Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

No 1 Lounges is bringing a Clubrooms lounge to Birmingham International Airport

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The No 1 Lounge at Birmingham International suffers, along with its sister lounges at Gatwick and Heathrow T3, with capacity problems.  This is especially acute in the mornings, when Priority Pass holders are at risk of being turned away if they have not paid the £5 reservation fee (you can reserve spots here).

The good news is that No 1 is bringing its Clubrooms product to Birmingham.  A new lounge is currently under construction opposite Gate 54, next to the Emirates lounge.

I took a look at the Gatwick North Clubrooms here.  At Gatwick South, the lounge has table service and is arranged in a more restaurant-like style.  Instead of one large open space it is made up of a number of small rooms, with individual airlines – or private individuals if they wish – able to reserve a particular space.  Gatwick North was done differently and looks more like a standard lounge, done out to a plusher standard than a standard No 1 Lounge.

There is no opening date, and indeed there is no mention on the No 1 Lounges website that the lounge is even on the way – but it is.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club lounge – see the list here

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (76)

  • R C says:

    Has anyone had issues with the Gold to Plat upgrade link?(https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/platinum-charge/upgrade/)
    I fill out of the application form and submit and then get a blank red error box on submission. I tried last week and again today and I’ve tried a couple different browsers, but still no luck. Can I call and do it and still get the 20k points on 1k spend for upgrading?

    • Mark2 says:

      Is it a charge card that you are trying to upgrade?

    • Jonathan says:

      Yes – never successfully managed to upgrade online (3 attempts over the past 18 months for my wife and I). Everytime i have had to do it over the phone, then argue with the Amex person that i would be due 20k bonus points as per the website T&C’s. Always got the card and the points.

      • Mark2 says:

        Similar attempts over the past 18 months for my wife and me have always been successful with the points being awarded with the last qualifying purchase. We have never been charged the £450 either.

        • Darren says:

          Now that’s interesting, just received my 20K and my first statement since an upgrade to Platinum. I was expecting the fee to be added this month but it hasn’t.

        • Darren says:

          as a reference, I used an upgrade link

    • Alex W says:

      I had issues with the upgrade link. Applied by phone and they confirmed I would get the bonus. I got the 20k bonus, can’t remember if I had to chase them or not.

      • LB says:

        Darren – I too had the same…I cancelled the Platinum card via “chat” and no fee was forthcoming.

  • Geoff says:

    How do you see a points per purchase break down in the Virgin flying club or Virgin Credit card like we do with Amex or B.A?
    I only see the total per month once per month.

    Thanks
    Geoff

    Reply

  • Lumma says:

    OT, spent the afternoon in terminal 3 lounge hopping. I’ve got to say, the Qantas lounge was the most disappointing, downstairs dining closed “until 6pm” felt like I was an inconvenience to the staff when I wanted a drink from the bar, which includes coffee.

    Biggest surprise was the American Airlines lounge, which was the only one I’d never been to beflre, if they had some decent craft American craft beers instead of just Budweiser and Carlsberg, dare I say it, I’d prefer it over Cathay. Cathay might have the noodle bar but AA had refresher chews 🙂

    • Richard Garcia says:

      That’s a shame. I found the Qantas staff to be absolutely brilliant when I used the lounge last.

      • Genghis says:

        Great for brunch. Good for dinner IMO. Not so good in the afternoon

      • Lumma says:

        To be fair, they were friendly enough, it just seemed like they had things to do other than manning the bar, which should be a given in a lounge with no self service alcohol or coffee. It also seems to take longer for them to check you into the lounge than any of the others, although the AA lounge said to me “you’re flying British Airways, do you not want to use their lounge?”. My response was, ‘have you been in the BA lounge?”. Although the BA lounge is the best if you just want to get drunk

        My next T3 flight is a 1pm departure, maybe I’ll give it another go at breakfast time before moving on

  • jono says:

    Anyone know if the upper class fares listed are still available?

    Expedia shows £5,500 ams to lax presently for September travel and doesn’t offer Virgin Airways at all???

    • Chris says:

      Also interested in this, only finding the £5k fares on Expedia…