The Priority Pass Select card is free with the American Express Platinum Card and allows you into even more lounges than the Platinum Card alone.
The only difficulty with the card is that it only includes ONE person. Guests cost an extra amount of money.
This is why I paid the extra money for additional card holders on my American Express Platinum Card. Then my parents and husband can use the card to get into the lounge themselves.
But we discovered a problem with the way lounges run the card.
For example, I just went to Punta Cana with my parents and husband. When I went to the front desk, I went ahead of my husband and had her run my card. A few minutes later, my husband had his card run. There were no issues.
My parents came into the lounge. I gave them detailed instructions about what to do. They’ve internalized giving each of their cards at the front desk by now.
Imagine my surprise when there was a guest charge on my American Express Platinum Card for the lounge.
There was a long process figuring out what happened. The lounge passed the blame to Priority Pass who passed the blame to my parents. They said unless my parents individually signed for their lounge access, they were both responsible for whatever happened. And they didn’t both sign at the lounge.
But they both presented a card, so I decided to delegate this mystery to my new Jessica Fletcher, Babs Callahan.
Babs continuously called anyone she could related to this until she found an answer. The answer she found made me very nervous (but also made our case for a refund iron clad).
She finally got in contact with the exact person who checked my parents into the VIP club they were at. The person told her that Priority Pass people get a guest on each card, so whenever she is given two cards, she just charges them both to one card because that is easier.
That’s right. Even when she’s given two cards by two different people, she was checking people in as a guest on the first card because it is easier than having to register both.
Except Priority Pass Select people don’t get a guest.
I asked Babs to contact her and read the actual rules, but by what she was saying, even if you weren’t traveling with someone else, she may have checked someone else (arriving immediately behind you) as your guest because it was easier for her.
How to Fix This
Be extremely vigilant. If you arrive with a guest, make sure they check you in separately. If the person resists, you can say that you don’t want your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend to find out, or that it’s a company card and you aren’t allowed to bring guests with you.
If you are arriving along but in a line, make sure the person behind you isn’t waived in immediately. That’s a sign the person (lazily) logged them in on your account.
I can’t express how shocked I was to find this out. But Babs got her to send it in writing and Priority Pass issued an immediate refund once they saw it.
But seriously, be careful. Make sure you and ONLY you are assigned to your account, unless you intentionally do want to guest someone into the lounge at your cost.