Priority Pass preaches providores
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I thought they were shitty lounges
I was only notionally aware of Priority Pass and their lounges until I visited one at Heathrow Terminal 2, and another in Cambodia. Up until then, I thought they were sort of shitty pay-as-you-go lounges as bad as anything you would find at the airport in Cairo, or almost any lounge in China.
Well I was wrong. A problem I seem to have frequently. Oh, shut up! At least I admit it.
In fact, they can be far from shitty. The one in Phnom Penh was better than a lot of airline-branded lounges.
The thing with Priority Pass lounges is that you don’t have to have airline status or be booked in anything but Economy to use them. Most access comes via credit card membership perks, or access due to class of travel because the airline you are travelling with doesn’t have a premium lounge at that location/airport.
That’s certainly how I got into the two Priority Pass lounges I have visited. At Heathrow, it was because our two travelling companions had it as a perk of their credit card. In Cambodia, it was because Dragonair didn’t have a lounge in Phnom Penh – or I bluffed my way in – I had Qantas Club membership, was travelling in Premium Economy on a One World airline, so I just assumed I had access, and no one contradicted me.
No Lounge – No problem, you can still get free food and drinks
Well, Priority Pass has lounges worldwide, but in some airports, a place to build a lounge is difficult to find. To combat this, those clever little Priority Passers have come up with an interesting solution. Like an airline with a lounge under construction, they offer $ vouchers to spend at defined outlets.
The latest of these is at Melbourne airport, where PP members get a $36 credit towards spends at Movida’s Bar Pulpo and an outpost of South Yaya’s Urban Provedore. If you haven’t experienced Movida, then you are in for a treat, and apparently, Urban Provedore offers ‘healthy meals’, which I think means the inevitable ‘Mediterranean diet’. You need to be airside (past security) to access these in the Melbourne T2 international terminal.
You will need to flash your Priority Pass card at the provider, and you can even treat a guest (depending on the specific rules of your card issuer). But be careful – if your over your provider’s entitlement, then your credit card will be debited a roughly equal amount. To avoid this charge – check whether your credit card gives you ‘Prestige’ status because then your visits are unlimited.
Oh, and by the way – I don’t get paid for this. Although now that you mention it, maybe I should become part of their affiliate program. Check your bank’s cards – but membership often comes with Amex, Citibank, Wales Altitude, and St George amplify cards – or at least a couple of visits if not the full ‘Prestige’ status.
If you are travelling on Virgin, or Jetstar from Sydney, then you can duck into T2 landside, and scoff a couple of their croqueta.