We were the first to report back in late May (read more here) that American Express was removing most non-lounge experiences from the Priority Pass membership that is part of the benefits in most markets.
Priority Pass has now started to send out emails to affected members that appears to have created more confusion than warranted. This change doesn’t affect Priority Pass members’ access to airport lounges at all. It only removes the restaurants from the Priority Pass product that is issued to Amex customers.
You can access Priority Pass’ page for the change here.
Here’s the copy of the email that was sent out:
Here are the non-lounge experiences that Amex issued Priority Pass members still have access to:
Some members used the restaurant benefit in a way that was not intended likely creating greater expenses to Amex than what was anticipated and hence this change.
These non-lounge benefits are still part of the Priority Pass product that is issued to cardholders of other banks in the United States than American Express.
Here are the frequently asked questions by Priority Pass:
Please note that these FAQs only relate to the membership referenced in the email that you have received. Please log in to your online account for each membership to understand the features available against each membership.
Is my Priority Pass lounge benefit changing?
No, you will continue to have access to over 1200 airport lounges through Priority Pass. Non-lounge airport experiences (including restaurants, bars and cafes) will be removed from the program effective August 1, 2019.
What are non-lounge airport experiences?
Non-lounge airport experiences are not traditional airport lounges. These experiences include but are not limited to restaurants, bars and cafes that provide a credit toward your food and beverage bill.
Have all non-lounge airport experiences been removed from my Priority Pass program?
No, a small number of non-lounge airport experiences will remain available subject to your complimentary benefit. These locations are detailed below:
Lounge Name Airport code Airport Terminal Country Minute Suites ATL Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Concourse B USA Minutes Suites ATL Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Concourse T USA Minute Suites CLT Charlotte Douglas International Atrium USA Minute Suites DFW Dallas / Fort Worth international Terminal A USA Minute Suites DFW Dallas / Fort Worth International Terminal D USA Minute Suites PHL Philadelphia International Terminal B USA Sleep’n’fly – the new airport sleep concept by YAWN DXB Dubai International Terminal 3, Concourse A UAE The Grain Store LGW London Gatwick South Terminal UK
How can I find out which locations are available to me using my Priority Pass membership?
Previously it has not been necessary to log in to your Priority Pass online account to view lounges available to you when traveling, however, from August 1. 2019 logging in on the web or app will ensure only accessible locations are visible to you.
Why are the non-lounge airport experiences still visible on the Priority Pass website and app if I am no longer able to access them?
From August 1. 2019 non-lounge airport experiences (including restaurants, bars and cafes) will no longer be accessible with your membership program. From this date, logging in to your online account will allow you to search the 1200+ lounges still available. It also allows you to access other benefits, features and details specific to your program including account updates, allocation confirmation and real time entitlement information.
What will happen if I visit a location that has been removed from my Priority Pass program?
The location staff will advise you that your Priority Pass membership card has been declined. If you have ordered and consumed food or drink, you will need to pay for it directly onsite. Please confirm the location is available to you before ordering by logging in to your online Priority Pass account and using the Lounge and more search facility.
Are there any plans to introduce additional lounges in the locations that are impacted by this change?
Priority Pass’ partnership team are constantly seeking additional lounges to add to the program, in particular in locations where there is currently limited coverage. Please continue to log in and check the lounge finder to see locations available to you when travelling.
What if I want to self-fund a non-lounge airport experience in the Priority Pass program?
These non-lounge locations do not require a Priority Pass membership to visit as paying customer. At this time, it is not possible to use your complimentary benefit or receive a discount using your Priority Pass membership card. You will need to provide payment at time of visit for any food or drink consumed at the location.