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DragonPass confirms that it WILL refund your $10 airport lounge passes

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Back in January 2020, we covered one of the most popular deals we have ever written about.

You could order unlimited airport lounge passes for $10 (£7.80) each via DragonPass.

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.

DragonPass

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’:

Dragonpass card

…. 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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

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 a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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.

Comments (41)

  • Tim says:

    Before all you lower middle class CenterParcs lot piled onto this 🙂 I had legitimately gained platinum with Dufry through spending at LHR. And those £7 lounge passes were especially useful for * flights from out stations where the airline (e.g. SAS) didn’t provide lounge access, opening the app to buy the pass on the day for a good couple of years. I was quietly happy when you all lost your stash. Karma for those of us that fly properly. 🙂

    • Alex Sm says:

      No one lost anything but schadenfreude is a deadly sin, speaking of karma, you know?

      • Sloth says:

        I guess he means stash of cheap lounge passes but agreed it’s not a particularly nice comment…sometimes people shouldn’t say out loud what is in their heads…

  • MW says:

    This is a good move, unlike Priority Pass which extended my old “pay for” PP by a “whopping” 3 months back in August!

    I used it when flying on non-oneworld airlines and have now cancelled it as I now have a PP through Amex Bus. Platinum, but I thought the way paying PP members were treated was appalling.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      Mine were initially extended for a year (until the end of January 2022, I think), and then they were retrospectively expired on March 31, 2021. I had four visits left. I am in Bilbao now and I am flying back to Gatwick on Sunday. If they have been extended again until 31st of July, I guess I might go to the lounge. Pretty sure I won’t be flying again before 31st of July.

      • MW says:

        I had a number of visits left (I think 6?) with an expiry date of May (if I remember right), then it was extended to August.

        I did not fly between March and August (surprise, surprise!). Due to the BA lounge closure in AMS, I actually made use of the PP to visit the nearby PP lounge in August. So I benefited from the “generous” 3 month extension, but most people probably didn’t!

        The whole “we are shut, you are not flying, but won’t extend” just does not sound like a good customer retention approach.

      • MW says:

        I think you were “lucky” you got yours extended for a year. The fact that they clawed it back is even more appalling.

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        I think the membership is extended to 31 July 2022 but not the passes?

      • kitten says:

        mine appeared to be extended. then suddenly date moved retrospectively backwards, and found with a stamp over that saying expired.

        I don’t think this is fair.
        The membership is not worth anything.
        This is like British Airways trying to force a refund when they changed their flight. No I don’t want a refund I want the service that I paid for.

  • Aston100 says:

    Was proactively refunded a couple of weeks ago.
    Wife still awaiting contact.
    We applied and received our passes within minutes of each other back in Jan 2020, so am unsure why there is such a gap

  • TimM says:

    I obtained a refund of what I considered ‘surplus to requirements’ and an extension for one year on the remainder. This was done through Dufry, not DragonPass. I cannot fault their customer service.

  • Paul says:

    Have had a refund as Curve Cash as the purchase was so long ago! Haven’t realised and assumed it was going back to the funding card. Worth checking if also missing.

    • Sam G says:

      they can’t refund transactions that were originally made via wirecard – I have a refund there from November that I’d been chasing the airline for!

  • Alex Sm says:

    I reached out to them proactively and got a $40 refund (only used 1 pass in October when we flew to Cornwall) and my membership was extended with some discounts on future passes offered. However, my partner just sat on his 1 remaining pass and got BOTH the membership and the pass extended until March 2022 without even asking!

  • flyforfun says:

    I had 8 passes left of 10 I bought. I actually emailed them about 2 months ago, had a we’ll look into it reply and nothing for a month or so. The email was kind of nice but not in a way, saying the promotion had finished, blah blah blah, but here’s your cash back and an extension to 31/7/22, so kudos to them for this.

    I’m not sure if $27 is worth some lounges. My last use was in Stockholm where it was not of great standard. We even had to evacuate as the fire alarm went off! I may have been able to spend $27 for a better meal in the airport elsewhere (maybe, first visit to the airport so don’t know!).

    If I buy a pass now, can I buy ones for people traveling with me? The deal rules before meant you couldn’t.

    • Sloth says:

      I also got my membership extended but struggling to see the benefit of it tbh?

      • Rob says:

        As you’re a DragonPass member, it will usually be cheaper to buy access to a lounge via their app than pay the lounge directly.

        • old codger says:

          But I’ve known cases where you won’t be allowed into the lounge with a pass, but they are more than happy to sell you regular entry (LHR T3, the nicer one, not the service air one) and Premium Plaza in HKG offered, for the standard entry price, additional services to my cousins. They had access to the “private” part of the lounge, and spa/massage iirc.

  • kitten says:

    mine appeared to be extended. then suddenly date moved retrospectively backwards, and found with a stamp over that saying expired.

    I don’t think this is fair.
    The membership is not worth anything.
    This is like British Airways trying to force a refund when they changed their flight. No I don’t want a refund I want the service that I paid for.

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