Priority Pass Vs. Lounge Key: How Is Loungekey Different From Priority Pass?

People normally assume that airports lounge is for the rich or business, making them seem out of reach.

But do you know that airport lounges are, in fact, for everyone who wants to make their airport experience worth it? With the dynamic nature of airports, it can sometimes become tiresome to sit at a normal airport bench waiting for your time to board the flight.

This is why many airport lounges provide customers waiting for their flight or experiencing a delay with an opportunity to relax in the lounges and have some good quality time.

Lounges are designed to meet customers’ relaxation far from the noisy and busy airport.

Most lounges usually have quiet rooms where customers can sit and enjoy some space by reading, eating, conducting virtual or physical meetings, or drinking at the bar. Some lounges usually have shower and spa services.

Hence you can take the time to refresh and get a massage. To access these lounges, you need a priority pass, lounge pass, or any other acceptable pass. 

Many lounges usually offer their customers these passes because of the many benefits that come with them.

Today more than ever, people are embracing these airport lounge passes because they have realized that they are affordable and, most significantly, they are not for the rich.

Funny enough, some lounges offer affordable priority and loungeKey day passes.

Hence you do not have to subscribe for membership. Many people wonder what priority pass and LoungeKey pass are and how different they are.

Today we will look at LoungeKey and Priority Pass and their differences. Read through the article to get informed on these two lounge passes.

What is a priority pass?

Are Priority Pass Lounges Usually Crowded?

 

Priority Pass is a network of airport lounges. Members who subscribe to this card can access some of the best airport lounges and enjoy some quality airport experience before they take their flights.

Priority Pass connects more than 148 countries and has partnered with over 1200 affiliated lounges worldwide. With priority passes, members can use some of the best amenities in those lounges worldwide.

The card caters to the member’s stay for a few hours. And within that time, the person can eat and drink in the restaurants in those lounges and even get a massage from the spa services offered there.

The member can also access quiet rooms to read, sleep, or engage in reading. Most business people choose these lounges because they can carry on with a Zoom meeting or do business while waiting for a flight. 

The delay in the airports, especially as summer is approaching, many people are likely to get tired of the long queues or the benches, which tend to be quite crowded. This is why priority pass exists.

It allows people to get off the stress and enjoy their time. When you get a priority pass, you can access any airport lounge that accepts priority passes and use amenities different from what you are used to.

This is also one way of enjoying the different infrastructures in different countries, especially if you are used to traveling.

Some lounges also have free WI-FI. Hence, it can be a good time to catch up on your latest series or video call your friends and family at home.

You have to know that Priority Pass does not own or operate those lounges, but they have partnered with them to give its customers the benefits of traveling with Priority Pass.

Therefore, whether you use a priority pass or not, you are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the lounge.

What is a LoungeKey pass?

Priority Pass Vs. Lounge Key: How Is Loungekey Different From Priority Pass?

 

LoungeKey is an airport program allowing members to enter 400 lounges worldwide by showing their valid HNB MasterCard WORLD, business, or corporate payment card.

Therefore, you must not carry your valid LoungeKey membership card when visiting a lounge.

This card does not require activation. You can access the lounges immediately if you have a MasterCard.

You can access this pass regardless of the airline or ticket you are flying. No one is discriminated against for using it.

With this card, you can visit the lounges that accredit LoungeKey pass by showing your MasterCard to the lounge agent who confirms your eligibility.

With LoungeKey, you can enjoy unlimited snacks and drinks in the lounge’s restaurants.

Besides that, you get access to some of the best relaxation amenities, such as spa services where you can get a massage and drink alcohol.

You can also access a fast internet connection, phones, computers, and even printers if you need to print anything. 

LoungeKey pass also gives users access to conference rooms, but charges might apply to many people.

You can even travel to the UK or China and get access to their finest airport lounges with just your credit card.

Not all lounges allow you to bring a guest at no additional cost, but most will charge the guest on your card.

Therefore, you must avoid assuming that all airport lounges will give you access for free.

Other than that, LoungeKey discounts customers when they shop or buy food in some restaurants. This is good.

Therefore, you get to enjoy more for less. Getting a loungeKey will help save the amount you normally spend on airports because most restaurants are costly, and getting a clean washroom that is not crowded or well-maintained is almost impossible.

