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One way to make travel easier, or at least more comfortable, is to have access to airport lounges where you can usually get complimentary snacks, drinks, places to sit, clean(er) restroom, decent internet, and if you are super lucky, even a family room. I’ve sat on the floor in a corner of a crowded gate area with my phone plugged into a outlet that looks like it was left over from the Walking Dead, and I’m sure I will find myself in that situation again, but I’d much rather wait for my flights in a decent lounge…especially when I am traveling with my family.
Lots of premium rewards credit cards provide for lounge access to some degree, sometimes via the Priority Pass network. Priority Pass isn’t a specific brand of lounge like a United Club or Amex Centurion Lounge, but instead it is a network of lots of different types of lounges around the world that you can access when you have a Priority Pass membership.
There are different levels and types of Priority Pass memberships, but a common one that is available via the Amex Platinum Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is Priority Pass Select membership. You generally have to go online and activate your Priority Pass Select membership within your related credit card account, and then a Priority Pass Select card comes in the mail a couple weeks later. Via your Priority Pass Select card (not your credit card) and a same-day boarding pass, you can get into over 1,000 lounges around the world.
KLM Crown Lounge and Air France Lounge in Houston, The Club at MCO in Orlando, Mera Business Lounge in Cancun, Club Mobay in Jamaica, Alaska Lounge located in Seattle and more, and the Plaza Premium Lounge in London’s Heathrow.
We have visited a few lounges in the Priority Pass Select network, and while they aren’t all amazing, we are always glad to have somewhere other than just the gate area to visit in the airport.
The Priority Pass Select Membership That Includes Free Guests
Of course family travelers will often want to bring in their partner, children, etc. into the lounge with them, and while many of the lounges do allow children and guests, how much that will cost you depends entirely on what type of Priority Pass membership you have.
It may be a surprise to some that the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with the Amex Platinum only provides complimentary entry to the membership holder. All guests cost $27 additional per person that is charged to the card tied to the Priority Pass Select membership, and that fact isn’t always very prominently shared in the lounge. Some lounges provide free entry to very young children up to two or three years old or so, but even that isn’t 100% guaranteed.
This means a family of four could potentially have to pay $81 for one-time lounge access ($27 x 3), even with the Priority Pass Select membership. That is probably more than most families want to spend for a quick lounge visit, but thankfully there is another way without every family member having to have their own Priority Pass Select membership.
The Priority Pass Select Membership that is available via the Chase Sapphire Reserve does not charge for guests! We thought that was the case, but now that I have my very own Chase Sapphire Reserve, I was able to look at the information that came with my Priority Pass Select card first-hand. It indeed states that “You and your accompanying guests may visit participating lounges at no charge compliments of Chase Sapphire Reserve as often as you wish during your membership year”.
That is great news for traveling families and makes the Priority Pass Select membership that is available via the Chase Sapphire Reserve more valuable than the other versions my a wide margin!
Were you aware of the difference in guest policies for the different Priority Pass Select memberships?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.