Priority Pass restaurant restriction: one visit per 24 hours

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This past weekend, I flew through Ronald Regan (DCA) airport in Washington, DC with a long 6-hour layover. I’d previously read that Priority Pass allows users to check in to the same restaurant again after 2 hours (see this post from Doctor of Credit or this one from One Mile at a Time that references the same info). I therefore didn’t worry about hitting the full $28 credit on my first visit to American Tap Room, a Priority Pass restaurant in Terminal C at DCA, figuring I’d visit again before taking off on my next flight. Unfortunately, when I went back about 4 hours after my initial visit, I was denied use of the Priority Pass a second time and shown a card stating that you can only use a Priority Pass card at American Tap Room once in a 24 hour period (see #11 in the pic below). Note that this likely only applies to visits to an individual restaurant (and not all of them).

This was a surprise to me, but at least I presented my card before my order was processed and subsequently had the chance to cancel (had I been served before presenting my card, I’d have been on the hook for the bill).

I looked for other data points via Twitter and our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group. While some people cited the same 2-hour restriction previously reported in the posts above, others asserted that there had always been a 24-hour limitation. The mixture of responses seems to match with what Priority Pass eventually had to say in response to my tweet:

Priority Pass’s response above indicates to me that this varies by restaurant, which makes sense since a manager at a Priority Pass restaurant had previously confirmed the 2-hour rule reported by Doctor of Credit. While some people say that the payment terminal is hard-coded to allow a second swipe after 2 hours, I’m not positive that’s the case as the waitress did swipe my card the second time before telling me it couldn’t be used twice within 24 hours. She recognized me from my previous visit as she was swiping my card, so it wasn’t immediately clear to me whether the terminal denied my second visit or she was just denying me based on the restaurant’s written rules. I intended to follow up when flying through DCA again the next day, but delays prevented me from getting a chance to discuss the rules further with staff there.

Note also that at least one member of Frequent Miler Insiders indicated that the 24-hour rule may actually be a calendar day rule as they visited the same restaurant on consecutive days within less than 24 hours without issue.

In my case, I was particularly disappointed since I didn’t use up the full $28 credit on the first round (since I figured I’d be back a second time and I was happy to allow the restaurant a bit more room for profit since I’m getting a great deal, too). Since I waited until relatively close to departure for my second visit, I didn’t have time to get to Terminal B to try the other Priority Pass restaurant. If I had that 6-hour layover to do over, I’d have headed to Terminal B on arrival to eat at that restaurant and saved American Tap Room for sometime before boarding my flight.

Again, note that this 24-hour restriction applies to restaurants, not lounges. I’ve never had a problem leaving a lounge and returning later (I do usually mention to the attendant if I’m going to be back in a little while and they usually just wave me back in).

Overall, I mostly just find it disappointing that Priority Pass doesn’t make the rules clear within the app. If your “local” restaurant has long enforced the 24-hour restriction, this post won’t be news — but especially for those who have become used to being able to visit the same restaurant twice in the same day, it’s worth noting that you can’t do that at all locations (and it would be useful for Priority Pass to note it in the restrictions). Perhaps I’d have been able to swipe a second Priority Pass card (I have many), but I didn’t get the sense that the waitress/restaurant was going to be flexible about the rule. I could be wrong as I did not ask to do it.

For those curious, here was the menu at American Tap Room. I do not recommend the burger for future reference.

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[…] one mentions a cap on the number of daily visits to Stephanie’s in Boston, but as reported by Frequent Miler, some Priority Pass restaurants are limiting how often you can check in. To their credit, those […]

Josh

in SFO, there is the Air France -KLM lounge as PP lounge, and there is also the “Yankee Pier” bar that each PP card holder entitled to $28 credit. Can i go to both, if i manage, before my departing fl ?

Steven

For the record, Timberline (DIA) has had this same policy for quite some time now. Moreover, at Timberline you cannot use two different Priority Pass memberships to circumvent (in the event, say, that you have one via AMEX Plat and another via Chase CSR). That is perhaps a more fundamental issue since it is two separate accounts paid for by two separate issuers.

Patrick Malone

I would have asked when I was there on the first visit, crisis averted.

Traveler Tom

Anyone try PP at Mise En Place at TPA airport. Any issues getting from Gate C to Gate F85? Service and food reviews not so hot, but like others have said in this post, it’s free! Any food recommendation?

Brian

I was just there two weeks ago . I thought their steak sandwich was good, the salad along with it very good, and the drink prices were reasonable. Didn’t try a second time though.

Mike

Can someone share experience of using PP in restaurant on arrival? Is it allowed? Is it allowed only in certain restaurants?

dhammer53

Has anyone used the PP on arrival into DCA. I’d like to have breakfast. 😉

newToGame

How about lounge ? Can you also use it upon arrival ? I always thought only for departure.

SKK

Does the tip go from PP credit?

TheInternationalLine

The new restaurant in SEA doesn’t seem to have this limitation as of last weekend. Our waitress recognized us about 18 hours later (on the next calendar day) and made us feel like regulars, in a good way. Our card scanned fine both times, so I can confirm there is nothing coded into the PP system to limit guests to one visit per 24 hours.

GMoney

I used mine in Denver this weekend 2x within 24 hours. Maybe its per day? I used at 4pm at Timberline in Denver for an outgoing flight (which I missed…then had to take in the morning). I had breakfast at Timberline the next morning at 9am with no problems

Hang

I went there on April 15. Same thing. Just glad my companion has another card with her.

