Mastercard has just launched a promotion rewarding eligible card holders with 2 free lounge passes when flights are delayed. The marketing initiative is called Mastercard Flight Delay Pass.

mastercard flight delay pass - Here's how you can get free lounge access

Whilst the promotion is intended for those who purchased a ticket with their Mastercard, in reality this won’t be enforceable by Mastercard. Essentially allowing anyone with the following cards to take advantage of the promotion: Qantas Cash, Cash Passport, Bankwest Mastercard World, Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards Mastercard, 28 Degrees Card, Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard Platinum, Coles Prepaid Reloadable Platinum MasterCard  

lounge benefits - Here's how you can get free lounge access

The promo pages states that: Should you encounter a delay lasting 2 hours or more, Mastercard Flight Delay Pass grants you complimentary access to over 850 airport lounges in more than 100 countries. You can find participating lounges here:

https://loungefinder.loungekey.com/Pass

Things to keep in mind:

  • Maximum 2 registrations per card until November 15, 2018. This means every flight you register for, even if not delayed, counts toward your total tally.
  • The lounge pass will be texted to you with PDF attached in an MMS
  • Should you change your mind, you may deregister your flight up to 6 hours ahead of its scheduled departure. This cancelled registration will be reinstated to your entitlement.
  • Should you change your mind, you may deregister your flight up to 6 hours ahead of its scheduled departure. This cancelled registration will be reinstated to your entitlement
  • This exclusive service is complimentary for World and World Elite Mastercard® Credit, Debit and Commercial card holders, and you are entitled to register for up to 2 flights before 15 November 2018. In addition, you may invite up to 3 guests also travelling on the same flight — friends, family or business associates — to join you in the lounge.

free lounger pass how to - Here's how you can get free lounge access

How to take advantage?

In Australia we have it pretty good and flight delays aren’t as common as they might be in different countries. Since there’s no way for Mastercard to know which flight you’ll be on, you could look at other flights around the world that are delayed or have a higher chance of being delayed. According to certain websites, Jakarta International Airport is the worst globally when it comes to delays. https://www.jakartaairportonline.com/flight-status-arrivals-departures/

Keep in mind you need to register the flight number no later than 6h before the scheduled departure. Essentially you have to gamble on which flight will be delayed…

To increase your chances, look for weather events around the world that are likely to impact airports and cause delays.  The promotional website doesn’t state how long the passes will be valid for, we can assume it’s for the day of departure.

Is it worth the hassle?

Personally I have unlimited Priority Pass (lounges are the same as Lounge Key) and Virgin Australia lounge access thanks to the Amex Platinum Charge card so I won’t be testing my luck. If you’re flying economy with no lounge access thanks to status or credit cards on the other hand…5 minutes of your time could be worth the it.

For more info you can check out the registration page here: https://flightdelaypass.mastercard.com

Tip of the hat to Neil from OzBargain