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Bits: BA Gatwick lounge closes in January, Virgin removes infant seats, new Amex cashback deals

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News in brief:

British Airways Gatwick lounge to close in January

British Airways confirmed yesterday that its lounge at Gatwick will close in January.  This is to enable work to begin on a new lounge pavilion in time for the consolidation of easyJet flights in Gatwick North next November.

At that time, British Airways will move to Gatwick South and into a new lounge complex.  It is believed that this will feature the new ‘Concorde Bar’ concept for ticketed First Class passengers instead of a Galleries First lounge for Gold card holders.

Between January and November, British Airways will not have a lounge at Gatwick.  Customers will be invited to use the No 1 Traveller lounge instead.  Whilst currently full to capacity on most days – to the extent that Priority Pass customers are often turned away – work being done at present is intended to lead to additional space.

There are still various questions to be answered.  Will the No 1 Traveller cap of three hours per visit remain?  Will BA guests be able to have premium drinks and food for free, unlike standard No 1 Traveller clients?  Will BA passengers have a dedicated room in the lounge?  We will find out in January.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick North

Virgin Atlantic to stop carrying car seats for infants

Virgin Atlantic announced yesterday that it will not carry infant car seats onboard from December 1st.

If you have booked a seat for an infant under 2, you will need to bring your own car seat.  If you do not bring one, the infant will still be allowed to use the seat booked for it but not during take off, landing and turbulence.

Upper Class customers have never been able to use a car seat for an infant because of the air bags contained in the seats and this policy will continue.

To accompany this story, here is a photo of me at work on a Virgin Atlantic check in desk, for reasons that will become clearer later in the week …..

File 21-09-2015 21 56 16

New American Express statement offers

Finally, three new American Express statement cashback offers have been launched.  Some, all or none of these will be available for registration under the ‘Offers’ tab of your online statement.

South African Airways – spend £500, get £100 (valid to March 21st)

House of Fraser – spend £70, get £10 (valid to November 1st)

Fat Face – spend £50, get £10 (expires, at a guess, on November 1st)

None of these are yet available for general registration on the website.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

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 Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (42)

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

  • Nick M says:

    We’re hoping to go into the No1 at Gatwick South on Fri 2-5pm (2 adults & a 1yr old)… does anyone know how busy it is likely to be?

    We have passes with Lounge Club (amex gold) & Airport Angels (thanks for the link cheeky chappy) – do they give preference to any particular scheme or do they just turn away once at capacity?

    Would it be worthwhile paying to secure entry? And is this possible with either of these schemes?

    • Rob says:

      There is a page on the No 1 website where Lounge Club etc can pay £5 to guarantee entry. This also gets you fast track security access.

  • Dom says:

    I recently got a £50 off £250 at hilton discount too.

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    Seems a bizarre decision to close the lounges for 11 months!

  • Andy says:

    Will no 1 be able to cope with all the additional passengers? Remember that no 1 are selling lounge passes on for £20 with fast track security and gaurenteed entry and earn 750 avios for £20 each.

    • PE says:

      Sounds pretty good. Do you know where to find the deal? Just had a look and only find lounges to book via phone – is it that? Thanks!

    • BlackberryAddict says:

      Gives you an idea of the value of lounge entry…£5 for the fast track, 1p per avios means £7.50, so £7,50 left for the lounge….

    • Nick says:

      No 1 can’t cope at the moment – it’s going to struggle when the BA visitors are added. The £5 in advance thing might be necessary. I’ve been turned away from it 3 times already. It’s the only lounge that has ever denied me entry.

      • The_Real_A says:

        I think this will virtually render the No1 lounge off limits for Priority Pass holders.

        Does anyone know what the other PP lounges are like?

      • Miss J says:

        Never been turned away with various cards; was in there last week with no issues. Maybe I’m there at non-peak times?

        • Nick says:

          Maybe. I doubt the card has any bearing on entry – I doubt they prioritise PP over, say, Airport Angels. I’m not even sure how they could prioritise BA passengers, unless they waive the £5 booking fee.

          Being turned away is not the end of the world: lounges are nice, but it’s not that important to me. I went and had a crap meal at Jamie’s Italian instead, and watched a giant, aggressive drunk be arrested by 6 policemen. Also if I’m flying from Gatwick, it’s probably short haul so I don’t want to be in the airport for hours anyway. The one long-haul flight I took from there was BA First to St Lucia, so I had access to the laughably sad and pathetic First lounge (which is not a patch on, say, a Plaza Premium lounge but probably just about preferable to No1 simply for the champagne).

          • cheekychappie says:

            I’ve been turned away before – even though the lounge was half empty – not that I was scruffy or anything 🙂 – but because they were expecting passengers in transit from one of their partner airlines to turn up.

          • Rob says:

            Apparently this is a problem for them because they are obliged to make space available for partner airline passengers but they often don’t bother turning up.

            One issue with Clubrooms, moving on slightly, is what they will do when flights are delayed because the room is likely to be booked by another airline or group immediately after the scheduled departure time of the first group. Once the new No 1 Lounge is open they can be discreetly funnelled in there via a back door.

  • Simmo says:

    I’m more intrigued with the Virgin Atlantic teaser! – It seems that they are easily forgotten.

    I’m now up to 200,000 Virgin Miles and never flown with them!

    • James67 says:

      What VA teaser is that? I remain undecided whether to use my virgin miles for spire or save them for HKG late next year but I expect devaluation or the chop for HKG could happen first so spire tops at moment.

      • Rob says:

        Nothing important – just a bit of fun I was at yesterday in an attempt to forget the stress of moving house last week!

        • James67 says:

          Oh ok. Hope the move both goes well and works out for you all. A bit surprised though given you had builders in a few weeks back.

          • Rob says:

            The buiding project was emergency work, unfortunately, even though we were moving.

            I should be able to work from home more going forward as we gain a bedroom!

  • Gulz says:

    I didn’t know that Virgin carried car seats in the flight! We’re travelling to Delhi in Nov with our 9 month old (he weighs 11kg already), so the Virgin call centre suggested that we buy a seat for him since he’s too heavy for a skycot, and asked us to bring our own car seat… no mention of them supplying a car seat… duh!

  • Chang says:

    I also see a £150 back on a £500 spent at Net-a-Porter on my Amex Offers – might be a good option to buy gift cards!

    • Steve says:

      What would you do with the gift cards if it works, sell them?

      • Chang says:

        Potentially – with Christmas coming up, Gift Cards might have a market. Though for Net-A-Porter ones I am not so sure, so a bit hesitant to act on this for the time being.

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

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