If you don’t have airport lounge access via your flight ticket, your elite status, via a Priority Pass card from American Express Platinum or via a Lounge Club card from American Express Gold, your best fall-back option is usually No 1 Lounges.
No 1 Lounges is the largest network of premium independent lounges in the UK. We have reviewed all of them in the past (click for the review):
- No 1 Lounge Heathrow Terminal 3
- No 1 Lounge Gatwick North
- My Lounge Gatwick North and #2
- No 1 Clubrooms Gatwick North
- No 1 Lounge Gatwick South (photo below)
- No 1 Clubrooms Gatwick South
- No 1 Lounge Birmingham
- No 1 Lounge Edinburgh
All lounges include free hot food, free drinks (some premium food and drinks carries an extra charge), free newspapers and magazines and free wi-fi.
No 1 Lounges has generous tie-ups with both avios.com and Virgin Flying Club. This allows you to buy access to their lounges at a discount and earn points in avios.com or Virgin Flying Club at the same time.
The Avios offer:
If you pre-book lounge access, you will pay a flat fee of £22.50 per person in Birmingham and Edinburgh and £25 in London. This saves up to £15 depending on airport. You will also receive 750 Avios points in avios.com.
If you pay on the door – which means you run the very real risk at Gatwick of the lounge being full – you get a fixed discount of £5 on the walk-in price. You will also receive 500 Avios points in avios.com.
I think this is a decent deal. Stripping out the value of the Avios takes the net cost down to around £15 and they are definitely worth that if you have a couple of hours to kill. Birmingham and Edinburgh packages also include fast track security.
Handy hint: the Avios are awarded per booking. If you are booking for multiple adult guests, make multiple bookings as long as each has their own Avios account.
The Virgin offer:
Virgin Flying Club is the only way to earn miles if you want to book the (funkier) My Lounge or (premium) Clubrooms at London Gatwick.
There is a tiered earning structure, per booking:
- 400 miles at Clubrooms
- 350 miles at No 1 Lounges
- 200 miles at My Lounge
The special Virgin Flying Club pricing is:
- £25 – No 1 Lounges
- £12 – My Lounge
- £35 – Clubrooms
If you are looking at Birmingham or Edinburgh, you are clearly better off with the Avios deal which is £2.50 cheaper and gives you more miles. For the No 1 Lounges in London, the pricing is the same with both offers but you get more miles with Avios. For My Lounge or Clubrooms, the Virgin deal is your only option.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)