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.
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.
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.
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.
- Soft drinks (the typical Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite, etc.)
- Very basic selection of alcohol (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)
- Coffee machine and tea bags
- 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.
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…
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.
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.”
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.