Reader Question: Choice Between Airline Status Or Priority Pass For 2023 Travel Year?

Today we have a Reader Question about the choice between going for airline status or simply choosing the easy route of obtaining Priority Pass for extra comfort at the airport for the current membership/calendar year.

While the Priority Pass or their competitors LoungeKey and Dragon Pass are not equivalent to airline status, these memberships provide in many cases (with the general exception of the U.S.) a rather decent airport experience through lounge access.

Obtaining airline status which, in it’s higher tiers, usually includes next to lounge access also priority ground services such as fast track, priority check-in, priority boarding and extra baggage allowance.

It is, however, much more difficult and costly to obtain and maintain. While a lounge membership can be either purchased directly from Priority Pass et al or be obtained through a premium credit card in various versions.

Our reader Michael had the following question:


I just lost both my BA Silver and Aegean Gold status. Faced with the situation of not having any more lounge access at all from now on I wonder what I should do to be a bit more comfortable. Try to earn enough tier points or miles to gain status with lounge access again or simply get a Priority Pass? I have three credit card options in Austria and Germany that would give me a Priority Pass at almost no cost.

Thanks for your input!

I’m not sure what products he is referring to when it comes to his interpretations of “almost no cost” but if that’s the case then the answer is clear: Get it!

As far as the status is concerned, after losing British Airways Executive Club Silver you would drop down to Bronze which means oneWorld Ruby. You wouldn’t have lounge access but still some limited priority ground services such as Business Class check-in. Furthermore, obtaining 600 tier points with BA isn’t difficult. I would probably try to get BA Silver back if possible.

At the end of the day, it all depends on how often you would utilize this membership and what the real cost is for signing up. Pretty much all premium credit cards cost money in the form of an annual fee and not too little. Yes, you might get some credits but you still pay your annual fee.

The same argument is valid for airline status. To obtain a lounge inclusive status one would most likely have to spend several thousand dollars to get back on track. If this is organic spend for trips one would take naturally then fine, that’s reasonable. But doing mileage runs just for the status better comes with a damn good cpm (cent per mile) ratio and some higher purpose behind it or it would just be burning money.

I did mileage runs in the past when there were very good deals but nowadays, after 20 years in the game, I have mainly given up on these tricks. Travel isn’t what it used to be and rather than spending $4000 on mileage runs to get a certain status I rather buy 2-3 premium tickets for cash or through purchased miles at which point I don’t need status anymore.


Our reader has lost his status with both oneWorld and Star Alliance which would grant him lounge access. He’s currently considering just getting a Priority Pass via credit card rather than actively going after airline status again.

With Priority Pass often being a substantial benefit factor for premium credit cards where annual fees can range between $450-550 (sometimes depending on the location and card product more than US$1000) per year.

How often hare you using your Priority Pass membership each year?

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