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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.

  • Pol says:

    Does this mean the Virgin Gatwick lounge will also close?

  • Rob says:

    I have been with No 1 Traveller at Gatwick today (typing this at Costa in Gatwick South waiting for GEx!) so all your questions will be answered very soon!

  • Crystal says:

    I received a letter in the post from American Express offering a £20 Selfridges gift card if I spend £150 in store. The letter comes with the gift card but it can only be activated with proof of purchase. Does anyone know whether this is £150 spend on one purchase or in aggregate?

    • Rob says:

      If you activate it at the customer services desk by showing them receipts, I imagine cumulative is OK.

  • Waribai says:

    I see there are 500 points on offer for adding a MasterCard to your IHG profile!

    • Liz says:

      Where did you see the IHG offer?

      • Waribai says:

        Reserve rooms in an instant—and get more bonus points when you designate your MasterCard to your traveler profile.* You’ll be able to book rooms with fewer clicks & never search for your card again.

        You’ll be rewarded with 500 bonus points when you add your MasterCard by October 31, 2015.*

  • Daniel says:

    So just to check, BA’s lounge closes towards the start of the year, but doesn’t move to the south until towards the end of the year? So in this interim period, using the Clubrooms isn’t an option, as they’re in the South…?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. You will be in No 1 in Gatwick North between January and November. Apparently it is not yet clear whether BA guests will go in a separate area and whether they will get totally free food and drink or, like No 1 guests, have to pay for some items. It is also not clear if the three hour time limit will be applied.

  • PJK says:

    I am confused and a little frustrated by this (catching up on a news backlog sadly) – we are finally making use of some of the many Avios & the 2 x 2-4-1 BA AmEx vouchers which we’ve earned thanks to HfP (Thanks Raffles!) by taking all 7 of us to the Caribbean in Feb!

    4 of us are travelling Club World and 3 are WT+ with Priority Passes, hoping to get lounge access, but it sounds as though lounges will be a bun-fight at best and no-go area at worst in Gatwick North by Feb, whether you are entitled via BA or hoping for entry with a lounge access card.

    Any advice or will it simply be a case of wait & see?!

    I’ve read the reviews here of the My Lounge, anyone have experience of the Aspire Lounge at LGW N? I find that one better than Escape in Manchester …

    Thanks for any advice,

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

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