Priority Pass has become a very popular tool in recent years, and the system has added a lot of new partner lounge locations but how current is the directory and are the lounges actually open?
During the pandemic a lot of the contract lounges that are part of the Priority Pass network closed and while many if not most of them have now reopened, others have not and didn’t bother to update that fact with the company to keep the directory current.
For obvious reasons, in order to keep a worldwide directory current you have to rely on self-reporting of your partners in order to update what’s currently open and what is not.
Of course, another option would be to check in the system which lounge hasn’t submitted any charges for a while and then follow up on why that is.
I’ve been using my Priority Pass a lot over the years, including during and post-pandemic but last week was the first time where I found a large number of entries in the app/directory being incorrect.
The first one was the Sky Hub Lounge at Seoul Gimpo Airport:
The app showed it was open but nope, the doors were closed. I was able to Use the Korean Air Lounge due to my SkyTeam Elite Plus status though when leaving on China Airlines to Taipei. It would have been nice to use the Sky Hub Lounge without having to trek all the way to the back of the terminal.
After having talked to our contact at Priority Pass, the information has now been fixed and reflects the closure properly.
The next bad experience was in Taipei when leaving from Terminal 1 on Thai Airways where Priority Pass no longer has any lounge partner at all and instead provides the “Airport Experience” options IF they are included in your PP options (Amex has excluded those):
I was actually looking forward to the self-proclaimed “Best beef noodle soup in Taipei” at the homee Kitchen but once again I was greeted with a closed venue:
The next alternative listed both at the restaurant as well as in the Priority Pass directory was the Illy Espressamente coffee bar.
Well, at least it was open. But then they told me they were out of food. They showed me the menu that usually gets presented to the Priority Pass customers:
I guess being pretty much the only venue in the entire Terminal 1 that has something edible causes them to sun out of food even though this was quite early in the day (around noon).
I said I’m ok with anything to eat and drink even if it’s just a juice and some chocolate croissant. They agreed after consulting a manager and I let them charge my Priority Pass for the “experience”. I guess that’s a great profit margin for them.
In fact, flying through that terminal was a bizarre experience. The only lounges that were open were Plaza Premium, where I had access through Thai Airways and American Express. It was absolutely horrible, and I left after 10 minutes. There was a sign that one of China Airlines Lounges was open.
The Starlux Lounge as well as the Cathay Pacific Lounge, are currently closed at Taipei Terminal 1 which I wouldn’t have expected at all. As far as Priority Pass is concerned, they seem to have lost all lounge partners at TPE since the loss of Plaza Premium.
I’ve had a couple of bad experiences recently when it comes to finding an open Priority Pass lounge and it’s most unfortunate that many of these partners aren’t properly updating their opening times (or closures) with the PP program.
According to our contacts with the company, partners have to contact Priority Pass in order to keep the directories entry current.
It’s obviously impossible to monitor each of these lounges in person but I’m sure when a particular location doesn’t scan a card for several weeks or months then something should pop up. Probably it would be a good idea for Priority Pass to monitor such things more closely and then get in touch with the partner to inquire why there are no more visits.