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Priority Pass adds four London airport restaurant deals – unless you’re an Amex cardholder

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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.

Prority Pass adds new restaurant deals in London airports

Here is the list of restaurant benefits that you can now access across the core London airports:

London Heathrow

  • 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.

London Gatwick

North Terminal:

  • Tortilla (NEW)
  • Juniper & Co (NEW)
  • The Breakfast Club (NEW)

South Terminal:

  • The Grain Store Cafe & Bar

London Stansted

  • The Camden Bar & Kitchen (NEW)

London Luton

  • Avalon Crafted Coffee
  • Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
  • Nolito

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!

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply 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.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

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

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 £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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (54)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Peter says:

    Generally the food quality in the restaurants is far superior, LHR T2 Big Tap Smokehouse felt like a huge upgrade compared to Plaza premium which we visited after, and also the grain store is far superior to any of the rubbish No1/Aspire/MyLounge

    • Numpty says:

      Agreed, they even bring your food and drink to you at your table, luxury.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Anyone planning on having a meal in these lounges is, er, “easily pleased”. Sauceless pasta and breadsticks are not a meal.

    • flyforfun says:

      It’s such as shame on the Plaza Premium brand. Their Hong Kong lounge is great, with loads of food options. But a few weeks ago we were stuck at LGW for 3 hours and went there. 2 hot dishes, one chicken, the other vegan meatballs. Rice as the carb. At 2pm as we were about to leave they brought out a tub of potato salad to add to the very boring salad bar. We used the free deal via the 02 Priority delay scheme. Not sure it would have been worth £18 or more. I suppose if you had all the booze it might have been worth it!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You can do both …

  • buchanan101 says:

    Just had a look at the Lloyds World Elite Mastercard

    It a bit pants really

    • Rob says:

      Unless you pay cash for a Priority Pass.

      • buchanan101 says:

        true – but most of the time I’m on Avios Club Europe tickets, which have to be just about the best deal out there, especially for skiing (all that luggage allowance)… and am happy enough with the fairly ordinary club lounges. Easily pleased

  • r* says:

    Its laughable to think amex still thinks its okay to give a nerfed version of the pp when lloyds give a proper one for much cheaper.

    But i guess they wont change until ppl start leaving, or theyll add more crap like HN credit and think its good value lol.

    • Jonathan says:

      Not if you’ve got Amex Platinum, since it gives a guest access that no other card (or metal) can do so (apart from maybe Centurion)…

      While we’re here can anyone clarify if priority pass via Centurion is the same or if not better than Platinum at all ?
      You’d think they’d have something special in place given that Centurion is invitation only, and has some very special powers, albeit with a very high annual fee, and joining fee !

  • Bernard says:

    This looks like PP merely replicating what Lounge Key provided to HSBC Elite before the switch to PP.
    If you fly twice a month, it soon adds up. A £360 benefit that HSBC gives that Amex doesn’t.

    • yorkieflyer says:

      Yes but Lloyd’s is cheaper for 2 if you discount spending on the card

  • camille55 says:

    If they can offer it to those paying £15 a month for the Lloyds WE MC, then Amex really should be negotiating it for holders of Amex Plat and Centurion. Tried to use The Globe at T5 on the back of my Centurion issued PP, which they didn’t entertain of course.

  • Kate Last says:

    I have Amex platinum business and hsbc world elite. I registered an account with priority pass using the Amex card. Can I add to the same account also the hsbc card to get access to all options or I would need a separate account?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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