One perk that keeps the frugal applying for the Platinum card despite it’s $450 fee is it’s access to lounges via Priority Pass. Perhaps you have noticed that this top membership to Priority Pass will get you into any lounge without any cost but will charge you $27 for a guest. Very few lounges are worth paying that fee so there is a dilemma for couples… One person can get in free but the other one would have to wait elsewhere. However, I figured out a trick or two to avoid one partner going lounge-less.
First understand that Priority Pass only permits one person in, per lounge, per day. But if one person were to have multiple layovers in one day they could go to multiple lounges at no extra cost. It will only charge you more if you have a second person charged to your Priority Pass in one particular lounge, per day. So here are the strategies around it (yes, I have Priority Pass strategies… don’t judge).
Two people, two lounges.
Many airports have multiple lounges that take Priority Pass. On occasion, my wife and I have split up for an hour while we each lounge at different lounges (but we facebook chat each other still). I simply walk her to her lounge and say, “I’d like to sign her in”, but don’t let them add you as a guest! If you want to save on food or need internet, surely your partner won’t mind splitting up while waiting for your flight.
Two lounges, one company.
The best option for a couple is when there are two lounges within one company. I learned this trick in Bangkok and it is often reproduced in big airports. Before going to the airport you can always go to PriorityPass.com and see what lounges are available. If there are two lounges within one company, often you will have access to both lounges with your receipt. Sign in your partner and have them hold the receipt and they’ll be allowed in the other lounge. Then sign yourself into the other lounge and you won’t be charged for either because Priority Pass views them as separate lounges.
Two dates, one lounge.
Like I said, you’re charged per lounge per day. If you wait for a flight or have a layover that crosses midnight time, at least you can get both of you in one lounge after midnight. Check yourself into the lounge before midnight and come back and check your partner in after midnight and you’ll only get charged once.
I did this in Sri Lanka and I made the huge mistake of asking them if I could come back and pay for the other one in 15 minutes (as it was 11:45). They acted extremely offended and treated me as if I were trying to sneak in. “It’s okay, I’ll check just myself in.” but then I think they looked down on me more for leaving my poor wife outside and hungry. I think they were offended that I still was in their lounge. Well, at 12:02 I came back with my wife and checked her in and I can tell they did it reluctantly. It was pretty awkward for the next hour as it seemed my victory had offended them greatly. But honestly, except for that one time, lounges don’t care if you only check one person in, or if you check in at two lounges… they are getting paid by Priority Pass. These are the rules and these tricks aren’t breaking them, but when the cost of Priority Pass goes up, you might have me to blame.