Bits: BA Gatwick lounge closes in January, Virgin removes infant seats, new Amex cashback deals

More news in brief:

British Airways Gatwick lounge to close in January

British Airways confirmed yesterday that its lounge at Gatwick will close in January.  This is to enable work to begin on a new lounge pavilion in time for the consolidation of easyJet flights in Gatwick North next November.

At that time, British Airways will move to Gatwick South and into a new lounge complex.  It is believed that this will feature the new ‘Concorde Bar’ concept for ticketed First Class passengers instead of a Galleries First lounge for Gold card holders.

Between January and November, British Airways will not have a lounge at Gatwick.  Customers will be invited to use the No 1 Traveller lounge instead.  Whilst currently full to capacity on most days – to the extent that Priority Pass customers are often turned away – work being done at present is intended to lead to additional space.

There are still various questions to be answered.  Will the No 1 Traveller cap of three hours per visit remain?  Will BA guests be able to have premium drinks and food for free, unlike standard No 1 Traveller clients?  Will BA passengers have a dedicated room in the lounge?  We will find out in January.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick North

Virgin Atlantic to stop carrying car seats for infants

Virgin Atlantic announced yesterday that it will not carry infant car seats onboard from December 1st.

If you have booked a seat for an infant under 2, you will need to bring your own car seat.  If you do not bring one, the infant will still be allowed to use the seat booked for it but not during take off, landing and turbulence.

Upper Class customers have never been able to use a car seat for an infant because of the air bags contained in the seats and this policy will continue.

To accompany this story, here is a photo of me at work on a Virgin Atlantic check in desk, for reasons that will become clearer later in the week …..

File 21-09-2015 21 56 16

New American Express statement offers

Finally, three new American Express statement cashback offers have been launched.  Some, all or none of these will be available for registration under the ‘Offers’ tab of your online statement.

South African Airways – spend £500, get £100 (valid to March 21st)

House of Fraser – spend £70, get £10 (valid to November 1st)

Fat Face – spend £50, get £10 (expires, at a guess, on November 1st)

None of these are yet available for general registration on the cardmemberoffers.co.uk website.

REMINDER: Win a trip to Los Angeles for 1-3 people with Air New Zealand and HFP!
It's back - 500 Clubcard points (1,200 Avios) for joining TopCashback
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Comments

  1. cheekychappie says:
  2. We’re hoping to go into the No1 at Gatwick South on Fri 2-5pm (2 adults & a 1yr old)… does anyone know how busy it is likely to be?

    We have passes with Lounge Club (amex gold) & Airport Angels (thanks for the link cheeky chappy) – do they give preference to any particular scheme or do they just turn away once at capacity?

    Would it be worthwhile paying to secure entry? And is this possible with either of these schemes?

  3. I recently got a £50 off £250 at hilton discount too.

  4. Cheshire Pete says:

    Seems a bizarre decision to close the lounges for 11 months!

  5. Will no 1 be able to cope with all the additional passengers? Remember that no 1 are selling lounge passes on avios.com for £20 with fast track security and gaurenteed entry and earn 750 avios for £20 each.

    • Sounds pretty good. Do you know where to find the deal? Just had a look and only find lounges to book via phone – is it that? Thanks!

    • BlackberryAddict says:

      Gives you an idea of the value of lounge entry…£5 for the fast track, 1p per avios means £7.50, so £7,50 left for the lounge….

    • No 1 can’t cope at the moment – it’s going to struggle when the BA visitors are added. The £5 in advance thing might be necessary. I’ve been turned away from it 3 times already. It’s the only lounge that has ever denied me entry.

      • The_Real_A says:

        I think this will virtually render the No1 lounge off limits for Priority Pass holders.

        Does anyone know what the other PP lounges are like?

      • Never been turned away with various cards; was in there last week with no issues. Maybe I’m there at non-peak times?

        • Maybe. I doubt the card has any bearing on entry – I doubt they prioritise PP over, say, Airport Angels. I’m not even sure how they could prioritise BA passengers, unless they waive the £5 booking fee.