This is why you need a loungeKey pass because most lounges have very clean washrooms that are well maintained.

They also have good food served in a buffet; you can pick whichever you want.

What is the difference between a priority pass and LoungeKey?

There are some differences between loungeKey and priority pass. They mostly have the same benefits, but differences might arise from cost, membership, etc. Here are the differences between the two card passes.

1. Lounge access

Regarding access to the lounge, Priority Pass and LoungeKey are different and unique in their ways. 

  • Priority pass

Priority pass gives you access to more than 600 airports and 1200 lounges globally. This mainly concerns the countries and airports partnered with priority passes to give their customers the benefits of holding a priority card. For example, it covers almost the whole of European countries and specifically 27 UK airports. 

With a priority card, you can access the lounges by presenting your priority card to the lounge agent, and they will verify the number of visits you have. If you have more than one guest for the standard plus and prestige membership, the cost will be charged to your card.

Alternatively, you can access the lounge with a priority pass app in case you do not have a card or use credit cards with priority pass benefits tied to them.

Other than that, you can also get a priority day pass in case you want to spend a few hours there and have not subscribed for membership with the card. Most agents will inform you if they have this option.

  • LoungeKey pass

LoungeKey Pass gives you access to 400 lounges across 250 airports globally. This is less than a priority pass but has some good advantages.

Customers who want to access these lounges need to be holders of premium elite MasterCard holders. All you have to do is to present your master card or business card at the lounge’s reception.

The lounge receptionist or agent will confirm whether you are eligible, and if you have active visits, you are free to enter the lounge.

In case you bring an additional guest, the lounge will not charge you to access the lounge, but some lounges might charge an extra fee of $27 for the extra guest.

Note that not all lounges work the same. Some might have different policies than others.

Therefore, it is best to enquire first before accessing the lounge. Other than that, it is better to use a LoungeKey pass to access the lounge because you do not need the actual card, but with just your valid master card, you can enter.

LoungeKey might not be a good option for people traveling abroad because it has less airport access; hence, you might incur the extra $27 if you check in at an airport lounge that does not accept LoungeKey passes.

2. Customer services

Customer service is also to look out for between these two products because they vary in different ways.

  • Priority pass

Priority pass is considered to have good customer service. This is seen in its customer support system, which is 24/7. You can contact them anytime; they will answer and cater to your customer needs.

Customer support also ensures that they handle any problem you might encounter when using your service card at any time of the day or night.

They also have a supportive line that you can call, and they will connect to your separate lounge and solve the issue that you might have. This gives them a thumbs up and makes them unique from other services.

They are also recognized for moving digitally. They have an app that customers can use to find out the information they need about priority passes.

The app also allows the customers to view lounges in the country they are in that can use priority passes.

This gives the customer an easier time than moving from one lounge to another, enquiring about the service. 

Through the app, you can register to get enrolled as a priority pass user within seconds by filling in your details on the app.

The app can be downloaded on both Android and Apple phones. Hence, everyone can use the app to get priority pass services that they might need regarding lounge access.

  • LoungeKey pass

LoungeKey is slightly different from the priority pass in customer service. Unlike Priority Pass, loungeKey has a hotline for the USA, UK, and Hong Kong where customers can reach for whichever query they might need to get answered or solve a problem.

The only drawback is that the customer support hotline is sometimes active 24/7. It’s only available from 8 am to 8 pm. Past or before that, you might not be able to reach them. 

This is what most customers would like to avoid about this particular service. Delays might also be encountered when calling due to the many people enquiring. Therefore, you might incur phone call bills.

Other than that, the good thing about them is that they do not tire customers of needing to carry their priority pass cards because you can use your MasterCard Elite to get their lounge services.

This is good since most people need to remember to take their less important cards but remember to take their credit cards. LoungeKey is better than Priority since you must have a priority pass card or app.

The only drawback with this is that it’s not technologically advanced. Hence, customers cannot check their information easily since they have to use the LoungeKey website for personal information.

Many customers have previously suggested that the service should consider having an app to make things easier for them.

3. Membership options

Membership of the two lounge passes differs regarding the requirement and the membership cost.

Priority pass

With Priority Pass, there are three membership levels. Each membership level has its benefits, and it costs differently.

