Priority Pass boasts of giving access to 900+ lounges in 400 cities across 120 countries with a single membership. Priority Pass doesn’t actually operate any airport lounges of its own. Instead, they have partnered with existing airport lounges to give access for its members. Priority Pass lets you to use their affiliated airport lounges regardless of which airline you’re flying or which travel class you’ve booked.
For domestic travel, I prefer not to go for business/first class unless the travel time is greater 2 hours. Instead of booking a first/business class ticket at insane rates, you can simply book the cheapest flight on economy class and still stay in a posh 5 Star lounge for free (depends on your membership though) and enjoy the silent atmosphere with complimentary snacks, drinks and food while you wait for your flight.
Note: Each lounge is operated by different companies hence the service you get may not be the same. However, most lounges provide complimentary Food & soft Drinks, some international lounges even offer hot drinks for free.
Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access in India:
You can use your Priority Pass card issued both in India or abroad to access lounges in Indian Airports. As of now there are around ~12 Indian airport lounges (domestic departure) accepting Priority Pass cards, they keep adding new ones every now and then.
Apart from direct Priority pass membership, Priority pass cards are also issued in India as signup bonus with premium credit cards. However, kindly note that, most of the cards only have free “membership” but not free “visits” like with SBI Elite Credit Card.
Though there are couple of super premium cards that give complimentary “visits” too. The Number of visits vary from card to card. Usually, the PP card issued with Visa infinite credit cards has unlimited access to 900+ lounges across the world. That’s really an awesome perk on the credit card to enjoy.
Credit Cards with Free Priority pass Visits:
- HDFC Infinia (Free Visits: Unlimited + 3 Add on Cards)
- HDFC Regalia (Free Visits: 12)
- HDFC Regalia First (Free Visits: 4)
- HDFC Allmiles (Free Visits: 4)
- Yes First Preferred (Free Visits: 4)
- Axis Bank SELECT (Free Visits: 6)
- Citi Prestige (Free Visits: Unlimited + 4 Add on Cards)
Note: You can also get Priority pass card for HDFC Regalia Add-on cards and share the 12 visits across 2 cards.
So all you need to do is, flash your Priority Pass card in the reception to get access to the lounge. Some lounges even accept digital card. Once checked in, most lounges allow you to stay inside for upto 2-3 hours which varies from lounge to lounge.
Lounge Access via Mastercard, Visa & Diners Club
Most of the above cards that issue Priority pass cards comes under Visa Infinite/Signature variant or higher level MasterCard variant which gives additional lounge access (in India only) simply by Swiping the credit card directly. Check below links for the same.
- Complimentary Lounge Access on Visa Signature & Infinite Cards (India)
- Mastercard Airport Lounge Access in India 2016
- Related: I personally use Diners Black for all Domestic/International lounge access and i’m loving it.
Tips on Accessing Priority Pass Lounges:
- A Single card can be swiped only “once” in same lounge in same day.
- Most domestic lounges don’t verify the name on card with boarding pass. So you can typically use PP card issued to any of your friends or family members to gain access. Rules vary from lounge to lounge, though its not strict in most cases.
- If you and your friend/partner happen to go with only one Priority Pass, check-in your friend in one lounge and later you may goto another lounge with same card. This helps when there are 2 or more lounges in the airport, like Bangalore.
- Or, to access same lounge for two members, as mentioned above, you can swipe your credit card directly to get access via MasterCard/Visa programme for one person, then use Priority pass card for the other.
I’ve been to most of the domestic lounges (India), be it Plaza Premium Lounge in Bangalore, Port Lounge in Goa or Chennai – Travel Club (TFS) Lounge and i can say that the check-in process is very liberal. They don’t generally cross-verify anything, even if they do, they check only the first person 😉
Do you use Priority Pass for lounge access? Share your experience below.