First Class Service on an Economy Budget
Monday, July 23rd, 2012

You are at the airport, with time before your flight.

You want to check your email, but after wandering around the airport terminal you can’t seem to find wi-fi or even an electrical outlet.  Wouldn’t it be nice to find both of these in a comfortable setting AND a cup of coffee or snack?  Well . . . you can!

Just before I left for my around-the-world journey, I discovered Priority Pass, an independent airport lounge service with access to 600 lounges worldwide.  Regardless of what class of service or airline you fly, you’ll have a quiet space from the hustle and bustle of an airport departure terminal to either catch up on a bit of work or just relax.  Lounge services vary, but they typically have comfortable seating, refreshments, snacks, a TV, clean bathrooms, flight boarding information, complimentary wi-fi and . . . yes . . . plenty of power outlets.

So far on my journey, I’ve visited lounges in Atlanta, Honolulu, Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Delhi, Dubai, London and Venice.  Being able to walk through the crowds and into a private lounge makes me feel like a rock star.  Of course, I love the access to wi-fi, but I’m also a big fan of the food and bottles of water included as part of my membership as they help me avoid the high prices in the airport terminal.

My travels have been in the ‘budget’ category and it’s really nice to treat myself to some ‘first class’ – even for just a few hours.  I’ve had no problems using the membership, except for the Kolkata airport where the lounge was no longer affiliated with Priority Pass – but they did allow me to sit in the room.  The nicest lounge I visited was in Hong Kong where guests are presented with a full food buffet, several choices of seating, hourly sleeping rooms, showers and spa facilities!

There are three types of annual memberships to Priority Pass.  The Standard membership is $99 with a $27 fee for each VIP lounge visit.  The Standard Plus membership is $249 and includes access to 10 lounges, then $27 for each additional visit.   The Prestige membership is $399 and all lounge visits are included.  Click here for a 10% discount on new memberships.

Aside from being an affiliate, I can honestly say that membership to Priority Pass can be a great value if you’ll be traveling through many airports throughout the year and will utilize the features.   New lounges are regularly added to the program and special discounts on other airport services are often offered to members.  I, like many other travelers, may not be able to afford flying first class, but I can at least start my trip that way.

Jannell Howell is just over half-way through her first around-the-world journey that started last January. After exploring parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, and India, she is now hopping around Europe. In 2010, Jannell started Traveljunkie’s World Tour to blog about her trip preparations and in the process became a self-confessed travel gearologist.

You can read about other travel-related products  Jannell has studied and/or find out what other travelers use at Traveljunkie’s World Tour. 

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