Are you thinking about signing up for Priority Pass and wondering if it’s really worth it? You’ve come to the right place!
As a travel blogger that lives in Mexico, I fly internationally quite frequently but at first wasn’t sure if I’d get enough use out of a Priority Pass lounge membership.
I’ve now been a Priority Pass member for over 2 years and have gotten very familiar with how the Priority Pass program works–mostly thanks to an unexpected 12 hour layover last year in Mexico City.
In this post, I’m sharing my 100% honest Priority Pass review, including a membership overview, pros and cons, pricing information, and how to determine the best plan for you.
Plus, I’ll let you in on how you can save up to 25% on a Priority Pass membership today.
Ready to find out if Priority Pass is worth it for you? Let’s get to it, starting with a quick overview of the 3 Priority Pass plans:
Priority Pass Overview
First, let’s start with some of the basics on Priority Pass:
What is Priority Pass?
Priority Pass is a paid membership program that grants you access to a network of airport lounges all over the world.
With three different membership plans, Priority Pass offers frequent business and leisure travelers a VIP airport lounge experience.
As a Priority Pass member, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a quiet setting away from the hustle and bustle of the airport, as well as free food, beverages, and internet access.
What are the benefits of Priority Pass?
These are some of the perks you’ll enjoy with a Priority Pass membership:
- Access to over 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide in over 130 countries
- Complimentary food and beverages including alcohol in most lounges
- Quiet space to work or wind down before your flight
- Free wifi and handy charging points in most lounges
- Comfortable seats and quiet spaces
- Conference rooms, showers, and other facilities in selected lounges
- Access to exclusive retail, dining, spa and sleeping options in selected airports
Airport lounges are basically a quiet refuge away from the hustle and bustle of a loud and busy airport.
You’ll get to escape the chaos of the general public to a sophisticated sanctuary with VIP service, refreshments, and amenities.
Where can you use Priority Pass?
Priority Pass can be used in over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide in over 130 countries.
While Priority Pass lounges are available in many major cities around the world, you’ll find there are more lounges available internationally than in the United States.
Check out the full list of Priority Pass locations here.
Priority Pass Pros and Cons
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Priority Pass:
Pros of Priority Pass
- VIP Priority Pass lounge access
- Can be used when flying with any airline
- Complimentary amenities like food, beverages, alcohol, and wifi
- Convenient mobile app
Cons of Priority Pass
- Expensive yearly plan
- Food can be mediocre
- Capacity restrictions
- Limited US locations
Priority Pass Plans
Which Priority Pass plan is best for you?
The best Priority Pass plan for you will depend on the number of anticipated visits per year.
I’m a very analytical person so before signing up I sat down and did the math to calculate the total Priority Pass cost.
Based on the number of anticipated visits, here are some sample Priority Pass price breakdowns for each membership level:
Standard Membership: Best option for 6 visits or less
- Example cost calculation for 6 visits: $99 USD annual fee + (6 visits x $35 USD per visit) = $309 USD ($51.50 USD per visit)
Standard Plus Membership: Best option for 7-14 visits
- Example cost calculation for 10 visits: $329 USD annual fee + (10 visits x $0 USD per visit) = $329 USD ($32.90 USD per visit)
Prestige Membership: Best option for more than 15 visits
- Example cost calculation for 15 visits: $469 USD annual fee + (15 visits x $0 USD per visit) = $469 USD (<$32 USD per visit)
I personally have the Standard Plus membership which includes 10 free visits, so I basically committed to using it for 5 trips each year.
Plus, you can always change your membership level after the first year depending on your usage.
How to sign up for Priority Pass
The easiest way to purchase a Priority Pass membership is to sign up directly on the Priority Pass website.
You can automatically get up to 25% off your Priority Pass membership cost by clicking the link below.
Priority Pass Review
I’ve now had Priority Pass for over 2 years and have visited several Priority Pass lounges around the world.
So you can trust me when I say, once you get a taste of the high life you’re NOT gonna wanna go back!
I spent the most time in a Priority Pass lounge when I faced an unexpected 12 hour layover in Mexico City this past year.
After my flight was delayed, I basically made a bee-line to the nearest Priority Pass lounge and posted up there for several hours in a comfortable recliner with food and beverage service.
I honestly don’t know how I would have survived without Priority Pass!
Here are my honest Priority pass reviews with more information with what you can expect when it comes to checking in, lounge amenities, and food and beverage.
