More Plaza Premium Lounges are rejoining Priority Pass

In June 2023, more than 60 Plaza Premium Lounges will rejoin the Priority Pass network, including in Singapore and Malaysia.

In July 2021, Plaza Premium sent shockwaves through the industry when it withdrew from the Priority Pass and LoungeKey networks. This removed almost 180 lounges from two of the world’s biggest lounge membership programmes, leaving them scrambling for alternatives in airports where Plaza Premium was the only option. 

Plaza Premium boss Song Hoi See, in an interview with Head For Points, did not mince words as to why the split happened:

“Another reason I dropped Priority Pass is that they always squeezed the lounge provider. If you are a single operator, you are price taker. $10, take it or leave it. You have no choice – you do not have the marketing side of the business.

For us, we are different, because we have a large network and our own brand. So we ended the agreement. I think the industry was shocked when we dropped Priority Pass. I think they were shocked too!”

It’s a colourful interview, to say the least, full of gems like “Like a father, I feed you. I can make you grow bigger. When you grow bigger, you turn on me”. I’d heartily recommend reading the rest. 

Well, I’m not going so far as to say the two sides have kissed and made up, but there is some good news for Priority Pass members with today’s announcement that more than 60 Plaza Premium Lounges are rejoining the network in June. 

Over 60 Plaza Premium Lounges rejoining Priority Pass

Over 60 Plaza Premium Lounges are rejoining Priority Pass

In June 2023, more than 60 Plaza Premium Lounges will rejoin the Priority Pass network, including the lounge in Singapore Changi Terminal 1 and the three lounges across Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi. 

From 6 June 2023

AfricaEthiopia
Addis Ababa Bole International
Asia PacificHong Kong
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International

Macau
Macau International

Taiwan
Taipei Taoyuan International

Philippines
Cebu Mactan International

Cambodia
Phnom Penh International
Siem Reap Angkor International

Singapore
Singapore Changi International

Continental EuropeTurkey
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International
Middle EastUAE
Dubai International

Saudi Arabia
Dammam King Fahd International
Riyadh King Khalid International
Jeddah King A Aziz International

North AmericaCanada
Toronto Lester B. Pearson International
Vancouver International
Edmonton International
Winnipeg J.A.Richardson International

United States of America
Dallas Fort Worth International
Orlando International

UK & IrelandUnited Kingdom
Edinburgh International
London Gatwick
London Heathrow

From 20 June 2023

Asia PacificAustralia
Brisbane International
Melbourne
Sydney Kingsford Smith
Adelaide International

China
Qingdao Jiaodong International
Beijing Daxing International

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International

Japan
Nagoya Chubu Centrair International

Taiwan
Taipei Songshan

Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur International
Langkawi International
Penang International

Philippines
Clark International

Continental EuropeFinland
Helsinki Vantaa

Italy
Rome Fiumicino

Hungary
Budapest Liszt Ferenc International

While this does not represent the full Plaza Premium network, it’s a massive improvement over the status quo. Presumably there must have been some intense horse trading behind the scenes to make this happen, given how publicly Mr Soo voiced his displeasure about the working relationship with Collinson (who owns both Priority Pass and LoungeKey).

The upshot is that travellers departing from Changi Airport can once again enjoy the Plaza Premium Lounge at T1, which offers a much better F&B experience than any of the contract lounges.

Plaza Premium Lounge Singapore
Plaza Premium Lounge Singapore

I say this solely on the basis of their chicken rice, which could hold its own to anything you find outside an airport. 

Plaza Premium Lounge Chicken Rice

As mentioned earlier, Priority Pass and LoungeKey share a common owner. As these lounges rejoin the Priority Pass network, they’ll also be made available through LoungeKey.

Which credit cards use Priority Pass?

While DragonPass is making inroads in the market, the majority of Singapore-issued credit cards still rely on Priority Pass for lounge access.

Here’s a summary of which cards offer lounge access, and via which network.

CardLounge NetworkFree Visits
(Per Year)
PrincipalSupp.
Income Requirement S$30-50K
(annual fees waivable)
UnionPay CardsPlaza Premium LoungesSpend S$140 to unlock 1-time visit (promo till 14 Oct 23)
Maybank Horizon Visa SignatureSelected lounges in SIN, KUL, HKGSpend S$1K in single trxn. within 3 months prior to travel
Diners Club CardsDiners Network1*N/A
Citi PremierMilesPriority Pass2*N/A
DBS Altitude VisaPriority Pass2N/A
AMEX HighFlyer CardPriority Pass2N/A
SCB Journey CardPriority Pass2N/A
HSBC TravelOne CardDragonPass4N/A
AMEX KrisFlyer AscendPlaza Premium4N/A
Income Requirement ≥S$120K
(annual fees generally not waivable)

CIMB Visa InfiniteDragonPass3N/A
BOC Visa InfinitePlaza Premium4#N/A
SCB Visa InfinitePriority Pass6N/A
UOB Lady’s Solitaire Metal CardLoungeKey6*6*
DBS VantagePriority Pass10N/A
OCBC VOYAGEPlaza Premium
HSBC Visa InfiniteLoungeKey
Maybank Visa InfinitePriority PassN/A
UOB VI Metal CardDragonPass + 1 guestN/A
Citi PrestigePriority Pass + 1 guestN/A
AMEX Platinum ChargePriority Pass, Plaza Premium, AMEX & Centurion Lounges, and others + 1-2 guests + 1-2 guests
Priority Banking Customers
OCBC Premier Visa InfinitePlaza Premium22
SCB Priority Banking VIPriority Pass24^N/A
*Allowance follows calendar year instead of membership year
#BOC Visa Infinite allowance runs from 1 November to 31 October the following year
^With min. AUM S$200K. If AUM falls under S$200K, then four visits

Conclusion

By the end of June 2023, more than 60 Plaza Premium Lounges will have rejoined the Priority Pass programme. This is great news for members who were left high and dry by the network’s abrupt departure two years ago. More importantly, it means that Priority Pass once again has lounges in airports like Langkawi and Penang, where they had nothing before. 

Are there any other Plaza Premium lounges you’re hoping will be added back?

(HT: Miku)

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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