Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership, offering access to airport lounges and restaurants.
When dining at certain airport restaurants, members receive a spending allowance for meals.
I frequently use the perk when traveling in the US and was able to make good use of it when flying home from London.
Dining at an airport restaurant is a luxury in which I don't often indulge. I often can't justify the high prices for what is often average or even subpar quality food.
But that changed once I got my first travel credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a complimentary membership to Priority Pass, offering access to a network of airport lounges and restaurants.
The Sapphire Reserve costs $550 per year but that's easily offset with a $300 travel credit, $60 DoorDash credit, and for frequent travelers, the priceless Priority Pass membership.
Priority Pass came in handy when I flew home from London in mid-August following JetBlue Airways' debut flight to Europe. JetBlue doesn't currently offer any lounges on either side of the Atlantic, even for business class flyers, leaving travelers to their own devices for a pre-departure meal.
But I was able to use my favorite credit card perk in the UK for the first time. Here's what it was like.
I always check Priority Pass before any flight that I take to see which lounges and/or restaurants are available at the airport.
Terminal 2 at London's Heathrow Airport didn't have any lounges available but did have one restaurant: Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen.
And to my surprise, it was actually open. Lots of airport restaurants closed during the pandemic and not all have reopened.
I told the hostess that we'd be using Priority Pass and had to sign in using my membership card and boarding pass before being seated.
Getting a table was no problem as the restaurant was quite empty. Heathrow itself is still recovering from the pandemic, and it showed in the empty terminal.
Joining me for lunch was Insider's new visual features fellow, Taylor Rains, and a new friend that we met on the way out to London. Each of us had £15, or around $20, to spend.
Priority Pass allows members to bring guests into lounges and restaurants, with each having its own rules. This restaurant only allowed one guest to receive the £15 offer so Taylor used her membership to get her allowance.
The menu was quite extensive with a good variety of meals that were well under the £15 budget.
Some of the larger items were a bit out of the budget at over £15 and I would have to pay the difference.
A bone-in ribeye steak, for example, was £28.
I went with a cheeseburger and fries while the others opted for beers and appetizers.
Soon enough, we were chowing down on our delicious free meals.
And needless to say, we got our money's worth.
The final bill for three people ordering a total of three beers, two appetizers, and one entree came to £42.50, just below the £45 limit. And the good thing about the UK is that the tip is included in the bill.
There was no need for us to settle up and the entire check was covered by Priority Pass. So, off we went to the gate.
I got on the plane perfectly content and ready for the seven-hour journey.
I was almost too full to indulge in the business class meal service but had enough time to get hungry again.
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