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An amazing deal when you use DragonPass at the DIH Ahlan First Class lounge in Dubai

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Reader Greg dropped me a note to highlight a great deal he found in Dubai.

The new Concourse D, used by British Airways and most other long-haul airlines not called Emirates, has a lot of lounges, including the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge.

As the name suggests, the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge is aimed at First Class passengers on airlines who do not have their own Dubai lounge.  Air France and Singapore Airlines use it for their First Class customers.  For some odd reason, it also accepts the DragonPass lounge card – but not Priority Pass or Lounge Club.

This is not your typical 3rd party lounge as you imagine, being aimed at First Class passengers.  It has a la carte restaurant dining, it has free-flow Moet & Chandon champagne and it has (reportedly) an amazing whisky collection.  If you are into aviation you will also be obsessed by the 6-screen FlightRadar24 display.

A full review of the lounge can be found here (external link).

If you don’t have DragonPass via your Barclays current account, this HfP article shows ways of buying a one-off DragonPass access voucher cheaply.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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

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

Comments (118)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Anna says:

    Yay success (moved from laptop to desktop, don’t ask me why it made a difference!)

    A big thank you to HFP and all the helpful readers, we’ve just booked our first F using 2 4 1, travelling to New York on my birthday next year, what a fantastic early present. ????

    • DavidK says:

      Enjoy it.

    • Scallder says:

      Enjoy Anna – make sure to make a note in your diary for 28 days before so you can call up and book a spa appointment in the lounge. Line opens at 7:30am I believe (Google BA You First).

      • Anna says:

        Thanks, yes the very thought is making me nearly faint with excitement. Never mind 3 whole days in New York (as a couple!), I am just looking forward to the actual travelling!

        • Polly says:

          The NYC F lounge is something else. It’s pure pampering. Fabulous experience. Enjoy.

    • Darren says:

      Lovely, hope you picked your seats as well.

      • Mark says:

        Unless you’re Gold you can’t pre-select 1A or 1K. Assuming you’re on a 747 we’ve previously applied the approach of selecting 2A and 2K, which are a bit further apart but we both prefer window seats and it makes a good basis for nabbing 1A and/or 1K at online check-in if available.

        If you prefer centre seats I’m sure I’ve read to select 5E and 5F over 4E and 4F as the latter are quite exposed.

        Enjoy 🙂

        • Anna says:

          Good tip – we are allocated 4 E and F at the moment; in the photos I can find of the cabin there seems to be some sort of trolley in front of them. Is that a permanent fixture? If Inpick 2 window seats will we still be able to talk to each other?

        • the real harry1 says:

 is your friend

        • Mark says:

          There’s an island in front of 4E and 4F which serves as a magazine/newspaper rack if I remember rightly as well as somewhere to place things like the after dinner chocolates. It’s quite narrow though due to the way the cabin tappers towards the front and leaves the front corners of 4E and 4F exposed to people knocking them on their way through the cabin. Not that we’ve ever sat in them but I can imagine it being a bit of an issue.

    • Nick_C says:

      Do you use the same browser on both devices?

      • Mark says:

        I was having problems booking Miami redemption tickets, both using Chrome on Android and Firefox on a Linux desktop. Switching to Chrome on Linux then worked, which was either a coincidence or there’s something really strange going on….

        • Anna says:

          It seems really random, I’ve had issues on both devices recently.

  • Tim says:

    Looks like the new safety video hasn’t launched yet – I flew Nairobi to London overnight and they were still running the old video (on the painfully dated 747 they use for the route…!).

  • Jay says:

    OT: new Amex offers on Gold card today – £15 off £200 at AirBnb and also £5 off £50 spend at World Duty Free.

    Had a query regarding looking for Hilton Reward nights – if I have no points currently in my HH account I won’t be able to see redemption rates? Am looking at potentially booking the Hampton by Hilton at Gatwick for Sunday night but wanted to see how much it was first before moving MR points across.

    • Craig says:

      Sun 8th, showing at 30k.

    • the_real_a says:

      It you want to “rough” it – the newly refurbished Premier Inn with shuttle is just £64 for Sunday night

  • Lumma says:

    OT. I was asking yesterday about seat selection on American Airlines basic economy tickets with BA status and as a result of the comments (and what AA told me on twitter) I came to the conclusion that, I’d have to pay. It was showing if I tried to book on that the standard seats would cost me £9 which was still cheaper than flying BA metal that day.

    However, I decided to book on as that would allow me to use 2,000 avios to get £20 off, effectively getting the seats for 1p per avios or so I thought.

    After paying for the flight, it then directed me to to chose a seat. The standard seats were now showing up as £36 each but it allowed me to choose any of the main cabin extra or preferred seats for free! Seems like a bit a result 🙂

    • marcw says:

      Good to know… I assume the free MCE is due to OW status? I think MCE is the best way to cross the atlantic in economy.