  • Standard Membership

This is the first level. This membership level is ideal for people who travel once in a while. It costs an annual renewal fee of $99.

The day you decide to travel and use the lounge, you will be required to pay a fee of $32. And if you come with a guest, the person will also be charged $32.

  • Standard plus membership

This membership is ideal for people who travel often. This membership costs an annual fee of $229.

It comes with the benefit of 10 free yearly visits with one guest. If you bring an additional guest, the person will be charged $32 on your card. Also, if you exhaust your ten visits, you will be charged a flat fee of $32 per lounge visit.

  • Prestige membership

This is the best membership for people who travel very frequently. This membership will charge you an annual renewal fee of $429.

Besides that, you get unlimited visits to the airport lounge throughout the year. You can also bring one guest with you, but they will be charged $32 on your card for more than one.

With this prestige membership option, you get some of the best discount rates and access to some of the best restaurants and facilities in the airport.

LoungeKey pass

LoungeKey pass works differently. It is best suited for people who travel occasionally because it’s cheap.

Unlike priority passes, where you have to get a membership, you do not need one in this option.

You only need your master card and a boarding ticket to show up at the lounge reception to gain access.

Other than that, it was very cheap. It’s way cheaper than the priority pass in many ways because the price for the Lounge pass is $27.

So, whenever you need to use the lounge, you will only be required to pay $27 per visit. If you need to bring a friend, the amount will be charged to your credit card.

You also have to note that this is just the average price because some lounges in hectic airports might charge higher for the lounge pass while those in less busy airports might charge cheaper.

Also, as you bring a friend along, ensure that you are aware that the expenses for your guest will be billed on your card, and the amount will be emailed to you within 3-5 days. Also, note that time spent at the lounge can be limited to a few hours, depending on the lounge requirements and policies.

4. Guarantee access

Guarantee access is guaranteed access to the facility, whether the place is busy or not. This can bring out the difference between the two lounge passes and make you decide which one is the best to invest in. 

Priority pass

A priority pass is a network of lounges that allow members to access airport lounges. This means you are only guaranteed access to the lounges when they are available and not when needed.

This can be very disadvantageous and frustrating, especially if you have already paid the annual renewal fee and then again to get access to the lounge.

Many customers complain about this because it makes it look like a waste of money, especially during periods like summer when many people need access to the lounge. Priority pass is only available if the lounge is free and not busy.

This means you will likely get denied access to the lounge even with your prestige membership when there are many people.

Many people need to learn that this rule exists. Hence, they end up feeling frustrated when they do not get access.

Many American airports, like the ones in Texas and Boston, tend to be very busy and crowded. This makes it hard for people with priority passes to get access.

If you are used to traveling during summer or favorite holidays like Easter and Christmas, it might be best to avoid using a priority pass since you will likely not benefit from it.

LoungeKey

LoungeKey is more of the idea of pay-as-you-go. This makes it a more favorable option for people who travel a lot.

With LoungeKey, you are assured of access to the lounge area anytime because you pay with your card as you enter.

Besides, many people prefer using it because it’s cheap and favorable. This explains why a person with a priority pass will likely miss lounge access more than someone with LoungeKey.

The other thing with LoungeKey is that you are limited in the number of hours you can spend in the lounge.

Hence, you are likely to find available space because people just come and go every hour; therefore, many lounges prefer people with this pass to people with a priority pass.

LoungeKey is also easy to track and charge because each customer has to pay for their entry into the lounge. Hence, there are no complications or time wasted on long queues to confirm visits.

LoungeKey customers are likely to feel less dissatisfied because they are assured of entry into the lounges at any time they wish.

After all, there is a pre-booking option; hence, access to the lounge is easy. According to a survey, you are more likely to be denied access as a priority pass member than a loungeKey member because of the airport lounge regulations, especially when there are many customers.

This makes LoungeKey a better option than a priority pass when guaranteeing longue access.

5. Benefits of the pass

Each lounge pass has its benefits that are unique and different from the others. These things can make you decide which is better between the two.

Priority Pass

Priority Pass comes with many benefits that members enjoy while holding the card. Some of the benefits of a priority pass are mainly for the prestige option, where the user gets to pay an annual fee of $429 and enjoy unlimited lounge visits to both local and international airport longue.

