In May, I visited the Sala VIP Pau Casals at Barcelona Airport. In August, I visited the very similar Sala VIP Miro. Here’s what you can expect from these Priority Pass lounges that you can enter for free with a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, or American Express Platinum Card.
The Sala VIP Pau Casals is available to passengers flying within the Schengen Area, and the Sala VIP Miro is after passport control for passengers leaving the Schengen Area.
Both offer a comfortable place to sit, free wifi, enough food for a meal, and free alcohol. Additionally, the Sala VIP Pau Casals offers day beds for naps.
The lounges have a similar motif with lots of wood, leather, and glass.
I was in the Sala VIP Pau Casals before a 7 AM flight, and it offered breakfast options…
…like toast… …breads, jams, cheese, cold cuts… …pastries… …cereals… ….yogurt… …and juice.
I was in the Sala VIP Miro before a 9 PM flight, and I had a dinner of cold cut sandwiches and Spanish tortilla.At dinner time, there are pastries…
…tortilla (Spanish potato omelet)… …chips and olives… …salami, ham, prosciutto, and cheese sandwiches… …cut up fruit, and pasta salad.
There is also a selection of juices…
…and liquor.In both lounges, I passed the time before my flight more comfortably than I would have at the gate while working on the free wifi. At both lounges, I ate and drank my fill, saving the cost of a meal.
These lounge experiences were average. They are far worse than the best International First Class lounges like the Etihad Lounge in Abu Dhabi, but they are better than standard domestic airline lounges like United Clubs and certainly better than waiting at the gate.
Get Into Priority Class Lounges for Free
The Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and Amex Platinum all offer free Priority Pass membership.
Getting Priority Pass Membership
- If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, you have to request your free Priority Pass membership on chase.com with a few clicks.
- If you have a Citi Prestige, you’re automatically enrolled in Priority Pass and your membership card arrives a few days after you get your Prestige.
- If you have an Amex Platinum, you have to make a few clicks online to enroll in Priority Pass.
I’ve been in a few dozen Priority Pass lounges around the world. They vary in quality, but you can always count on free drinks, snacks, and wifi, and you can usually cobble together a meal with a glass of wine or a cocktail.
The Amex Platinum Card’s Priority Pass membership doesn’t include free guests. You pay $27 per guest. The Citi Prestige’s Priority Pass membership lets you bring two free guests or your spouse and children under 18 into Priority Pass lounges with you for free.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is better than either. It allows unlimited free guests. It is also the best card of the three because of its 100,000 point sign up bonus and $600 in statement credits to offset travel purchases you make in the first 12 months you have the card.