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I just got a note from Priority Pass that they are raising their fees to $32 starting October 1st. Here’s the relevant portion of the announcement

On the 1st October 2018 we will be increasing the fee for chargeable lounge visits to US$32 per visit per person. Any complimentary visits included as a part of your membership will not be affected by this fee increase.

It has been over 10 years since we have increased our visit fees and during this time we have done all we can to absorb the rising costs of providing airport lounge access to our Members. We have unfortunately reached the point where we need to make an adjustment to our prices to maintain the quality offering of Priority Pass.

1 thing this announcement is NOT

My first thought upon hearing the announcement that the amount that we got for the “lounges” that are restaurants was going up to $32.

For example, at the Timberline Lounge in Denver, you get $28 per person per visit that you can spend on anything.  So I thought THAT was going up to $32.  (It’s not :-D)

a burger and fries on a plate

(Still just $28 at the Timberline which is more than enough)

And the other thing this announcement isn’t

My next thought was that this was going to affect Priority Pass memberships where you get free entry.  It also doesn’t do that – if you get in to Priority Pass lounges for free though your card / membership, you will continue to get in for free. These are mostly on premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige, etc.

(SEE ALSO:  Comparing Priority Pass guest policy for AMEX, Chase, and Citi)

Even cards like the American Express Hilton Business card and the Hilton Ascend card get 10 free visits per year with a $95 annual fee (compare these offers for up to 100,000 Hilton points as a welcome offer)

This fee increase only applies to cards where you get a Priority Pass membership where you still have to pay for each visit, like the no fee Hilton card.

So at the end of the day, this seems like NBD – I would not recommend EVER paying even $28 for access to a Priority Pass lounge, much less $32.  In fact, I can’t think of a Priority Pass lounge that I would spend more than $5 to enter (unless maybe it’s one of the restaurants at a time when I was hungry?).

If you’ve been to a PP lounge worth $32, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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