      • Lumma says:

        I wouldn’t rely on it happening, especially as I would have to pay for a standard seat, but it’s a decent glitch.

        I think what they’d charge for MCE normally is pretty much what I paid for the flights

      • john says:

        MCE was free to choose (including exit rows) on AA when I did this as BA Silver back in 2014. We were booked on BA code on AA metal. We put a rollon out as a footrest in front of our seats, although people did like to gather in this area when queuing for the toilet.

        • Lumma says:

          Is that one of the exit row ones rather than the main main cabin seats? That’s what I’ve initially chosen

        • marcw says:

          That´s normally the case… but Lumma booked a “Basic” fare, which “””strictly””” does not allow free seat selection, even as a OWE.

        • Lumma says:

          For what it’s worth, I don’t seem to have and checked luggage allowance, which I should be entitled to, but I’ll take carry on for a long weekend in September and have a MCE exit row seat any time

    • Anna says:

      Hi Lumma, we booked AA flights just before they introduced basic economy, our seats appear to have been pre-allocated (they are rubbish but they are short flights), and we would have to pay to change them.

      My worry is that we need to take a wheelie case each on board and the basic economy fare now seems to only allow a tiny piece of hand luggage, so I am really hoping that our tickets are not classed as this! There was only one economy option when we booked them last October. We are flying DCA-MIA-GCM then CGM-CLT-BOS so don’t want to have to pay a fortune to check all our bags in.

      • Lumma says:

        I believe if you booked before they were introduced you should just have regular economy tickets, but I’m sure there’s people on this site who know about this more than I do

      • Lyn says:

        Anna, surely your tickets will be grandfathered based on the rules when you bought them? You can’t have basic economy tickets if basic economy didn’t exist when you bought them!

        • Anna says:

          I would hope so but I can’t find a fare class specified on our booking which makes me a bit nervous.

        • Lyn says:

          Anna, what happens when you go into manage my booking or whatever it is called on AA? Do you have your AA booking reference? You should be able to choose print a ticket/receipt from there which shows the fare basis.

        • Anna says:

          I have ticket numbers but there is no letter with them which would denote fare class as far as I can tell.

        • Anna says:

          On my confirmation email it says fare code O – however on the AA fare code chart there is no mention of hand baggage, only tier points and the like.

        • Anna says:

          Aha! You have to find the code for basic economy, which is “B” and it says next to this that you can only have one small personal item. I am therefore hoping that all other fare codes allow the full amount of hand baggage!

  • Anna says:

    You clearly need to get more sleep, no wonder you are so ratty (as my mother used to say). LOL.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – when booking a BA award ticket at T-355, what time are the tickets available? 0:00 GMT hence 1:00 BST?

    • Rob says:


      • Optimus Prime says:

        Thanks. Is the USA phone number the best one to try first?

        • Scallder says:

          I did Australia recently and they were very good, and got through so no waiting…

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Thanks, Scallder.

        • Umba says:

          In early June, I called the USA number at 12.50 am to book a return leg to a 241 and was cut off at 1am as the call centre closed for the evening. I then called the Japan number and spoke to someone in India. They were knowledgeable and obliging and even called me back a few days later to add the LHR-MAN leg of the return.

  • KSB says:

    O/T – Paid for BA CW seat selection 3A on 788, but they changed plane to 789 (not operating first class though). I was moved to 13K (so still direct aisle access)

    Am I able to claim back my seat selection cost?

    • Rob says:

      Definitely – but of course you will then lose your 13K, so you need to decide if you want to ….

      • KSB says:

        I was actually on the plane just before take off when I typed that, so I just stayed in the seat.

        The in flight entertainment system was out of action across the entire plane for the whole 11 hour LHR-ICN flight. Cabin crew announced that all passengers would be individually contacted by customer service reps to remedy the situation.

    • Mark says:

      which flight is this? I’m checking my Seoul/Narita flights daily just to try and stay ahead of any changes.

      • KSB says:

        This was on the Seoul flight, Monday the 2nd. It seems alternate days, one day is 788 and the next day is 789. Only found out at check-in time.

        My wife is flying it on Thursday, so I think she will have the 788.

  • Octopus says:

    O/T Normally how soon after meeting the £7k spend requirement is the Lloyd’s upgrade voucher issued?

    • Andrew-a says:

      I received mine within a couple of weeks of hitting the spend. I used it last week to book an open jaw return and the lady at Avios kindly transferred enough points out of my BA account at the time of booking. Very good service actually.

    • Mzungu says:

      I think mine was about 2 weeks as well, but I didn’t receive the letter for about another month. Worth checking your Avios account frequently – that seems to be the first sign of it.

    • Anna says:

      It gets issued on your next statement date, but they can apply it to your account manually if you need it urgently.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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