The oft-repeated story of ‘the £1m per year door’ at Terminal 5 may or may not be an urban myth.
The door in question is the one on your right-hand side when you pass through South Security (the far end, by the First Class area) at Heathrow Terminal 5. It allows First Class passenger to walk directly into The Concorde Room lounge.
Without this door, First Class passengers have to turn left, walk past the shops, go down the escalator, walk past another run of shops, go back up an escalator (so you end up a few feet from where you started) and enter the lounge. This is what all other lounge users have to do.
Heathrow Airport loves its shops which First Class passengers would no longer be walking past them. The story goes that BA pays the airport £1m per year in compensation for the lost retail revenue – although I should stress that the Heathrow Press Office denies this completely and there is no written proof of it.
Now, a new access route is to be added which will take you directly into Galleries First, the Gold Card lounge. This will involve a new security channel being built behind the First Class check-in area which will lead into Galleries First roughly where the business centre is currently based.
The new channel will only be for the benefit of Gold Card holders and oneworld equivalents. It is not clear if First Class passengers will also use it and then be funnelled into The Concorde Room by a new route. (People who remember the days of Terminal 1 may remember ‘Zone R’ which was a little used private security area for premium passengers.)
At a private lunch last week for Gold Guest List cardholders, a senior BA staff member (there was one director level person per table) was telling guests how much the airport has agreed to pay Heathrow Airport per year in compensation to offset lost shopping revenue. I know the number but there is no proof of it, and the BA staffer involved would not have wanted it repeated (and may have been guessing himself) I will not repeat it. If true it represents a major investment in premium passengers and may – depending on how fast the security line moves – be a genuine reason to strive to keep hold of a BA Gold card.
There will be more British Airways news tomorrow, as a Head for Points reader was kind enough to send me all of the gossip from the exclusive Gold Guest List members lunch last week.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses.
There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 30,000 Avios.
30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)