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.

Here's how you can get free lounge access 1

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  

Here's how you can get free lounge access 2

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:

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.

Here's how you can get free lounge access 3

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.

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:

Tip of the hat to Neil from OzBargain

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KarenJase RodleyImmanuelWilliam Finn Recent comment authors
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William Finn
William Finn

Hi Immanuel,
Following up on your suggestion that you ought to register for a different flight at an airport more likely to experience delays. I assume your implying that the lounge invite texted to us will be a one time use code for any Lounge Key establishment? I assumed we’d just receive a code for one lounge in the terminal where our flight departs?

Jase Rodley

Do you have to book the flight with the card to use this? Or does simply having the card in your possession allow you to get entry?


Perhaps the rules have changed since you wrote your article, but the Terms of Use say that a valid boarding pass is required – “Lounge access shall be processed using visual authentication. Each Customer who wishes to enter a Lounge must show their valid pass, a valid boarding pass and personal identification.” You need to update your article to remove the section about taking advantage, because it won’t work.