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Why you should now be wary about visiting the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 5

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Regular readers will know that I am very fond of the new Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.   See my article here for example.

Even though I have British Airways status, I still pop in here if travelling through Terminal 5 on my own because it is less crowded than the BA Galleries and the food is better.  The only thing that is poor is the newspaper and magazine selection.

The reason the lounge has always been quiet – the record number of guests ever spotted by myself or any HfP reader was 20 – is that it did not accept Priority Pass or Lounge Club cards.  Look at the second photo below for an example of how busy it used to be.

Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 overcrowding

The only way to get in is:

for cash (you can book direct here) or

by flashing an American Express Platinum Card or

by flashing a DragonPass lounge access card

Since DragonPass cards have historically been rare in the UK, they were not responsible for a lot of business.  That all changed a couple of weeks ago when NatWest / RBS Black switched from Priority Pass to DragonPass for its lounge access partnerI wrote about that here.

Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5

The big problem is that the covering letter sent out to NatWest and RBS account holders with their DragonPass specifically mentioned Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 access.   It says:

“Unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide – this includes our flagship Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 which replaces the Aspire lounge currently available in this location”

Since then, according to many Head for Points reader reports, the place has become a bit of a scrum.  The ultimate insult came from a reader who said it was ‘nearly as bad as the Club Aspire lounge’ at the other end of Terminal 5.

So, be warned.  It looks I may end up back in Galleries First after all.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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Comments (53)

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

  • Graham Walsh says:

    It was rammed last Thursday at lunchtime, I’m heading back there again on Monday with a colleague, so expect it will be busy again.

  • Lady London says:

    Oh dear. Could it mean that lounges on this side of the Atlantic are also going to start to be crowded out by people who hardly fly at all and treat it mainly as a drinking club rather than rest and respite when flying?

    • Shoestring says:

      Guilty m’lud 🙂

      In my defence: drinking club = rest & respite from driving 4 hrs to LHR with 3 kids in the back.

      You won’t find me in T5, though.

    • Stuart_f says:

      I’d far rather have a lounge full of “hardly fly at all” types who are enjoying plenty of JW Blue than have them stuffed full of the type that live in the air and are so important they just MUST “make this essential phone call on speaker”.

      One bothers me, the other does not.

  • Anna says:

    OT but lounges – until what time does the Concorde lounge serve breakfast? I’ve got my first visit on my birthday next year and my heart is set on Eggs Benedict with LPGS! Our connection gets to T5 about 9.45 am.

  • js54156 says:

    OT — I’m near the 50k annual limit of Curve. Anyone knows how to ‘refresh’ the limit? Thanks!

  • Jody says:

    OT – bit of a random question I know, but I wondered what the food was like in BA Club World? Flying to Tampa in December in CW for the first time using Amex 2 for 1. I’m vegetarian, so normally order a vegetarian meal before I fly, but they generally end up being pretty crappy and worse than the vegetarian offering on the plane. Was thinking of not booking a meal in advance on the plane. I know it is a slight risk, but am kind of assuming that being in CW it shouldn’t be too much of an issue? Or is this completely wrong to assume?

  • Smid says:

    Better than GF? I thought you were saying it was better than GC, which isn’t hard. Then again GF now is like GC food five years ago. It definitely is more slop than food…

  • Paul says:

    I guess you feel the same about Lounge cardholders as I, earned Hilton Diamond for life, feel about the “status matched” cluttering up Hilton Executive lounges. 🙂

  • Dave says:

    I was in there 3 months ago unfortunately at food change over time so had to wait for a while to get any food but it was a great fresh selection when it came.

    We managed to get a nice spacious spot for the family of 4 and it wasnt too busy, nobody at the bar 5pm on a friday is great.

    I’m there again on the 25th so i’ll see if it has changed

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

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