Capital One announced a new Partner Lounge Network with qualifying cardmembers receiving access to Plaza Premium lounges, Virgin Clubhouses, and more. This vaults them closer to the arena of American Express’s Global Lounge Collection.
American Express launched its own airport lounges as it was losing major airline partnerships with Continental Airlines (due to the United merger), US Airways and American Airlines (due to their merger). Chase got lounge exclusivity with United and Citibank with American.
Amex upped the domestic airport lounge game, but also had a broader network of lounges. They offered Priority Pass cards to Platinum and Centurion and Hilton Surpass cardmembers. And they had broader lounge partnerships, too. Platinum cards got customers into a variety of lounges, and over time I’ve used the with Escape and Plaza Premium lounges and they even partner with some Lufthansa lounges.
Since then Chase started handing out Priority Pass cards with the introduction of their Sapphire Reserve product, and is now building out their own airport lounges (in conjunction with the company who operates The Club lounges).
And Capital One is really coming for the premium end of the credit card business. As part of that they’ve built out a travel portal and gotten into the lounge game. Their Dallas – Fort Worth lounge is open, Denver and Washington Dulles are coming. Venture X comes with Priority Pass too.
But Capital One is also now announcing a ‘Partner Lounge Network’ along the lines of American Express’ ‘Global Lounge Collection’. The list of included lounges contains,
- all domestic Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses
- the Air France Lounge Montreal
- the MERA Business Lounges at Cancún
- 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges
Venture X cardmembers get unlimited access. Venture and Spark Miles cardholders, who receive two annual complimentary lounge visits at Capital One lounges, will be able to use those at Plaza Premium Lounges as well.
While Virgin Clubhouses and some Air France lounges have been part of Priority Pass at times, those often have hour restrictions (not available during times when the airlines have their own flights). However access via Capital One does not have any similar hour restrictions, so use U.S. Virgin Atlantic clubhouses any time.
Plaza Premium Group is now operating most Virgin clubhouses, and they also operate Capital One’s lounge in Dallas and will operate the Denver lounge as well (Washington Dulles will partner with TAV). So much of this Partner Lounge Network comes out of an expansion of the relationship that already exists between Capital One and Plaza Premium Group.