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Fly BA First from Barbados? You can use the Private Jet Terminal!

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Reader Janne asked us if we were interested in a review of the IAM Jet Center private jet terminal lounge in Barbados.  As it’s Summer and most people are either away on holiday or dreaming of far away places, we thought this would make an interesting article.

If you are flying in British Airways First Class out of Barbados, you don’t need to visit the main Grantley Adams Airport terminal at all.  Instead, you can be dropped off at the IAM Jet Center where you can have a calmer start to your journey home, including being driven to your plane.  But is it as good as it sounds?

Over to Janne:

“I was fortunate to spend my summer holiday this year in Barbados. To get there I redeemed 180,000 Avios + 1 BA Companion Voucher + £900 of taxes, fees and charges to get round trips in First Class for two. The cash value for the flights at that time was around £6,000. As part of this flight experience we got access to the First Class Lounge at Gatwick Airport as well as to the IAM Jet Center in Barbados. This review focuses on the latter one.

(Below is a panorama picture of the lounge, click to enlarge)

Private Jet Terminal Barbados

Gaining Access

Anyone holding a First Class British Airways ticket can access the lounge by going directly to the IAM Jet Center private jet terminal (PJT) which saves you from queueing at the main terminal. The security check at the PJT was much more relaxed than in the main terminal. They even let us keep our full water bottles. The service was nice and friendly.

This is purely a benefit for ticketed First Class BA passengers.  It is not available to Executive Club Gold members flying in other classes.

Five young friends running outdoors smiling

Logistics

The biggest benefit of the lounge is to get away from the buzz of the main terminal. On the downside there are no shops or anything else available in the Jet Center. My wife wanted to see the shops in the main terminal and we were told that she could be taken there, but wouldn’t be able to return to the lounge.  She decided to stay in the lounge for an hour, then took the ride to the main terminal and joined the other passengers later at the gate – which meant that she missed out on the private shuttle to the plane.

Barbados Three

Facilities

Let’s take few steps back and look into the facilities. The ground floor of the building is not available to passengers.  The first floor contained offices, the lounge as well as the toilets and shower facilities. These were all clean though small. I can imagine this lounge getting crowded very easily at peak times.

Snacks and drinks are placed in a small corner right next to the lounge entrance.

Barbados TwoAvailable were:

  • Soft drinks (the typical Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite, etc.)
  • Cookies
  • Very basic selection of alcohol (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)
  • Coffee machine and tea bags
  • Crisps
  • White and red wine
  • A few small bottles of champagne (the same small bottles that are available on the flight)

There was no staff inside the lounge and we had to go back downstairs to ask for more champagne at the reception.

Barbados Five

The lounge itself has only three forms of entertainment: to watch planes arriving and leaving, to watch a small TV or read newspapers.

The seven other people in the lounge any myself decided to raid the champagne in the fridge instead. This turned into a bit of a challenge as there were only four small bottles for the eight of us.

One of the fellow travellers – probably a HFP reader! – didn’t take it well and went downstairs to complain. They brought up two more bottles which still wasn’t enough.  She went downstairs again and this time someone actually filled up the fridge with eight more bottles. At the end of the day, each one of us only got two glasses of champagne, so there was no need to carry anyone to the plane…

Boarding

When it was time to board a private shuttle took us right to the plane. It was interesting, to say the least, to see the faces of the other passengers as they were queueing to board.

The airport personnel cut off the queue and asked people to move back so that there was enough space to drive us right to the aircraft door.  Then they rolled out a short red carpet (seriously), put stairs at the shuttle door and we boarded.

Conclusion

The best part of the British Airways First Class Lounge at the IAM Jet Center private jet terminal in Barbados is the feeling of exclusivity. The facilities, services and food and drinks are not much to rave about. Make sure not to arrive hungry or you’ll have a meal limited to few cookies and a couple of bags of crisps.

If you plan to visit the Barbados, and you should, and happen to have access to this lounge, it is worth the visit – at least whilst the champagne lasts. But unless you want to experience the private shuttle ride to the aircraft door I’d suggest asking for a ride to the main terminal for shopping and food once you’ve emptied the fridge.”

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Comments (25)

  • mike says:

    The one thing the main BGI business lounge has over this is the food – there’s usually sandwiches and roti out. No champagne though, and you definitely don’t get driven to the plane. 🙂

  • Greenpen says:

    Poor security perhaps if you’re allowed to keep liquids!

  • Alan C says:

    4 of us took 500ml bottle of water and a can of coke each through a Middle East airport last weekend!