London: Priority Pass, the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program, announces a new partnership deal with Etihad Guest, the award-winning loyalty program from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national airline, Etihad Airways.
The deal will enhance the travel experience of Etihad Guest members. Etihad Guest members purchasing a Priority Pass membership will earn miles on the purchase and gain access to an extensive international network of lounges across the airline’s network.
Errol McGlothan, General Manager, Priority Pass said: “We are delighted to be working with the UAE’s national airline to provide Etihad Guest members with airport VIP lounge access worldwide. Members will now have access to lounges on the majority of the airline’s routes. Like Etihad, we understand that the global traveler is looking for a relaxed, streamlined experience where they can seamlessly navigate busy airports, integrating their business and personal lives into their journey, from lounge arrival to boarding the plane.”
Priority Pass offers three membership plans, Etihad Guest members will earn the following number of miles based on the plan they buy: Standard US$99 – 1,250 MILES Standard Plus US$259 – 2,500 MILES Prestige US$399 – 4,000
PLUS as a bonus introductory offer of 500 bonus miles will be awarded on all three plans up until 30th April 2013.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Priority Pass provides frequent travelers with airport lounge access, irrespective of their class of travel, airline flown or existing membership in an airline loyalty programme. Launched in 1992, Priority Pass now offers more than 600 airport lounges worldwide in 300 cities in over 100 countries. Priority Pass is part of Priority Travel Group, a division of the Collinson Group, specialising in the international travel clubs and services sector. For more information, visit www.prioritypass.com.
The first airport lounge was introduced in 1939 as ‘The Flagship Club’ at LaGuardia airport, born out of the American Airlines Admirals Club to recognise their most loyal travelers and as a privileged place for VIPs to relax before their flight. The launch of the airline hub and spoke system in the US during the 80’s and 90’s resulted in more and more passengers having to make connections in hub cities that added to the daily passenger traffic and time spent in airports due to connections. The change forced the airlines into adding new and expanding the size of existing lounges to deal with the added passenger traffic.
Frequent Flyer programs that began in the early 80’s grew in popularity and then began to diversify in the late 80’s and early 90’s to differentiate membership status levels depending on certain mileage thresholds and flight segments flown. Many of those that achieved the highest elite status were rewarded with lounge access as an additional benefit and lower elite members were rewarded with discounted airline lounge program membership fees. Starting in the early to mid-90’s US airlines finally began to change their mindset with regard to their lounge product simply being an exclusive club for their best customers to become more of a profit center.
Etihad currently serves over 70 destinations in Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. Launched in August 2006, the award-winning Etihad Guest programme now has more than 100 international accrual partners and hundreds of redemption partners world-wide.
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Elliot Lane, Director
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