The 10 best Priority Pass lounges around the world
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For many travellers, the Priority Pass membership offered by popular rewards credit cards is one of the best value-added perks. If you don’t have elite status with an airline or the ability to travel in business class on your company’s dime, the extra value of a pre-departure lounge can really add up.
While airport lounges largely closed at the onset of the pandemic, most have since reopened their doors. The experience has changed a bit. For instance, buffets have been replaced with pre-plated and individually wrapped items. However, the key benefits amenities remain free snacks, drinks and more comfortable seating than in the terminal.
Since Priority Pass doesn’t own or operate the lounges itself but rather contracts with them to give its members access, the quality can vary massively. Some lounges are little more than a small room with bottled water and dubious-looking food, but some are really as good as (or better than) what you’d get if you were flying in a premium cabin. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best Priority Pass lounges around the world, as well as which lounges are open 24 hours a day. Note that Priority Pass also offers members free meals at a number of airport restaurants, but we’ll leave those out for the sake of this roundup.
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1. SkyTeam Lounge at Vancouver (YVR)
Location: Airside in the international departures area, near gate 53. This lounge is not accessible to passengers departing on Canadian domestic or US transborder flights.
Hours: 8 a.m. — 12 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. — 2:00 a.m. Mondays; 9:45 a.m. — 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays; 11:00 — 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays; 9:45 a.m. — 1:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. — 2:00 a.m. Thursdays; 8 a.m. — 12 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. — 1:30 a.m. Fridays; 9:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. Saturdays; 9:45 a.m. — 1:45 p.m. Sundays
Amenities: The SkyTeam lounge in Vancouver checks all the standard boxes (showers, Wi-Fi, a good food and alcohol selection) but really goes above and beyond that. Between a multitude of spacious and private seating options, a self-serve wine bar and dining options from around the world, including made-to-order dumplings and noodle soups, this is the ideal place to relax before boarding a long-haul flight. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
2. ANA Lounge at Tokyo Haneda (HND)
Location: Airside at HND in the international departures area, near gate 110 on the fourth floor.
Hours: 5:00 a.m. — last scheduled ANA departure
Amenities: The ANA Lounge recently underwent a major refresh and is now accessible to Priority Pass members. It has seating for up to 900 passengers, so capacity shouldn’t be an issue. It features a live kitchen with a buffet area and a noodle bar, a full-service bar, a 24-seat semi-private booth area, shower rooms and a kids room.
3. Turkish Airlines Lounge at Bangkok (BKK)
Location: International concourse D at BKK, near gate D8
Hours: 11 a.m. — 1 a.m.
Amenities: BKK is a massive airport, but the Turkish Airline lounge is worth the walk if you have time. The lounge features plenty of seating options, including comfortable loungers if you need a nap before your flight. However, the highlight of the lounge is the complimentary 15-minute massages, available in the afternoons and evenings. As with other Turkish lounges, there’s also an impressive food spread.
4. Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD)
Location: Airside at IAD, near gate B43
Hours: 6 a.m. — 11 p.m.
Amenities: The Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington Dulles is hands down one of the best Priority Pass lounges in the U.S. It boasts an elegant and upscale design, an appetising buffet with plenty of hot and cold options, and model aeroplanes sprinkled throughout the lounge to enhance the decor. The best part, though, is the giant floor-to-ceiling windows that face out over the international concourse at Dulles, giving plane spotters plenty of live entertainment to keep them occupied. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
5. Ahlan Lounge B at Dubai (DXB)
Location: Terminal 3 at DXB, concourse B, near gate B26 inside the ‘Cadiz Tapas Bar.’
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: This speakeasy-like lounge is an oasis amid the busy terminal. There’s a hearty buffet, massage chairs and complimentary access to the shower facilities at the Dubai International Hotel.
6. Sala VIP International at Quito (UIO)
Location: Airside at UIO, after security and passport control on the departure level, in front of the Duty-Free Shop. International flights only.
