Priority Pass seems to be on a roll after their recent setback with Plaza Premium Lounges. Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,300 lounges worldwide. They have now announced that they are planning to expand in a big way across the globe and planning to add over 150 lounges and 100 other premium experiences to their curation in 2021.
Priority Pass and Plaza Premium Lounges Cut Ties
In 2021, there has been a slew of good news and bad news with the network of lounges that you can access with your Priority Pass. Earlier in April 2021, Plaza Premium cut ties with Priority Pass. Plaza Premium operates multiple lounges at 39 airports, making it one of the biggest independent lounge operators globally. They further contracted with Priority Pass to allow Priority Pass holders to access lounges that Plaza Premium operates.
Come July 1, 2021, however, the contract between Collinson Group, the company that operates Priority Pass and Plaza Premium Network, will expire, and it won’t be renewed. This means that membership programmes operated by Collinson Group, including Lounge Key and Priority Pass, will no longer have access to the Plaza Premium Lounges.
Remember, in India, they already had a showdown earlier in 2021, where Priority Pass members were turned away from Plaza lounges, but later, this was settled. So maybe the Indian properties might even stay on board after the rest are gone if the contracts are negotiated separately.
Priority Pass adds Lufthansa US Lounges to the network.
Late April 2021, Priority Pass added the US network lounges of Lufthansa to their network, albeit with limited hours for access.
- The Lufthansa Business Lounge Detroit (DTW): 06:00 – 17:00 Monday & Thursday; 09:00 – 17:00 Tuesday; 08:00 – 17:00 Wednesday; 06:00 – 18:30 Friday.
- The Lufthansa Business Lounge New York (JFK): 12:30 – 15:30 Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday; 12:30 – 17:30 Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.
- The Lufthansa Business Lounge Newark (EWR): 14:30 – 17:30 Monday & Wednesday. 14:30 – 21:00 Tuesday & Thursday – Sunday.
- The Lufthansa Business Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD): 14:00 – 17:30 daily.
With severely reduced schedules, it made sense for Lufthansa to wriggle out some revenue by allowing in non-Lufthansa guests to the lounge, but if this is a long-term arrangement, we need to wait and watch.
Priority Pass aims to add 20% more lounges to the network by December 2021
Priority Pass has announced it will add over 150 new luxury airport lounges across the world in 2021. It will also add 100 new premium dining and relaxation experiences and railway and seaport lounges to the network. In the USA, Priority Pass had added dining outlets at the airport in recent years where one could run up a tab up to a pre-determined limit with a Priority Pass.
Priority Pass has already added 32 new airport lounges this year – including Lufthansa Business lounges as mentioned above and 14 lounges in China alone. Other new lounges have been added in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and India. Priority Pass has also added eight new premium dining experiences.
Priority Pass has also started to add Airport Spas to their network, much like Indian competitor Dreamfolks. In the US, they have added two airport spas, and that should be a sign of things to come in the years ahead.
Priority Pass is going for aggression as it holds on to its position as the market leader in the space of independent lounge access. This is interesting on two counts: the addition of non-airport lounges and two, non-lounge airport experiences to the mix. Overall, this should mean more revenue for them selling memberships to customers or banks when travel picks up.
What do you think of the aggressive strategy for Priority Pass?
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