American Express is removing Priority Pass restaurant access

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The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two Priority Pass airport lounge access cards, one for you and one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder.  This allows each of you to get two people into any of the 1,200 airport lounges in the Priority Pass network.

(You can find full details on Priority Pass here – you can buy one separately without having to take out an Amex Platinum card.)

Over recent years, Priority Pass has been adding restaurant partners too.  Instead of visiting a lounge, you can visit a restaurant in your departure terminal and receive a £15 discount on your bill per person.  A lot of people found this more attractive than visiting a lounge – and, in fact, you could do both!  Priority Pass does not limit the number of different lounges or participating restaurants you can visit in the same trip.

American Express is removing Priority Pass restaurant access

American Express is now removing the restaurant benefit from UK issued Platinum cards.  From 1st August, you will no longer be able to claim a credit in participating restaurants even if the restaurant is still listed on the Priority Pass website.

There is one relevant exception.  The only UK restaurant participating in the scheme, the Grain Store Café & Bar at Gatwick South, will be retained, at least for UK cardholdersWe looked at The Grain Store here.

I am guessing that, following the recent sharp increase in the Platinum fee, Amex did not want to be seen to be removing key benefits so soon.  A handful of other restaurants globally will also be retained although there is no list.

There is now a problem, in that the Priority Pass website is no longer an accurate guide as to what you can access with an American Express-issued Priority Pass.  You need to use the ‘Find A Lounge’ function on the Amex website – click here – which is the only place you can see which restaurants will still accept your Amex-issued Priority Pass card.

American Express is removing Priority Pass restaurant access

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

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

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here.  You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Probably s good thing I’m not going tonight, the Flybe person most likely didn’t want their evening spoiled by an unhappy customer 😂

    • Oliver is now both head of loyalty and head of customer experience, so I’m sure would have been delighted to chat 🙂

      • I’m sure he must be aware of the issues then! Just in case he is interested this is the reply from John Lewis chat when asking for a small suitcase to fit the Flybe dimensions “I see, all the suitcases I’ve looked at since are either over the size requirement for width, or over depth. I’ve not been able to find anything to fit those measurements on all dimensions I’m afraid.” They stock 94 cases in the under 56cm category.
        I think I need to focus on enjoying my holiday now and stop trying to bang my head against a brick wall!

        • Chris L says:

          My wife and I each have a special ‘Flybe’ case – used exclusively for them. Got them from Amazon I think. I’ve had a bit of a tolerate-hate relationship with Flybe. The number of times things have gone smoothly has been outweighed by the number of issues. A few problems of note in the past few years:
          1. 3 hour delay – filed a compensation claim; Flybe claimed the arrival time was recorded incorrectly and ‘corrected’ their records to show a 2:59hr delay – compensation denied.
          2. Flight delayed 90 mins for starters – once on board, found at the start of the flight they had ‘run out of water’ i.e. could not serve tea, coffee, bottled water, water of any kind. Complained, received a stock response.
          3. Only one checkin desk open to deal with a queue of approx 180 pax. Heavily pregnant wife forced to stand in line for about 40 mins. Then followed by 90 min flight delay.

          I can only hope that the additional investment and benefits of being part of a larger group will help and persuade me to start using them again. As it stands I have not used them since March – and that is by choice.

          • Charlieface says:

            Delay compo is based on doors open time, not landing time so you may still be able to claim

          • Lady London says:

            And provided as well as doors open, means of exit such as airbridge or stair music be able to passengers to exit. At that point you’ve landed

            Flybe do sound rather fraudulent based on comments recently here…

        • memesweeper says:

          gate8 sell suitably sized — and otherwise brilliant — bags for Flybe (eg Garment Mate, which is a full size suit holder that fits their overheads!)

  2. Andrew-A says:

    OT – Can anyone confirm when Shangri-la GC points expire? The website says this which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. “GC Award Points will expire on an annual basis up to three calendar years (1 January to 31 December) after the end of the membership calendar year of accrual. Once expired, the GC Award Points cannot be redeemed for awards or other products/services”
    I have 3000 which were awarded May – June 2018 and I want to use them at The Shard but not until the turn of the year. They haven’t expired yet so I assume its not annually so possibly after 3 years?

    • David says:

      I have points expiring this year and as far as I can tell Shangri-la GC points expire on the 31 December of the 3rd year. They will email to remind you.

  3. Doreen says:

    STARS & Luminous sound interesting (Ambassador here who is really disappointed with that level & wont aim for it again). If you are not able to publicise it, can you or Emyr do a fact sheet we can request.
    Enjoy the Party everyone 😀

    • Emyr is putting something together for us, there will be an article at some point.

