This is our review of the Cornwall Airport Newquay Executive Lounge.
A few weeks ago we started another round of UK airport reviews and mentioned the fact that we still had a few gaps. Flyertalk member PZE was due to fly out of Newquay and generously offered to write up a review for us.
All of our UK airport lounge reviews can be found here. Whether we can ever complete the full set is debatable but we’ll try!
Over to PZE:
“I went through Newquay airport three times this summer, and even on a lunchtime departure during August peak season I never saw anyone in the lounge. I was unsure whether this was due to the quality of the lounge or most passengers arriving 15 minutes before boarding. So as the owner of a freshly-pressed Priority Pass thanks to American Express Platinum I thought it was worth giving it a try.
As far as I know all flights out of Newquay are single-class and don’t entitle passengers to use the lounge. This includes Flybe passengers on a British Airways codeshare through-ticketed onto a British Airways mainline business or first class onward flight.
It’s essential to check in for the lounge at the landside information desk (just to the right of the check-in desks) in order to get the access code for the lounge before clearing security.
Having collected my code, security took the usual one minute and I headed through to the lounge. Access is through a door in the farthest corner of the departure hall (and therefore about 12 seconds walk from security). There’s an electronic keypad to gain access which seems to work properly.
The lounge itself is in proportion to the rest of the tiny airport. It is about the size of a typical living room. I made it 15 seats – mostly two seater sofas and a few armchairs.
The general aesthetic is somewhere between ‘industrial’ and ‘shabby’ – it might be too generous to add ‘chic’ to either description but it’s clean, comfortable and almost cosy
As I was the only visitor to the lounge during the hour I spent at the airport, the seating provision was more than adequate.
Reading material is limited to a few magazines, mostly various issues of Business Cornwall in case you have missed any recently.
At the far end of the lounge is a well-stocked food and drink counter with a mix of snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. There are a couple of Cornish beers (Korev lager and Tribute IPA), Smirnoff and Gordon’s, and some fairly nondescript wine. The selection mostly mirrors what’s on sale at Coffee Republic in the departure hall.
At breakfast time there was also a plate of pastries, again from Coffee Republic. You can get a free barista coffee of your choice from the Coffee Republic counter using your lounge ticket. You can apparently can also ask for extra or different pastries, although I didn’t try that since I had the whole plate to myself. I traded my voucher for a flat white which was surprisingly good.
I’m not sure whether there are more substantial food offerings later in the day; my impression is that it’s snacks only and there are unlikely to be sandwiches etc.
There was a further stand of snacks and fruit next to the main station, mainly consisting of Mini Cheddars, which was rather strangely flanked by a large bin and fire extinguisher stand.
The prime seats in the lounge are a couple of armchairs tucked off to one side next to the only window. This has a good view of the airfield. It’s not exactly busy, but I was able to watch the Flybe E195 being prepared for our flight. There’s a coffee table with a few tourist guide books to remind you what you’re flying away from.
No announcements are made in the lounge but you can hear announcements from the main departure hall; more usefully, you can see the gates through the lounge door meaning that for habitual late-boarders there’s no need to get up until you see the queue is down to a sensible level.
Overall the Cornwall Airport Newquay Executive Lounge is a peaceful place to spend an hour. Since all the complimentary food is also on sale at Coffee Republic it’s fairly easy to work out the value of a visit – a few beers and some snacks would add up to the £15 admission fee pretty quickly. With only 15 seats it could easily get overcrowded, but there’s no sign of that happening at the moment.”
Thanks PZE. You can access the Executive Lounge for free with a Priority Pass (which comes free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately). Oddly, given how quiet it is, the lounge is NOT accessible with a Lounge Club card (two free entry vouchers with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold). You can get access with a LoungeKey pass, issued with Mastercard World Elite credit cards.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge 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 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it 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 a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
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.