I’d read some time ago that Priority Pass now allows you to redeem a ‘lounge visit’ towards dining credit at some hotel restaurants – I’ve been curious about it for some time, but never flew through any of the airports with restaurants offering such redemptions. (Priority Pass doesn’t seem to explicitly filter their lounge list by type, but the list on Points Yak seems pretty comprehensive.)
Well, I recently flew out of Brisbane International Airport and finally got the chance to try it out there. How it (probably) works is that Priority Pass pays the restaurant a fixed (discounted) sum of money for each ‘lounge visit’ – for the Corretto Cafe & Bar in Brisbane, this translated into AUD$36 for each ‘visit’.
Corretto Cafe & Bar
Corretto’s actually part of the BNE International terminal’s public (landside) food court, so you’ll need to check it out before clearing immigration. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t asked to show my boarding passes at all.
The prices on the menu are a little higher than what I’d pay for on my own, but with $72 credit to play with (and a limited appetite) it didn’t seem too limiting. In fact, I think a couple could comfortably get by just using $36 credit.
We ordered a pizza, calamari, a lemon curd tart and two juices – the menu didn’t list the price of the juices (and we didn’t get an itemised receipt), but assuming they’d cost $6 each that represents a total retail value of about AUD$63.
The food was surprisingly good; I was rather impressed by the freshness of the ingredients. Or maybe that’s just Australia. Whatever the case, I was happy to be having a quality cooked-to-order meal instead of a (often sub-standard) lounge buffet.
(Although the Plaza Premium Lounge at Brisbane International Airport did look rather respectable, and was apparently serving steak and chips on request; unfortunately I never got to try it out as I was already stuffed from the visit to Corretto.)
It’s a bit of a moot point since airport restaurant / lounge availability is unlikely to be a large factor in your choice of destination, but when travelling I think it’s certainly worth checking out airport restaurants if they give credit to Priority Pass holders.
If you’re looking for somewhere quiet to work, this probably isn’t the thing for you; but if you prioritise free food, most times I find that cooked-on-demand almost always beats buffet offerings hands down.
You can check out which cards offer lounge access via Priority Pass here.