Priority Pass Check-in Review
After I first signed up for Priority Pass, the first lounge I visited was at Cancun International Airport since I’m based in Playa del Carmen.
Upon arrival, I was impressed by the ease of check-in on the Priority Pass app. You don’t need to present the physical card, just the QR code on your phone and your boarding pass.
At every Priority pass lounge I have visited, I have always been welcomed with extremely friendly service and have had quick and efficient check-ins.
Overall, checking in to a Priority Pass lounge is quick and easy!
Priority Pass Lounge Review
Priority Pass lounges come in all shapes and sizes. Some are new, spacious, and modern, while others are more dated and compact.
For example, the Priority Pass lounge in Cancun is pretty small with no windows but still is a quiet retreat with a good variety of seating and dining areas.
And the lounge I visited in Mexico City had a totally different vibe with ultra-plush leather recliners for each person.
While some are nicer than others, I’ve always been impressed by the facilities, service, and amenities at all of the Priority Pass lounges I have visited.
No matter which lounge you go to, you’ll always be treated to the same basic amenities such as comfortable seating, dining areas, complimentary wifi access, and private restrooms.
All offer far better amenities than you would find in the regular airport!
Priority Pass Food and Drink Review
At most of the Priority Pass lounges I have visited, the food has been decent but nothing special.
For early flights, breakfast typically consists of a continental breakfast buffet like bagels, yogurts, fruit, and cereal.
Lunch and dinner might feature buffet dishes like sandwiches, pasta, or meat dishes. Some of the more luxurious lounges may have more elevated made-to-order dining experiences.
Although the food can be mediocre, the main benefit is the complimentary alcoholic drinks. A mimosa is definitely a nice treat before an early flight!
You can typically choose from a menu of free standard alcoholic beverages and premium drinks may come at an additional charge.
But from my experience, almost everyone is drinking in an airport lounge no matter the hour!
Priority Pass Benefits That Are Most Worth It
Before Priority Pass, it used to be such a pain to arrive early and sit at the gate, bored and mindlessly scrolling through my phone in an uncomfortable chair while waiting for my flight.
Not to mention spending an outrageous amount of money on an overpriced meal or drink at airport restaurants and bars.
Now that I have Priority Pass, I actually make it a point to arrive early and really look forward to my airport experience.
These are the key Priority pass benefits that I have found to be most worth it:
- Free alcohol: Airport bars are notoriously overpriced so getting complimentary alcoholic drinks before your flight is a huge benefit. It’s such a nice treat to start your trip with a mimosa or glass of wine!
- Comfortable seating: Seats at the gate are typically hard and uncomfortable, especially if you have a long wait time before your flight. Airport lounges treat you to comfortable lounge chairs to relax and recharge.
- Free wifi: Not all airports offer free wifi so having this benefit in the lounges is convenient and allows you to get work done or simply stream Netflix.
- Any Airline: One of the key benefits of Priority Pass is that you can use it no matter which airline you are flying. That means if you flying a budget airline like Southwest, that doesn’t have any airport lounges, Priority Pass is really the only option for lounge access.
- Peace and quiet: It’s no secret that most major airports are extremely loud, busy, and chaotic. Priority Pass lounges offer a quiet retreat where you can relax and refuel before your flight.
Questions to Consider Before Signing Up for Priority Pass
These are some questions you’ll want to consider when making your decision:
How many times are you planning to travel by air this year?
When I was considering signing up for Priority Pass, I did the math to calculate my travel plans for the next year.
You’ll want to consider any trips you have planned for the next year including vacations, holiday trips, business travel, and family obligations.
Basically if you plan to travel by air at least 5 times (roundtrip) in the next year, then Priority Pass will probably be worth it.
Which airports will you be using the most?
Look up your home airport to see if there’s a Priority Pass network lounge available there and to see if it’s one worth visiting.
In the airport guide, you’ll be able to find a list of amenities, hours, and any restrictions.
It’s important to note that not all Priority Pass airport lounges are created equal and some can be tiny and offer fewer amenities.
I’ve seen firsthand that some lounges are way more luxurious than others so do your research and scope out the ones you’ll likely be visiting first.
Will you have layovers?
If you live in a smaller city and anticipate more flights with layovers, then Priority Pass would be a good option to pass that time.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck at an airport with a long layover or flight delay. Priority Pass was a real lifesaver during my 12 hour delay in Mexico City!
