How does Priority Pass work?

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✈️ According to a new study by Electronics Hub, Alaska Airlines has the best in-flight wi-fi, while Spirit ranked last. Read more from the list here.

Good morning from a Priority Pass lounge in Bali’s domestic airport terminal. I’m just enjoying my free food and drinks before my quick hop over to Jogja.

Oh, and speaking of Priority Pass…

  • 🤔 How does Priority Pass work?

  • 🌎 Where in the World Wednesday + FareDrop Dream Job

🤔 How does Priority Pass work?

Airport lounges. You either love ‘em, or you hate ‘em.

But let’s be honest - you love ‘em.

And so do I… especially when they’re totally free.

The vast majority of the time, this is thanks to Priority Pass, a massive global network of over 1,500 lounges.

But we’ve never really dug into this topic before…

So today, I’m going to tell you what Priority Pass is, how to get it, and some next-level features of the program that you might not be aware of.

An image of a lounge with dark purple and red colors with seating

What is Priority Pass?

Priority Pass is a membership program that gets you access to over 1,500 lounges worldwide.

I’ve used my membership to visit well over 100 different lounges (maybe even closer to 200) in just about every airport I’ve ever stepped foot in.

In fact, I’d say I visit 50-75 Priority Pass lounges in a given year, since I get unlimited access to lounges with my membership.

But it’s important to note that not all Priority Pass memberships are created equal.

In order to access a lounge, you need to be a member. Once you’re a member, a single visit to a lounge will cost you $35.

That is, unless your membership tier allows for free visits… 😏

Priority Pass membership tiers

As you can see, there are multiple membership types, as follows:

  • A membership that provides NO free visits

  • A membership that provides a limited number of free visits

  • A membership that provides unlimited free visits

When you arrive at a lounge, you simply show them your membership card and boarding pass, and boom. You’re in.

How to get Priority Pass

You may have noticed the pricing from the screenshot in the last section…

Honestly, $429 per year for unlimited lounge visits isn’t half bad of a deal… but there’s a better way to get an even better membership…

Like most of the best things in life, the answer is simple: credit cards.

Here’s what I mean:

Many ultra-premium credit cards in the U.S. (and even this one in Canada) come with a Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits.

Most of the time, this membership also includes free visits for at least one guest as well (though this varies by card) to any of the hundreds of lounges located around the world.

A graphic showing how many priority pass lounges are in each region f the world

So, if you travel with a companion often, this membership alone could provide many hundreds of dollars in value, which is one of the reasons that degenerates like me are happy to pay $600 or $700 a year for such cards.

Thankfully, there are also cards that come with this perk that cost much less.

For example, our favorite card of all time comes with a Priority Pass for the primary cardholder AND up to four authorized users (which are free to add).

It’s why so many people are obsessed with the card.

💡 If you have multiple cards that offer Priority Pass as a perk, make sure you aren’t valuing them all equally. After you have one membership, you shouldn’t value secondary memberships as more than $0.

Hidden Perks

In addition to lounges, Priority Pass also partners with various other businesses to offer “experiences.”

This might include massages and other spa services, but mainly… restaurants.

Here’s how it works:

With restaurants, you essentially get a $28 voucher to use toward anything on the menu, which counts as a “visit” from your membership.

If you have guest access with your membership, you can double that.

An example of a Priority Pass restaurant in BOS airport

But, as you might imagine, there is one HUGE caveat…

Priority Pass restaurants are only available to use if you have a membership from this card.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons I upgraded the lower-tier version of the card myself recently.

A handful of visits to restaurants every year adds up to a LOT of extra value, especially when I can use them in airports that don’t have any lounge options.

Throw in the other experiences, like free massages in some airports, and it’s even better.

An example of a Priority Pass Spa in Toronto Airport

Finally, another cool thing to note…

Not all of the Priority Pass lounges are crappy, third-party contract lounges.

Sometimes, it grants you access to various airlines’ business-class lounges.

For example, you can use Priority Pass to access the Air France lounge in Boston - even if you aren’t flying on Air France.

An example of an Air France business lounge that is accessible with Priority Pass

In Bangkok, you can use your membership to access Oman Air, Air France, Turkish Airlines, and Bangkok Airways business-class lounges.

💡 Pro Tip: If you want to see which airports have lounges accessible with Priority Pass, you can simply search on their website or app - it’s very easy, even if you don’t have a membership yet.

So here’s the bottom line:

Priority Pass is the easiest way to unlock airport lounge access all over the U.S. and the rest of the world.

If you can get one of the many U.S. credit cards that offer it as a perk, it’s an easy way to justify paying a high annual fee.

But even if you don’t live in the U.S., you might consider simply purchasing an annual membership from their website - it could still be well worth the price tag.

Phew… that was a tedious section… let’s move on to something more fun, shall we?

🌎 Where in the World Wednesday

Before we bring you some travel inspo on this fine Wednesday, we have other important news to share… 👀

The FareDrop Dream Job has been narrowed down to THREE finalists, and now the team needs help deciding!

A dark blue background with a graphic of the world, stars, and the FareDrop logo

Each finalist put together a YouTube video of their recent travels, so we’d love for you to give them a watch and vote for your favorite ❤️

That’s right… it’s up to YOU to decide who gets the job!

You’ll find all three videos and a place to cast your vote (until Sunday) in the form below 👇

Speaking of FareDrop… Today, we’re taking a cheap flight all the way over to Barcelona, Spain! 🇪🇸

Three FareDrop alert cards showing flights to Beijing, Bogota, and Barcelona

If you’re craving the Mediterranean, trippy architecture, and churros (especially the churros), then Barcelona should have a spot high up on your bucket list.

I once visited Barcelona in August, in peak-heat. Don’t do that. Literally go any other time of year.

But if you are there, it’s hard not to notice Gaudi’s architectural influence all over the city 👇

A side of a buldingwith unique architecture and murals from Gaudi

An example of Gaudi’s architectural design

His visions look like a modern-day Wonka factory, eh?

Seriously, it’s quite unique, and I’d certainly make the effort to see both the famous Basilica of La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

A few other favorites of mine include the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), and Casa Batlló.

And for the weird? How about scouring Barcelona’s historic sewers that are open to the public for exploring. Yeah…

Or when you’re not gorging yourself with paella and tapas, you could search for the eerie and haunting “Kiss of Death” funerary statue located in the Poblenou Cemetery.

A skeleton angel kissing a dying human in statue form

So eerie, but so… elegant?

As with most trendy European cities, you could spend a week here and not see it all.

But if you want to get personalized alerts for cheap flights all over the world just like this one, check out FareDrop today!

Newsletters are great, but sometimes a good ‘ol fashioned video is the best way to explain travel hacking.

Thankfully, we have a YouTube channel!

In this week’s Daily Drop YouTube video, we’ll break down how you can book a $5,000 trip to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean using points, miles, and a handful of fairly straightforward travel hacks.

This week's Daily Drop YouTube video Thumbnail

That’s all for today, folks! I am still recovering from jet lag, so I’m going to pass out for a few hours…

But I’ll miss you. And I’ll see you again first thing tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

7.8014° S, 110.3648° E

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