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Generally I am a fan of the Timberline Restaurant, which is the Priority Pass DEN “lounge” in the Denver airport. I have been there a few times when I’ve transited Denver airport, and I’ve been impressed with the food and the value that you can get from the Priority Pass card ($28 per guest on your card)

a plate of food with ketchup and a fork

We were there again in Denver this past week and had some problems with an inconsistent guest policy.  So I thought I’d share a bit of our experience and see what other travelers had encountered with the Timberline Restaurant guest policy

Before we begin…

Before we begin, I thought I’d just mention (once again) that I am aware that I have a large family.  Every time I post about things like this, I get angry commenters talking about how I am taking advantage of the system with my large family

And in a sense, I understand, but in another sense, I feel like this is what we are ALL doing.  I am trying to maximize my own (and my family’s) rewards within the constraints of what “the rules” are.  I just like to know what “the rules” are, ya know?

Timberline Restaurant guest policy

On our way TO Denver, we stopped at the Timberline Restaurant for lunch.  Like many of you, I have a multitude of Priority Pass cards, but the one with the most lenient guest policy is the one that comes with my Citi Prestige card, which offers access for the immediate family.

When we got to the Timberline restaurant and looked at the menu, I decided to just have my wife and I both just use one guest on our cards (4 total).  Since most of my kids were ordering off of the kids menu (where prices are ~$5-6), I knew that the $112 would be more than enough to cover our bill.  Sure enough, it came to about $84

a burger and fries on a plate

On our way back Sunday morning, we stopped in for some breakfast and planned to do the same thing.  But our server Sunday morning said that each person could only order one meal, and that even though 4 guests ($112) would be more than enough to cover the bill for the 8 of us, I’d still have to pay for the other 4 meals

I asked if the rules had changed since Thursday, and she handed me this card, which was in ready supply at the restaurant.

a close up of a ticket

I guess that’s part of rule #4?  It’s not 100% clear to me.  Then when the dedicated Priority Pass scanner person came over (yes, the restaurant is SO inundated with Priority Pass guests that it has a worker solely dedicated to checking people’s Priority Pass card), I asked to just register us for 2 guests each (like we had done on Thursday).  She said that was no problem.

But then she came back over and I guess our original server had yelled at her or told her it was wrong, because she then said that they couldn’t do that.  So I had her scan my wife’s card for her and one guest, and scan the other 6 of us on my Citi Prestige Priority Pass card (which should be covered).

As predicted, we were nowhere near the $224 we were allotted for 8 guestsa receipt with a price

Understanding the Priority Pass guest policy

So I guess I don’t really understand the Priority Pass guest policy, especially as it pertains to children and/or immediate families.  I had actually called into Citi and Priority Pass before our trip, and spoke to an agent over the phone.  What he had told me is that the lounges themselves set the guest policy and would collect any fees for additional guests, and if they didn’t, then I wouldn’t see them on my credit card statement.  He said that if I wasn’t charged anything additional at the time of lounge entry, I wouldn’t be charged anything.

That’s exactly the opposite of what the server at the Timberline restaurant told me, which was that she could scan me for however many guests I wanted and it would be up to the bank / credit card company to possibly charge me for any additional guests.

So… I dunno… At this point I have not seen any additional line items on my credit card statement either for this visit or the 5 guests I brought into The Club CVG on Thursday (3 of my kids counted as too young)

What will irritate me is if the restaurant is charging Priority Pass for 8 guests for only $71 in food, and then pocketing the difference.  I guess that puts a different spin on whether restaurants are making any money off of Priority Pass

What’s been your experience with the guest policy at restaurants using Priority Pass?  Ever been charged on your credit card for additional guests?

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