The premium travel card wars continue to heat up! And it’s no surprise that we keep hearing about new credit card issuer airport lounges, given the ongoing, strong consumer demand for premium travel experiences.
According to a post today from View From the Wing, based on City of Austin permit records, it looks like plans are in the works to open a new Chase Sapphire Lounge at the Austin airport.
That’s in addition to news that broke yesterday from Thrifty Traveler, which said that the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Board will vote to approve or deny a lease agreement for a new Chase Sapphire Lounge at its meeting tomorrow on Thursday, Feb. 2.
We reached out to Chase to confirm the Austin and Dallas news, but we’re still waiting to learn more. In the meantime, its no wonder that Chase continues to bolster its efforts to take on the popular American Express Centurion Lounges, as well as Capital One, which also recently dipped its toe into the world of airport lounges.
Here’s What We Know About Chase Sapphire Airport Lounges So Far
Chase has opened, or is expected to open, Sapphire Lounge locations at the following 10 airports:
- Austin (AUS) – location TBD (according to construction permit details published online on 2/1/23)
- Boston (BOS) – lounge will be located between Terminals B and C
- Dallas (DFW) – Terminal D (pending DFW Airport Board approval on 2/2/23)
- Hong Kong (HKG) – Near Gate 40 in Terminal 1 *Now Open*
- Las Vegas (LAS) – C Concourse
- New York LaGuardia (LGA) – Terminal B
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Terminal D/E connector
- Phoenix (PHX) – Terminal 4
- San Diego (SAN) – Terminal 2
- Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD) – Concourse A
Chase is building out its Sapphire Lounge network in partnership with Airport Dimensions, which is part of the same company behind “The Club” family of lounges and Priority Pass. However, Chase plans to offer more premium amenities than those that you will find in a typical Priority Pass or “The Club” lounge, such as elevated food and beverage options, showers, wellness facilities, dedicated spaces for both business travelers and families, and more.
Who Can Access Chase Sapphire Lounges?
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will have complimentary access to all Sapphire Lounges.
What’s interesting though is that Chase Sapphire Lounges will also be accessible for ALL Priority Pass members. This means that anyone with a Priority Pass membership — even if it’s through a rival premium travel card like the Capital One Venture X or American Express Platinum — will have access to these lounges.
Strangely, Sapphire Reserve cardmembers won’t gain entrance to the lounge with their credit card alone. They will have to activate their Priority Pass membership, as a benefit of their card, and then show their Priority Pass card at check in.
Unfortunately, at this time, it looks like those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card won’t get access to this lounge network.
As mentioned above, the new Chase Sapphire Lounges will face some pretty stiff competition from Amex and Capital One when they launch in the US. It goes without saying, but American Express has long been the undisputed king of credit card airport lounges. Amex not only has a broad and ever-growing list of Centurion Lounges, but it also has connections with major, premium travel and F&B brands, which clearly solidifies its position as the top credit card issuer in the airport lounge game.
And now, Capital One has set the bar even higher for Chase, since its first-ever lounge — which opened in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in 2021 — has been a smashing success. On top of that, Capital One has two more airport lounges slated to debut this year in both Denver (DEN) and Washington Dulles (IAD), and Capital One also won a bid to open a lounge in Las Vegas (LAS). In addition, Capital One plans to debut its innovative, airport-lounge-dining concept called Capital One Landing (in partnership with the José Andrés Group) in both Washington Reagan (DCA) and at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).
All of that being said, it’s no surprise to see Chase continue to add new lounges to its network, especially in cities where there are large concentrations of their premium travel card customer base. And overall, we’re thrilled here at GSTP to see Chase get into the airport lounge game and we’re eagerly awaiting the US debut.
One thing we’re going to keep our eye out for though is overcrowding in these lounges. Given how many people will have access, since the spaces will be open to all Priority Pass members, only time will tell as to how overcrowding will affect the allure of these locations once they go live.
What do you think about Chase’s new Sapphire Lounges? Drop us a comment below and share your thoughts!
Valiant effort on Chase’s part, but this does nothing for those of us with Sapphire Preferred cards. We should at least gain entrance for a small fee. I guess this is more about making accretive revenue than caring about cardmembers.
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