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Review of the No 1 Lounge at Birmingham Airport

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This is our review of No 1 Lounge at Birmingham Airport.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

Reader Rob kindly sent in some photographs and a brief review of the No 1 Lounge at Birmingham Airport:

The No 1 Lounge is located in the main departures terminal in Birmingham airport, directly opposite the exit from the security area. It’s well signposted and tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main restaurant area.

Check in is within the lounge itself and they welcome customers flying in Business or Premium Classes with Aer Lingus, AA, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, IcelandAir, Monarch, Qatar Airways, Thomson Premium Club, Turkish Airlines, Turkmenistan Airlines and United.

no 1 lounge birmingham airport 1

If you’re a Caxton FX, Diners Club, Dragonpass, Hi-Life Diners Club, or Priority Pass customer, you’re also welcome, subject to space being available.  It is also part of Lounge Club, which means that you can use your two free Amex Gold lounge passes here.

You can buy lounge access at reception or via their website in advance for £26, subject to availability. Due to their affiliation with package holiday airlines, the No 1 Lounge can get quite busy during peak seasons but there is good seating availability at most times.

If you want to guarantee your entry and hold membership with the schemes above, you can prebook your stay on the No 1 website for £5. The dress code is smart casual and there is a 3 hour, rarely enforced, time limit.

no 1 lounge birmingham airport review 2

The lounge itself is chic in design, with a large dining area with ample room for couples and larger groups to sit and relax whilst enjoying the pleasant food offering of salads, fruit, cakes and tray bakes.

The staffed bar is well stocked with a number of premium spirits and wines, although if you’re after the fizzy stuff then you’ll have to purchase it yourself! There are also bean to cup tea and coffee machines, as well as post mix soft drinks machines.

no 1 lounge birminghamr review 3

As you progress inside the lounge the room opens up to host a large mezzanine floor for group seating, as well as plush seating with coffee tables. There is a business centre with PCs and various televisions with BBC News showing; as well as a small nook serving as a meeting area.

no 1 lounge birmingham airport review 4

Conclusion

The lounge is extremely well staffed, with regular table clearances taking place and you never really have to wait too long to get served (usually less than a minute).

There is a “Complimentary Menu” on offer as can be seen in the picture. The food is of reasonable quality (I chose the Mac & Cheese and it was pretty tasty) and rotates on a quarterly basis. It’s one dish per person but if you’re still peckish you can purchase further dishes at the bar.

At Breakfast time, the salad table is replaced by a selection of continental breakfast items such as fruit salad, cereals and croissants.

The only issue with this lounge is that the bathrooms are located outside the lounge and are a short stroll from the lounge. Further to this, it was almost uncomfortably hot in the lounge on my last visit which may have been due to the large window facing the boarding gates.”

Thanks Rob.  If you want to pre-book your visit to the No 1 Lounge at Birmingham, you can book on their website here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 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 (19)

  • TravelBloggerBuzz says:

    I was in this lounge on my way back from Iran in October 2016. I found it to be, well, better than a hole in a wall. Got extremely crowded before flight to US. It was fine after I found me a table. Did I say it was busy and felt cramped?

  • John W says:

    I was in this lounge end of December as it is used for Qatar Airways Business customers .
    It was so busy that we could not get a table .
    There was a queue at the bar
    Didn’t feel the same as an airline lounge
    We left early didn’t enjoy the experience .

    • the real harry1 says:

      end of December 🙂

      as in: the airport’s busiest time of year – having said that, No1s seem to be a victim of their own success and as commercial operations they will be wanting to operate close to capacity

      OP – nice review

  • AC says:

    Booked this for my parents at the end of November 2016, it was their first lounge visit, they weren’t impressed at all, dirty carpets, too many people…kinda sounds like a pub, will avoid this one for sure.

  • Anon says:

    Slightly O/T does anyone know if they currentlky serve hot breakfast in the BA EDI lounge?

    https://headforpoints.com/2013/12/18/ba-launches-its-new-galleries-lounge-at-edinburgh-with-photos/

    • Alan says:

      Well there’s hot porridge, but that’s your lot! Cereal, fruit, yoghurt, croissant, pain au chocolat and not vastly more TBH! Hot bacon rolls in the Aspire Lounge next door though if you’ve got PP – and in the No 1 Lounge (and they normally leave from the gates near it).

      • Mike says:

        Planning on using one of the Edi lounges in a couple of weeks (7 am arrival)- which one is best ? Is it an ongoing issue re over crowding or is there an issue re accessing via the lounge club (Amex rewards)

        • Alan says:

          Never seen anyone turned away for overcrowding at EDI lounges.

          No 1 gen quieter in my experience, has slightly more hot food available. Turn right when you get out of security/shopping to get to it. Aspire is round to the left after security, just past the BA lounge. I still quite like it, they normally have soup, sandwiches, etc. on offer later in the day, bacon rolls and porridge in the morning. I used to visit them quite a bit with their old LoungeMiles scheme.

          If I’ve ended up arriving too early I have occasionally lounge-hopped and done all 3 (incl BA lounge)!! 😀

          If you’re pushed for time then perhaps check which gate you’re due to be leaving from and go to the one nearest there.

  • Andy says:

    I’ve used this lounge about 6 times now using my Lounge Club card, oh and Amex has not taken one payment out as of yet.
    Been refused entry twice when I was told that they were over crowded and not allowing walkins. Both times were about 6 pm when most flights had gone for the day and there were at most 20 people in there.

    • the real harry1 says:

      that bug on LC has been reported elsewhere, I tried it @ Xmas in Plaza Premium T3 but got charged correctly so it must be luck of the draw (or is it specific to No1?) Similarly (perhaps) people have cancelled Plat but PP (sometimes) still works fine until year end. You have to be born lucky, maybe.

  • NickM says:

    No1 Lounge at Gatwick gets more like a Wetherspoons pub by the day. Large piles of glasses stacked on the bar, queues for drinks, no free tables, clientele.

  • Smid says:

    I actually used this once at BHX and never did again…

    As a PP customer I go to the Aspire lounge, to the left after departures. I’ve never been refused entry, and never seen it full (but tended to be be Sunday evenings for me).

    Aspire has less in the way of food, but is a self serve bar. My problem with the Number 1 lounge was the bar was either completely unstaffed for long periods, or had a queue. Never had more than 10 seconds delay getting a drink at the Aspire one.

    The food in Number 1 was ok, but I’d rather eat real food from the BK, or buy a sandwich for a quid from boots to supplement my inevitable buy on board experience of flybe.

  • John says:

    I’m not a fan of No1 Lounges, I’d rather have a good food spread and not have to order one dish from a menu

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