As reported by Executive Traveller, Plaza Premium lounges will no longer be available to Priority Pass holders as of July 1, 2021. While Plaza Premium lounges don’t have a notable presence in the United States, there have many across Asia and Plaza Premium lounges tend to be better than the average contract lounge, so this is a bummer.
One Mile at a Time speculates that this is likely due to Plaza Premium and Priority Pass being unable to come to an agreement over reimbursement rates. One has to imagine that with the potential volume that Priority Pass offers, they probably command the lowest reimbursement rate out of potential partners and Plaza Premium apparently thinks they have better options.
This is too bad as Plaza Premium lounges do tend to be a cut above others. For example, I stopped at the Plaza Premium lounge pictured above during the 40K to Far Away challenge. It has a great view of the terminal and they had a menu with made-to-order pizzas, pasta, and noodle bowls (as well as an Alaska lounge-like DIY pancake machine).
Had I not already eaten at the restaurant before security (and at Brisbane Eat Street before that….), I might have gone to town on the food options.
Note that Amex Platinum cardholders will keep Plaza Premium lounge access for themselves and one guest through “The Global Lounge Collection”, which is a Platinum card Perk.
H/T: Executive Traveller via One Mile at a Time
Does anyone know of a good app for keeping track of lounge access that works on Android? I like/liked Lounge Buddy on IPhone, but it’s IPhone only. You can’t even enter in your credit cards and elite levels on their website so it truly is IPhone only.
Are you sure about that? I could have sworn that they had an Android app too.
I have limited experience using Priority Pass with CSR. Can someone comment on, relatively speaking, what percent of
Pri Pass loungess are we talking about losing here? Does it mostly impact Asia only? Will most airports with Plaza Premium lounges still have other Priority Pass lounges to use, or are there many airports that only had a plaza premium lounges as far as those that are accessible for priority pass members? Want to get a sense of how devastating this news is
There are about 180 Plaza Premium lounges across 50 airports. Many airports will have multiple–for example, London has 4 departure Plaza Premium lounges and 2 arrival ones (with only 1 lounge currently open). There is only 1 in the US (DFW). The biggest concentration of their lounges are in Asia, followed by Australia and the Middle East. There are more scattered lounges in Europe and the Americas (mainly Canada).
The impact will definitely depend on how and where you travel. If you travel mainly in the US, with occasional international travel mainly in business class (where lounge access would be included), this probably is not a big issue. If you frequently travel around Asia in economy, this would really suck. Personally I have visited their lounges 4 or 5 times in my travels. They are some of the better Priority Pass lounges, but can get crowded (though that may improve now).
Also note that Priority Pass also lost No1 lounges last year. There were a number of those in the UK (which I found to be better than average) as well as Australia.
Of note, the Exec Traveller link says that there will be certain Plaza Premium lounges that remain, probably in airports where Priority Pass has no other options. Or lounges that are empty normally. Take a look at HKG and KUL, its 100% Plaza Premium for Priority Pass. I also wonder if they were trying to figure out something with these multiple lounges and reimbursements, as its kinda fun to pop around KUL/HKG and hit the various lounges. Some have showers for instance, while others have different perks. The ones in HKG are always crowded as well, as many local credit banks (credit cards?) provide access, so it might be a capacity control measure (similar to AMEX) on the side of Plaza Premium. Guess we will see what happens but as I fly econ a lot in Asia, will be sad to see them go.
Seriously? Wow I thought that Priority Pass owned the Plaza Premium lounges. No way this happens as PP must be 70% of their business, and for sure Plaza Premium must be over half of the lounges available on Priority Pass.
I think it’s already a done deal, not an attempt at leverage. I am equally surprised though.
“Due to current travel restrictions impacting the area this lounge is temporarily closed.”
Just fly J/F on points, and get access to much better lounges. Problem solved.
This may not be a bummer to some. I definitely agree that these lounges in general are better than the average contract lounge. But I have definitely had issues with crowding at some before. For those with Amex Plat, this may actually be a good thing–still have access (for now), but less chaos.
noooo! Best lounges in Asia. This sucks! And CSR didn’t offer a $100 AF credit!
Well, we’ll keep it for now. If Plaza Premium isn’t happy with their Priority Pass contract they may well feel the same way about the Amex deal when it comes up for renegotiation.