Norwegian drops lounge access for flyers in the Norwegian Premium cabin

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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):

Norwegian Premium benefits

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.

Norwegian Premium loses lounge access

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:

The Platinum Card from American Express

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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.

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  1. Lady London says:

    £3,000 or even £4,500 won’t go far towards the purchase of any electric car that I know of. Not even with subsidies. Might help cover a replacement battery that seems needed on these all too often?

    This sounds like marketing puff -the equivalent of ‘planning gain’ to make Uber and the London Mayor look good….

    I am fascinated by the benefits of electrically powered vehicles but right now the cost doesn’t seem to stack up?

    • If we had a govt who actually gave a merde about the environment, we see charging points everywhere and 0% VAT on electric vehicles. We’d see investment into battery technology, especially alternatives to lithium, and other metals. We’d see electric only lanes on motorways, etc. We’d see legislation that prohibited diesel only taxis, vans, lorries and buses. We’d see investment into the electrification of train lines (I’m looking at you, Osborne, with your failed carrot of the Man – Leeds line). Investment into clean power generation, especially tidal.

      A man can dream…

      • A large part of JLRs problems are people no longer want to buy Diesels. I think the government did care about the environment, but they also care about jobs and the economy.

        And if you care that much about the environment, then why do you follow a site specialising in (luxury) air travel?

        • Lady London says:

          I love diesels. The world runs on diesel. Most of the world couldn’t do without diesel vehicles.

        • We can all add the 2 minute flight from Westray to Papa Westray to our bucket list once the aircraft are modified to electric power.

        • Lady London says:

          JLR announced a very nice looking electric saloon car last year. It looked quite a performer from the stats. So they are getting into the game.

          I’d like to see the Tesla pickup truck in Europe. But with Tesla hundreds of 000’s of people on their waiting list for any Tesla vehicle, plus how long it would take to get type approval in Europe, it’s just a pipe dream for me. Would be really useful for hauling building materials short distances though.

    • It’s still £3000 or £4500 more than £0 I suppose. We had a look at the Nissan Leaf, salesman was defininitely an electric fan as his patter went way beyond the car itself. One interesting point he made is that the future of electric vehicles will definitely be leasing, not sales.

      • Some have decent options for battery leasing. Lots of exciting new models coming on this year – the Fully Charged channel on YouTube is highly recommended! TCO is also much better thanks to lower maintenance and fuel costs. If I didn’t live in a flat I’d have gone for one!

        • Toyota/Lexus do a hybrid no charge model – so possible even if living in a flat

          • Agreed, although more fancying one of the all-electric models – hopefully solutions will be forthcoming!

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Toyota msomethingorother? Electric motor, hydrogen fuel, water emissions, no charging…

      • Electric fan selling cars? What next – toaster running government???

    • Peter K says:

      An extra £4500 on top of a government subsidy of £4000-£5000 may make sense. However, the killer for a taxi would be the charging time. Even the best current batteries only have a few hundred miles non-urban and then you need to stop for 20+ mins to recharge. That’s a lot of down time with no fares.

      • Although realistically in major cities the mileage covered vs time spend in traffic will probably be in the electric car’s favour!

        Had an interesting chat with an Uber driver in Edinburgh at the weekend – former black cab driver. He switched and says he’s earned much more since – not the same costs when going out (vs fees to pay for the Hackney cab), but more importantly continuous revenue. He said a black cab colleague spent 85 min waiting at a stand at the weekend in the city centre whilst he was continuously busy – means lower amounts per trip but more trips. He also liked that the app gives the driver 2-3x per day the ability to set where they want to try and go – this means at the end of the day (or if something to do in the middle of the day) he can get a fare taking him home, etc. Rather than be stuck doing a job to really far away and having to work his way back with no fare.

