If we take an example of the Aspire lounge in Edinburgh, you’ll pay £21.99 if you book direct. Booking direct you provide your flight information and are granted access for 3 hours - another perk of booking direct is delay cover. If your flight is delayed you’re not kicked out, or rather, you’re allowed to return to the lounge.
You can buy a card that provides unlimited access for Aspire lounges and it’s £259 per year.
If you’re getting access to this lounge with a Lounge Pass or Dragon Pass, you cannot pre-book and can be turned away if the lounge is busy or expected to be busy within your allowance - ie before your gate is announced.
Revolut appear to have done this another way, it looks to be a cut down MasterCard Lounge Key membership, you don’t seem to be able to use your card with the MasterCard Airport Experiences app - this is why I suggest it’s cut down. This does however give you access to the example Aspire lounge, but you can’t pre-book, just like the other passes.
When you turn up you’ll have to check if there’s space and then generate the QR code on your phone. You could do this beforehand but it means you may need to walk to another lounge and use the code - or in a smaller airport you may not have another choice. Edinburgh has 2 you’re able to use it with - generating this code is not pre-booking a place.
Another benefit to booking direct is the guaranteed price and price matching, they claim you cannot buy cheaper and if you do, they’ll price match it.
Finally anyone can book the Aspire lounge, no membership is required. So it’s not really the fault of Revolut, though I agree if it’s one pass per year, that’s not really a perk as you could buy a discounted coupon online for less or pay direct and get the benefit of knowing you’ll get in.
So once you’ve used your one free pass, how much is it to access this lounger through Revolut? Currently the app says it’ll be £24.99. So obviously you’re not going to use this if you know you’ll be in this airport with enough time to use the lounge, book direct and get the benefits.
My opinion is, it’s got to be closer to a couple passes every quarter - even though I’d obviously like it to be unlimited. I suspect most passes wouldn’t be used, many Metal members will get access to their airline lounges or just don’t use lounges at airports. However, I suspect this might be how it’s justified to not be much of a perk. I wonder how many of the free passes have been used?
My Amex comes with Lounge Club, 2 free visits a year and £15 access to the same lounge, for comparison. With this though I can also collect air miles, hotel points etc.