Back in January 2020, we covered one of the most popular deals we have ever written about.
You did this by opening an account with the duty free loyalty programme RED By Dufry and using a promo code to give yourself a 30-day free trial of their top Platinum tier.
Unfortunately for Dufry, it didn’t think the offer through. A key benefit of Platinum status was the ability to buy $10 airport lounge passes from DragonPass, which I believe were heavily subsidised by Dufry.
When we published this offer, our readers – unsurprisingly – piled in. After all, the eligible lounges included the Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 which is NOT available via Priority Pass.
Even better, buyers were told that the passes were refundable if you ended up not using them.
Readers without BA status took a guess of how many Terminal 5 flights they would have in 2020 and bought a matching pile of lounge passes.
The timing was, of course, terrible. Very few people got to use the passes they bought in January 2020.
What happened next?
DragonPass was never explicitly clear about what was happening with the lounge passes.
Some readers managed to get them extended. Others managed to get the promised refund. However, the vast majority didn’t do anything, and were surprised to find recently that their DragonPass account was now marked as ‘expired’:
…. despite having active lounge passes on it. I have one pass on my card as you can see above.
We have been trying to get a definitive statement from DragonPass for a few weeks as to what is going on. The UK office has now told us this:
“The airport lounge campaign run by Dufry and DragonPass has now expired.
Given the global pandemic and travel restrictions we appreciate that not everyone was able to enjoy the offer. In the coming weeks DragonPass will be proactively reaching out to customers to offer visit refunds on applicable purchases. Although the visit has expired, as a further gesture of goodwill Dragonpass shall automatically extend the customer memberships until the 31 July 2022 providing access to the wider benefits. This allows customers to still enjoy the benefits of the Dragonpass membership over the coming months.
Should you want your refund earlier, please reach out to DragonPass directly in order to expedite your refund.”
My reading of this is that you won’t be able to get a further extension of your existing passes, but DragonPass will be in touch soon to refund you.
Your DragonPass membership will also be reactivated in case you wish to buy lounge passes, at the standard rate, for future airport visits up to 31st July 2022.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four 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 Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get 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.