant credits. Note that as of October 2019, the Citi Prestige card is no longer available to new applicants.
The Citi Signature credit card comes with complimentary Standard membership and two free annual lounge visits. The Westpac Altitude Black and St George Amplify cards also include two complimentary annual Priority Pass lounge passes.