Back on April 15 we brought you the news that Plaza Premium announced they were leaving the Priority Pass and LoungeKey airport access programs. What we didn’t know then was how many of Plaza Premium’s 120+ lounges from around the world were going to leave as there were some ongoing negotiations going on between Collinson Group (the operator of Priority Pass and LoungeKey) and Plaza Premium to keep some lounges as part the access programs. We now know that there will be 57 Plaza Premium lounges in total leaving Priority Pass and LoungeKey and us Canadian’s are some of the worst hit. All Plaza Premium lounges in Canada will no longer be available via Priority Pass and LoungeKey as of July 1.
Here are links to our past articles on this topic if you want more background info:
- Major News: Priority Pass and LoungeKey losing access to most Plaza Premium lounges worldwide
- A look at the Canadian airport lounges that may be left for Priority Pass and LoungeKey come July
Priority Pass confirmed in their June Update the list of Plaza Premium lounges that will no longer be part of their programs and unfortunately that list is pretty heavy on Canadian locations. You can view the entire list of 57 lounges here.
This means that as of July 1 there will only be eight lounges plus some restaurant options open to Priority Pass members.
Here are those eight lounge options:
- WestJet Elevation Lounge
- Aspire Lounge International Departures
- Aspire Lounge Transborder Departures
- National Bank Lounge
- Aspire Salon Lounge
- Salon VIP Lounge
- Air France KLM Lounge Terminal 3
- SkyTeam Lounge International Departures
As you can there isn’t a lot left. Priority Pass does state they have development in the pipeline to replace some of those lounges lost but some of those airports like Winnipeg and Edmonton have no other options other than Air Canada Maple Leaf lounges which would be hard pressed to become part of Priority Pass.
Depending on your card or Priority Pass membership you could get free
access or pay to access Plaza Premium lounges. The same went for
LoungeKey however both programs had discounted rates from what Plaza
Premium normally charges (US$32 vs. US$50-$65) so technically you can
still access these lounges but now you’ll be paying a lot more to do so.
Recommended reading: Rewards Canada’s Guide to Business Class Lounge Access
This will affect those people who buy Priority Pass memberships and those who get access via their credit cards such as the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite and the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card.
It also affects all World Elite Mastercards in Canada as their
Mastercard Airport Experiences are provided by LoungeKey (owned by the
same company as Priority Pass) which means cards like the BMO World Elite Mastercard, HSBC World Elite Mastercard and WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard will lose access to these lounges. However all these cardholders will still have their Priority Pass access to the various restaurant options the program has partnerships with.
If your Priority Pass comes from an issuer other than Amex or you buy
the Priority Pass membership directly from Priority Pass you can still
use your membership at the following airport restaurants:
- Bistrot Montreal-Trudeau
- Houston Avenue Bar & Grill
- Pork & Pickle
- Bar 120
- The Caplanskys Deli
- Twist by Roger Mooking
- LEE Kitchen by Susur Lee
- Stanley Park Taphouse
It’s another story for American Express cardholders – namely those with the Platinum Card. Amex has a separate agreement with Plaza Premium so those cardholders will still be able to access all of the Canadian Plaza Premium lounges.
Wrapping it up
This has ended being a big hit to the Priority Pass and LoungeKey program here in Canada and it severely lowers the value of this benefit that is provided to so many credit card holders. Yes, you still have lots of lounge access options outside of Canada but where it matters most within our borders it’s a different story. Priority Pass says they have developments in the pipeline but for many of our Canadian airports there are no other real options than these Plaza Premium lounges. The only development that I think would work for Priority Pass/LoungeKey will be when WestJet opens up more of their lounges in other Canadian cities. However we haven’t heard a peep from WestJet as to when we may even see that as the pandemic has changed a lot of plans. As well Montreal airport (read our Jan 31, 20 update) was planning on opening their own lounge in 2020 which of course has been delayed due to the pandemic but I assume that lounge will be part of Priority Pass. This still doesn’t help Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver or Winnipeg out! Only time will tell what will happen but for the near future these two lounge access programs have just lost a lot value here in Canada.