Priority Pass card-holders can now add The House lounges at Sydney and Melbourne to their list of pre-flight options, but with one catch: they'll also need to pay A$20 when they flash that membership card.
It's a new twist to the Priority Pass model, being the first time an additional fee has been added to the cost of entry which is nominally included with the card or offered at a standard rate of US$32.
Access to The House "is available to cardholders using a standard visit allocation and an additional upgrade fee of AUD$20 per person is payable directly to the lounge at time of entry," Priority Pass notes.
No1 Lounges, which operates The House lounges – both of which in Australia are the former Etihad lounges – has been looking beyond Etihad and Virgin Australia as a source of customers.
The House in Sydney is now the preferred lounge for British Airways, although BA travellers can still use the Qantas business class and first class lounges.
While there's no challenging the Qantas First Lounge as Sydney's best airport lounge, consensus among travellers seems to be that – barring some crowding as the daily departure of flight BA16 draws near – The House trumps the Qantas Business Lounge for its à la carte dining and tended bar.
Adding The House lounges to the Priority Pass network will bring more paying guests into the fold.
The House is now the only lounge at Sydney's T1 international terminal which accepts Priority Pass, although travellers in Melbourne can opt to use the Plaza Premium Lounge, which doesn't come with that $20 surcharge.