Edit: To be clear, not every restaurant is participating with Priority Pass. You can check right here for ones that are. Some one has compiled a compiled a complete list here, and here are the ones I know for sure are participating based on reader reports:
- DEN Concourse C: $28 Timberline Steaks & Grille
- STL Terminal 1 & 2: $28 The Pasta House
- MSP Terminal 1: $15 PGA Lounge
- PDX Concourse C: $28 Capers Le Bar also $28 House Distillery
- PDX Concourse D: $28 Capers Market
The name of the game in airport comfort has changed from isolated little lounges away from the crowds, to free food and drink at an existing airport venues. The one company really pushing this change is Priority Pass (which you get free membership to with your CSR or AmEx Platnum). If you have the Priority Pass card from your AmEx Surpass, you need to cut it up right now as it charges you $27 per lounge visit.
The problem about building a lounge network is simply the approvals needed to build such a space. One Mile at a Time is reporting that AmEx is planning to open a Centurion lounge at LAX. However a bureaucratic nightmare that is the City of Chicago means as of today, no ORD Centurion lounge (which has has been proposed since 2015). ORD has become a tough spot for lounge access since all the Priority Pass lounges are trapped in the restricted Terminal 5. What is left are two Crowded USOs, 3 American Airlines Lounges when flying American, and a Delta Sky Club you can only get to when flying Delta. Before you could get into the United Clubs, but United has been shutting down access to incognito service members.
Frequent Miler and SaveroCity report the growing trend of the $28 credits you can get at airports with your Priority Pass membership. This new strategy saves money by giving directly to these already established venues instead of contracting to some seriously underperforming lounges. PriorityPass can the serve their members without having to wait for new lounges to be built. Also I think they know that they can’t compete with the big boys like AmEx with their giant lounges.
This $28 Priority Pass credit is very innovative because I am all about not paying for overpriced food at the airport like a bitch. If I had to pick between free hot meals in public over cold sandwiches in a private club, then put me with the normies! I was recently at STL which has partnered with Schlafly Brewery and Pasta House to provide $28 worth of credit per member and another $28 for 1 guest. Since I was flying Southwest from STL, I went to the Terminal 2 location by gate E6 at about 8 am and they had this menu for me to order from:
Note that these are midwestern sized portions. My complete breakfast platter was gigantic, and note that all the cocktails are $11.99 which I believe is priced to maximize the $28 for an entree and drink:
At the end of the meal they brought over my check and I swiped my Priority Pass card in the handheld reader like I would have done at a lounge. I left a cash tip of $5, and was full for my flight. I had forgotten that I was with the general population at the gate, but I didn’t mind at all. I just hope this new trend makes it to ORD!
If you don’t Have Priority Pass use my links below to get a MLA military fee waived card:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (5/24 restricted)
- American Express Personal Platinum
- American Express Business Platinum