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As well as offering access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world, Priority Pass also partners with an increasing number of airport cafes and eateries at which some members can use their benefits.
Mostly, the restaurants and cafes that partner with Priority Pass are names that most people haven’t heard of, but as I was looking through the list of recently added eateries on the Priority Pass website (I had jet lag and couldn’t sleep!), I noticed that two Starbucks locations at airports in the UK have recently signed up.
I wasn’t aware of any Starbucks locations that are affiliated with Priority Pass, so seeing two joining in recent months led me to wonder if this was something that may be rolling out gradually (and on the quiet) and if this was coming to the US.
Unfortunately, this may not be the case.
From what I understand, while most (all?) Starbucks locations in the United States are corporate owned (by Starbucks), the majority of Starbucks locations elsewhere are run under license or franchise agreements, so what happens outside the US will not necessarily happen here.
Still, if the UK now has two Starbucks in Priority Pass, that opens up the possibility that other Starbucks locations that are run under licence/franchise agreements may also join the program (i.e. most Starbucks outside of the US), and for some people (Starbucks fans) that will be good news.
The Starbucks in Priority Pass
Manchester International Airport
As far as I can tell (based on a Google search), the first Starbucks to join the Priority Pass program is a Starbucks at Manchester International Airport Terminal 1 (airside on the main concourse) which signed up in October last year (open 06:00 to 22:00).
As UK Airports go, Manchester International is one of the bigger ones and offers both long haul and short haul services and appears to offer more non-stop services to/from US airports than any other UK airport outside of London.
Aer Lingus, Delta, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are among a group of airlines that offer services to cities such as Boston, Houston, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C., so this is an airport that (probably) gets quite a few US visitors who, with the right credit card, can now pick up a free Starbucks before their flight.
Bristol International Airport
The latest (and from what Google shows me, only the second) Starbucks to join Priority Pass is at Bristol Airport which sits on England’s west costs approximately 100 miles due west of London Heathrow.
This probably isn’t an airport most readers will know much about as even though it offers services to a good number of locations in and around Europe, you won’t find many full-service carriers operating here and you won’t find any non-stop long haul services operating out of here either.
Ryanair, EasyJet, and jet2 seem to run most flights out of Bristol, with Aer Lingus offering the occasional service to Dublin.
Priority Pass offers access to two lounges at Bristol Airport (one of which charges an additional fee!) and access to four cafes/eateries. The latest cafe to join that list was Starbucks on 9 November 2023.
The Starbucks in question is located airside, on the ground floor next to the JD Sports store and is open from 04:00 to midnight daily.
Priority Pass/Starbucks terms
The Priority Pass terms are the same for both participating locations.
- Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to receive £15 off the bill.
- Each £15 deduction represents a single lounge visit within the Cardholder’s existing lounge visit allocation for which the Cardholder will, where applicable, be charged. For example, if a Cardholder takes 1 Guest, they will receive £30 off their bill, which will be charged as 1 Cardholder visit + 1 Guest visit on their account.
- The £15 is valid for the purchase of any meal and/or drinks in a single transaction.
- To be eligible, Cardholders must present a valid Card and Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel before placing an order.
- The £15 is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for a cash substitute or refund if the final bill is lower than £15 per person.
- The Cardholder is responsible for the remaining balance if total bill exceeds £15 per registered person.
- Any remaining balance cannot be used towards gratuity.
What this means is that if you have a credit card which offers a Priority Pass select membership that grants access to Priority Pass restaurants/eateries (see more on this section below), your membership will cover the first £15 (approximately $19 at the time of writing) per person at the participating Starbucks locations (the number of people this will cover will vary from card to card).
Key credit cards that offer Priority Pass memberships
As things stand, there are 12 key US-issued credit cards that offer a Priority Pass membership as part of their standard benefits (enrollment required), but only 5 of these cards offer a membership that includes credit at Priority Pass restaurants/cafes/eateries.
Access PP eateries with these cards (enrolment required & terms apply):
- The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
- The Citi Prestige® Card (not open to new applicants)
- The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card (not open to new applicants)
Access PP lounges but not eateries with these cards (enrolment required & terms apply):
- The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Traveling For Miles. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is not currently available through Traveling For Miles.
Two UK airports now have Starbucks locations that are participating in Priority Pass and it will be interesting to see if more will join across areas where Starbucks is franchised/licensed, or if these two are outliers.
Personally, I wouldn’t choose to use a Starbucks if other options were available, but as that’s not always the case, I would appreciate the opportunity to pick up a free coffee on my way to the gate. In fact, knowing how ludicrously overpriced Starbucks drinks usually are at airport locations may even make the coffee taste a bit better 🙂