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.
moneysavingexpert.com is running an exclusive discount code – with free champagne – for No 1 Lounges this week as you may have seen in their weekly newsletter. However, this is not necessarily the best deal as I show below.
No 1 Lounges has a generous tie-up with 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. Note that their previous Avios deal has now ended.
The moneysavingexpert offer:
moneysavingexpert is offering a saving of up to 20% PLUS a free glass of champagne per person.
Here is the pricing:
- Birmingham – £22 (was £26) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
- Edinburgh – £22 (was £26) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
- Gatwick North – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
- Gatwick South – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
- Heathrow Terminal 3 – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne
You can also book Gatwick’s Clubrooms for £36 per person (normally £45). These offer unlimited champagne, a la carte dining and premium security.
This offer must be booked by midnight on Thursday 10th May, for lounge visits up to 31st August.
You must book via this special page of the No 1 site and use code MSESUMMER at check-out.
The Virgin Atlantic offer:
Virgin Flying Club offers a discount and, instead of a glass of free champagne, a chunk of miles instead. You also receive fast-track security at Birmingham, Edinburgh and 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
You can only book the Virgin deal via this page of the No 1 website.
Because the miles are awarded per booking, you should make a separate reservation for each person in your group.
Which deal is best?
If you are looking at Birmingham or Edinburgh, you are probably better off with the MSE deal. It is £3 cheaper and, whilst you miss out on 350 miles, you do gain a glass of champagne.
For the No 1 Lounges and Clubrooms in London, there isn’t much in it. MSE costs £1 more than Virgin and comes with a glass of champagne. Virgin comes with 350 miles (400 for Clubrooms).
For the cheap and cheerful My Lounge at Gatwick North, the Virgin deal is your only option. £12, with 200 miles, is a very decent deal I think.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)