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Airport Lounge Membership Comparison: Which is Best Value for You?

Are you looking interested in airport lounge access?

Are you a regular user of lounges and looking for airport lounge membership comparison to find you best option?

Great! That’s exactly what you will find right here.

First let’s answer one of the most common questions when it comes to airport lounge membership plans.

What’s the Best Airport Lounge Membership Plan?

The best is one that provides the most lounge access for the lowest price based on your travel plans and frequency of use. There are difference membership plans available depending on whether you travel mainly in the UK, Europe or further afield. Generally speaking if you are going to use a lounge more than 6-10 times a year a membership plan will be cheaper than paying as you go.

Read on to find the best airport lounge membership plan to suit your needs and requirements.

1. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Membership Schemes

Airport lounge membership schemes can be a great value way to access airport lounges.

Which airport lounge membership scheme is going to suit you best depends on when, where and how often you plan to use airport lounges. Other factors include whether you will be regularly travelling with guests.

Generally speaking if you are planning on using an airport lounge more than 6 times a year then an airport lounge membership scheme could be cheaper.

If you would like to double check then hop over to my Cheap Airport Lounges post. This will tell you the cheapest way for you to access and airport lounge based on your estimated usage.

For now this post is going to look at the main features of the most common airport lounge membership schemes.

picture shows snack and drink in an airport lounge airport lounge membership comparison the professional traveller
Who doesn’t love lounging with snacks and a drink!

2. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Priority Pass

  • Best for the most amount of lounges available worlwide
  • Best for mid range use of lounges – StandardPlus plan works out to £18.90 per lounge use

Priority Pass is probably the most widely known of the airport lounge membership schemes and it is the one I have.

Members can access over 1300 lounges in 600 cities, across 148 countries!

Piority Pass has three membership levels;

  • Standard – £69 per year and each lounge visit whether for the member of guest is £20 per person. This is ideal if you plan to use a lounge around 6 times or less per year.
  • Standard Plus – £189 per year and includes 10 lounge visits for the member, with guest visits £20 per person. Every visit over 10 is charged at £20 for the member. This can be good value if you are planning using airport lounges more than 8 times in a year.
  • Prestige – £339 per year. Unlimited visits for the member with guest visits charged at £20. For heavy usage this can be the best value.

Membership can be accessed online and there is a membership card as well as a digital app with a digital membership.

This is handy for contactless travel.

Priority Pass has one or the largest selection of lounges.

It is one of the most widely accepted passes at lounges.

Benefits include member discounts at airports, for shopping outside of the lounges for example.

Click now to learn more about priority pass membership.

priority pass learn more the professional traveller

3. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison Dragon Pass

  • Best option for less frequent use, or higher use (over 10 visits per year)
  • Discounts for meals at airport restaurants
  • Good range of lounges available

Dragon Pass members can access 1300 lounges all over the world.

Membership is accessed online through their app.

  • Standard – £68 per year with 1 free visit for the member, then additional visits and guest visits charged at £19.50 per each
  • Preferential – £128 per year with 8 free visits for the member, then additional visits & guest visits charged at £19.50 each
  • Prestige – £268 per year with unlimited visits for the member, and all guest visits charged at £19.50 per person
4. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Dragon Pass (Free Membership)

There is a little trick that can help you save the cost of Dragon Pass membership meaning you can just buy the lounge access directly.

Simply sign up for a free account at Regus (an offfice workspace company) and you get free Dragon Pass membership.

Before you visit the airport lounge you need to have purchased a one time lounge access through the app.

Access is charged at £19 per airport lounge visit.

picture shows top of a world globe
5. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Aspire and Swissport
  • Best option for regular use of lounges in the UK and some other parts of the world (limited choice)
  • The best option for two people to use as membership includes free guest visits

Aspire members have access to lounges across the UK and in some European countries as follows;

  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Edinburgh
  • Humberside
  • Glasgow
  • Inverness
  • London
  • Gatwick
  • London Heathrow Terminal 3
  • Liverpool
  • Luton
  • Manchester
  • Calgary International
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau
  • Copenhagen
  • Helsinki Vaanta
  • Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

There is access to Heathrow Terminal 5 but only with a Platinum Annual Membership which gives access to more European countries

You can book lounge access online through Aspire with lounge access costing around £25 per person.

They also have two membership schemes;

  • Aspire and Swissport Lounge Membership – for access to lounges above £259.99 which includes unlimited visits for the member and 1 guest
  • Platinum Plus Lounge Membership – £399.99 which includes all lounges above plus London Heathrow Terminal 5 plus Cologne, Dublin, Faro, Geneva, Graz, Helsinki, Larnaca, Sofia, Zurich, Dubai, Kigali, Kingston, Montego Bay, Nairobi

6. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – LoungePass

  • Good option for occassional airport lounge access

LoungePass is an online directory of airport lounges that you can book at a discounted price.

It has over 650 lounges at 350 airports worldwide.

Prices are from £17 per person per lounge. This varies depending on the location.

They have access to 45 lounges in the UK.

They also offer non lounge options such as meal deals at airport restaurants.

7. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – LoungeBuddy

  • Good option for finding out if you can access airport lounges through your flight tickets or other membership

LoungeBuddy has an online site where you can book lounge access.

You need to book for each time you want to use a lounge.

Costs are from £20 per person per visit, depending on lounge location.

Use of the Number 1 Lounge in Gatwick Airport is from £40 per person.

It also has an app where you can enter details of your airline ticket, membership schemes etc and it will let you know if you are eligible to use any airport lounges.

picture showing person holding out a credit card

8. Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Bank Account & Credit Card Scheme Memberships

You can get access to airport lounges as part of your credit card.

Finder has an easy comparison of airport lounge access cards.

The top one currently is American Express Preferred Rewards which offers two free visits per year.

However, for it to be worthwhile you would need to clear all spending before getting charged interest.

Barclays previously offered the Travel Plus Pack packaged bank account which cost £18 per month. This is currently suspended due to Covid19 but included;

  • Worldwide multi trip insurance cover
  • RAC cover for the UK and Europe
  • 6 Free airport lounge visits
  • Discounts on hotels and airport parking

If you were going to use all these things then this might be a cheaper way to access airport lounges.

9. Airport Lounge Membership Scheme: Professional Traveller Summary

The airport lounge membership scheme that is best for you depends on the following 3 things;

  1. How often you plan to use an airport lounge.
  2. Which locations you plan to use an airport lounge.
  3. How often (if at all) you will have guests with you in the airport lounge.

As a general rule airport lounge membership schemes such as Priority Pass work out more effective if using lounges more than 6-8 times a year.

Further Reading

If you have found my Airport Lounge Membership Comparison article useful you might also like;

Comparison of buying an airport lounge pass to pay as you go usage

Cheap airport lounges – how to find your cheapest access based on your usage and travel plans

Find cheap flights with these cheap flight hacks

Check out more tips and hacks on my Travel More and Spend Less page.

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