Did BA agree to pay £1m every year to build a door in T5? – and why they are paying for another
Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.
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 (April 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
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 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.