Updated: Oct 16, 2019
There are three Priority Pass lounges at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, however, after recently flying through only the Cedar Lounge is worth checking out.
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Ever heard of Priority Pass?
No? Well it is a network of worldwide lounges and restaurants. You can purchase a membership package directly through the Priority Pass website or be automatically granted a free Priority Pass Select membership that comes with certain luxury credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Are you a Priority Pass member?
If you are great, then you know how great of a benefit it is while traveling. From lounge access to free food and gifts at various airports world-wide, it's a valuable perk to have.
If you aren't a Priority Pass member yet, you're in luck. You can sign up using my Priority Pass affiliate link here and save 20% your first year. As a member you have access to over 1,000 lounges world-wide!
My advice is to get the free Priority Pass Select membership when you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
The main difference between the Priority Pass Prestige and the Priority Pass Select membership is that if you bring a guest to a lounge it will cost you $32 per guest (through Standard, Standard Plus & Prestige) versus free access for guests (through Select).
The other huge benefit is that some airports also have participating restaurants, bistros and bars that offer each member and their guest(s) a credit of $28 each.
Disclaimer: Please note that lounges and restaurants which exceed their seating limit will use their own discretion in allowing Priority Pass members and their guests.
Priority Pass Lounges in Beirut, Lebanon
After being invited to a very memorable wedding by our great friends (Nabil and Jessica) in beautiful Lebanon over the summer, my wife and I had to start the long journey home.
As Priority Pass members, we always check ahead of time if airports we fly out of have any lounges or restaurants part of the Priority Pass network. Luckily, the Rafic Hariri International Airport had three lounges to check out.
Now, right off the bat, two of the three lounges were not worth checking out or even writing about, which is why I'm focusing this blog post on the Cedar Lounge.
The Cedar Lounge is huge
Yes, I can't understate the above title. This lounge is the biggest one I've ever been in inside and outside the Priority Pass network.
There were at least 200 people in this lounge and that's probably underestimating the actual number of people who were enjoying themselves. I felt like I was wandering a small mall, minus the stores.
From my count, I saw two areas to grab free food and beverages and another separate bar area (yes, you can drink alcohol in Lebanon).
The check-in process was very fast and easy. As usual, just whip out your Priority Pass card and show your boarding pass, then you are allowed inside.
Even though this lounge was big, it was semi-challenging to find a place to sit down. My wife and I were able to find a table after about 3 minutes of looking around. This lounge has a very wide-open layout, so if you get nervous around big crowds and people like I do, this can be a little challenging.
Food and beverages
The food options consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables, local cuisine, breads and sweets. The beverages included water, coffee, tea and juices. Most of the beverages were bottled.
The Cedar Lounge did have a bar, but since I was short on time, I didn't grab a drink.
Oh yeah, there was free WiFi, but no showers to freshen up.
This was by far the biggest lounge I've checked out, but size doesn't always matter. I am grateful that there's a nice lounge while you fly out of Beirut. If you are holding a Priority Pass card and visiting Lebanon, please rest assured that you have something nice to wrap up your great stay in this wonderful country.
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