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.
We now have an update from Priority Pass saying that 57 of the Priority Pass locations (not all 180 of them) will exit the network next week.
Plaza Premium has an international footprint of over 180 locations 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.
Luckily the impact won’t be as great as initially expected but still 57 locations will no longer be accessible with Priority Pass effective July 1st as per this statement from Collinson (PP head company).
As the result of a changing commercial relationship, 57 Plaza Premium lounges will be removed from the Priority Pass network as of 1st July 2021.
The full list of impacted lounges and alternative experiences is below:
These are all the lounges in the list that will exit the network:
Canadian airports appear to have taken the hardest hit here. For some there is an alternative that includes local restaurants such as the Stanley Park Taphouse in Vancouver as well as Bar 120, Twist and Caplansky’s Deli in Toronto. Keep in mind that Priority Pass memberships issued by American Express do not include the restaurant benefits. Amex Platinum or Centurion by itself can still use Plaza Premium as part of a separate Amex agreement (American Express Global Lounge Collection) so that’s one consolation for AX members that depart from Canada.
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.
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 a total of 57 Plaza Premium lounges worldwide will no longer be accessible with Priority Pass. This is a lot less than we originally feared so I guess that’s a good thing.
It’s still too bad that Plaza Premium is severing sever ties with Priority Pass and I still wonder what their motivation was at this point in time to not extend their cooperation. Maybe these particular Plaza Premium locations have more lucrative partners locally and run into capacity issues?
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.