August 16, 2022

The Democratization of Airport Lounges

Now other banks are getting into the lounge game, including Capital One, which opened its first lounge — with a stationary cycling room, showers and craft cocktails — in November at Dallas-Fort Worth, with follow-ups planned for Denver and Washington Dulles outside of Washington, D.C., in 2023. Entry is restricted to owners of the bank’s Venture X card, which costs $395 a year, and their guests; the card’s perks include credits up to $300 for travel purchases.

JPMorgan Chase has announced it will open its own brand, Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club, with six global locations, including Boston, Phoenix and New York’s LaGuardia Airport beginning next year and available to holders of its Chase Sapphire Reserve card ($550 a year with benefits, including $300 in credits on travel purchases and Priority Pass membership).

In these times of airline mayhem, many travelers are willing to buy themselves out of the airport hell of sitting on the floor to get close to the only available electrical outlet in the concourse, a rescue offered by pay-per-use clubs.

Plaza Premium Group, which has restaurants, lounges and hotels in more than 70 global airports, recently introduced its PPL Pass Americas, which costs $59 for two visits within a year to most of its lounges in North, Central and South America. The pass gets you into stand-alone Plaza Premium Lounges and the airline lounges it operates for the likes of Virgin Atlantic, Avianca and Air France. There are six eligible lounges in the United States, with a new location in Orlando, Fla., expected to open later this year.

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