How to use Avios points for airport lounge access

Until the Avios website had its last revamp, it was a big secret that you could use Avios points for access to 400 airport lounges, including those in the UK run by No 1 Lounges and Aspire.

It is now featured on the, albeit tucked away under ‘How to Spend / At The Airport’.  The page is here.

Avios claims that you can order passes for lounges at 25 UK airports, which must cover pretty much every third party lounge in the country.  Whilst this is not mentioned on their website, Avios partners with Lounge Pass to provide this benefit.  Any lounge featured on the Lounge Pass website (click here) should be bookable on points.

Pricing is a bit vague.  The website says:

UK lounges from 3,250 Avios
International lounges from 3,750 Avios

We got on the phone and asked about the No 1 Lounge facility in Gatwick South.  We have reviewed this twice (by Rob here and by Anika here) and it is impressive.  It is the only independent lounge option at Gatwick South, which is the terminal now used by British Airways.

We were quoted 4,650 Avios per adult for the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick South.

Heathrow No 1 Traveller lounge

The headline price at Gatwick South if you paid cash is £30 per adult.  This is not a terrible use of Avios points at 4,650 per person.  You are getting 0.65p per point.

However, for No 1, there is also this very generous offer currently running for the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick where you can earn 1,000 Avios and get entry for just £25.   This is far better value than spending 4,650 Avios to get in.

You can also enter the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick South using the two Lounge Club passes that come with the free (in Year 1) Amex Gold card.  No 1 Lounge at Gatwick South is one of the best uses of the Amex Gold / Lounge Club passes, alongside our other UK favourites – Club Aspire in Heathrow Terminal 3, No 1 Lounge in Gatwick North and Plaza Premium in Heathrow Terminal 2 and Terminal 4.

That said, if Avios is using the same 0.65p valuation for all of its lounges, this service may be worth it when where is no special deal for cash running.  I would give it a miss for No 1, however, as long as you can earn Avios and get a discount for paying cash.

Of course, if you are flying short haul, you may prefer to use your Avios points towards booking your redemption flight in Club Europe and getting BA lounge access thrown in!  This is especially true on shorter flights.

It is a bit crazy to pay 4,650 Avios for a lounge pass if you could swap your 4,500 one-way economy Avios flight to Amsterdam to a 9,000 Avios Club Europe flight instead.  You’d get BA lounge access plus fast track security plus priority boarding plus an empty middle seat plus free food and drink ….

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  1. Flew out of LHR T5 yesterday, my usual departure terminal. Priority Pass gives access to the T5 Aspire lounge, but whenever I try there’s a 45 min waiting list, so so far I’ve never made it in.
    Would be very grateful if anyone had any other suggestions/recommendations?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Both No1 and Aspire took a look at my Priory Pass yesterday and said come back in 90 minutes. Definitely second class Priority here.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Both No1 and Aspire took a look at my Priority Pass yesterday and said come back in 90 minutes. Definitely second class Priority here.

    • New Plaza Premium T5 lounge opens very soon and will solve all problems as it adds 175 seats.

      • We are sitting in the Aspire lounge at T5 now – got in no problems an hour ago. Also no queues at check in or security! We flew back from Washington overnight. We couldn’t use our Priorty Pass in the BA lounge or the Air France-KLM lounge at Dulles as there were time restrictions. Managed to get in to the only other lounge – the Turkish Lounge after a 15 min wait and it was very nice – had a nice food selection.

      • Sadly not soon enough for my T5 flight to SYD tonight!

  2. OT: looking for family travel insurance for a single worldwide trip. Would nationwide flexplus or amex platinum card be worthwhile. any referrals.

  3. Looking for Lounge access Gatwick South (No 1) in Jan. Is it any advantage to book early or wait nearer the time? Thanks in advance.

  4. I am not a fan of the Nb1 at Gatwick South.

    It is an ok space but I much prefer the self service, last year when BA were at North I would always use the Aspire, the design was dated and could do with some improvements but it had self service and much better plugs (My only real demands for a lounge is a Plug for my laptop, an easily obtainable drink and wi-fi – even a seat is a secondary concern)

    I really hope that Nbr 1 get some competition at Gatwick South soon.

