Comparing UK lounge networks of Priority Pass, Lounge Club and LoungeKey

Many Head for Points readers can access airport lounges, even when flying economy, via their membership of Lounge Club, Priority Pass or LoungeKey.

Lounge Club membership comes with the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card, which is free for the first year. You receive two free passes to visit any Lounge Club lounge and further visits or further guests are charged at £15. My full review of Amex Gold is here.

Priority Pass membership comes with the American Express Platinum card. Both the main cardholder and one supplementary cardholder receive a Priority Pass, and each card admits two people for free. This means that you can get four people into a lounge for free, as many times as you want if both the main and supplementary cardholder are travelling together. There is NO LIMIT to the number of lounge visits you can make for free.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

LoungeKey membership comes with the £195 per year HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard and other World Elite MasterCard products. There is no separate membership card and you simply show your World Elite MasterCard at the door. However, you are meant to have registered your HSBC card via this link first – I’m not sure if this is actually necessary. No free guests are allowed but you can get a supplementary card for your HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard for a £60 annual fee and that person can then access lounges with this card.

(Holders of the free HSBC Premier MasterCard can also access lounges via LoungeKey but will be charged £15 per visit.)

As well as getting Lounge Club or Priority Pass membership via Amex, you can also buy Priority Pass membership directly. There are various membership options with different combinations of membership fee and ‘per visit’ fees – but, oddly, you cannot buy a card with the same features as the Amex Plat version, ie cardholder plus a free guest.

Heathrow No 1 Traveller lounge

There have been quite a few changes over the past 18 months in what lounges are available so I thought it was worth updating this article today.

The Lounge Club network (Amex Gold) currently comprises:

If you have a Priority Pass card, you get access to the following additional lounges:

This is the full UK LoungeKey list (we think!):

Lounge Club has the least lounge coverage – potentially because the card pays less to the lounges? – whereas Priority Pass and LoungeKey have almost identical lists.  This is not hugely surprising because the same company, Collinson Latitude, runs all three programmes.

Overall all of the three cards offer impressive coverage and if you have no airline status and fly from the airports above on a regular basis you should look at ways of adding a lounge access card to your wallet.

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Comments

  1. + Dragonpass – big in Asia (and with Barclays account holders). Roughly the Priority Pass list in UK/ROI.

    Access included in Barclays Travel Pack, alongside insurance recently enhanced to include cover for terrorist incidents (a thoughtful if depressing add-on).

    • the real harry1 says:

      £15.50/ month, minimum 6 months – this can work nicely for families as up to 6 DP lounge passes can be redeemed in one visit.

      The Travel Pack also includes RAC roadside vehicle insurance, worth a few bob. Plus the personal insurance covers under 80s (many insurance policies stop at 70).

  2. It’s worth noting that with the small business variant of the Platinum card, only the cardholder gets in to Priority Pass lounges at no cost. Any guests must pay £15 per visit.

    That one caught me out when I switched from personal to small business cards a couple of years ago.

  3. All the Plaza Premium lounges appear to be missing from your Priority Pass list?

  4. LHR T4

    Which lounge should I visit. Have PP via Amex platinum.

    Plaza premium or Sky team lounge?

    • Yes, I would like to know the same please.

      • PP is classier, SkyTeam is h-u-g-e (and still very good).

        If you’ve got kids SkyTeam gives them more space to cause chaos in a quiet corner. If you’re on a romantic weekend away PP sets the mood better.

  5. How does it work with the lounge club card which I have with my Amex gold at LGW grain store? I’ve used my two free passes and now pay £15/person if I think it’s worth it. So I can i use my card, be charged £15/person but then get £15/person deducted from the bill?

    • Genghis says:

      So obviously not worth it for LC after first two. Good for PP where have unlimited use

      • the real harry1 says:

        I don’t think LC ever worked at the Grain Store, did it?

        and of course even if it did, Nick would not get £15 off once he’d used up the 2 free passes

        • That was my point. In the article above it states that with LC the LGW grain store is included. I’m not sure though after your first two free passes how the £15 refund works though

        • Genghis says:

          Assuming it is accepted, I guess it would work as follows:
          You have consumed £20 worth of stuff. You hand over your lounge club card. £15 gets charged to lounge club card and subsequently to Amex Gold. £15 gets taken off the Grain Store bill, so you pay £5.
          In other words, a waste of time…

  6. Useful article. This should be in the Lounge section on the Favourite articles page.

  7. The key question for 2017 of course is whether the new Plaza Premium airside lounge in T5 will be Lounge Club or just Priority Pass.

    • Nick M says:

      Are there any updates as to likely dates for this?

      • Construction is underway as per the pics I posted a couple of weeks ago. If you walk to the North end of the departures level you will see the work – it is in the identical position to the Aspire lounge on the other end.

  8. What happens to your PP if you take out the Platinum card cancel it after a few months?

    • *and cancel it

      • It is cancelled about 5 minutes after you cancel your Platinum card. PP cards do not work unless they have a valid payment card linked to them for the payment of additional guest fees, so it dies automatically.

  9. Users beware, No.1 lounge e.g. in Edinburgh often does not permit entry even when seats are available, this is because they have a contractual agreement to reserve an area for departing (and arriving) Qatar J passengers.

    • You can pay £5 per person to guarantee PP entry to No.1 EDI at present that gives fast track security which would be £4.49 standalone.

      Don’t think you can pre-reserve Aspire but never had an issue getting in there, even when flying BA we often pop in for a hot breakfast before moving next door.

    • Interesting, used both No 1 EDI and Aspire and never had an issue with entry at either of them (apart from their slow computer systems and multiple scans of cards/BPs!)

  10. Wally1976 says:

    I think it should be noted that the lounges in the lists are just those available in the UK and there are many more at foreign airports. I think for a new reader it may read that the passes are only valid in the UK.

  11. George M says:

    Loungekey website stating that Northern Lights Lounge in Aberdeen available t holders, rather than the dire Servisair lounge 🙂

  12. Mark Priest says:

    So No 1 or Aspire from T3 for an 11:30 flight with a 4 year old?

    • the real harry1 says:

      both very good – both reviewed here

      neither self-pour

      • the real harry1 says:

        No1 has a big screen TV acting as a cinema for kids, ie cartoons or animal films on continual loop – in a separate room

  13. Just been turned away from the Menzies Business lounge in Stockholm Arlanda T5 with Lounge club! Apparently they stopped taking it 6 months ago but even Lounge club hq have no idea (by phone) and still on the website. Very frustrating as made it extra early to make full use of it. Instead 2 portions of chips for £10!!

  14. Hi. Does anyone know if the Lounge Club card allow use of security fast track at LGW for holder and family? Thanks.