It’s well known among the frequent traveler/blogger community that the Priority Pass lounge network within the U.S. is sparse vs. it’s expansive offerings across many other countries. That said, whenever flying domestically we typically check whether any Priority Pass lounges may come in handy.
We got back last night from a weekend trip exploring Portland and boy did Priority Pass come through. Shoutout to Lucky at One Mile at a Time for amazing timing covering this on his blog!
The Alaska Airlines lounge at PDX is part of the Priority Pass network and is notorious for denying entry so as to maintain capacity controls. Last night around 8pm was no different, and the lounge had an ominous sign posted outside that capacity control mode was on. Not fazed, we walked in anyway just on the outside chance that an accommodating rep would let us in. The rep courteously shot our hopes down but immediately brought them back up. In addition to the distillery that is part of the Priority Pass network, she said we could get food and drink at Capers Café. Capers Café didn’t show up last night in the Priority Pass app so likely this is a new partner. Well tally ho!
Our first stop was the House Spirits Distillery Tasting Room that is only a few gates down from the Alaska Air lounge. Priority Pass allows upto $28 worth of free alcohol per person, for the cardholder plus 1 guest (excluding bottle purchases). P and I got a whiskey flight each plus 2 cocktails which is a $56 value! The pours are appropriate for sampling and we enjoyed the cocktails more than the whiskey samples. For the short time we were there, almost everyone who walked in there used their Priority Pass benefit and a few purchased a few bottles as well. They’re known for their Aquavit and Whiskey.
Our thirst quenched, we marched over to Capers Café which is a few gates before the Alaska Air lounge. It’s a regular airport restaurant with a wine bar attached. The cashier knew of Priority Pass and basically said we could have anything in the house, even wine bottles to go. Same deal as the distillery – upto $28 per person for the cardholder plus 1 guest. Running short on time, we picked up salads, pizza slices and a few Perriers to total about $45. The pizza and salads both tasted decent and we enjoyed these on the plane ride. We sensed our neighbors were a bit jealous!
So in total, we got $112 worth of value last night courtesy of Priority Pass. P and I both have our Priority Pass cards through Chase Sapphire Reserve. P could have very well used her card in addition to mine at either store to get an additional $112 worth of value, which we didn’t do in the end.
We didn’t miss the Alaska Air lounge much and would gladly fly through PDX again. Sometimes, decent food and drink wins over peace and quiet in a lounge.