In early January, the British Airways lounge complex at Gatwick closed. This is part of the preparation for the terminal switch which is due to take place in November, with easyJet moving everything to the North terminal and BA moving to Gatwick South.
My thoughts on the Gatwick North lounges have been published here. I found the British Airways lounges to be pretty awful (see my comments here) and the No 1 Traveller lounge (review) and its sister My Lounge (review) facilities to be pretty good.
When it was announced that BA would be ‘moving in’ with No 1 Traveller for 11 months, I thought it would be an improvement!
The feedback so far on Flyertalk has been mixed, to put it mildly. I am a little surprised by this. It seems to come down to the following:
At peak times, the No 1 lounge is now overcrowded. There are some reports of long waits for food (although, to be honest, not so many that it seems to be a major problem).
British Airways has decided not to issue vouchers for free champagne to First Class and Gold Card ticket holders who would otherwise have been able to get it in the old Galleries First lounge. No 1 charges £8 per glass. This is a fair point, although I was surprised that missing champagne had inflamed so many people.
I get a feeling that some of the bad feedback is from people who had never visited the old BA lounge and so were unaware of what was on offer before. Last time I checked, the BA Gatwick lounge did not have a table football table, for example, unlike No 1. The No 1 lounge buffet is also substantially better than anything BA offered.
What we can say is that I wouldn’t bother turning up at the No 1 lounge at peak times clutching your Priority Pass card, as your chance of getting in is low. You can pay £5 in advance to guarantee entrance with a Priority Pass via this website.
Whilst this has not been announced, it seems that BA and No 1 may be taking over the old Delta lounge which is two floors beneath the No 1 lounge, next to the Aspire lounge. This may be run as a separate facility for BA Gold and First Class ticket holders, although they will struggle to get it up to much of a standard in the time available.
There are also rumours that the move to the South Terminal will be delayed until next Spring, which may account for the Delta lounge conversion.
If you have been in the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick as a BA passenger in the last 2-3 weeks – and I haven’t – do let us know your thoughts via the comments below.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply 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.