Priority Pass has its faults, but it is one of the best lounge access tools. The best credit card for lounge access in Canada is the American Express Platinum Card.
It comes with a free full Priority Pass membership, permitting unlimited access along with one guest. If you fly three roundtrips a year with one connection each and a lounge at each airport, that’s 18 visits. With the Platinum Card, that’s $360 of value even if you only value each lounge visit at a measly $20.
Nothing else in Canada that offers this. This is in addition to all the other fantastic benefits the Platinum Card offers, including travel credits, elite status for hotels chains and car rental agencies, and excellent travel insurance. On top of that, the Platinum card also comes with 60,000 Membership Rewards points convertible 1:1 to Aeroplan and BA Avios after completing the minimum spend.
Application Link: American Express Platinum Card
To see the other best credit cards for lounge access, visit my post here.
Priority Pass Sydney
Priority Pass has always had pretty awful coverage in Australia, so two months ago, they launched the novel concept of using your card at restaurant outlets at Sydney Airport for free food and drink. When dining at select restaurants, you could use your membership to get a $36 AUD / $27 USD credit of your meal per person.
There are seven locations where you can grab some free food and drinks with your Priority Pass card:
- Benny Burger – Terminal 1 International, Airside, near gate 10
- Mach2 – Terminal 1 International, Landside, near Check-In counter H
- Peroni Bar – Terminal 1 International, Airside, near gate 56
- Bistro 2020 & Bar – Terminal 2 Domestic, Airside, food court past security
- MoVida – Terminal 2 Domestic, Airside, near gate 32
- Bar Roma – Terminal 3 Domestic, Airside, near gate 3
- Wok on Air – Terminal 3 Domestic, Airside, food court
The restaurants only ask for ID to match against your Priority Pass card. They don’t seem to be asking for a boarding pass. Nonetheless, four outlets are in the domestic terminals, where you don’t need a boarding pass to go through security. One is landside. With the Platinum Card, which permits a complimentary guest, you and a companion could get $72 of food per visit. If you spend a day at the airport, you could go for $200+ of food over three meals at different places in a day.
Priority Pass Brisbane
Priority Pass has added several outlets at Brisbane Airport with the same concept. There are three qualifying restaurants and bars, per Australian Business Traveller:
- Graze Grill & Bar – Qantas domestic near gates 16-21 (past security)
- Bar Roma – Qantas domestic terminal, beside gates 23 & 24 (past security)
- Corretto Cafe & Bar – International terminal landside, 4th floor food court
This perk to me seems too generous and very open for abuse. From reading the terms and conditions, the only requirements for “legitimate” use are that the passenger has a valid boarding pass for a departing paid flight, and that they are not airline, airport, or other travel industry employees.
Thus, I could totally see a digital nomad or equivalent, who heads everyday to the airport, working from the airline lounge (from buying a lounge membership or having status), and grabbing lunch for free each time. I guess it’s probably because the penetration of Priority Pass is quite low in Australia. I really can’t imagine what would happen if something like this was replicated in North America.
Nonetheless, this is another excellent reason to apply for the American Express Platinum Card which comes with a large 60,000 points bonus on top of the lounge benefits!