Airport Lounge Passes – Are They Worth it?

Passing through a busy airport is not an enjoyable experience by anyone’s standards. They’re congested, confusing and unwelcoming, and the worst of it is that they’re vicious money-making machines. In busier airports, you are more likely to be held in the airport due to delays or feel necessitated to turn up several hours early just to clear security and get on the plane first, especially important if you have limited hand luggage allowances. The airport experience is geared around simply economics – the longer a person spends in a place the more money they will part with. So, the perfect excuse to charge a fiver for a bottle of still water, eh?

There are of course ways to avoid the stress and anxiety of an airport trip and stay out of the way of the huddled masses altogether. We tend to think of airport lounges as the preserve of the wealthy but that needn’t be true. The ‘Priority Pass’ has, according to its website, offered ‘the only way to travel’ for 25 years.

The pass is essentially a subscription scheme that grants you access to over 1200 airport lounges worldwide from Bogota to Tokyo and pretty much everywhere else you can think of. Priority pass is available in three different packages with the cheapest being £69 per year (pretty much pointless since you still have to pay £15 on the door) and the most expensive being £259 per year, granting the member unlimited free visits to lounges.
Perhaps the best package comes in the form of ‘standard plus’ which offers the member ten free visits and then a discounted rate of £15 per visit thereafter. All plans require payment of £15 for a guest to visit the lounge.

My approach would be to ask for my pass to be partly funded as a gift for my birthday or at Christmas time because that way my visit’s to the lounge would seem genuinely free and not just paid for in advance. Averaging out at £15/16 per visit that doesn’t seem unreasonable for such peace, dignity, and comfort – all for the price of a meal deal from WHSmiths and a couple of pints.