Are Priority Pass Lounges Usually Crowded?

Priority pass lounges can be crowded, especially when you visit a popular airport on a busy travel day.

During a time when many other travelers are making their way through the airport, you may encounter a busy lounge.

In this post, I will share with you when the Priority Pass lounges are crowded and what you can do to avoid it.

Are priority pass lounges usually crowded?

The level of crowding at Priority Pass lounges can vary widely depending on several factors, including the time of day, the specific lounge location, the airline alliances it serves, and the overall popularity of the lounge. Here are some things to consider:

Time of Day

Everything is about timing in life, and this is similar when it comes to priority pass lounges.

Usually, most people travel early in the morning ( going for business or meetings) or evening (returning home).

Busier times are usually during peak travel hours, such as early mornings and evenings, when many flights depart. Midday and late-night flights may see fewer passengers in lounges.

If your timetable allows, avoid visiting priority pass lounges during peak hours.

Location

Lounges in major international airports or hubs for popular airlines tend to be busier. Smaller or less-traveled airports may have less crowded lounges.

For example, the IGA priority pass in Istanbul, Turkey, is always crowded because 1000 passengers access it daily, making connections worldwide. Still, the one in my local town ( San Luis Potosi, Mexico) is always empty.

Airline Alliances

Priority Pass provides access to lounges from various airlines and alliances. Lounges associated with popular airlines or alliances might be busier due to higher passenger traffic.

For example, lounge 19 in Mexico City is always crowded because they share with Airfrance.

Membership Levels

Priority Pass offers different membership tiers, and some tiers provide access to busier lounges. For example, higher-tier memberships grant access to premium lounges with fewer visitors.

Travel Season

Families that travel together stay together. During holidays, there is a massive number of people who travel, which can lead to crowded priority pass lounges.

Peak travel seasons, such as holidays and vacations, can lead to more crowded lounges.

Lounge Services

Some lounges have exceptional services. They offer a great variety of food, showers, places for prayer, kids’ parks, and many amenities. These things attract a lot of people and make these lounges to be always crowded.

Everyone loves excellent services.

Global Events

In early June, they were a Champions League final, one of the major soccer events in the world.

It happens that the final was held in Istanbul, Turkey, and in that period, I was traveling to Tanzania via Istanbul. The IGA priority pass lounge was very crowded a few days after the event.

Major events like conferences, sports, or festivals in a city can increase airport and lounge traffic.

What to do to avoid entering overcrowded Priority pass lounges.

Book the priority pass lounge.

priority pass

 

This is the hack I use to take advantage of a lounge. You can book your lounge visit prior. Not all lounges have this option, but most do.

You need to download the priority pass app, and from there, find the lounge you want to visit, check if there is a book option, book the time you want to visit the lounge, and they will save the space for you.

Note: You can book up to 3 hours per visit. If you want to book more hours, it will count as a new visit.

Check online for reviews or recent visitor experiences at specific lounges.

You can download the Priority Pass¬†app and find reviews on the lounge you want to visit. Another way is to google the lounge’s name and add the world review, for example, CIP lounger review, and you will find information on whether the lounge is crowded or not.

Consider alternate lounges

Many large airports have multiple Priority pass lounges. Go to your priority pass app and check for the alternative lounges in the airport.

 Usually within the same airport if multiple options are available to Priority Pass members.

Consider a smaller airport.

If you live in a city with multiple airports and there is a possibility of flying from a less crowded airport, consider using that.

I know this is not always possible as I live in a city with just one airport, but many cities worldwide have more than one airport. If that is your case, consider this possibility.

FAQ

How many lounge access do you get with Priority Pass?

You get ten free lounge access with priority standard priority pass membership. For $299 per year, members get ten free Priority Pass lounge visits. Each subsequent visit (after the 10th) costs members $32 per visit. Guest visits are $32 per guest.

Each time you bring a guest, it counts as a visit. You can always check how many visits you have done in the Priority Pass app.

Can you use a Priority Pass when arriving?

No, you can not use a Priority Pass upon arriving. Since a boarding pass is required for entry, don’t expect to be able to head into a lounge after a long flight.

Is a Priority Pass better than a lounge key?

LoungeKey membership is just like a Priority Pass membership with slightly different terms.

The lounge selection is also smaller but big enough for typical travelers. For example, Curve Metal comes with a LoungeKey membership.

You can read the comparison between the two here.

Final words

While Priority Pass lounges can be crowded, they often offer a more comfortable and relaxing environment than the general airport terminals.

It’s a good idea to plan, arrive early, and have realistic expectations based on factors influencing lounge crowding.

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