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London City Airport finally opens a lounge …. and charges £180 per person

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….. although children under 2 are free.

London City Airport has revamped the lounge in the Jet Centre, used for private aircraft, and is now making it available for use by the general public.

The lounge itself will not be giving Frankfurt’s First Class Terminal any major worries as you can see from the photographs here.  Following a refurbishment it can now seat 18 passengers.

London City Airport Executive Lounge

The key part of the service is not the lounge itself but the service around it.  The Jet Centre has its own passport control and security channels, and you will be driven directly to your aircraft when it is time to depart.  If you are travelling with luggage, it will be checked in on your behalf.

London City Airport Executive Lounge 2

The service can also be booked in reverse, with passengers collected directly from an aircraft and driven to the Jet Centre for immigration and customs formalities.  Slightly bizarrely, they offer to then drive you to the car park (no valet service here) or drop you at the DLR station.  You can also arrange for a taxi or Uber to pick you up at the Jet Centre which they describe as “carrying on the VIP experience”.

To be honest, whoever wrote the text on the website clearly has no insight into the mind of the potential users of this facility.  I’m not sure lines like this:

Light refreshments, catering, hot and cold drinks are all available from our First Class Lounge. However, if there is a special request to enhance your experience, remember you’re a VIP, don’t hesitate to ask.

…. inspire much confidence either!  Business Traveller implied in an article yesterday that they do not even offer hot food at the moment.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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 Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (24)

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

  • harry says:

    O/T vehicle tax

    Just paid mine & noticed Amex is now an option (I think that’s new?)

    £2.50 fee – not worth it for me as it’s a miniscule £20 (fuel efficient diesel)

    But if you have a Chelsea tractor, might be cheap points

  • Alex W says:

    Uncanny – literally just paid mine too! I used Curve, tried to chance it as a debit card, but no joy. Although at £185 it was worth the extra 2.50 to use a credit card for 281 Avios… plus whatever Curve rewards are if they ever sort that out! I wonder if they will give the Curve rewards retrospectively.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Confirmed on Twitter the rewards aren’t retrospective which is why I’ll only be using it when absolutely necessary online

      And paid my vehicle tax with AMEX on Monday forgot to mention. Seems the fee cap has Atleast meant more of the big places/organisations are accepting AMEX

      • Alex W says:

        Even so, my Curve is the default card to use in restaurants etc to avoid the awkward “do you take Amex” question!

      • Alan says:

        Wow I hadn’t realised they weren’t even awarding Curve rewards points yet – quite glad for now mine’s on hold due to lack of Android app. Definitely won’t be going for the Black version either!

      • harry says:

        I guess most councils will soon allow payment by Amex on similar terms to MC/ Visa.

    • KMN says:

      Am I the only person who still hasn’t gotten my curve? Ordered on the 22 of feb (black). :/

      • Simmo says:

        Received mine after chasing curve via email – seemed that the card I added to the app last month somehow disappeared and they could charge me the £35 for the card… (no idea how, as i did add it!).

        However no issues with Curve so far…. 10 transactions, mix of Contactless and PIN.

  • New Lounges and New United Service Lets You Give Gifts to Passengers - View from the Wing says:

    […] London City airport now has a lounge. It’s pay-in for £180 per person, but includes tarmac transfer. […]

  • First Class Lounge, London City Airport - Review - Miles from Blighty says:

    […] Head for Points wrote a fairly hostile piece on the lounge, whilst asking for a free visit. I tend to agree that the price point is too high. Although I suppose Chief Exec’s not wishing to mix with the average traveller in what is a massively overcrowded lounge at peak times, will stump up the cash. You have to be sure that your airline participates but if you are going on a special trip, it is a unique way to start your journey. The highlights were the staff and the peaceful environment. I got on my flight unstressed and relaxed after a hard week. […]

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

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