Back in April Plaza Premium announced they were leaving the Priority Pass and LoungeKey airport access programs. What we didn’t know then was how many of Plaza Premium’s 120+ lounges from around the world were going to leave as there were some ongoing negotiations going on between Collinson Group (the operator of Priority Pass and LoungeKey) and Plaza Premium to keep some lounges as part the access programs. We now know that there will be 57 Plaza Premium lounges in total leaving Priority Pass and LoungeKey. So that’s just under 50% – not as bad of hit as it could be but still a tough pill to swallow for members in some countries. For example all Plaza Premium lounges in Canada will no longer be available via Priority Pass and LoungeKey as of July 1 which leaves slim pickings (8 lounges in total with 3 in Calgary alone) in Canada.
Priority Pass confirmed in their June Update the list of 57 Plaza Premium lounges that will no longer be part of their programs. You can view the entire list of 57 lounges here.
Other than Canada the other areas hit hard are Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and the UK.
This will affect those people who buy Priority Pass memberships and those who get access via their credit cards. It also affects World and World Elite Mastercards as their Mastercard Airport Experiences are provided by LoungeKey (owned by the same company as Priority Pass) which means cards like these cards will lose access to these lounges. However all these cardholders will still have their Priority Pass access to the various restaurant options the program has partnerships with.
It’s another story for American Express cardholders – namely those with the Platinum Card. Amex has a separate agreement with Plaza Premium so those cardholders will still be able to access all of the Plaza Premium lounges.
This has ended being a big hit to the Priority Pass and LoungeKey program in certain countries like Canada and it severely lowers the value of this benefit that is provided to so many. Globally it could have been worse by losing all 120+ locations so there is a bit of a saving grace. Yes, you still have lots of lounge access options outside of Canada but where it matters most within our borders it’s a different story. Priority Pass says they have developments in the pipeline for many of these lounges that have been lost but I can tell you for Canadian airports there are no other real options than these Plaza Premium lounges. The only development that I think would work for Priority Pass/LoungeKey will be when WestJet opens up more of their lounges in other Canadian cities. However we haven’t heard a peep from WestJet as to when we may even see that as the pandemic has changed a lot of plans. As well Montreal airport (read our Jan 31, 20 update) was planning on opening their own lounge in 2020 which of course has been delayed due to the pandemic but I assume that lounge will be part of Priority Pass.
I’d love to hear from our readers as to what they think will replace some of these lost lounges around the globe! Please share any details or insights you might have!