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Impressive new ‘Escape’ lounge at East Midlands Airport opens

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I have been impressed by the ‘Escape’ lounge at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 3 on the two occasions that I have used it.  I was pleased to hear that a new ‘Escape’ lounge has opened at East Midlands Airport, which is also owned by Manchester Airports Group.

You can book your entry in advance, to guarantee admission, on the airport website here.

The new East Midlands facility is four times the size of the existing lounge.   Here are a few pictures provided by their press office:

Escape Lounge East Midlands 2

and

Escape Lounge East Midlands 1

and

Escape Lounge East Midlands 3

You can pay for access to the lounge at £22.50 per person (£3.50 discount for online booking, discounts for children under 12).  This is a pretty chunky fee, especially as most passengers will be flying budget airlines on cheap tickets to Europe, so I would expect a decent amount of food and drink for the money.

The good news is that you can access the lounge for free.  It is part of Lounge Club so you will receive two free passes if you apply for an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card (full review here).  It is also part of Priority Pass.  You receive two free Priority Pass cards – each admitting two people, so four people are covered – with the American Express Platinum card.  My full review of that card is here.

For a one-off visit, you can pay for admission via the airport website here.  This guarantees that you won’t be refused admission due to overcrowding.

Next week I will take a comprehensive look at the UK lounge coverage offered by Lounge Club and Priority Pass.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients 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 £20 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.

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

Comments (14)

  • Henry C says:

    Looks ok but nothing special. I’m never a fan of garish colours – makes it look more like a hostel rather than a lounge, a bit like the Cézanne lounge at Marseille. Mind you, ‘escape’ is a good name given it’s in East Midlands airport 😉

  • Jason says:

    Do the priority passes, you receive with platinum Amex, still work if you have cancelled the Amex card?

    • Polly says:

      No, the free entry part is cancelled by amex once you cancel your card. But they can be slow to cancel it, so you could still try your luck, and risk being charged at a later date. But, later on you can still enter and pay. It reduces down to the basic entry pay per visit card, I think , correct me if I am wrong, Rob.

      • Rob says:

        Not sure Polly, to be honest.

      • Barry says:

        No, when Amex Platinum is cancelled, Priority Pass goes away fully.(no paid access, or at least I wasn’t offered that when I tried to use it).

        And I may be wrong, but before I cancelled my Amex Platinum I thought the Priority Pass entry had gone down to 1 person per card, but I can’t be sure now.

  • Tod says:

    I was in there at EMA recently. Good standard for a non-airline lounge. Plenty of seats and there are some free hot snacks to order. However I don’t like the huge two-way window along one side into the crowded terminal. Feels a bit odd reclining in an empty lounge with dozens of people standing looking straight at you.

    • Chino says:

      Tod… that reminds me of the lounge in Phuket… I was getting my free massage and all the arriving passengers on the Air Berlin flight that i was about to take were just walking past watching me..

  • Chris says:

    East Midlands shed is one of the few things that can make me choose to fly from Birmingham.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Ahead of your guide next week, I visited no1 Gatwick North earlier this week and was very impressed. Not up to the same level as Galleries, but definitely close enough to mean that lounge isn’t a differentiator when picking BA CE vs ET or EZY.

  • sandgrounder says:

    I’m about to fly WIC-EDI-MAN and I was looking forward to trying out the No. 1 lounge. However I have forgotten my PP card! Nooooooooo! 🙂

  • signol says:

    Any chance you could include Airport Angel lounges in your round up next week Raffles please? 😉

    • Rob says:

      I haven’t (it is already written) but I will look at the lists and may add a paragraph in. Technically on holiday now though! (typing this in Heathrow).

  • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    Do they still charge cars a couple of quid to drop off passengers at the terminal?

    As someone whose family is from Notts/Leics/Derby, I used to think kindly of EMA, wondering what it would be like if it ever developed. Our school “aviation society” get trips around British Midland maintenance courtesy of Captain Griffiths, but it was still a quiet backwater with the occasional charter flight.

    Then 4 years ago I flew on bmi baby to Malta….the first time out of donny for 20 years…..boy had it changed. The Ryanairisation of every service at the airport was shocking. I guess they need the cash to pay for their enormous control tower.

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