Priority Pass Now Gets You Free Whiskey Tastings in Portland

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Airport lounge access is far more widespread than it used to be. In Europe or Asia you usually just need frequent flyer elite status or a premium cabin ticket. Domestically in the U.S., though,

However as a general rule elite status alone isn’t enough for lounge access (revenue-based top tier status notwithstanding) and traveling in a premium cabin isn’t enough either. Instead because of an historical anomaly, US airlines charge for lounge access where in much of the world you don’t pay to use airport lounges.

There are networks of independent lounges, and some airline lounges which allow pay-in access. And you can use those if you have a Priority Pass card.

These cards have become fairly ubiquitous since unlimited visit Priority Pass access comes with the Platinum Card by American Express, Citi Prestige Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. Those give you unlimited visits for yourself and at least 2 free guests. (The Platinum card added two free guests this year.)

On a paid basis of course you can buy a Priority Pass membership, but the price was steep, and there’s been an explosion of members now that unlimited visit access comes with several premium credit cards.

This explosion of members has been centered on the U.S, where only about 5% of the 1000 or so participating Priority Pass lounges are located. That’s meant crowding in a handful of high demand locations like Seattle and Washington Dulles.

The Priority Pass folks have been on a tear coming up with new creative ways to add value to their expanding cardmember base.

This week we got a new lounge in Pittsburgh.

Recently they added the Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington Dulles although it gets full during peak times (and they may even refuse Priority Pass access as a result). You also now get use of Minute Suites in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Dallas.

With the spread of access, we’ve seen Priority Pass add other non-traditional options besides lounges. You get a £15 credit per person at London Gatwick’s Grain Store Cafe & Bar with your Priority Pass card. Last month they added a food and beverage credit at 7 different lounges in the Sydney airport.

Now they’ve added the world’s only distillery inside an airport, House Spirits Distillery in Portland by gate C6 (HT: One Mile at a Time).

You get a $28 per person credit there with your Priority Pass card. If you bring two friends, that’s an $84 credit. Nice. (Bottle sales and merchandise are excluded.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for the shout-out Gary. I’ve been a long time fan of View from the Wing, and its fun to be in the post! One correction, the House Spirits Distillery is in downtown Portland. We built a tasting room in PDX, post-security, so that passengers can take spirits in their carry on bags.


    Christian Krogstad

  2. This is great! Problem is if you will be locked out of Portland and will not be able to enjoy this great benefit with your priority pass. I have photos of an empty lounge last month.

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