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Airport Lounge Pass Membership Vs. Pay As You Go Access ✈

Are You Considering An Airport Lounge Pass?

Not sure whether it is good value?

Don’t worry! This article will help you decide if an airport lounge pass membership is right for you.

In this post we are going to compare pay-as-you-go lounge access with lounge access via Priority Pass,

Priority Pass is one of the largest airport lounge pass membership schemes and has the largest number of lounges available for members to use.

airport lounge pass serving drinks

1. Airport Lounge Pass – Accessing Lounges with A Membership Pass

Before we jump into comparing prices there are a couple of things to know about accessing airport lounges;

  • Some lounges restrict access to airport lounge pass scheme members to certain times of the day, generally off-peak periods. This is because they can sell their space at peak times for peak prices to other users, or take bookings directly.
  • It is not always clear if this is the case at an airport lounge which can be frustrating.
  • You generally cannot access the lounge more than 3 hours before your flight time. For example, if you are flying at 12 noon you generally can’t generally access the lounge before 9am. This is usually to help the airport lounges manage the number of people using the lounge at any one time.
  • One of the good points about using an airport lounge is that you can carry on using the lounge if your flight is delayed. This makes dealing with a delay a bit easier to bear.

2. Airport Lounge Pass – Which Lounge To Compare?

To compare a membership scheme such as Priority Pass with pay-as-you-go access it is easier to use the same airport lounge for ease of comparison.

One of the most popular lounges in the UK is the No 1. Lounge in Gatwick’s South Terminal, so we will use that as our comparison.

3. Airport Lounge Pass – Costs to Access the Number 1 Lounge, Gatwick

Here are the prices for the different ways you can pay to access the Number 1 Lounge at Gatwick (South Terminal).

  • If space is available you can pay at the door, without the need to book in advance. The cost is £40 per visit. (3 hours)
  • You can book online through Gatwick Airport/No1 Lounges. The cost is £32 per visit. (3 hours)
  • You can book online through Holidayextras. The cost is £24 per visit (2 hours)
  • You can use Priority Pass. The cost is £24 per visit after you have paid a one-off joining fee of £69 for a Standard membership. Standard Plus membership is £229 per year and includes 10 visits.

4. Airport Lounge Pass – How Does Membership Compare With Cheapest Access Prices?

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.

As a general rule, you can say that if you are using lounges 6 times or more per year then a Priority Pass should provide a saving compared to pay-as-you-go access.

However, that depends on where you are travelling to and from and who you are travelling with. Check out cheap airport lounges to find out the best option for you based on your travel plans.

airport lounge pass snacks

5. Airport Lounge Pass – Pay as You Go Compared to Different Membership Levels

If you are travelling more regularly then you need to consider whether pay-as-you-go access is the better option by comparing this to a different Priority Pass membership level.

We’ve already compared the price of pay-as-you-go access and standard membership.

For more frequent travel let’s look at pay-as-you-go airport lounge access and Standard Plus membership.

Priority Pass Standard Plus Membership

Priority Pass Standard plus membership is £229 and this gives 10 free visits with members and guests paying £24 thereafter.

This makes the cost per visit for 10 visits £22.90 per visit.

Paying at the door for 10 visits at No 1 Lounge would come to £400 in total (3 hour visit)

Booking online at Gatwick No 1 Lounge for 10 visits would come to £320 in total (3 hour visit)

Booking at Holidayextras for 10 visits would come to £240 in total (2 hour visit)

This means if you plan on using an airport lounge 7 times or more a year, then Priority Pass Standard Plus membership is cheaper than pay-as-you-go access.

Priority Pass Prestige Traveller Membership


Prestige Traveller membership which costs £419 per year. This gives unlimited membership for the member each year. Guests are still charged at £24 per visit.

The cost per visit for 15 visits with Prestige Traveller membership is £27.90 per visit

Paying at the door for 15 visits would cost £600 in total

Booking online at Gatwick No. 1 Lounge for 15 visits would cost £480

Booking online at Holidayextras for 15 visits would cost £360

6. Airport Lounge Pass: Professional Traveller Summary

  • Airport lounge pass membership is worth considering if using lounges more than 6 times a year
  • Priority Pass standard plus membership is a good value option if used more than 6 times a year, and definitely above 8-10

7. Interested in Airport Lounge Pass Membership?

Priority Pass is one of the most popular airport lounge pass membership schemes. It has a huge number of lounges available to members.

Find out more information by clicking the banner below.

priority pass

Further Reading

If you have found this Airport Lounge Pass article useful you might also like;

Cheap Airport Lounges – work out the cheapest way to access airport lounges based on your travel plans.

Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – compares the most popular membership schemes to find the best one for you

6 Fab Flight Hacks – for help finding great flight deals

Find out more on my Airport Lounges page

Author Bio

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Melanie Newdick, The Professional Traveller

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