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 via a UK credit card
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here. You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here.
You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here. The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much. Additional visits are charged at £20 per person. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. No annual fee in Year 1. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course). The card has an annual 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.