  5. THe dragon pass offers with telegraph and gourmet society still work fine, although priced at £18.
    So £25 you are effectively buying 1,000 avios for £7 and paying £18 entry. Depends on how desperate you are form the avios.

    • 0.7p about on my limit of buying or not. I’m one of those that take the cash from TCB.

    • 0.7p about on my limit. I’m one of those that take the cash from T C B

      • Half that for me, only willing to get on board BA once a year and avios to se Asia are not worth much even with a 241 unless doing First which can be difficult to get. I’m amazed at what sone here pay for avios.

        • Agreed; my limit for ‘buying’ Avios is 0.5p and prefer to get the vast majority for much much less than that.

  6. I went to Luton Aspire lounge last week before my trip to iceland with my partner. It was very busy even at 4:30am, we were lucky that we got in very quickly, but when we went to go out at 6am, the queue was all the way down the stairs back to the main departure lounge to get in, no way would all those people fit in there.

    Not worth the £52 we paid for access in my opinion unless you get a free pass on a card promotion.

  7. Lounge access-related – at EDI, was going to lounge hop, but Aspire Lounge closed to all membership scheme cardholders (Priority Pass, Dragonair, etc) – first time I’ve experienced that! Headed back to No 1 for just now – lounges all definitely getting busier…

    • That’s bad news, I take it you mean it was closed temporarilly because too busy and not permanently? Aspire is my favourite lounge at EDI, especially at breakfast times when I indulge in a few comfort foods I never eat at home.

      • Yep, just temporary block on cardholders. They let me sit and wait and got in after about 15 min – was chatting to them and it’s apparently a near-daily occurrence now. They said they used to laugh when they heard colleagues in London talking about being over-capacity. The staff feel really bad having to turn people away. Suspect the big push when you book parking to add Fast Track security + lounge is having a big impact judging by the number of folk pre-booked.

        • Partly an Edinburgh airport problem too, it is simply too small for the volume of passengers using it. Check in and arrivals with their low ceilings are horendous, reminds me of the old LHR T2. Would prefer to have seen them start afresh with a whole new terminal building than their efforts at upgrading the existing one.

          • Think they just announced they are building a new terminal. One of the problems with the existing terminal is a lot of the arrival gates mean walking through the terminal building and mixing with departing passengers, makes a congested area ever worse.

            I have a real dislike for the security area at EDI after being in some horrendous queues (back to the escalators) and some really patronising security staff. The GLA staff on the other hand are amazingly friendly and courteous.

          • Interesting, always found EDI staff perfectly pleasant, wish I could say the same for LHR. Sadly pax seem to be as bad at both at just walking off leaving their empty trays blocking the system rather than placing them on the return pile 🙁

        • Think the Aspire lounge also takes the premium passengers from Qatar Airways, Turkish etc etc, if that still the case then i can see them not letting in walk ins.

          • Lady London says:

            Another airport that badly seems to need an additional lounge both for capacity and for the offering.

          • Good news on the terminal building. I always found security as Glasgow much easier although like Alan I have not experienced them to be unfriendly at EDI. Probable is the same as most UK airports, not enough security staff, immigration officers, those stupid extra bottlenecks for pics, insufficient lounge space, not enough air bridges and so on.

    • That’s bad news, I take it you mean it was closed temporarilly because too busy and not permanently? Aspire is my favourite lounge at EDI, especially at breakfast times when I indulge in a few comfort foods I never eat at home.%

  8. I visited No.1 Lounge and made use of the deal to get 1,000 avios for booking online. This was back in late August. No points appeared yet – it says 5 working days to appear in Ts&Cs. anyone else had to chase up? Thanks

  9. I tried booking a lounge but my Avios card is registered in South Africa and the lounge bookings only allowed for Avios UK. Anybody want to pick up and mail me a Avios UK card?

  10. I tried booking a lounge in Dulles Washington but my Avios account is registered in South Africa and lounge bookings only allowed for Avios UK. Anybody want to pick up and mail me a Avios UK card?

  11. what you have to actually pick up a phone and talk to someone to spend avios for lounge access ? – much rather spend the £23 it is with the discount on holiday extras …. for an aspire one for example or loungebuddy with the 10$ credit from hfp or other referral…..
    sorry i don’t do talking to people

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