What Happens if You Forget Your Priority Pass Card?

Plaza Premium Lounge, Rome (courtesy of PlazaPremiumLounge.com)

With so many credit cards offering a Priority Pass membership, access to airport lounges has never been easier to attain.

As part of holding a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card from American Express, you’re given a Priority Pass Select membership, granting you and up to two guests access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide. This is undoubtedly a great perk, that can make your travel experience less stressful.

The Rookie Mistake

A few weeks ago, I made what many of you would consider a rookie mistake – I left my Priority Pass Membership card at home. I was excited to try out the highly regarded No 1 Lounge in Gatwick’s North Terminal. On the tram there, I realized I didn’t have my membership card with me. Thankfully, I remembered that many (but not all) lounges will also give you access with a mobile membership card.

No1 Lounge at Gatwick (courtesy of No1Lounges.com)

After several attempts (the Priority Pass app can be very buggy), I was finally able to login to my account. Unfortunately, I was unable to see my digital pass or card membership number. I didn’t have my card, I couldn’t access the digital card, and I couldn’t find my account number anywhere.

Because many of the lounges are third-party vendors, they’re not able to look up your membership details. If I’d had my Priority Pass membership number, they would have been able to use that let me in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t access that so I was out of luck. I tried calling Priority Pass to get my membership number, but they said my membership was managed through Chase and couldn’t assist me. I tried to sweet talk my way into the lounge, but apparently, I wasn’t that charming.

So, what can you do?

The short answer – if you forget your membership card, you’re out of luck.

While it was hardly the end of the world, it was 5:30 in the morning and I’d planned on grabbing breakfast before flying out. I know it’s #FirstWorldProblems, but free breakfast and coffee in a comfortable seat is always better than sitting on a bench with a $4 airport coffee.

The next day, I came to the realization that since I’d registered my Priority Pass card, I’d received a new card and the old one expired. I just never updated my information with my online Priority Pass account, so I was unable to access a digital membership card or membership number. Better late than never, I suppose.

My reaction when I realized I forgot my Priority Pass membership card

While I didn’t have any luck getting into any lounges that day, I did learn a few valuable lessons.

  • I’m adding my Priority Pass card to my packing list in the future
  • Make sure your Priority Pass membership in the app is linked to an active membership card
  • If you haven’t registered your Priority Pass Membership, you can register at this link for Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders. It took me less than five minutes to complete and I was able to view my new digital membership card almost immediately.
  • Once you have a digital membership card, make sure to add it to your mobile wallet. If you’re traveling abroad, you can’t always count on WiFi or cellular service to access the app.

Will all of these steps guarantee you never forget your Priority Pass membership again? No. But at least they should minimize your chances of being shut out.

What’s your most recent travel “rookie mistake”?

Author: Stephen Hoechst

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t carry my physical card. Just use the app and have never had a problem accessing lounges with it. Adding it to a digital wallet is a good idea, though, just in case.

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    • Glad to hear you’ve never had problems with the digital pass before. Have you tried it internationally as well?

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  2. Why didn’t you call Chase? If Chase is who handles your membership, it seems one additional call might have solved your problems. It did mine…

    Shortly after I got my Sapphire Reserve card, I was traveling and wanted to use a Priority Pass lounge. As a newbie, I’d not realized I needed to register, and just assumed that my Sapphire card would get me in. When it didn’t, I called Chase. Not only did they explain that I needed to register, they also provided me a solution — one they said will always work if you don’t have your Priority Pass card handy…

    Just pay the entrance fee WITH YOUR SAPPHIRE CARD, and Chase will give you a credit equal to that amount on your next statement. Easy peasy.

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