All 63 Plaza Premium Lounges will return to Priority Pass later this month, a move that restores a partnership dissolved during the pandemic.
Priority Pass Cardholders Will Again Have Access To Plaza Premium Lounges
At the Freddie Awards last month, I had an extended conversation with David Evans, CEO at Collinson, the parent company of Priority Pass. He teased that a big announcement was imminent, but refused to provide more detail beyond confirming that restaurant benefits would not be returning to cardholders who receive Priority Pass Select access from American Express or Capital One. Now we know what that news is…
Effective today, 39 Priority Pass lounges from around the world return to Priority Pass, including six North American lounges in the US and Canada:
- Toronto Lester B. Pearson International (YYZ)
- Vancouver International (YVR)
- Edmonton International (YEG)
- Winnipeg J.A.Richardson International (YWG)
- United States of America
- Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW)
- Orlando International (MCO)
By June 20, 2023 all 63 lounges will once again be accessible via Priority Pass.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses are not included, which are managed but not operated by Plaza Premium.
“We are dedicated to creating the very best propositions for our clients and partners whilst delivering the best possible travel experience for our global members. The rekindling of a long-standing relationship reminds us that the travel industry is a rich ecosystem that delivers the best experience for consumers when the various players work together as one. With demand for premium travel stronger than ever we are significantly increasing our network of lounges and experiences in key travel hubs across the world.”
Well-done, Mr. Evans, who is one of my favorite leaders in the industry and has a rich history in building loyalty programs from the very beginning.
Will Crowding Return?
It’s goods news or bad news, depending upon how you look at it. I would say the news is good overall, though I do expect that these lounges will become much more crowded as word gets out about the return of Priority Pass access.
It’s good news because this gives more value to the Priority Pass cardholders and re-opens many lounge options at airports around the world that will make waiting for flights much more enjoyable.
The bad news, at least potentially (and I would say more than potentially) is that this will lead to crowding. In particular, I would expect the US lounge in Dallas and Orlando to become much more crowded, which does undermine the experience for those who would have already had access.
This news also relatively diminishes the value of your American Express Platinum or Capital One Venture X cards, which continued to partner with Plaza Premium to offer lounge access after the Priority Pass – Plaza Premium relationship dissolved in 2021.
Yes, the crowding will return (and frankly it is already pretty bad). Overall, though, I am sure many will be very happy that they once again have access to 63 additional lounges around the world.
Priority Pass members will once again enjoy access to Plaza Premium lounge around the world. My favorites include lounges in Rome, Siem Reap, and Kuala Lumpur, but these are generally solid lounges wherever you are in the world.
> Read More: The World’s Best Plaza Premium Lounge Is In Rome…
We will monitor crowding, but I expect it to get much worse. However, that’s probably a tradeoff most Priority Pass cardholders who did not enjoy access via AMEX or CapOne will be willing to endure.
(image: Priority Pass Lounge in Siem Reap (taken by me) // H/T: FrequentFlyer Bonuses)