Advertiser Disclosure

american express 89024 1 1 priority pass airport lounges review
Credit Cards

Priority Pass Airport Lounges Review: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Last updated: December 27,2022
Originally Published: May 11,2020
by Jameson Lamie

Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.

Taryn and I used to receive two United Club passes each year we had the United MileagePlus credit card, and boy did we think we were baller.  But guess what?  Times have changed, and airport lounges probably aren’t as awesome as they used to be.

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal bemoaning what airport lounges have become.   Travelers often envision lounges with posh couches, white-gloved servers, flights of wine, and a quiet respite from the chaos in the main terminal.  However, with so many more people having access to these lounges due to owning premium travel credit cards, many of these lounges aren’t the sanctuary they once were. It’s a good thing for issuers but not for us, cardholders.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 9.12.36 PM.png
The Turkish Airlines Lounge at Dulles is gorgeous… if you can actually snag a seat.

To be fair, I just wrote about the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which offers complimentary Priority Pass membership.  The Priority Pass grants free access to over 7,000+ airport lounges throughout the world.  While the pass doesn’t grant you access to all lounges, the list is quite comprehensive.  Check it out here.  A single visit to an airport lounge will likely cost $25+ so the Priority Pass has the potential to save cardholders a ton of money.  It’s a fantastic deal, even for the infrequent flyer.

But maybe it’s TOO good of a deal.  Premium credit cards offering Priority Pass membership (Chase Sapphire Reserve, AMEX Platinum, Citi Prestige, etc.) are popular among millennials, who (generally speaking) prioritize travel more than previous generations.  And who wouldn’t want to take advantage of free snacks/beer and better access to outlets for charging your iPhone?

As a result, the ritzy airport lounges that were previously for the exclusive use of loyal business class travelers are now being shared with less frequent (and probably less discerning) flyers.  This democratization of airport lounges means that airlines are often cutting back on some of their previous perks, such as free booze.  I know… major party foul.

Lucky for us, the Singapore Airlines business class lounge offered plenty of complimentary food and drinks. 😎

It also means that credit cards are cutting back as well.  Literally days after posting my review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase announced that they would limit the number of free guests per Priority Pass cardholder to two.   They previously allowed unlimited guests, which was crazy excessive.  Not a huge loss if you fly alone or with a significant other, but for a family of four, it’s a huge bummer.

Ultimately, opening an airport lounge to Priority Pass members can also be a moneymaker for the lounges themselves.  I don’t know the specific economics of the transaction, but the lounges are reimbursed for each Priority Pass member (and guest) who uses their facility.  Typical lounge access using the Priority Pass could be valued at $28/person, so the additional revenue can quickly add up if 50 people use the pass on an average day.

So the value of airport lounges (and therefore the Priority Pass) is changing.  However, one encouraging change is Priority Pass partnering with airport restaurants; instead of allowing access to airport lounges, Priority Pass will essentially give you a voucher toward purchases at participating airport restaurants.  It’s only available at a select few airports at the moment (Miami, Portland, and St. Louis to name a few), but a free sit-down meal is much more appealing to me than an overcrowded and underwhelming airport lounge.

Beer tasting and a free meal with the Priority Pass?  Way cooler than an airport lounge.

As I stated in my Chase Sapphire cards review, Taryn and I generally want to spend as little time as possible at the airport before departure.  But if a free meal is waiting for us at the airport?  Now you’re speaking our language.  We always tell our travel concierge clients that getting the right card would always depend on how you travel and spend money. If you love staying at airports, then this might be for you.

Advertiser Disclosure

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 2X miles on everyday spend.
  • Earn 10X miles on hotels and car rentals, and 5x on flights booked on Capital One Travel
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles every account opening anniversary.
  • Get a $300 credit to use on Capital One Travel each year.
  • Unlimited Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • $395 annual fee.
Learn More

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment