Travel Fanboy

Priority Pass Membership is Overrated

The people have spoken and the first ever of the now recurring Monday posts is a thoughtful diatribe on my travails as an international travel influencer. A major pressure as a travel blogger is ensuring I’m spending adequate time in the world’s exclusive airport lounges. Unfortunately, on multiple occasions, crowds have kept me from fulfilling my media obligations.

I, like many others, am a card (digital) carrying Priority Pass member. This aristocratic club gives us noble globetrotters access to immersive airport lounge experiences, filled with complimentary cocktails, finger foods, and enough outlets to light Clark Griswold’s suburban home. Sounds too good to be true, right? It is. The secret is out. Apparently, you can become a Priority Pass member simply by having the right premium credit card.

The economy has been flooded with passes. Subsequently, lounges are overcrowded. I’m basing this on two attempts by me, a single individual, in a three-month span. For example, on a recent trip to Arizona, I opted to get to Sky Harbor as early as possible so I could wine and dine with the airport’s elite. I arrived at the lounge to find an apathetic desk attendant informing guests that there was a 40-minute wait to get in. Surely, he didn’t mean me as well. I’m a podcaster. I’m important. I, of course, asked him if he knew who I was. He didn’t. I had trouble deciding which hurt more, my pride or my grumbling stomach. Both. Both hurt more. I had to sulk away to the unofficial Spirit Airlines Lounge- McDonald’s.

I now have no other choice other than to grab 15 of these bad boys before heading to Sky Harbor.

This autobiography underscores the Priority Pass problem. Even with PP, I’m sure this is the acronym they want me to use, continusously adding lounges and restaurant partners, there are frequent complaints of overcrowding. If this is simply a supplemental benefit to your credit card, an inaccessible lounge may not be troublesome. But if you upgraded to premium plastic or outright paid for PP membership, congested clubs can be downright frustrating.

Most of my travel is domestic and out of one of Chicago’s two major airports. That means that PP’s limited options leaves my pass virtually worthless for most of my local departures. With long lines at lounges that I can actually access, this post is the most use I’ve gotten out of my membership in the last six months.

If you’ve been sitting on one of those basic, drab travel cards and think splurging for a premium option is a good idea simply to get lounge access in hopes of rubbing elbows with celebrities like me, maybe don’t. You probably won’t even be able to see me through the sea of sweaty tourists waiting 30+ minutes for access to a USB port and room temperature Corona.

Travel Fanboy

Adam is the host of the Travel Fanboy Podcast, editor of, and a super famous travel influencer. He's no expert, just an enthusiast who enjoys having a top-shelf trip at a happy hour price. Formerly of Vegas Fanboy fame.