          Being turned away is not the end of the world: lounges are nice, but it’s not that important to me. I went and had a crap meal at Jamie’s Italian instead, and watched a giant, aggressive drunk be arrested by 6 policemen. Also if I’m flying from Gatwick, it’s probably short haul so I don’t want to be in the airport for hours anyway. The one long-haul flight I took from there was BA First to St Lucia, so I had access to the laughably sad and pathetic First lounge (which is not a patch on, say, a Plaza Premium lounge but probably just about preferable to No1 simply for the champagne).

          • cheekychappie says:

            I’ve been turned away before – even though the lounge was half empty – not that I was scruffy or anything :) – but because they were expecting passengers in transit from one of their partner airlines to turn up.

          • Apparently this is a problem for them because they are obliged to make space available for partner airline passengers but they often don’t bother turning up.

            One issue with Clubrooms, moving on slightly, is what they will do when flights are delayed because the room is likely to be booked by another airline or group immediately after the scheduled departure time of the first group. Once the new No 1 Lounge is open they can be discreetly funnelled in there via a back door.

  6. I’m more intrigued with the Virgin Atlantic teaser! – It seems that they are easily forgotten.

    I’m now up to 200,000 Virgin Miles and never flown with them!

    • What VA teaser is that? I remain undecided whether to use my virgin miles for spire or save them for HKG late next year but I expect devaluation or the chop for HKG could happen first so spire tops at moment.

      • Nothing important – just a bit of fun I was at yesterday in an attempt to forget the stress of moving house last week!

        • Oh ok. Hope the move both goes well and works out for you all. A bit surprised though given you had builders in a few weeks back.

          • The buiding project was emergency work, unfortunately, even though we were moving.

            I should be able to work from home more going forward as we gain a bedroom!

  7. I didn’t know that Virgin carried car seats in the flight! We’re travelling to Delhi in Nov with our 9 month old (he weighs 11kg already), so the Virgin call centre suggested that we buy a seat for him since he’s too heavy for a skycot, and asked us to bring our own car seat… no mention of them supplying a car seat… duh!

  8. I also see a £150 back on a £500 spent at Net-a-Porter on my Amex Offers – might be a good option to buy gift cards!

    • What would you do with the gift cards if it works, sell them?

      • Potentially – with Christmas coming up, Gift Cards might have a market. Though for Net-A-Porter ones I am not so sure, so a bit hesitant to act on this for the time being.

  9. Does this mean the Virgin Gatwick lounge will also close?

  10. I have been with No 1 Traveller at Gatwick today (typing this at Costa in Gatwick South waiting for GEx!) so all your questions will be answered very soon!

  11. I received a letter in the post from American Express offering a £20 Selfridges gift card if I spend £150 in store. The letter comes with the gift card but it can only be activated with proof of purchase. Does anyone know whether this is £150 spend on one purchase or in aggregate?

  12. I see there are 500 points on offer for adding a MasterCard to your IHG profile!

  13. So just to check, BA’s lounge closes towards the start of the year, but doesn’t move to the south until towards the end of the year? So in this interim period, using the Clubrooms isn’t an option, as they’re in the South…?

    • Yes. You will be in No 1 in Gatwick North between January and November. Apparently it is not yet clear whether BA guests will go in a separate area and whether they will get totally free food and drink or, like No 1 guests, have to pay for some items. It is also not clear if the three hour time limit will be applied.

  14. I am confused and a little frustrated by this (catching up on a news backlog sadly) – we are finally making use of some of the many Avios & the 2 x 2-4-1 BA AmEx vouchers which we’ve earned thanks to HfP (Thanks Raffles!) by taking all 7 of us to the Caribbean in Feb!

    4 of us are travelling Club World and 3 are WT+ with Priority Passes, hoping to get lounge access, but it sounds as though lounges will be a bun-fight at best and no-go area at worst in Gatwick North by Feb, whether you are entitled via BA or hoping for entry with a lounge access card.

    Any advice or will it simply be a case of wait & see?!

    I’ve read the reviews here of the My Lounge, anyone have experience of the Aspire Lounge at LGW N? I find that one better than Escape in Manchester …

    Thanks for any advice,
    Paul