Priority Pass has unveiled a number of new restaurant deals across London’s airports for its cardholders.
At each, you will receive a £15 credit towards a meal. If your Priority Pass allows a free guest and you arrive with someone else, you will receive a £30 credit between you.
Unfortunately these deals are NOT available to anyone who gets their Priority Pass via American Express, with one exception. It is available to anyone who gets their pass directly from Priority Pass or via another financial partner such as the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard or the brand new £15 per month Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard.
Here is the list of restaurant benefits that you can now access across the core London airports:
- T2 – Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
- T3 – The Oceanic Pub & Kitchen
- T5 – The Globe Pub & Kitchen
You can also get free treatments at the two Be Relax Spa sites in Terminal 5.
- Tortilla (NEW)
- Juniper & Co (NEW)
- The Breakfast Club (NEW)
- The Grain Store Cafe & Bar
- The Camden Bar & Kitchen (NEW)
- Avalon Crafted Coffee
- Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
But if your Priority Pass is issued by American Express ….
There are a grand total of TWO restaurant experiences globally that Amex-issued Priority Pass customers can use.
One is The Grain Store at London Gatwick’s South Terminal. Given that this is the British Airways terminal, it is at least convenient for most HfP readers. The other is the Moevenpick Cafe in Berlin Brandenburg.
My best guess is that Priority Pass wants to charge American Express a higher fee for restaurant visits, as it pays out more than it pays a lounge operator, and that the two parties could not reach an agreement.
This is something that American Express may want to look at again given the frustration over being unable to access UK lounges with Priority Pass due to overcrowding. The fee differential cannot be more than £1-£2 per visit, given that no other bank or credit card provider has brought in a similar restriction.
It is also possible that, if it isn’t careful, American Express may find that people who value the Priority Pass benefit move to competing financial products which do allow full access.
You can find out more about these new Priority Pass options by searching for an airport via its website.
PS. Without wishing to state the obvious, you should not take part in any of these restaurant deals if you have a ‘pay per use’ or – if you’re not alone – a ‘pay for guests’ Priority Pass. The guest fee is now £24 and you are getting £15 of restaurant credit so you can see the problem here!
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 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.