Airport Lounge Pass – Memberships Versus PAYG
The Professional Traveller • Jul 27, 2020
Airport Lounge Pass – Membership Schemes
If you are looking at whether you should buy an airport lounge pass you are in the right place.
To work out whether buying a airport lounge pass is worth it you need to think about how often you might be using airport lounges, after deciding of course that you want to use them at all!
If you haven’t checked it out already there is a very handy quiz, plus a full guide lounge access on my dedicated airport lounge page.
For now we are going to look at how an airport lounge pass membership scheme works in comparison to pay as you go usage and the different costs for membership.
We are going to be looking at one of the most popular airport lounge pass schemes – Priority Pass.
Airport Lounge Pass Access
One thing to bear in mind is that some lounges restrict access to lounge club members to certain times of the day, generally off-peak periods, because they can sell their space at peak times for peak prices.
In this post I have compared prices of lounge passes by comparing a lounge membership scheme with pay as you go access.
Let’s compare lounge access at London Gatwick to see how it stacks up. I am going to compare prices for the No1 Lounge at Gatwick North Terminal.
I am going to compare pay as you go access with an airport lounge pass membership scheme – in this case the one that I use which is Priority Pass.
Most lounges can be used for no more than 3 hours before a flight. If the flight is delayed you can continue to use the lounge. Therefore if your flight is at midday you won’t be able to access the lounge before 9 am.
No1 Lounge Gatwick North Terminal
You can access this airport lounge by paying on the door. This is subject to availability of course. The cost £40
You can book online through Gatwick Airport/No1 Lounges. The cost is £32
Booking via holidayextras.co.uk you can get access for 2 hours for £24
Priority Pass access is £20.
However, this is after you have paid a £69 joining fee so for a one-off visit clearly it is worth getting Priority Pass. You would have to visit 17 times with the Priority Pass to beat the holidayextras price, although bear in mind that is only for 2 hours access not 3, when taking the £69 fee into account.
You would have to visit 6 or more times with the Priority Pass to beat the Gatwick Airport/No1 Lounges price.
Now, this comparison is a little unfair on Priority Pass because generally, people that have an airport lounge pass are visiting more than one airport and more than one airport lounge.
However, the overall approach kind of works the same. You can say that if you are using lounges 6 times or more per year then a Priority Pass may well be worth it and provide a saving.
If you travel more often then you may need to consider which Priority Pass membership you have. A standard membership is £69 as already mentioned, with each lounge visit for the member or a guest costing £20.
A standard plus membership is £189 and this gives 10 free visits with members and guests paying £20 thereafter. I decided on this membership because I use airport lounges at least 10 times a year.
Based on this number of visits the comparison between the two levels is as follows (based on 1 person);
Standard membership – the total cost of 10 visits = £269 (£69 membership fee plus 10 x £20 visit fee)
Standard plus membership – the total cost of 10 visits = £189
As a comparison booking direct would at GatwickNo1 lounge for example for 10 visits would cost £320 and using holidayextras the total cost would be £240.
If you travel even more than that then there is a Prestige Traveller membership which costs £339 per year and it gives unlimited lounge access for the member with guests still being charged £20 per visit.
If you want to find out more about airport lounges including the cheapest way for you to access lounges then check out my airport lounge page.
Interested in Membership?
Find more information on different membership levels with sign up check below;