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The Priority Pass airport lounge network has over 1,300 lounges located in over 140 countries. It’s one of the most popular programs for obtaining airport lounge access because it is offered by so many premium credit cards such as the Platinum Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and many others.
Plaza Premium Lounges are lounges that are part of the Plaza Premium Group lounge network and they are located all over the world (44 international airports).
Based on my personal experience, these are “above average” contract lounges. (They have not blown me away but are still lounges I can look forward to visiting.)
You will find a lot of these lounges in Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, though you can also find some in Europe and the Americas (DFW). You can read my guide on Plaza Premium Lounge (full list of lounges) .
Plaza Premium Lounges have been a part of the Priority Pass lounge network for a while now but that is soon going to change. Beginning in July, Priority Pass members will lose access to select Plaza Premium Lounges
Reportedly, only Certain Plaza Premium lounges will be removed from the Priority Pass Program. I’ve seen different reports but it sounds like the majority, perhaps even the vast majority, of Plaza Premium lounges will be dropped from the Network.
We likely won’t know the exact details until the change date gets closer in the summer.
This definitely is a hit for Priority Pass but there is some good news.
First, according to reports Priority Pass already has alternative lounges operating in many of the locations where they will be losing Plaza Premium lounges. In addition, they are seeking out new partners in other locations where they may not have alternatives.
It’s unclear if these alternative lounges will be on par with Plaza Premium lounges in terms of quality. However, the addition of some new lounges could potentially mitigate the damage done from dropping Plaza Premium lounges.
The second reason why this is not all bad news is that if you have the Amex Platinum Card you can still get access to Plaza Premium lounges. That is because the Platinum Card offers airport lounge access far beyond just Centurion Lounge access.
In fact, here are a lot of the different types of lounges you can get access to:
- Centurion Lounges
- International American Express Lounges
- Priority Pass Select Lounges
- Delta Sky Clubs
- Airspace Lounges
- Escape Lounges
- Plaza Premium Lounges
- Lufthansa Lounges
Amex Platinum cardmembers may bring up to 1 companion into Plaza Premium Lounges as complimentary guests (compared to the two guests allowed with Priority Pass). However, at some airports Platinum members were known to receive better access to Plaza Premium lounges (e.g., more hours, more food or drink, etc.).
Overall, it’s definitely a negative to see lounges dropped from the program. However, it is encouraging to hear Priority Pass state that they can provide alternative lounges in many locations.This news also is not entirely bad for Platinum members since they will still have Plaza Premium access and in many cases that access goes beyond what Priority Pass offered.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.