After arriving in London Heathrow this afternoon I thought I would check out Club Millesime at the Sofitel London Heathrow, which joined the Priority Pass network last year. Unfortunately, I was turned away: since 09 June 2017 the lounge is no longer affiliated with Priority Pass.
Who’s to blame? Locals.
Although access rules mandated a same-day boarding pass for admittance, it was rarely checked (and easily forged). Since access included complimentary snacks, alcohol, and spa/gym access, the lounge became a hit for airport employees and locals. After all, having access to a nice gym and spa with continental breakfast in the morning or champers and nibbles in the evening more than offsets the annual fee for Priority Pass.
I was told the lounge was “becoming too crowded” and the increased interest in the lounge led to a “mutual” decision between the hotel and Priority Pass to abandon the relationship. Too bad the hotel did not just start checking boarding passes…
The good news for Heathrow travelers: there are still eight Priority Pass lounges, two of which are landside (before security). While it was disappointing not to check out Club Millesime, I did enjoy a nice cappuccino in Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge in T2.
While this was a unique Priority Pass lounge and represents a disappointing loss, just today PP announced a new lounge addition in Portland: a distillery tasting room. Indeed, Priority Pass continues to innovate. Hopefully we will continue to see unorthodox airport “lounges” pop up. Maybe one day we will see Club Millesime return as well…
Gary also wrote on this, though I’ve had this piece drafted all day.