Just keep in mind that every airport lounge entry counts as a visit, so if you have layovers, that’s essentially going to double your number of visits.
Will you be traveling alone or with others?
Another thing to consider is if you’ll be doing most of your traveling alone or with others.
A lot of times I travel alone, so Priority Pass has been a good option for me as a solo traveler.
If you do have additional guests, they can enter the lounge with you for an additional charge so you’ll want to factor those added Priority Pass costs into your total investment.
Do you need wifi for your job?
Another great perk of Priority Pass is access to complimentary wifi, working tables, and conference rooms.
While wifi has become more accessible in recent years, there are still many airports around the world that do not offer complimentary wifi, or it is capped after a certain time limit.
My work is 100% online so this has been one of the most important benefits for me.
I’ve found that airport lounges are a great place to get work done because they are quiet and offer comfortable seats, desktops, and more private working spaces.
Do you drink alcohol?
Another benefit of Priority Pass is the complimentary alcohol that is available in most lounges.
Considering how expensive airport bars can be, it’s almost worth it for the alcohol alone. Just consider how much your bar tab would be at a normal airport bar!
I’m not a heavy drinker but I do enjoy Priority Pass for a mimosa or glass of wine before a flight. However, if you don’t drink alcohol, then it might not be worth it.
Priority Pass Alternatives
Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent airport VIP lounge access program but there are a few other ways to gain access to airport lounges:
- First or Business Class Fares: If you purchase first or business class fares, you’ll likely have automatic access to that airline’s airport lounge.
- Airline Credit Card Programs: Another way to gain access to airport lounges is by signing up for airline credit cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard or the Delta Sky Miles Reserve Card.
- Premium Credit Cards: There are a couple of premium credit card programs like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Citi Prestige card that have a higher annual membership fee but include perks like free Priority Pass membership.
- Lounge Day Passes: Some airlines also offer the opportunity to purchase day passes to some of their clubs, depending on capacity. Walk-ins are accepted by some airline lounges and prices typically range from $50 to $75 USD.
What’s important to note about these alternatives is that you usually have to be flying that specific airline in order to gain access to their airport lounge.
One of the best perks from Priority Pass is that you can be flying any airline and still have airport lounge access.
FAQs about Priority Pass
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Priority Pass:
Priority Pass offers a convenient and easy-to-use mobile app that can be downloaded on your phone.
When you arrive at the lounge, you’ll have to present the QR code on your digital membership card as well as your boarding pass.
After signing up, you’ll receive immediate Priority Pass access on the app so you won’t need to wait for the physical Priority Pass card to arrive in the mail.
No, memberships expire after one year and any unused visits from the Priority Pass Standard Plus membership tier cannot be rolled over if you decide to renew.
If the airport lounge isn’t in the terminal you’re flying out of, you’ll have to abide by the security restrictions in that airport.
If security checkpoints allow you to transfer to another terminal, you’ll still be able to visit the lounge.
Certain lounges may have more restrictions than others. It’s best to check the conditions on the lounge page for more specific information.
I’ve seen capacity limits, alcoholic beverage limits, and limits to the amount of time you can spend in the lounge.
Priority Pass lounges are usually not that crowded, as there are often several different seating areas, office spaces, and lounge rooms to spread out. Plus, most have a time limit to prevent going overcapacity. However, it depends on the airport and the time of day, as some periods can be busier than others.
Final Thoughts – Is Priority Pass Worth it?
In my opinion, Priority Pass is worth it if you are a frequent flyer and there are Priority Pass lounges in the airports where you plan to visit most.
If you’re only planning to use it a few times per year then it’s probably not worth it and you could look at some of the alternatives like day passes or upgraded fares.
As a travel blogger that works 100% online, Priority Pass is more than worth it for me for a quiet retreat, comfortable seating, complimentary wifi, and free alcohol before your flight.
The food at Priority pass lounges is usually not spectacular but the free drinks pretty much make up for it!
I personally have the Standard Plus membership, which is the most popular plan and totally saved me when I faced an unexpected 12 hour delay in Mexico City this past year.
So far, I’ve been extremely happy with my Priority Pass experience–it is SUCH a treat to sit down in a comfortable chair, open up your laptop, and sip a glass of wine while waiting for your flight!
So after reading this Priority Pass review, are you ready to sign up for Priority Pass?! Don’t forget, you can get up to 25% off by clicking the link below ⤵️