- Airport lounge visits data showed a 28% month-on-month increase between June and July 2021
- Passengers more likely to use socially distanced spaces like airport lounges compared to pre-pandemic
- Over 75% of lounges globally are open for business, and lounges and airport experiences within the Priority Pass network now cover 91% of the top 100 busiest airports globally
HONG KONG – September 2021: New insights from Collinson’s Priority Pass today reveal the extent of the increase in airport lounge visits, in line with the growing momentum of flight numbers. Across the Priority Pass network, total lounge visits are up by 46% for the first half of 2021 compared to the second half of 2020. The lounges are well positioned along the most travelled international flight routes based on data from OAG, with 91% of the top 100 busiest airports and 79% of the 100 busiest terminals globally featuring a Priority Pass lounge and airport experience.
Currently, over 75% of lounges across the globe are open for business, and visit data showed a 28% month-on-month increase between June and July 2021. Collinson has been working closely with its lounge partners to ensure that travellers are supported and can experience Priority Pass lounges wherever possible.
Lounge data reveals optimistic outlook, starting with domestic travel
Domestic air travel in some parts of the world is recovering quickly; in the US and UK, airlines report scheduling up to 60% of flights compared to pre-pandemic levels, and Indian carriers are now permitted to operate 65% of flights, compared to 50% prior to July 5.
According to Priority Pass, with this added boost from increased domestic travel, average visits per lounge are also up 34% for H1 of 2021, compared to H2 2020 – which is in line with previous data showing that 48% of Priority Pass members are more likely to use airport lounges compared to before the pandemic. Furthermore, 87% of travelers in a broader survey reported that they wanted access to socially distanced spaces in order to ‘de-stress’ and ‘relax away from the crowds’. Building on these studies, Priority Pass’s demand-focused network expansion is supported by ongoing research and analysis, based on data points including lounge visits and flight data.
“While we look forward to a broader recovery including international flights once the pandemic is brought under further control, we are meanwhile seeing better utilisation of our domestic lounges in particular – which means we are serving our members well in these challenging times,” said Andy Besant, Director of Travel Experiences at Collinson, the operator of Priority Pass.
The US currently leads the way in travel recovery, with nearly 3.8 million flights taken in the past year – of which 95% are domestic – compared to 8.9 million in 2019. Meanwhile, Russia and China are already at 70% and 87% of flight volumes compared to 2019 - places where Priority Pass has a comprehensive lounge presence, covering 96% and 86% of all flights respectively*.
Domestic travel hotspots in the US are focused on the southern part of the country - with the two most-visited lounges located in Miami; followed by lounges in Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Orlando. Globally, domestic flights are forecasted to be at 90% passenger capacity by April 2022.
International flight recovery outlook is hopeful, but not evenly distributed
While recovery is taking off globally, some regions are doing better than others. The US is forecasted to be the first region to see flights recover to pre-pandemic volumes, while APAC is expected to be the slowest region to recover. Markets in APAC are only forecasted to be at 40% flight volumes as compared to pre-pandemic levels by April 2022. Priority Pass projects that the first region to hit over 60% recovery for lounge visits will be CEMEA, followed by Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, with Canada coming in last. Currently, the Priority Pass international lounge network covers terminals for 83% of international flights from North America, 86% for CEMEA, 84% for all of Europe, 97% for the UK and 87% for APAC – making Priority Pass the leading independent global airport lounge network.
Andy Besant further added: “It’s clear that the travel industry is starting to recover strongly, and that the green shoots of regrowth are showing across both international and domestic flights. Priority Pass has invested significantly in tracking and supporting this recovery to ensure that we will be there for our Members as they return to the skies. Tracking our lounge coverage against flight patterns is key to our strategy; and we will continue to ensure the expansion of our offering and services to our Members in the most relevant locations.”
Priority Pass continues to monitor and adjust its operations to accommodate the ongoing recovery of international travel; this news follows Priority Pass announcing the global expansion of its lounge network. Since the start of 2021, over 110 lounges and airport experiences have been added to the network, substantially increasing Priority Pass coverage, as well as enhancing the breadth and depth of experiences available, from spas to dining locations.