If you’ve ever travelled from Porto on a British Airways flight you might have been in the awkward situation of being turned away from the only lounge at the airport.
That is because at some point British Airways decided that it didn’t want to pay for its passengers at certain airports to have a glass of wine and a snack before their flight, even if they are travelling in Club Europe (which I was) or hold a Gold or Silver card (which I do). This seems to be getting more common.
EDIT: In 2019, British Airways started allowing its passengers to use this lounge
A few weeks ago I visited my friend in Portugal and ended up in said situation. I had to do a bit of work and really wanted a glass of wine so I decided to use my Amex Gold Lounge Club card. As I had already used my two free lounge passes for the year, Lounge Club charged me a £15 fee for access.
Was it worth it? Here is my review:
The ANA lounge at Porto Airport is upstairs on the first floor. It has nothing to do with the Japanese airline ANA.
Washrooms are opposite reception and the actual lounge is to the right.
In the center of the lounge is the self service bar and snacks. I was in the lounge in the late afternoon and the food selection was pastries, sandwiches and cookies. As my doctor recently told me I should avoid wheat there was nothing I could eat.
I did have a couple of glasses of wine and some still water.
The lounge was not very busy but it was still an issue finding a seat with a table and functioning plug socket.
The lounge also had an ‘outdoor’ balcony overlooking the airport and runway. There were lots of empty seats in this area.
In one of the corners was a business centre with phone chargers, computers and desks.
The magazine selection wasn’t great though I did like the look of the shelves.
Let’s put it this way. The ANA lounge at Porto isn’t a bad lounge. The atmosphere was, as the website promises, relaxed and pleasant.
I’m just not sure if it’s worth paying to get in – especially when British Airways should be the one paying when you’re flying in business class!
The £15 fee via Lounge Club isn’t a lot, but my friend told me that the airport wifi is great and you can get a wine and a decent snack for less than £15 at any of the restaurants.
You can also pay to access the lounge on the door for €24 – which in my opinion is too much for what’s on offer. You can book for cash via the Lounge Pass website here.
It would also be great if someone could look at the sockets and fix those that aren’t working …..
The more important question, of course, is why British Airways unilaterally decides not to pay for lounge access at certain airports even when there is a perfectly suitable option available. This is the second time this year that this has happened to me – it also happened in Ibiza. At the very least, I think BA should provide a €15 – €20 refreshment voucher for the airport to qualifying passengers.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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 10,500 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.