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What UK airport lounges are in Priority Pass, Lounge Club and LoungeKey?

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If you are heading off on holiday soon, you may want to check if you can access an airport lounge at your departure airport.  If not, it might still be possible to arrange free access via a credit card or by buying a pass.

Many Head for Points readers can access airport lounges, even when flying economy, via their membership of Lounge Club, Priority Pass or LoungeKey.

Lounge Club membership comes with the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card, which is free for the first year. You receive two free passes to visit any Lounge Club lounge and further visits or further guests are charged at £15. My full review of Amex Gold is here.

Priority Pass membership comes with the American Express Platinum card. Both the main cardholder and one supplementary cardholder receive a Priority Pass, and each card admits two people for free. This means that you can get four people into a lounge for free, as many times as you want if both the main and supplementary cardholder are travelling together. There is NO LIMIT to the number of lounge visits you can make for free.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

LoungeKey membership comes with the £195 per year HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard and other World Elite MasterCard products. There is no separate membership card and you simply show your World Elite MasterCard at the door. However, you are meant to have registered your HSBC card via this link first – I’m not sure if this is actually necessary. No free guests are allowed but you can get a supplementary card for your HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard for a £60 annual fee and that person can then access lounges with this card.

(Holders of the free HSBC Premier MasterCard can also access lounges via LoungeKey but will be charged £15 per visit.)

As well as getting Lounge Club or Priority Pass membership via Amex, you can also buy Priority Pass membership directly. There are various membership options with different combinations of membership fee and ‘per visit’ fees – but, oddly, you cannot buy a card with the same features as the Amex Plat version, ie cardholder plus a free guest.

Heathrow No 1 Traveller lounge

There have been quite a few changes over the past 12 months in what lounges are available so I thought it was worth updating this article today.

The Lounge Club network (Amex Gold) currently comprises:

If you have a Priority Pass card, you get access to the following additional lounges:

If your Priority Pass comes via American Express Platinum, note that you can also access the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 (review here) by showing your Platinum card at the desk.

This is the full UK LoungeKey list (we think!):

Lounge Club has the least lounge coverage – potentially because the card pays less to the lounges? – whereas Priority Pass and LoungeKey have almost identical lists.  This is not hugely surprising because the same company, Collinson Latitude, runs all three programmes.

Overall all of the three cards offer impressive coverage and if you have no airline status and fly from the airports above on a regular basis you should look at ways of adding a lounge access card to your wallet.

PS.  We have not discussed DragonPass here because it is only offered to selected Barclays current account holders.  There are a few extra quirks with this.  At Heathrow, in Terminal 5 and Terminal 2, you can use the Regus Express business centre lounge in Arrivals.  More importantly, in Terminal 5, you can use the new Plaza Premium departures lounge.  At Gatwick in the South Terminal, you can use the Regus Express business centre lounge in Arrivals.

Comments (58)

  • Louie says:

    A little off topic… for the first time in 10+ years (since discovering airmiles) we’re flying economy long haul on Tuesday morning from LHR T4, as our long waitlisted Singapore flights never cleared. Given on last week’s short haul flights we failed to get into a PP lounge either way (full outbound and closed inbound), I’d like to be sure that we can get into either the SkyTeam or Plaza Premium lounge. Arriving at about 07.30 with Priority Pass cards. What do we think the chances are?

    • Rob says:

      Should be OK. SkyTeam lounge is huge. Only No 1 ever seem to have problems.

      • Louie says:

        We went to the SkyTeam lounge. It was virtually empty. We were encouraged to go upstairs; I can’t remember the exact wording of the sign but it implied food was only available there. Not sure who planned the bathrooms though; there was a queue for the ladies as there are only three cubicles (both upstairs and down I think). If the lounge was full, I imagine there would be a long wait.

    • xcalx says:

      ” Given on last week’s short haul flights we failed to get into a PP lounge either way (full outbound and closed inbound), ”

      Good point Maybe it’s time to add “Entry not guaranteed” when covering the Plat benefit of PP

  • James says:

    Where as ten years ago, Priority Pass etc were worth having, these days all the riff raff use these lounges. Therefore much better – and less expensive – to maintain airline status. And avoid the Geordies, Scousers, Mancunians and Scots queuing for their ‘free’ beers at 7am in the morning.

  • Mike says:

    As I have posted previously, the proliferation of lounges now selling access, means that priority pass holders often can’t get in. I’ve been refused access 3 out of my last 4 visits to No 1 Traveller in Birmigham because they are “full”

    • Rob says:

      The issue is No 1 selling capacity to airlines. Let’s say Etihad launches at Brum with a 10am slot. They could build a lounge or pay No 1. But they would need probably 50 GUARANTEED slots each day between 7am and 10am, both for business and status passengers. As long as Etihad offers the same money as PP – and a lot of the spaces won’t get taken up – No 1 doesn’t care but walk-in capacity is reduced to virtually nil.

  • xcalx says:

    ” No 1 doesn’t care”

    Neither does PP they have taken the money for the pass upfront. PP need to introduce a booking system for all lounges with fee refunded if guests turn up.

    • Rob says:

      PP doesn’t own the lounges. If they cause trouble lounges will stop accepting it.

      • xcalx says:

        I wouldn’t call it causing trouble. Expecting lounges to accept guests who have paid PP up front for a years access.

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep but what would you rather have? – £15 PP of £35 walk up?

          you presumably need both as a business ie the security of getting the overhead paid – once secured, you go for the higher margin business and decline the lower margin stuff where possible

  • Matt says:

    Lounges and world cup semi… Flying out of T5 Wed night, luckily after the football finishes. BA redemption in J. Also have Amex plat. Any suggestions for watching the game? Will I be better off in a lounge and if so which one? Thanks in advance. Come on England!

    • Lady Lux says:

      Why don’t you take your iPhone and watch it in the loo? I can only presume you are a millennial snowflake who needs their hand holding for every decision they make. Here’s a suggestion for watching the game: you’ll need a TV or teleporting machine to Moscow.

  • Steve says:

    DragonPass is still a feature of the travel bundle for the Co-op Bank Privilege and Privilege Premier accounts (no longer available to new customers), but there will be Co-op (& Barclays) who have DP.

    Pay £11 per month: it includes worldwide travel insurance (AXA), mobile phone insurance and 4 DP passes (2 each for a joint account). The DP option is the only reason I’ve kept that Co-op account.

  • slonik says:

    If you have Lounge Key through HSBC Premier is there the option of paying to bring in guests (thinking specifically if travelling as a family, ie with kids)?

  • Thomas J O'Brien says:

    My friend has 2 lounge passes from his Amex Gold but wont use them, can they be used by other people?