Several weeks ago, American Express announced that cards that included a Priority Pass Select membership would no longer include complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences as of August 1. These cards include the Platinum, Centurion, Hilton Surpass® Card, Hilton Aspire, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Cards.
Starting August 1, Priority Pass cards that come from American Express will no longer give credit at participating Priority Pass airport restaurants.
Priority Pass’s landing page states: “Please note that these FAQs only relate to the membership referenced in the email that you have received. Please log in to your online account for each membership to understand the features available against each membership.”
The growth of Priority Pass has been widely applauded as they brought in more non-lounge options to travelers. However, credit card companies have been paying for that growth. With American Express investing in their own Centurion Lounges, they didn’t want to bear the costs of paying for restaurant access. As a consequence, this latest devaluation is just a symptom of this strategy by the company.
Remaining AmEx Priority Pass Non-Lounge Options
As a result of these changes, a small number of non-lounge airport experiences (mostly Minute Suites) will remain available subject to complimentary benefit provided by American Express. These locations are shown below:
|Lounge Name||Airport Code||Airport||Terminal||Country|
|Minute Suites||ATL||Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International||Concourse B||USA|
|Minutes Suites||ATL||Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International||Concourse T||USA|
|Minute Suites||CLT||Charlotte Douglas International||Atrium||USA|
|Minute Suites||DFW||Dallas / Fort Worth international||Terminal A||USA|
|Minute Suites||DFW||Dallas / Fort Worth International||Terminal D||USA|
|Minute Suites||PHL||Philadelphia International||Terminal B||USA|
|Sleep'n'fly - the new airport sleep concept by YAWN||DXB||Dubai International||Terminal 3, Concourse A||UAE|
|The Grain Store||LGW||London Gatwick||South Terminal||UK|
Memberships Are Unchanged For Cards Like The Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase cardholders will continue to have access to non-lounge restaurants through their Priority Pass memberships that come with their cards.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a Priority Pass Select membership. That card currently has a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card, and each additional authorized user costs $75 per year (Authorized users receive a Priority Pass Select membership of their own.)
Priority Pass Membership Options
If you don’t want to apply for a credit card, you can purchase membership directly from the Priority Pass website for $99 (Standard), $299 (Standard Plus), or $429 (Prestige) per year. As you can see below, the two cheaper memberships don’t offer unlimited access, and they all charge $32 per guest visit.
For American Express premium cardholders, this is a devaluation of a card benefit. Popular options like Capers Cafe (Capers Market was removed in April 2019) in the Portland Airport, Jerry Remy’s at Boston, and Corona Beach House located in Miami were great options other than lounge food.
Meanwhile, some airports don’t even have a Priority Pass lounge but do have non-lounge restaurants.
For me, I will rely on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. But this change is another blow specifically to the AmEx Platinum’s lounge benefit — especially since you can’t access Centurion Lounges on arrival anymore and there’s time restrictions for access on departure.
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