How I ended up in the hipster lounge – My Lounge at Gatwick North (and a look at BA’s Bordeaux lounge)

Did I say I wanted to have a bite in the lounge?  Well that is literally all I could have had anyway …..

The lounge situation at Gatwick’s North Terminal has been an issue ever since BA and easyJet started moving their flights around.  The BA lounge at the North Terminal is gone in preparation for the January 2017 move to the South Terminal, but this still means that there are another 10 months to go until the switch.

Rob asked me to have a look at the No 1 Traveller lounge (the designated replacement lounge for BA passengers) to check if the lounge is really overloaded.  And, even at 6am, I would say YES!

I didn’t even get to go inside.  I was told at the desk that No 1 was already full and was strongly encouraged to use the adjacent My Lounge instead. As I’d never been to this lounge before and just wanted to sit down, I decided to give it a try. Rob has covered this lounge before and you can read about his thoughts here.

The lounge is owned by No 1 Traveller and can be booked online in advance for £20 per adult and £10 per child which also gives you access to the premium security channel at Gatwick. Priority Pass and Lounge Club cards are also accepted.

I must say if I had been at the airport with friends in the evening, My Lounge could have actually been fun. After all there is table football and a Playstation:

My Lounge Gatwick North review

But as I was there in the morning, I was not really in the mood for either.  Let’s ignore the fact that the coffee cups were take-away paper ones, the cereal bowls were made of cardboard, and the cutlery wooden.

My Lounge Gatwick North review

The breakfast buffet included porridge, cereals, yoghurt, some fruit and pastries – the latter tasting horrible, which didn’t justify me eating a bunch of empty calories. On the bright side the cereal mix contained linseeds.

My Lounge Gatwick North review

Not that I drink at 6:30 in the morning – unlike Rob, who is apparently happy to knock back Krug with his cornflakes – but the bar looked a bit sad and the wine was Yellow Tail…

My Lounge Gatwick North review

The wifi was super slow – and it got worse as the lounge got busier. Most people looked a bit out of place and many were wondering about the absence of proper crockery – aren’t we all a bit spoilt?

Next time you are at Gatwick and are being asked which lounge you’d like to use, think about whether you need food or a seat and then choose No 1 Traveller or My Lounge respectively.  That isn’t a great choice to have to make but that is effectively the one I was offered.

No 1 is currently converting the old Delta lounge, one floor below the current lounge, into a new version of its Clubrooms product.  (Rob reviewed the Gatwick South Clubrooms here and was impressed.)  This is due to open in early April and will hopefully free up some capacity.

However ….

All of this was before I saw the ‘lounge’ at Bordeaux Airport the next day on my way back to London and I wished for My Lounge to re-appear.

In order to get access to the Bordeaux lounge you need to go to one of the two cafes after security and exchange a paper ticket which you received at the BA desk for a door code. Once you’ve opened the door, you find yourself in this room:

bordeaux lounge

bordeaux lounge 2

A bit disappointing, to put it mildly, and not just food and drink wise. In order to use the wifi you have to sign up via an e-mail – a bit pointless when you are not roaming!  At least there were enough seats and tables.

The airport itself is really small and has only got a small duty free shop and two cafes. However, don’t let this put you off Bordeaux as the city and the new InterContinental are lovely – I will write more about this on Tuesday.

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  1. Chelseafi says:

    I have a 6.40 am BA flight to Naples Fri week, 4 people,I have amex gold so two passes to use, is it worth me trying to get in lounge & which one? Is it additional £15 pp for extra 2 people on amex gold thanks.

  2. I understand that the Bordeaux lounge is run by the quoted SSP Group which operates and franchises food, beverage and other concessions at airports. The lounge was already poor when it was run by Bordeaux airport itself, but somehow SSP have taken it to new lows in terms of provision of a range of food, drinks, newspapers, and general overall Customer proposition. It is, in my experience, comfortably (or rather not!) the worst aiport lounge in Western Europe….

  3. The Number 1 lounges at both Gatwick North and South are increasingly unavailable. To be honest I think Priority Pass should do the decent thing and de-list them – based on my last half dozen+ attempts to be let in, it is a fantasy to pretend that No1 want priority pass business.

    Lunchtime and the MyLounge is ghastly. Limited space, full of families with young kid noisely plsuing ganes.

    The MyLounge staff where having a great time chatting amongst themselves – so much more fun than noticing that the limited selection of hot food had run out.

    I left earlier than I had to because on balance the gate area would be more relaxing; vowing that next time I am going to go to the Aspire Lounge as a positive choice. Which is not something that I thought I would ever find myself saying.

