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My review of the new British Airways lounges at Gatwick Airport South Terminal (Part 2)

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This part 2 of my review of the new British Airways lounges at Gatwick Airport.  Part 1 can be found here.

Inside the British Airways First Class lounge at Gatwick

The First lounge can be accessed by British Airways Gold members, and oneworld equivalent members, as well as ticketed First Class passengers.

To be honest, I wasn’t hugely impressed.  In fact, I wandered in by mistake and I thought I was still in the Business lounge.

(How did I wander in by mistake?  There is a doorway connecting the Business and First lounges.  During my stay it was permanently propped open so staff could carry trays in and out, so you could just wander in.  I am BA Gold so I would have been allowed in anyway, but we ended up in the Business lounge as they – correctly – would not allow my (Silver) wife and daughter in with me and my son.)

The furnishings are identical to the Business lounge.  The First area is also relatively small and I suspect, at certain times, it will be more crowded than the Business lounge.

What is different?  Well, you get the boardroom:

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You get champagne (but this is also available on request in the Business lounge, I believe):

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You get premium spirits (BA is still offering Johnnie Walker Blue):

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You get a cooked breakfast – scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon etc:

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You get a couple of Tracy Emin drawings:

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You get an equally good view of the airport:

British Airways First Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

And that’s it.  The seating is identical to the Business lounge:

At some point, ‘cooked to order’ food will be available as it is in Galleries First at Heathrow.  This is not yet available due to the on-going electrical issues.

Food and drink in the British Airways Business lounge 

The breakfast offering in the Business lounge will be very familiar to anyone who has used Galleries Club at Heathrow.

The selection is pretty much identical, as are the coffee machines and the equipment used to store the food.

You have bacon rolls and omelette rolls:

British Airways Business Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You have coffee:

British Airways Business Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You have pastries:

British Airways Business Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You have a wide selection of spirits:

British Airways Business Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

You have the usual wine selection:

British Airways Business Class lounge Gatwick Airport review

It was all perfectly fine.  However …. I have a bit of a problem with British Airways only offering a proper breakfast in the First lounge.  It wouldn’t be a major strain to also offer scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon in the Business lounge.  The First lounge would still have its ‘cooked to order’ menu as a differentiator and we’re not talking budget-busting costs here.

Now that cooked breakfasts in Eurotraveller are a thing of the past, adding such food back to the Business lounge menu would be welcome.

Conclusion

British Airways has done a good job with the new lounges in London Gatwick’s South Terminal.

Whilst it isn’t the easiest place to find, it is a lovely space and the designers have done a good job in creating different style of seating to serve the varying needs of travellers.

The food and drink is on a par with Heathrow and, given that Gatwick tends to play second fiddle to Heathrow, that is as good as you could have expected.

The South Terminal experience as a whole is now much improved.  BA passengers no longer need to take the monorail from the train station, security seems more efficient than the North Terminal – with a proper premium security lane – and the lounges are impressive.

The only downside is the shopping, which is still more easyJet than British Airways.  I’d personally like to see ‘King of Trainers’ and the like replaced by something more upmarket, although there is a Harrods concession and a Hugo Boss to pass the time.  I imagine that the retail offer will mature as existing leases expire.

If you want to see more of the new lounges, here is a short video (Business side only):

If you cannot see the video, click here to visit our YouTube channel and watch it from there.  You can also subscribe to our channel from that page.


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 (65)

  • Aceman says:

    I was in the business lounge at 10:20 yesterday and the only food was the pastries, yoghurts etc.

    Left and went and used my £15 at grain store instead

  • Alex W says:

    BA has “done a good job” – surely a bit premature if the electrics aren’t working!

  • Sandgrounder says:

    I have a shocking admission to make. When flying to holiday destinations such as those served by BA from Gatwick, I have been known to wear trainers. Once, I even bought a pair of sports sandals in KUL. Shocking, but true.

    • Rob says:

      As do I. But I don’t buy them in ‘King of Trainers’, which looks like the sort of place that no-one over 20 would want to set foot in ……

      • The Urbanite says:

        Ironically the branded clothes they ply aren’t considered to be cheap (compared to Primark/Sports Direct and the like) by that demographic, unless already earning good money!

  • Gibbooo says:

    No power sockets.

    Unbelievable.

    • Rob says:

      Apparently they hired a bunch of German electricians who had just been released at short notice from the job in Berlin they were working on ……

      • Dev says:

        Lol! German engineering at its finest…….

      • Julian says:

        So why aren’t there at least a bunch of two pin European sockets available for the time being?

      • RussellH says:

        And how many German electricians are familiar with BS 1363 (13 A ring main) wiring?

        A few Schuko and US (110 V) and USB sockets would not go amiss if they are going to do a thorough rewire.

  • James says:

    Loving the 80’s ‘wipes’ and music on the vid!

    • Rob says:

      Which is ironic as the person who edited that wasn’t born until the late 80’s and the person who did the music wasn’t born until the 90’s!

  • Chris says:

    In fairness I imagine as the customer demographic changes, king of trainers won’t be any more pleased to be at the wrong place than you are to see them there!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      This is Gatwick and BA are competing with easyJet and their role-model Norwegian, as the signage at BAs check-in counters shows it’s really aiming at the bucket and spade market. Therefore I think there’s still a market for lower end shops. These shops may be useful for the average traveller who’s realised they’ve forgotten something they may need when travelling.

      Although I’m no expert, whether it’s Sports Direct or Harrod’s I’m unlikely to be shopping at the airport.

  • Alan says:

    Thanks for the review. Disappointing to see the Flounge still not that different, sounds like a very similar situation to the old LGW Club/First lounge setup.

    Are there showers?

  • mark2 says:

    I’m just jealous; no-one wants to pay for my lack of talent!

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