Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New York Stories #1 – The outdoor terrace at Hamburg’s Senator lounge

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I am in New York this week.  However, as the trip is very similar to the one I wrote up in detail last Spring, I don’t intend to write too much about it.  I am planning instead to run a series of posts highlighting things of interest.

We start in the Senator lounge at Hamburg Airport.  The Lufthansa lounge system is similar to BA – you have a lounge for passengers travelling on business class tickets (the ‘Business Lounge’) and then you have a separate  lounge for First Class passengers and Star Alliance Gold card holders (the ‘Senator Lounge’).

Except, of course, Lufthansa has no long-haul flights out of Hamburg and so there are no First Class passengers.

You have the slightly odd situation whereby someone holding a business class ticket gets sent off to the lower quality lounge.  Someone like me, holding a Turkish Airlines Gold card which he received as a status match from his British Airways Gold card, gets to go in the smarter bit.

My memory may be playing tricks on me, but this lounge seems to have improved.  British Airways could take a leaf out of their book for the Gatwick lounges. 

There was only one hot food option but it was a decent chicken tikka masala.  There was a decent selection of cold options and a trolley with some individually prepared deserts.  There was a decent drinks selection but no champagne – as is normal for Germany.  They did have a decent sparkling rose and sparkling white though.

The real high point, though, is the outdoor terrace:


I have never been on an outdoor lounge terrace overlooking the airport apron before.  It is impressive.  You can sit at a table with your drink and watch the planes come and go.  Amusingly, newspapers and napkins are banned from the terrace in case they get blown away and interfere with the aircraft.

Tomorrow I will take a look at the Lufthansa short-haul business class product which – in terms of seat pitch and seat layout – is a precursor to what British Airways is bringing in.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (13)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • sandgrounder says:

    Looks a bit more interesting than the Calpe Lounge terrace at GIB- great view of the rock, but not much in the way of aircraft!

  • James Ward says:

    AMS has a huge terrace. So big, in fact, that there’s room for an old Fokker 100 that’s been converted to a mini museum. Amusingly Leeds is represented by a picture of Leeds Castle – which is in Kent!

    • Frenske says:

      It took me a couple of years to figure out that too. Granted I was livining in Scotland in the first five years in the UK, too far to considering visiting either Leeds.

      • Frenske says:

        By the way last time Schiphol terrrace was closed for renovations.

        • Rob says:

          I am currently in the Senator lounge on Pier A in Frankfurt. No terrace here!

        • Edd M says:

          I was there on the Terrace last Sunday, it’s very popular, plane spotting is clearly a big deal in AMS!

          Will go back up to check out that Leeds Castle error though… (to be fair to them it’s a pretty common tourist confusion…!)

  • DV says:

    Basel also has a very pleasant outdoor terrace overlooking the runway.

  • MDM says:

    The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse has a small outside terrace next to the Grey Goose Bar, but the views across the airport are not as impressive as the views in the photos above.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah but it was made up like a small tennis court last week for Wimbledon. Astoturf “court” complete with nets. No sign of the racquets and balls though

  • Jordan D says:

    There is an outdoor terrace in the Pier E lounge at Zurich – which when take-offs are happening provides an excellent view of the A380 lumbering into the air.

    • Chris Sutter says:

      Indeed, I really love that terrace!

      When flying BA, you can use the E lounge even if your flight leaves from D (as most seem to do these days, I don’t mind as it saves me the train ride). The oneworld lounge in D is better than the previous dnata lounge, but miserably dark.

  • squills says:

    Well I’ve lost the bit where we discussed Halifax Clarity vs Amex value when using the card abroad.

    Amex really isn’t that bad in my situation. New Gold Card, first year so I get 2 Avios per £1 spent abroad. = 2% if we call 1 avios = 1p. Already not too far from the 3% fee.

    But I also need to rinse through the opening spend to get the 20,000 bonus.

    The currency rates are close enough not to matter and we usually pre-fix a couple of K each year into the foreign bank at a fortuitous time in the cycle, so don’t rely on the cards alone.

    I’ll keep on using it this summer then think about Clarity after that.

  • helloyoufool says:

    The small food court in Terminal 1 (check-in side) at Hamburg also has a balcony that can be used by the general public.

    It’s right next to the McDonald’s and makes a nice sun trap & nice to watch the planes manoeuvre. It was worth leaving air-side to head out there when my Easyjet flight was delayed.

    They was no restriction on napkins & papers on there but might be a little further away from the tarmac than the lounge provides.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.