    • KevMc says:

      Marriott STARS program will be valid at the following brands:
      Luxury Collection
      Ritz-Carlton Reserve
      St. Regis

      With the following benefits:
      Complimentary full or continental breakfast daily for up to two people per room
      Complimentary basic wifi
      100USD Hotel credit
      In-person welcome
      Personalised welcome amenity and note

      Marriott Luminous valid at the following brands:
      Autograph Collection
      JW Marriott
      Le Meridien
      Tribute Portfolio
      W Hotels

      With these benefits:
      Complimentary daily breakfast for two people per room
      Complimentary basic wifi
      Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
      Complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability at check-in
      Local welcome amenity and note
      100USD hotel credit (at select hotels)

  4. Travel Strong says:

    OT: The cheapest Hilton redemption in the UK appears to have left Hilton group. The Hampton Inn at Newport East (south wales), was no longer showing on the app, and a phone call reveals it is now ‘Ty Hotel’ and part of the Celtic Manor collection. I’m not sure if i’ll miss it or not yet.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      They bought the ropey old Hilton off the M4 at Newport too (stayed there a few times – not my choice) and by all accounts made a decent refurb/upgrade job when they turned it into Coldra Court – although that seems to attract a steady stream of people thinking it will be the same standard as Celtic Manor despite the huge price differential,

      Seem to be slowly working on monopolising the Newport area?

      • LewisB says:

        Celtic Manor will soon be running a new hotel in Cardiff too. Joint venture between them and the WRU for the old Post Office on Westgate street. Lovely building!

  5. Alex J says:

    PDX is my most-used airport outside of the UK. It has two PP restaurants (a quite nice one, as far as airport food goes, and a whisky tasting experience) due to the abysmal lounge situation, consisting of one Alaska lounge, which I have never in 20 visits in the last year or so seen open to PP holders due to overcrowding,

    Really gutted to lose out on this benefit too. Going to have to cancel the Platinum, it no longer represents good value for me, especially after the fee hike.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Thanks for the heads-up on the Alaska lounge- I need to book a one-way to SEA to connect to the Aer Lingus to DUB next month, I will now book Delta instead for a chance of some lounge time with the Plat.

      • Mark2 says:

        If you are going to be at SEA and have Plat, I highly recommend the Centurion lounge there.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Yes, I am looking forward to hitting that one as well. Got to get value for that new higher fee after all!

      • Alex J says:

        No worries! I’m not sure how familiar you are with PDX, but it’s probably one of the nicer airports in the US, lounges aside; they have lots of good food and coffee options, and I’ve never known security to be horrendous. But if Delta have a similar price to Alaska , the airline really won’t make a difference on such a short journey, so you might as well book something with lounge access!

        SEA is another story, though, the Amex lounge is indeed very good, as has been mentioned. Especially the cocktails!

    • AndyGWP says:

      Your comments of the Alaska Lounge reflect those that I have read of their lounge at JFK T7 (and my own experience!)

    • occasional ranter says:

      Same here, only I keep getting turned away at Schiphol. Amex Platinum / PP not worth having any more.

    • Lady London says:

      I think it’s now official that most of the Alaska lounges that you’d really want to visit, are no longer taking PP.

  6. OT: Ref Curve card. Anyone with any experience post metal launch with the annual limits? I’ve held the card since the original beta but am in need of more than £50k a year. Genuine business spend and used mostly for forex transactions to pay suppliers and subscriptions abroad.
    Is it worth losing the card and asking for a replacement?

    • Peter K says:

      Not worth losing card as the limits/spend history seem to stay the same now (my wife did actually lose hers recently).

      Try asking for a higher limit first.

    • the_real_a says:

      The lost card no longer works unfortunately. However, on genuine spend they are happy to raise to 100k.

  7. OT: Barclaycard will end provision of Experian credit scores on 24 October.

    • You can get the experian score for free via MSE and it comes with the rest of your experian credit data too, which is what really matters as the score itself is only of minimal utility

  8. Is there a list of which restaurants will still be available? For example, the grain store is currently listed on the amex lounge search site but the restaurant at jfk t8 doesnt seem to be, but is currently on priority pass. Have they removed the ones that wont be included already?

    How does it work anyway? Will priority pass forward the charges to amex if ppl use the priority pass in a restaurant? Really poor from amex anyway, especially after such a big fee increase that brought 0 worthwhile new benefits.

    • I am guessing – since restaurants can’t tell the difference – that you will be charged the £20 guest fee if you use it.

  9. Jordan D says:

    Likely a pair now available for tonight – ironically due to some travel. If someone is interested (at FV), shout …

  10. Neil Donoghue says:

    Another nice blow for the Amex plat card! I didn’t know Michael O Leary had taken over.Very disappointing to watch the card being butchered. Surely this perk should have been considered during the hike in the annual fee.

    • The same change was announced for the US card a while ago.

    • Karen Brown says:

      Of course it was in the plan when the annual fee was hiked.

      I’m just trying to think what other ‘take-aways’ may have been in the plan that Amex stil hasn’t announced yet

  11. Oakwood school bully says:

    I’m already there forming an orderly queue, in my anorak and my little book of amusing plane spotter anecdotes.

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