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Review: the new Business Class Lounge at London City Airport

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This is our review of the new Business Lounge at London City Airport.

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

Back in November last year I tried the First Class Lounge at London City Airport. Despite the fact that this lounge is based in the Jet Centre and not the main airport, I really liked it.  I was able to go through the lounge’s own private security facilities and get driven to my plane – which was cool.

The price of £95 per person which has limited the market for this product.  There were always plans for a separate Business Lounge with a smaller price tag (£35) and now it’s finally in use.

I went down to City Airport to have a look at the new Business Lounge, albeit without flying anywhere!  As the lounge is landside this wasn’t a problem.

This is how it works.

As the two lounges are inside the Jet Centre, a driver picks up pre-booked guests at the main terminal at London City Airport.  If you’re flying with luggage you need to check it in before being driven to the lounge – there are no check-in facilities in the Jet Centre.

The drive takes about 5 minutes.

As you can see in the picture below the Business Lounge is to the left along the building. The entrance for the First Class Lounge is through the blue doors.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

The opening hours are 5.30am to 10pm.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

The Business Lounge is through the door behind the check in desk.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

The Business Lounge is a bright square room with various seating options.  It has a cosy living room atmosphere.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

The armchairs in the corner by the exit door would be good when travelling alone or as a couple and if you prefer not to sit surrounded by too many people.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

The sofa area in the middle of the room could work for a family or a group of people.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

Food and drinks is tucked away in one of the corners. There were small bottles of red and white wine, various soft drinks, beer as well as Famous Grouse Whisky and Ketel One Vodka.

Champagne is available to purchase at the lounge.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

There were some pastries:

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

…. and snacks (nuts, sweeties, crisps):

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

When I visited the First Class Lounge last year the shower facilities hadn’t been completed, but they are now.

Accessible from both the First Class and the Business Class Lounge are two shower rooms with toiletries, towels and hair dryers.

Review London City Airport Business Lounge

To give you a better impression of what you can expect, here is a short YouTube video of the Business Lounge. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.

If you want to see our video of the First Class Lounge at London City Airport, click here.


I like how personal both lounges in the Jet Centre are.  It’s almost like hanging out in someones living room and you don’t feel as if you are in an airport (but then, of course, you aren’t ….. you’re 5 minutes away).

I do understand that a landside lounge doesn’t sound ideal in principle. It is definitely not a lounge to grab a quick bite and drink before a flight, but if you have an hour or more to kill this is a great place to relax.  The staff are in constant contact with the airport and know when you have to leave the lounge to get to your gate (roughly 30 minutes before boarding) and if your flight is delayed you can stay in the lounge for longer.

At £35 per visit, it is more expensive and less convenient than your standard airside third party lounge.  It is also quieter and more private, however.  For the business market flying out of London City Airport, I suspect it is a small price to pay if it allows you to catch up with some work or make some calls.  I’d also suggest that the Business Lounge plus an economy BA flight ticket is better value (and a better treat) than a Club Europe BA ticket without lounge access.

You can book access to the Business Lounge via the airport website.  Pre-booking is not essential – you can book when you’re already at the airport and the lounge will contact you immediately to arrange pick up from the main terminal.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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

60,000 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 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  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 (22)

  • RIchard says:

    I agree with most comments in that I don’t really see the benefit – if you still need to leave the lounge with enough time to get through normal security then you lose the benefit of the comfort that you can just wait to be called – as was mentioned above security lines have got longer recently, I even once missed a flight by a matter of minutes as they closed the door to the gate just before I got there after being stuck at security for longer than expected!

  • RTS says:

    O/T – Anyone know what’s the best way to book cheap, decent airport parking at LTN?

    • RTS says:

      Thanks TRH1.

    • The Original Nick says:

      I agree with Harry. Airparks at Slip End is perfect. The lounge is quite good too which you can access with Lounge Pass or PP. MAybe DP too but I don’t know about that. Rob has written a review on the Lounge in the past.

  • JamesW says:

    Totally Off Topic.
    Are there any (reward) credit cards / charge cards which still count purchases of foreign currency as a standard purchase ?
    Either in general OR from very specific fx companies ? OR any other similar loophole !

    Hoping to find some way of replacing the now defunct BAPP (well, an Amex issued Amex card) & Amex Currency Exchange website loophole as mentioned here:

    • johnny_c-l says:


      • Alex W says:

        +1 for Curve linked to a decent Visa or MasterCard.

        • callum says:

          While my first impression of the site wasn’t great (hidden exchange rates and a deceptive marketing sign up), it seems OK.

          The currency I looked at was about 1.7% markup (it’s not fee-free, the fee is merely hidden just like with bureau de changes). Transferwise, even with their fee, was still better value though. If it always goes through as a purchase however then it may still be worthwhile… How did you do that? I only get the option to pay by bank transfer.

        • the real harry1 says:

          HIFX? you can pay with credit cards as well (or at least you could over the past few years & as recently as before Xmas)

    • Rts says:

      Lloyd’s Avios Cards

  • IslandDweller says:

    Unreliable public transport? The DLR is the most on-time system in the UK, consistently achieving 98% to 99% on time performance.

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