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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.

Further details can be found on the London City website here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

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

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

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.

Comments (24)

  • shd says:

    The Jet Centre seems to be about saving time, not about luxury.

    We went there last year as part of a tour of LCY, we went through it from airside to landside, it seemed spartan in the extreme!

    The staff said typical pax spend about 2 mins there.

  • MilesfromBlighty says:

    I was there yesterday. They are offering a 50% discount for the first two months on the normal price of £180 per person.
    I was the only guest.
    They picked me up from the DLR, drove me to the plane, and generally looked after me for the two hours I was there. It has its own private security, and I was first on the plane.
    My review should be out on Monday.

    PS – No hot food at present.

    • Raffles says:

      Look forward to seeing it. It might be worth a go for £90 less the tax write off 🙂

  • BrianDT says:

    £180, for an airport is can glide through quickly ? No thankyou.

    • Genghis says:

      Have you been through City security at morning ‘rush hour’?

      • Will says:

        I’ve always found it really swift even when busy. No more than 10 mins at security.

        Bristol airport yesterday at 5.40 am – the queue for security when down the stairs all the way past the check in desks, round a self check in booth then looped back on itself all the way to the lifts.

        When I grabbed an airport staff member and told her I was on a 6.30 departure she said I’ll never make it but if I pay £5 I can fast track.

        They should revoke that airports licence to operate – it’s a disgrace from the roads in, cost of parking and complete inability to handle the number of flights it schedules.

        • harry says:

          Bristol Airport has covered its jacksy for some time by recommending allowing 3 hrs before your flight. Once we only just made it onto the plane – arrived with more than 2 hrs to spare – 10 mins later and we’d have been refused boarding. It certainly can be useless.

          • will says:

            I did get a chuckle out of my £5 when the security woman called me forward through the scanner with “come on through my luver” in the broadest Bristolian accent.

            Insult to injury when I showed them my liquids, told them I didnt have a plastic bag for them, they scanned them anyway then put my bag to one side then a member of security staff put the liquids in a bag then rescanned it.

            It would be funny if people were not actually missing flights because of it.

            There’s enough material just at security for a sidesplitting comedy sketch.

  • lucinda says:

    Bizarre given lcy arguably the most efficient airport in the uk anyway – generally takes me just 10 mins from dlr to gate each time

  • James says:

    To be fair it’s hard to get a hot main course in departures for less than £20 so £180 sounds in line with the rest of their pricing!

  • Daz says:

    You can give me £180 and I’ll carry your bags and passport for you! I’ll even give you hot food for that price. I’ll show you the VIP experience (sponsored by Lidl).

    • harry says:

      heh heh!

      £90/ £180 means nothing when your employer is paying

      If it makes you feel special, & the money means nothing much, why not? They don’t have to mix with us rabble & they save a few minutes on security & getting to the plane; better snacks…doesn’t take too much to justify it mentally.

      What a complete waste of money if you’re a mere mortal, though 🙂

  • uk1 says:

    This sounds like it is modelled on the JetQuay service in Singapore. They meet you from the plane in either a Merc or buggy depending on service and arrange to collect your luggage whilst they take you to the CIP terminal which has private immigration and customs. Your luggage is put straight into the boot and effectively you don’t touch your luggage between L:HR and your hotel suite in Singapore. If you order the service through the IC in Singapore for example they liaise with the hotel over the phone and a manager waits at the entrance and the whole checkin is either in suite or in the Club lounge. The costs are around the same and they do it all in revese if you wish. When this was around £150 per couple it was a bargain ….

  • uk1 says:

    ADDED: …….. which included limmo transfers.

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