[…] Priority Pass restaurant restriction: one visit per 24 hours by Frequent Miler. Has anybody else run into this before? Would be interesting to know if it’s actually hard coded or not. […]

Tim

Had the same issue not too long ago. Decided to load ALL the PP cards into my travel card wallet. Just last week had an awful stair stepped delay and t DCA, so I sat. I ate. I drank. I closed tabs and swapped PP cards. Server was confused, but accommodating. I used four different cards to the max, with a single server. Tipped her $40 for the effort and she was ecstatic. Hate carrying all those cards though.

Josh

If the person didn’t recognize you, would you have been able to swipe again?

newToGame

I am going to have an 8 hours layover at FCO, Rome. The Plaza Premium Lounge says “Max 3 hours stay”, as also specified in many other lounge. How strict will they enforce this ? Can i leave and go back in an hour later to start another 3 hour clock again ? Or, can i go to another lounge in the same airport ? I have my PP through Chase Sapphire Reserve if it makes any difference.

thanks
Andy

newToGame

Nick, thanks for the quick response. There are 3 PP lounge at FCO. I don’t mind walking to another one. I just not sure if Chase will charge me if i use more than 1 lounge at the same airport. Never need to do this.

newToGame

Perfect !! thanks.

NewToGame

Just want to report back as an update.
When we enter the lounge at FCO T3. The receptionist already told me that i will need to swipe the card again after 3 hours if i need to stay longer.
Then, after 3 hours, she actually came over and asked to swipe my card again.
I assume CSR won’t come after me for the 2nd swipe.

Nywoman

I was at FCO this morning. Used the club near to gate 39. It was not very busy and I did not get the impression that anybody checked how long you stayed.
The only time I have encountered time restraints is when a club has been very busy.

Sallu25

I visited Marhaba lounge in DXB, and my connecting flight was 8 or so hours out. The lady at entrance wrote something on my boarding pass. I didn’t give it a second thought. After a while, I take a look, and she wrote the time that I should be out of the lounge which was 4 hours from the time I walked in. I was thinking who the heck is going to remember that I am supppsed to leave in 4 hours. I stayed there for about 7 hours with no issues.

Teresa Henning

This is useful to me.

Aus Biker

I don’t get it. It’s mediocre food, but since it’s free, you want it? And not only want it, you’re bummed you didn’t get your full $28?

CaveDweller

Most is junk and u don’t want to be sick on a flt .Almost passed on on a SW Flt. Bad BK @ Hospital ..My motto no buffet unless 4 or 5* saw to many food stuff troubles on Flts and how about a 17 hr flt .Be Careful..

CHEERs

Mark Schroeder

The burgers at DCA, and their food in general, all tastes the same, in my experience, no matter where you dine. It tastes “free.”

Biggie F
Hal

I have multiple PP cards from Citi Prestige, CSR, Amex Plat.. I wonder if that would make a difference

InanY

lol, I have been at the Tap room 3 times in a day. I supposed you were being arrogant or something. Thats even after the attendant recognized me the 2nd and 3rd time. Also the burger is pretty good, you must have gotten a bad cook or something.

losingtrader

Nick, that will teach you not to tip 30% if you won’t be remembered

CaveDweller

When I go to the Great Buffets in Vegas I tip the second the drink server shows up .I never wait for drinks $$$ talks.
CHEERs

newToGame

About the part of being stuck with a $30 bill on second visit, wonder if you will know at the spot, or you thought you are fine, but then see the $30 bill at your credit card statement.
What i mean is, if the lounge/restaurant swiped your card and no warning sign or denial, are you safe ? or you won’t know till you see your credit card statement.

Mike Levine

To be honest American Tap Room has no idea what they are doing regarding PP. They don’t even do the bill correctly at the end. Their food is pretty bad btw, I only eat there cause it’s free. I wouldn’t say this is news at all since the restriction has always been there and PP lets restuarants make up some of their own rules.

Daniel

Nick – don’t you have several PP memberships seeing as how so many cards these days provide the perk? Just a thought but next time, use your second or third card and keep racking up the $28 worth of charges.

losingtrader

same question here as I have PP from 6 different credit cards. Can I use a different PP card at the same restaurant…or in the alternative take 12 people into one?

Steven

I’ve made a separate comment before seeing this thread – at DIA, Timberline prohibits using multiple priority passes in a 24 hour period. I’ve spoken with the manager about this because I was unimpressed to learn then after my flight was delayed 6 hours and I returned to Timberline. His rationale was they got in trouble with Priority Pass for people using one card multiple times in a day (he said they were fined by Priority Pass, and he claimed $10,000, but both of those statements seem questionable), and it was just easier to limit customers to one visit rather than try to figure out who has multiple cards and which they’d used. Had I know this was the policy, I would have visited once at the bar and once at a table, used separate Priority Passes, and likely been fine.

losingtrader

Guess I’ll have to stick to 33 people in the Admiral’s Club .

George

– but this also means two people can’t use 2 of the 10 swipes from a single Hilton Ascend, no?

George

I guess I’m just weary of the Ascend’s implementation of Priority Pass, the plan/subscription being so different from what premium cards offer. Those are losing propositions for me at the moment, so a single Ascend is all I got.

CaveDweller

Their all different ASK before u order .The one @ SYD (2 places 3 hrs) one time ur order and others u run a tab
Good once every 24 hrs but ask always .
CHEERs

Torsten

It’s been there for some time. I think you spend too much time at PP places 🙂

Ed. C

Nick I’m just curious, do you carry the physical card or use the app? I carry as few cards as possible and have always used the app at PP lounges/restaurants (as well as any other establishment that has an app rather than carrying a physical card) without any problem.