This is way cheaper than you would have to spend if you wish to use the longue as a frequent visitor. Many people who travel often prefer this option because of that benefit.

Priority pass also offers customers complete services that other passes might not have, like access to spa services and clubs.

Priority passes give customers access to luxurious services, making them worthwhile. You can get a massage before a long flight and relax your mind in one of the cozy and quiet lounges. 

The final benefit customers enjoy is access to their personal information and a customer support system that is available 24/7.

Through the priority pass app, you can see the available visits that you have, and you can also see the amount of money charged to your card for extra visits.

This gives you an idea of how much you have to pay, and in case you have a question, you can reach the customer support team fast and easily at any time. 

LoungeKey

LoungeKey has many benefits that cannot be refuted. One benefit of having a LoungeKey card is guaranteed access to the lounge anytime.

With LoungeKey, it’s another way of pay-as-you-go. This means you pay for the lounge earlier at the reception or with your boarding pass and show it at the lounge. This means you will be given priority over those with priority passes.

The other benefit of having a LoungeKey is that it is cheap. It is considered one of the cheapest lounge visit cards in the world. With this option, you get to pay $27 per lounge visit.

This is way cheaper than the priority pass, which costs $32. Infrequent visitors can use this option to travel since they can save a lot of money, especially if you are a group of family.

The other important benefit is that, because you can pay as you go, you can get access to some of the most luxurious lounge rooms in the airport because you can pay more for luxury.

Many luxurious lounges like Lufthansa have the best amenities, which people with LoungeKey can enjoy before their flight.

FAQs about Priority pass VS loungeKey.

How many lounges can I access with LoungeKey and Priority pass? 

A priority Pass gives you access to 1,200 lounges worldwide in 600 airports. These airports include international airports both in the USA and abroad.

This means that you can access almost all airports with a priority pass. While loungeKey gives you access to 400 lounges across 250 airports worldwide.

This might be less than with a priority pass, but you still get almost the same benefits as those with a priority pass.

It should be noted that you might not be allowed to come with guests on your card in some lounges whether you have a priority pass or LoungeKey.

How different is the membership for both airport lounge passes? 

With LoungeKey, you do not need a membership. All you need is a Master Card with an annual subscription threshold.

When you go to the airport lounge, all you have to do is give the agent at the reception your card and boarding ticket, and $27 will be deducted from your card. With a priority pass, there are three membership levels.

For the first membership, you pay $99 annually. For the standard plus, you spend $229 annually; for the prestige membership, you spend $429 annually. Each membership requires an additional fee of $32 for any extra guest you bring.

What are the benefits of using LoungeKey or a priority pass?

Many benefits come with choosing either a LoungeKey or a Priority pass card. You can access complimentary snacks and drinks with both cards and buffet meals.

You can also access some of the best well-maintained bathrooms and restrooms. Most importantly, you enjoy quiet time in a cool and quiet environment. With a priority pass, you even get access to spa services.

Is there a limit on the number of guests I can bring? 

Most lounges will give you a limit on the number of guests to avoid the lounge becoming overcrowded and losing its meaning of relaxation.

Most of the time, you can bring at least two guests or a maximum of three guests.

Even with that, every additional guest must be charged on your card. For example, with LoungeKey, guests get charged $27, while with a priority pass, the charge is $32.

Are children allowed in the lounge? 

Anyone under 21 without a guardian or parent is prohibited in the lounge. The children get charged the same rate as adults.

Some lounge rooms, like business lounges where people are reading or doing some work on their computers, do not allow kids in those areas.

You must check with the lounge to confirm whether it allows kids in the lounge, and if they do, confirm which areas are permitted.

Conclusion

Priority Pass and LoungeKey are airport lounge programs that allow travelers wishing to make their airport experience memorable to access some of the best airport lounge amenities.

People get to have some relaxation and good space away from the busy and noisy sides of the airport.

Other than that, some lounge rooms offer spa services, free and fast internet connection to communicate with your friends, and access to shower and resting spaces where you can lie down for a while.

Priority Pass and LoungeKey are unique, with LoungeKey being cheaper and more favorable for people who travel less frequently.

In contrast, a Priority pass is best for people who frequently travel. The best option is based on your perspective on cost and how often you travel.

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