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British Airways now using the No 1 Traveller lounge at Gatwick North – feedback?

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(EDIT:  BA has confirmed that the terminal switch is delayed with a new target date of 25th January 2017)

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.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick bar 1

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.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick North

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.

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Comments (119)

  • Richard Ford says:

    I was there Friday morning early – about 7am.
    The lounge was nearing capacity and a bit of a circus – tables/seats were available but you had to look hard.
    Food offering (breakfast buffet) was limited but decent but small queues for everything (coffee machine etc – the bar situation looked more difficult). I didn’t take any ordered food.
    I was on a European flight and the experience was functional but I can see if I had been there any length of time and on a long haul/first ticket I would have been pretty disappointed as not a very relaxing experience. Hope this is helpful.

  • Joe Chapman says:

    I was in there on Friday night, it was busy but not at capacity. Biggest problem was the bar – one barman + lots of people = a long wait. There were also a number of people who seemed to think queuing was beneath them (though that’s not the fault of the lounge of course).

    Buffet food was very good, but the hot food to order was poor – had the fish finger sandwich, which was tiny and lukewarm.

    Overall it’s not too bad, but not up to what you would expect from a major airline at one of its home hubs

  • shd says:

    The sky would fall if BA stopped providing their elites with free Champagne

  • Paul says:

    The old Galleries were horrible. The kids area (if you want to call it that – a lone broken computer with no chairs ) was disgusting.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Agreed. Was last there a couple of years ago and my daughter left after less than a minute, since there was so little to do.

  • David W says:

    We spent a couple of hours there late morning on a Friday at the beginning of January. It was very busy on arrival, but no real queues for anything or long waits at the bar.

    Ordered the stew/hotpot thing and the fish finger sandwich, and had to send the stew back as it was stone cold. Asked them to replace with a fish finger sandwich, which they did, quickly, and it was piping hot. No bells and whistles though, it’s a bun with a couple of fish fingers – exactly what it says on the tin…

    The lounge quickly quietened down, remaining busy in the bar area. Self service buffet provided plenty of snacks and soft drinks, and these were pretty good overall.

  • Paul says:

    Your hotlink for the Priority Pass £5 guaranteed reservation site doesn’t seem to be working (?).

  • GaryC says:

    I was there a couple of weeks ago for an early afternoon flight to Naples. The lounge was busy but not heaving, though horribly hot and stuffy. Food for the menu arrived lukewarm and the portion was tiny. Buffet cakes were decent though. Bar staff friendly, but having to queue for a tiny (1/3 pint?) glass of beer was frustrating. Overall not impressed, and would take the old BA lounges in preference. Fortunately most of my flying is out of LHR.

  • Bernard Peller says:

    Have been in the lounge twice in the last 12 days, not impressed at all, from having to check in at a BA desk to then have to hand a entry voucher in less the 50ft away to a No1 lounge agent. The lounge was very full with a shortage of seating, had to look around to see people standing up ade putting in a jacket and make quick move to get the table.

    The food menu is very poor in my opinion & been in an executive lounge and seeing a menu tell you that you can have 1 item without charge then £4 each if you want another just does not give the right impression in my opinion. Agree with other comments about the bar being very under staffed for the size of the lounge. Not a huge champagne drinker but do think either a glass or at a minimum the Prosesco should be free if they are serving complimentary spirits.
    I am not a fan of Gatwick & would not arrive early to use this lounge.

    • Kathryn says:

      Have to pretty much second everything in this review!

      I hadn’t noticed that the lounge had changed in advance on MMB, although note there is a notice on my next booking for a week’s time, so there might have been.

      My other minus point for this lounge is the lack of charging points. The old lounge was crap, but give me a crap surround where I can pour my own bloody Mary any day 😉

      • Jim says:

        Hi Kathryn

        OT – did you receive an further feedback from BA on the Marrakech delay re the time discrepancy.

        I finally received a reply late last week with the same response as you, arrival at 23:43. Although from my internet research this is apparently the time the parking brake is applied not the time the doors are opened.

        • harry says:

          There was a court ruling last year that it is door opening time that counts, I did send you a link to newspaper article last time

          • Jim says:

            Yes I am aware it is the time doors open Harry. BA don’t though apparently and appear to be using the time the parking brake is applied. How we prove this though I have no idea.