Norwegian has quietly removed lounge access for the majority of its Premium customers.
As posted by a HFP reader yesterday, it turns out that the rules were changed on 21st December. From that point, only customers booking refundable PremiumFlex tickets have had lounge access included in their ticket. This will presumably cut the number of lounge visitors by about 80%.
Here is the current list of perks by seat type from the Norwegian website (click to enlarge):
The timing is odd. The new My Lounge at Gatwick South, which I reviewed yesterday, is heavily branded ‘The home of Norwegian’ but will now have very few Norwegian customers using it!
Norwegian is saying that anyone who booked a Premium ticket before 21st December will still get lounge access, but you will need to visit a check-in counter to pick up a paper invitation. Hand-baggage only customers cannot simply turn up at the lounge and gain access.
Whilst this is understandable given Norwegian’s financial issues, it removes a key point of difference between Norwegian Premium, Virgin Atlantic Premium and British Airways World Traveller Plus. I would still recommend Norwegian Premium, purely because you get a bigger and better seat, but the other perks seem to be withering away.
Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here. You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here.
You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here. The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much. Additional visits are charged at £20 per person. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. No annual fee in Year 1. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course). The card has an annual 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.