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Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

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Valued Contributor

Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

So I know we do not typically talk about travel related benefits too much on this site but I wanted to gather some more thoughts from you all this christmas season. I recently got back from a trip to the SoCal area flying out out PDX to LAX. Both times the Alaska lounge has been closed to us priority pass peasants. While this is a known issue, I am really starting to be disenchanted with this "benefit" of my platinum card. The one time I have gotten to use the Centurion lounge at SEA the bartender did not even know how to make a coffee with bailey's or that it was a thing. Also she thought my ID was a fake lol, and almost didn't serve me until I told her she could call the airport police if she really thought so... additionally the lounge was very busy and the staff people rude. The front desk woman felt the need to scoff at me when I brought in my two guests. 

 

When I first started with my priority pass membership through Chase back in 2015 I was regularly using the lounge at PHX and the staff were nice and the lounge was never busy. I feel like it is more of a hassle nowadays and the only thing it is good for now is the occasional bill credit at a restaurant as I have never been able to use it at an alaska lounge or anywhere outside of PHX for that matter....

 

Do y'all find use for your membership?

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Valued Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

This was covered in another thread recently, but to recap: if you have high or even moderate expectations for lounge access from your card, prepare to be disappointed. Any lounge that accepts guests based upon credit card ownership will be crowded, cluttered, and the food usually picked clean or nearly so. Over half the US adult population qualifies for a credit card with lounge access, and anyone who flies more than rarely is likely to have a card with such benefits in this day and age.

 

It's not just a PP thing, either. Centurion Lounges are packed. United Clubs are packed, and for a while, they were even turning away people with the MP Explorer passes because they barely had room for members, golds or higher, and premium cabin flyers. SkyClubs get pretty full, and I think the only reason they're not falling over the edge already is the only let the cardholder in on Platinum. Soon as they can start bringing +1s in you'll see those collapse into madness, too. Admirals? Guffaw.

 

If this leaves anyone with the question of how to get access into good lounges with a credit card, the answer is you don't. Something simply cannot be both exclusive and have a low barrier of entry at the same time.

Message 2 of 9
Regular Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(


@iced wrote:

Something simply cannot be both exclusive and have a low barrier of entry at the same time.


These were the sound words I needed to hear. I'll be saying farewell to my business platinum in a few months. The perks just don't match the AF ($600 starting February).


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Message 3 of 9
Senior Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

Yes, it's increasingly common for lounges to refuse PP, restrict the hours, or use a waitlist.

Crowding can depend on the time of day. A busy lounge may have been relatively quiet (and more comfortable) a few hours before.
Major spend: CSR, BBP, Costco
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Message 4 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

Glad to see I am not the only one feeling frustration with this. I will be cancelling my platinum too after I get next years airline credit.

Message 5 of 9
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

Honestly it never really struck me as much of a benefit unless one was travelling internationally, even when I picked it up compliments of the CSR two years ago.

 

At least at that time, there was usually plenty of room, and the food while not fantastic was edible and there was plenty to go around in the places I wound up... really for me it was just a somewhat nicer place to sit and eat rather than in an airport gate chair, and was admittedly interesting to me to see lounges with nothing but chopsticks for things like cataloupe haha.

 

At the $100 / year or whatever the benefit was, I would've gotten my money's worth on my Asia tour in 2017; if that gig had continued on with the international travel or if I were a jet setter on my own right, it probably would've been of good value value.  Now though, it's just an additional benefit that I don't really use on my short hops between LAX and SFO as that's the extent of my travel these days.

 

The CSR is still my primary use credit card though, so I ain't complain'.




        
Message 6 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

Guess it depends on what you are expecting. Alaska has been pulling this bit for quite awhile. I have almost always been able to find lounges to use my PP membership at although 90%+ of my travel is international. You have to have reasonable expectations since US airport lounges are usually subpar compared to their global counterparts. The nicer airport lounges I have been in for the US are a result of flying first class and not something you are just getting with a credit card. One of the Delta Skyclubs via my plat card I stopped in while passing through Atlanta was alright. I have been disappointed with the centurion lounges I have visited. For the most part with PP expect a room with chairs, maybe a tv and some snacks/drinks. The main purpose of it is so you can avoid the hell that is the terminal where sometimes its soo bad you can't even get a seat. It isn't reasonable to expect the type of experience a first class passenger will have because these PP memberships are handed out like candy by credit card companies. Overseas it can be different but inside the US if you are only going to be flying domestic I would not recommend someone get a credit card just for PP membership, unless they know specifically what lounges they will be using and that they feel the quality of the lounge justifies the AF. I only keep the access because of my international travel. Not something I would pay for if I only had domestic flights at least not with the options the airports I frequent have.

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Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 7 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(

I certainly get the justification behind it and would be more than happy for just the old room with chair to sit away from the seething mass of people but I have not even been able to get that. Priority Pass is definetly not a "benefit" in my case. 

Message 8 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Is it just me or is the value of Priority Pass diminishing?/Rant >:(


@tydawg wrote:

I certainly get the justification behind it and would be more than happy for just the old room with chair to sit away from the seething mass of people but I have not even been able to get that. Priority Pass is definetly not a "benefit" in my case. 


I agree if you don't even have access to PP lounges at the airports you visit then the value to you is zero. Really doesn't matter what is available at other airports if those are not airports you will be visiting.  https://www.businessinsider.com/disappointing-photos-exclusive-airport-lounges-food-lines-reality-vs...

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
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