The No 1 Traveller ‘pay as you go’ lounge at London Stansted is to close for good on Christmas Eve.
This is not a great loss, to be honest. Because it was situated on one of the piers, it was only accessible to some passengers, not all, depending on which gate your flight was allocated. The round trip if your flight went from a different pier was quite a trot.
Whilst I never visited myself, general feedback was that it never managed to reach the very high standards of the No 1 Traveller lounges at Gatwick. You may remember my review of the Gatwick North lounge earlier in the year which is substantially better in every respect than the British Airways lounge upstairs.
The good news is that an ‘Escape’ lounge is due to open in the main terminal in February. Some of the No 1 Traveller staff have been offered jobs in the new facility.
‘Escape’ is the lounge brand owned by Manchester Airport. The new ‘Escape’ lounge at East Midlands Airport (also owned by Manchester Airport, as is Stansted) looks very impressive as I wrote a couple a months ago. I have also enjoyed my two visits to the ‘Escape’ lounge in Manchester Terminal 3 used by Virgin Little Red.
In the long run, this will be a positive development if the new ‘Escape’ facility maintains the brand standards – especially as its position in the main terminal will make it easy for everyone to access.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge 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.
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 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.