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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.

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow T2 atrium and barJPEG

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2022)

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

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

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 Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two 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.

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 (58)

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

  • 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.

    • Mancunian who doesn't drink says:

      Good to see the bigots are still around.

  • 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?

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

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