Everything you need to know about Plaza Premium lounges

9 March 2023

Whether you need a place to knock out some work or want to freshen up and enjoy an adult beverage while you wait for a flight, an airport lounge can provide a welcome retreat in a chaotic day of travel.

But if you’re new to the world of lounge access or just looking more into the access you have through your credit cards, learning about the different types of lounges can feel overwhelming.

So, let’s explore Plaza Premium lounges by breaking down what they are, where they are located and how you can get in.

What are Plaza Premium lounges?

In short, Plaza Premium is a global network of more than 135 airport lounges. They’re independently owned and contracted rather than owned by a specific airline, so access to them isn’t dependent upon the airline you’re flying.

DANIEL ROSS/THE POINTS GUY

Most Plaza Premium lounges carry the same Plaza Premium Lounge name, but the operator also manages some other lounges, such as Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses outside the United Kingdom and some Avianca lounges.

TPG staffers have found their Plaza Premium lounge experiences to vary based on the location. While most of these lounges fall below the gold standard of American Express Centurion lounges, they’re a good option for a place to grab a snack, unwind in one of many seating options and get some work done. Some locations even go the extra mile, providing food and decor that impress even our most experienced lounge visitors.

Related: 7 domestic lounges worth going out of your way for 

Where are Plaza Premium lounges located?

Plaza Premium’s 137 lounges are located across all six inhabited continents.

If your travels keep you within the U.S., your Plaza Premium options are limited to seven locations. There are Plaza Premium-branded lounges in two airports:

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Additionally, Plaza Premium manages the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in five other U.S. airports:

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
Dulles International Airport (IAD).
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

However, if you frequently travel to or within Asia, you’re more likely to be impressed with the 60-plus Plaza Premium location options available to you.

Should you find yourself with a layover in the U.K., be sure to check out the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), which has Peloton bikes overlooking the tarmac. The recently opened Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is great for sports enthusiasts, as it has an interactive big-screen area for live sport and entertainment, foosball and shuffleboard tables, and even a small climbing wall for kids.

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR). NICKY KELVIN/THE POINTS GUY

You can find a full list of lounge locations on the Plaza Premium website.

How do I get Plaza Premium Lounge access?

Purchase a Plaza Premium pass

You can pay for a one-time lounge pass, with prices varying depending on the location. You can also purchase a lounge pass through Plaza Premium’s website, where your options range from $80 for a two-visit pass within the Americas and Canada to $379 for a 10-visit global pass.

Credit cards that include Plaza Premium access

Before you pay for a Plaza Premium lounge pass, check your wallet to see if you already have access through one of your credit cards. Even if you don’t yet, you’re probably better off putting your money toward the annual fee of a card with complimentary access instead of paying for a lounge pass.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) include unlimited complimentary access for you and up to two guests to all Plaza Premium lounge locations. Terms apply.

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Some Capital One cards include access to select Plaza Premium locations:

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Cardholders get complimentary Plaza Premium lounge access at select locations for themselves and up to two guests. This card’s $395 annual fee is just a few dollars more than the Plaza Premium 10-visit global pass, so this perk alone is well worth the annual fee if you use this access more than 10 times per year.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Cardholders can get two complimentary lounge visits per year at a list of locations that include a selection of Plaza Premium lounges. This card has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Cardholders can get two complimentary lounge visits per year at a list of locations that include a selection of Plaza Premium lounges. This card has no annual fee for the first year and a $95 annual fee afterward.

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Is Plaza Premium access included in Priority Pass?

Unfortunately, Priority Pass access no longer includes entry to Plaza Premium lounges. These lounges used to be part of the Priority Pass program, but the partnership ended in 2021.

The bar at the Plaza Premium Lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) in Terminal 2. DANIEL ROSS/THE POINTS GUY

Unlike Plaza Premium lounges, Priority Pass is a type of membership access that grants members access to a variety of contracted airport lounges rather than a type of lounge itself. Some cards, like the Amex Platinum and Capital One Venture X, come with both Priority Pass and Plaza Premium access, but keep in mind that they’re not connected.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Priority Pass program

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here

Bottom line

Plaza Premium lounges are airport lounges you can find across the globe, and the right credit card is all you need to access them. With 135-plus locations, they’re less common than airline-branded lounges and those part of the Priority Pass program. Still, should you find yourself in need of a place to break a sweat in London or a spot for your kids to play in Orlando, Plaza Premium lounges have your back.

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