    • Olivula says:

      I use Aspire regularly only because No1 turns Priority Pass away every time I try. But the Aspire lounge is dreadful too. Half the fridges have had “out of order” signs for months, the food options are dull and uninteresting. I went through the Aspire lounge at Edinburgh last week and was amazed at the Aspire offering there. Real sandwiches and commitment. If this is what Independance can bring….where do I sign? One can only guess why the standards at two of their airports would be so different.

      • Yes the Edinburgh Aspire is a very nice lounge with friendly staff. It has become very popular but thankfully they’re pretty good at restocking things! Definitely a massive step up since the old version – and just to clarify, this is all *without* independence too :)

  4. Waribai says:

    Better than no lounge as is the case in Innsbruck and Fuerteventura say….!

  5. ringingup says:

    Raffles, it’s not BA who are building the lounge.

    • Technically true, agreed – but whoever is paying the bill has no motivation to spend much on it unless No 1 intend to use it long term (or Aspire expands across).

      • ringingup says:

        I may be speculating, but aren’t No1 missing one of their products at the North Terminal?

  6. Britbronco22 says:

    So you discovered the glorified waiting room called the Bordeaux lounge! At least there is a view of the Tarmac.

    • The BOD lounge looks awful. I’ll be there in June for the Euros…

    • Anthony Dunn says:

      Ha, ha, ha… Yes, the BOD business class drinks dispensing machine is an absolute joke isn’t it! Having managed to track down the key to gain admittance when we were there on a tier points top-up, we were extremely grateful for the fact that we’d had an outstanding lunch and really could not face any of the meagre offerings provided. It was that dismal, we really had to ask ourselves “just why do they bother?”

  7. “British Airways is currently converting the old Delta lounge, one floor below No 1 Traveller, into a small lounge for First Class and Gold card holders.”

    So Club Europe will still have rubbish then! :(

  8. planeflyer says:

    I popped into My Lounge last week for a few minutes. The drinks machine was broken, and there was a solitary can of coke in the fridge. I asked for some diet coke from the lady on the computer by the door. I was told “i’ll get you one”, then carried on at her computer for another 10 minutes until we left the lounge. Would rate it as 2/10. Bonus points for there actually being somewhere to sit, something not achieveable next door. BA have seriously hit a new low here. All fingers crossed the new temp F lounge will be open by my SVQ flight mid-April.

  9. The situation is a joke to be honest – BA need to sort something out as you can’t move in the lounges at Gatwick right now.

    I complained and BA have said they’ll pass my feedback on…

  10. Certainly wouldn’t pay any money to access these lounges, be better spending the cash in bar / restaurant in the terminal

    • £12.50 to get in? (£20 minus 750 Avios.)

      Just grab a few beers etc, a snack, some wifi – then you have saved money.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Depends really like you say it’s hardly a lot of money if you just want a few drinks and a snack, which would do me 8 time out of 10. Real issue is if you’re looking at it as a place to relax and do some work/reading before a flight in comfort then sounds like you really haven’t got the experience you were expecting.

  11. I wonder which lounge Cathay will use at LGW later this year

    It’s also a point to note that EK us BA T3 lounge until the renovation is/was done it’s a shame the don’t open the LGW lounge to BA passengers

  12. Roger Everitt says:

    Well the lounge at BOD looks pretty awful, but then have you ever experienced the Biili Terminal at BOD? Thats what you get with Easyjet and Ryanair. Now that really does come as a shock to the system!!


    • General Mayhem says:

      Is it as bad as the Ryanair departure lounge at Budapest? That really is modelled on a cattle shed.

      • That’s not a departure lounge. BUD airport and the lounges are excellent – everything is [relatively] very new & shiny, plus it never gets very crowded. They are now coping with rather more passengers than when Malev went bust but I think when the new terminal was built they were expecting a steeper growth curve in passenger numbers. So there is plenty of redundant capacity.

        What you are describing is the holding area after flights have been called – it is, as you say, just a big ‘shed’ but at least you don’t get rained on & I think it is preferable to being put on a bus. Not as good as (say) BA’s terminal walkway but I guess cost comes into it.

  13. I’m quite a fan of No. 1 at north. I have never had any of the delays I have had at the south terminal. Food tends to come within 10 mins and generally decent service. Yes, it’s always a bit busy but gives off more of a constant stream of people than the galleries lounges where people seem to be stuck in for the long haul. Bordeaux on the other hand is by far the worst lounge I have ever been to. Neither time I was there they had even bottled water.