Bad news for those of you who are Priority Pass holders (cardholders of the Amex Platinum, Citi Prestige, or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards). This weekend, I received a message from reader Erin S., that she was told by Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Escape Lounge staff that they were leaving the Priority Pass network on June 14th. This was later confirmed on Reddit.
The MSP Escape Lounge, which opened last fall, is my home airport lounge and probably one of the best lounges in the Priority Pass network. The departure from Priority Pass is likely due to American Express recently announcing that the Escape Lounges (BDL / MSP / OAK) would now be accessible with the American Express Platinum card.
I would assume that American Express paid them quite handsomely for the partnership, in an effort to bolster their network of lounges including the top tier American Express Centurion lounges.
While there have been more people visiting the MSP Escape Lounge in recent months, it has never more than 1/2 full (as you can tell in my photos). When it first opened last fall, there were several times when I was the only person in the lounge, which was incredible, especially given the great spread and beverage selection they have. It's a much better alternative to the packed Delta Sky Club lounges at MSP.
If you frequent the MSP airport, you should pick up the American Express Platinum card. It gives you access to the MSP Escape Lounge and also the Delta Sky Clubs if you are flying Delta, in addition to plenty of other benefits. There is a limited time offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. It has a hefty annual fee but the benefits outweigh the fee, especially if you value lounge access as much as I do.