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If you’re based in the United States there’s a very good chance that any Priority Pass membership(s) that you have come courtesy of one or more of the premium credit cards that you hold. For most people outside of the United States, this isn’t an option so a membership purchased directly from Priority Pass is required.
If you currently hold a membership purchased directly from Priority Pass you may have received an email confirming that your annual membership has been extended due to the current crisis. With very few people getting any use out of lounge memberships right now this is a welcome move.
I’ve reproduced the full email from Priority Pass at the bottom of this post (courtesy of @malcognito) but here’s the key wording:
“We recognize that for you, travel is either less likely or impossible at this time. Therefore, we are extending to you an automatic three-month extension of your Priority Pass membership. This is to ensure you can still take advantage of your membership one your resume travelling. While we have always intended to extend membership, it has taken us time to find the appropriate solution. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding.”
It’s not clear if Priority Pass is sending these emails out to people whose memberships are expiring or if everyone is getting an extension right now but I suspect that this may be part of a rolling review process and that Priority Pass is extending memberships that are expiring or that are set to expire soon (if anyone has evidence to the contrary please let me know in the comment and I’ll update this post).
Three months isn’t a particularly long extension to give so there’s every chance that, as this crisis drags on and as people show a reluctance to get back to the skies, some members who are seeing their memberships extended now may well see them extended again.
The issue that Priority Pass has is that it can’t offer membership extensions in the same way as a loyalty program can (i.e for a whole year) because the revenue from memberships is essentially all the money that Priority Pass takes in – a balancing act will have to be performed between not giving up too much revenue while, at the same time, not upsetting too many longterm members who cannot currently make use of the memberships they have paid for.
It’s interesting to note that Priority Pass is now running a special offer in which it’s offering 15-month memberships for the price of 12-month memberships so, effectively, new members are being offered a 3-month extension on their memberships just as existing members are.
It’s good to see Priority Pass extending memberships and it’s good to see the program acknowledging that it has taken a bit of time to let members know that this is what it’s doing….but it’s the membership extensions that people really care about.
It will be interesting to see if people whose memberships are running out in April/May and who have seen their memberships extended to July/August will get another extension in a few month’s time and, if they do, it will be interesting to see just how often Priority Pass will feel it is able to keep issuing extensions.
Here’s the full text of the email that Priority Pass has been sending out.