I absolutely love air travel and love just about everything that comes with it! I love the airport and seeing all the planes, and most of all love the notion that I can be in an airport in Tampa, Florida and be just a few plane rides away from any one place in the entire world! Not everyone has the passion I do for air travel, but I think that everyone can at least appreciate the miracle that is flight!
What I DO NOT love about air travel is the wait… and the delays… and the wait some more… and I have a feeling that you agree with me here!
Not only do I dislike the passage of time, but I also really do not enjoy the physical conditions in which I am expected to wait in! It’s cramped; it’s dirty; and just overall unpleasant!
Raise your hand if you enjoy waiting at the airport gates with hundreds of other total strangers?
Didn’t think so!
While the wait is inevitable, there is another place where you can go to make the airport wait less miserable – the lounge!
The Airport Lounge = peace, quiet, space, free snacks and complimentary beer and wine – the opposite of the typical airport experience that most of you know and loathe!
But the airport lounge is an experience to be enjoyed by only the most elite of travelers, right? Or an experience for the moneybags traveler that is willing to shell out $50-$100 per visit?
WRONG! You can get your tush out of those worn out conjoined seats at the gate, and into a plush couch, sippin’ a cold beer in the lounge!
The key to this improved airport experience – the RIGHT credit card!
So what is the RIGHT credit card and do you already have it in your wallet?
That question can be answered in so many ways, but for today, let’s keep it simple and relative to a card that has been ever so relevant lately – my new personal favorite and the new kid on the block – the Chase Sapphire Reserve!
Your new membership provides you with unlimited access to Priority Pass Lounges across the world, and even allows you to bring your travel companions for free (unlimited companions…within reason, i.e. don’t invite the entire terminal of people to join you in the lounge)!
Compare that to the American Express Platinum and Citi Prestige versions of Priority Pass Select that include guest access for $27 each (Amex) and a limited 2 guests for free (Citi). That makes the Chase Sapphire version of Priority Pass the most valuable version of Priority Pass offered by the BIG 3 premium cards!
So, what is it about Priority Pass that is oh so exciting?
Well, Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges, with over 900 lounges around the world! That means that wherever you are in the world, there is a mighty good chance that you can get out of the hustle and bustle of a busy airport and get into a swanky airport lounge!
The lounges are literally in every corner of the world…
From Portland International Airport in Oregon, USA – Alaska Airlines Boardroom
To Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand – Oman Air Lounge
The network may not be as strong in the US as it is in other areas of the world, but I still manage to seek them out and experience all they have to offer. For those most interested in the Priority Pass US network of lounges… Here are the cities/airports in which you will find them:
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York – JFK, New York – LGA, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington – IAD
I will be the first to acknowledge that not all lounges are created equal and that the quality of lounges that participate in the Priority Pass Lounge network differs greatly… but I do maintain that even the most basic of lounges are worth a visit for some relaxation on a long layover!
Close, but not exactly that easy… you have to sign up first –
How Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can sign up for a Priority Pass Select Membership:
Log onto the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
Click to “Learn More” about your CSR benefits
Click to activate!
You are all set! Your Priority Pass card should arrive within 2-3 weeks (2 weeks in my experience).
Note: If you plan to travel and want to visit a lounge before your new membership card arrives, I recently read that Chase will credit you back up to 2 Priority Pass Lounge visits while you wait for your membership card – just make sure to pay with your Sapphire Reserve card and give Chase a call or send a secure message to have the charge credited!
Note numero dos: While Priority Pass has a mobile app,the membership through your CSR requires you to carry the card (and swipe upon entry) in order to access the Priority Pass lounges.
You have the Chase Sapphire Reserve – Congratulations! That means that you can now easily activate your Priority Pass Select Membership and have access to hundreds of airport lounges across the globe. This really is a great benefit, and for any new Reserve cardholders out there – make sure to take the time to activate your membership!
Airport lounges can be a saving grace during a long day (or more) of travel, and with over 900 lounges, there is a good chance that you will find one in a city you’re flying through!
Enjoy your airport oasis!