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: Quito’s Sala VIP International lounge has been a repeat winner of both regional and international awards for the best Priority Pass lounge. It’s easy to see why, with an outdoor terrace, private workspaces, sleeping areas, massage rooms and showers for guests. The lounge even has its own private wine cellar.
7. SATS Premier Lounge at Singapore (SIN)
Location: Airside in terminal 1 & 2 at SIN
Hours: 24 hours daily
Amenities: Singapore Changi Airport offers an astounding eight Priority Pass lounges to choose from, but it’s also home to the SATS Premier Lounge (with one location in terminal 1 and another in terminal 2), which has been voted the best Priority Pass lounge in Asia. A TPG staffer checked it out before boarding the world’s longest flight from Singapore (SIN) to Newark (EWR) and found that it was indeed one of the best Priority Pass lounges around — including an excellent hot food buffet, speedy Wi-Fi, surprisingly good massage chairs and spotless showers.
8. Star Alliance Lounge at Charles de Gaulle in Paris (CDG)
Location: Terminal 1 at CDG, after passport control but before security on level 11
Hours: 5:30 a.m. — 9 p.m.
Amenities: The Star Alliance Lounge at CDG is a great way to say au revoir to Paris, with an appropriately impressive selection of French wines and gourmet food. However, the real highlight is the outdoor terrace that gives you a chance to suck in one last gulp of fresh, non-pressurized/recycled air before you board your flight.
9. Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi (NAN)
Location: International terminal departures area at NAN, airside past the Duty-Free Shops on the ground level, past the escalators toward the Departure Level on the left-hand side.
Hours: 5 a.m. — 11 p.m.
Amenities: Although Nadi airport hasn’t historically been known for its lounge offerings, Fiji Airways’ flagship lounge is a great option. Guests will enjoy chef-inspired menus, baristas, spa (charges apply), nanny service and the exclusive ‘Fiji Bean Cart.’ A locally inspired design, including a live greenery wall and constellation lighting representing the Fijian summer and winter skies, will help stretch your vacation out until the last possible minute.
10. The Grand Lounge Elite at Mexico City (MEX)
Location: Airside in terminal 1 at MEX.
Hours: 24 hours daily.
Amenities: The Grand Lounge Elite operates two lounges in terminal 1 at MEX. They each offer complimentary shoe shines, massages, manicures and shower suites. They also have full a la carte menus you can order made-to-order food and drinks from, and if you don’t feel like walking to your gate after your visit, they’ll even drive you there in a golf cart.
Lounges open 24 hours a day
Although most people don’t plan on staying at an airport overnight, delays/cancellations happen and plans sometimes change. Additionally, if you’re a budget traveller, you might not be willing to pay the high cost of an airport hotel room for such a short stay. As you can see above, many of the best Priority Pass lounges do close at night, but fortunately, there still are many that stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the U.S., the only options open and accessible to Priority Pass members around the clock are Sleepbox and Minute Suites. These are essentially private rooms designed for napping and working and can be found inside terminals at airports such as Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Charlotte (CLT), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Philadelphia (PHL).
However, you’ll find a plethora of traditional lounges open around the clock elsewhere around the world. For instance, major airports like Mexico City (MEX), Madrid (MAD), Paris (CDG), Cairo (CAI), Dubai (DXB), Hong Kong (HKG) and Singapore (SIN) all have terrific 24-hour Priority Pass lounges.
Credit cards that offer Priority Pass Select memberships
A Priority Pass Select membership is included with The Platinum Card from American Express, although enrollment is required.
Most major international airports have more than one Priority Pass lounge or affiliated restaurant. Many even have lounges that are open around the clock. It’s important to do your research and read lounge reviews whenever possible to make sure you spend your layover at the most pleasant lounge possible and not get turned away because you showed up outside of the hours Priority Pass members are admitted.
Featured image courtesy of ANA.
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