This is not a surprise as Priority Pass has already told its own members of a similar rise as we covered here.
This is unlikely to have a major impact for American Express Platinum cardholders. You can already get FOUR people for free into any of the 1,200 Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide. The main cardholder is allowed to bring a guest and the Platinum supplementary cardholder, who gets their own Priority Pass, can also bring a free guest. Nothing changes here.
(The strategy for a family of four is to give your partner the free Platinum supplementary card, allowing you to each guest in one child if you are all travelling together.)
It seems that Priority Pass is not increasing the credit you get when eating at one of its airport restaurant partners, such as The Grain Store in Gatwick South. This will remain at £15, which means that you should pay cash if taking an extra person rather than charging a guest to your Priority Pass account. This rather confusing comment (given that the actual answer is ‘No’!) has appeared on the Priority Pass Q&A page:
“With the lounge visit fee increasing, does this mean the equivalent value of credit available at Priority Pass’ airport partners (cafes and restaurants) will increase accordingly?
Where Members pay for their visit or guest visits, these particular offers may not represent best value. We advise Members to visit our app or website to review full conditions of access before visiting.”
One by-product of this change is to make the American Express Platinum Business card weaker. Holders of this card do NOT get a free guest with their Priority Pass cards and so are more likely to end up paying the £20 charge if not travelling alone.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.