Plaza Premium Lounges, a Hong Kong based airport lounge operator with worldwide presence has decided to end it’s cooperation with the popular Priority Pass and LoungeKey networks effective July 1, 2021.
Plaza Premium has an international footprint of over 180 locations across 49 airports in 25 countries and regions, serving 20 million travellers annually and has so far been a reliable Priority Pass partner.
To lose access to Plaza Premium will be a huge blow to PriorityPass and LoungeKey members especially those with paid memberships and this gap will be very hard to fill in some locations.
According to the guys from Executive Traveler the cooperation will end on June 30, 2021 so starting July 1st you won’t have any more access to Plaza Premium Lounges with a standalone Priority Pass or LoungeKey membership.
Their article states:
… “In view of the rapidly changing travel environment and staying true to our mission in Making Travel Better, we have reassessed our product and service offerings in the hope of creating a comprehensive airport hospitality experience to reach more travellers globally,” Plaza Premium PR & Corporate Communications manager Yuman Lau has confirmed to Executive Traveller.
“As a result, it is with regret that we have decided not to renew our contract with Priority Pass and LoungeKey, effective 1 July 2021 except for a small number of lounges which are still under review.” …
So a few lounges might remain but it’s unclear which ones those are or for how long they’ll stay in the network of the two access providers.
So far Plaza Premium has not updated their press releases yet but we’ve reached out to the companies press office and received the same statement as quoted above. They did promise to update us when further developments are known.
Depending on your travel patterns, previous reliance on lounge access to Plaza Premium facilities and the future travel plans this might also impact if the Priority Pass especially is of much use to many, especially when it’s a perk of one of their premium credit cards such as Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum / Bonvoy Brilliant etc.
Plaza Premium still remains part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection so at least American Express Platinum / Centurion customers will retain access just by presenting their card at the lounge reception.
For other credit cards it would be the end of the line though unless there is a specific cooperation with Plaza Premium either for access in a regional market or internationally.
This might very well impact the decision if someone continues to upkeep an expensive credit card that only has lounge access via Priority Pass in case they rely on Plaza Premium lounges. For example Vancouver Airport international departures only have the Plaza Premium lounge available except for the very limited SkyTeam Lounge hours during their own departures. This might be a big plus argument for the Amex Platinum in the future.
Plaza Premium lounges mostly serve as contract lounges for carriers that don’t operate their own facility at outstations. Usually passengers will receive a lounge invitation at check-in or are prompted to simply show their boarding pass for admission. At times there have been capacity issues and the acceptance of Priority Pass has always been subject to capacity control in case of extremely busy times.
Effective July 1, 2021 the vast majority of Plaza Premium lounges worldwide will no longer be accessible with Priority Pass and LoungeKey memberships. More information about this will be forthcoming in the next few days/weeks as soon as Plaza Premium has released details.
It’s too bad that Plaza Premium will mostly sever ties with Priority Pass and LoungeKey and I wonder what their motivation was at this point in time to not extend their cooperation. Maybe the contract was up and Priority Pass tried to lower the price per admission?
Of course any operator has a break even and there are A LOT of priority pass members, many of which consume a lot including free alcoholic beverages when available. If it makes no economic sense anymore to provide access to these memberships because the fee per visit is too in these instances where guests go overboard.