    • Lady London, I’m not sure where you get your information but you come across as ill informed (no offence intended). I’ve been lucky enough to drive a Tesla for the past 3 years. I’m on a group with more than 3k UK owners and I can only think of maybe 5 or so cases of people needing battery replacements. Tels has a sophisticated battery management system which has resulted in people in the US doing hundreds of thousands of miles with a few percent of battery degradation.
      The Tesla is way better than any other car I’ve owned including, Audis, BMWs etc. One you move to electric you would never want to go back. Of couse Diesel is still required especially in developing countries, but developed countries should be moving to electric ASAP,
      Self charging hybris is such marketing b*ll$cks. it’s a tiny battery that can only get you moving before the engine kicks in.
      Finally, Telsa had between 250k-400K preordres for the Model 3 worldwide. They are producing 5+k a week so will clear the backlog soon. In the US you can get a model 3 delivered within a month. They are due n the UK mid to end 2019.

  2. O/T – Gatwick Hotels – Early morning flight from Gatwick South in May – What is the best airport for a family of 4 for one night. Am going to use it to trigger an Amex travel spend offer, so need it to be at least £200 to get me over the £600 spend. So not overly price sensitive. Will check cases in night before so happy to transit between terminals too. Sofitel or Hilton seem the 2 best options ? Not sure which is better though

    • Peter K says:

      Tried Gatwick South 2 nights ago and it is okay. Very good soundproofing in rooms, lounge something and nothing, breakfast in restaurant was standard fare. Did the job basically, though I was upgraded to the executive floor as a diamond.
      Beds are usual Hilton hard mattresses. We had 2 toppers added and they were then comfortable.
      There is the option of interconnected rooms which may be useful to you.
      The staff were very helpful. Reviews I’ve read of Amy’s restaurant in the hotel are shockingly bad so ate dinner in the airport.

      • Thanks Peter. I guess for the 12 hours max we will be there its a much of a muchness. Maybe already being in South Terminal will be the clincher.

      • I was in the Hilton last Wed. Got a room in the new(er) extension which was perfectly fine and very near to the Exec Lounge. Lounge was far bigger than I expected and looked decent – I popped in for breakfast at 6.30am and it was fine. It’s more of a trot than you anticipate from the terminal though.

        Paid £95 which was £30 cheaper than the Hampton in Gatwick North and I got breakfast / lounge comped as Diamond.

        • Thanks Rob. Will book via Amex travel so assuming I wont get any benefits. Will grab breakfast in the grain store anyway. Feels like the Sofitel need to up their game.

        • I know you aren’t price sensitive as such but I find the Sofitel and Hilton much of a muchness with the Sofitel a bit more expensive for no reason I can fathom. I think the F&B at the Hilton is better vfm too. In short I largely use the hotel attached to the terminal I’m using that day. I slightly lean towards Hilton.

  3. What’s the IHG booking horizon for reward nights? The booking form calendar won’t seem to let me go beyond 31 Dec 2019… ?

    • IIRC, in the past there was some way of viewing a calendar that allowed you to make a booking even beyond one year but I think it closed. Perhaps somebody else can confirm or otherwise.

  4. OT Lloyds upgrade voucher, are there any restrictions on changing dates provided there is availability? Is it £35 fee? Any chance of being able to do it online?? (I haven’t booked yet)

    • You need to call and the £35 fee is payable. You can change dates, and also destinations provided the new destination is in the same zone. There needs to be availability to make the change at time of calling. Whatever you do, do not cancel your existing reservation or you will lose the voucher. I believe, but I am not certain, that changes need to be within the ticket validity date of the original booking therefore you csnnot use this approch to extend validity.

  5. Qwerty Bertie says:

    Regarding Amex travel offers on the cards.

    Across our cards we have 2 x spend £600 receive £200, and 2 x spend £200 receive £50. I’d like to call up and use these 4 cards to share the £2000 cost of some flights, thereby hopefully triggering all offers and receiving a total of £500…but I see in the terms and conditions it says online only.

    Has anybody previously tried the above idea, and how did it go please?

    • Only used online I’m afraid. If trying to book something that can’t be done online then in with a chance but if you can do it online I’m not sure you’d have as much luck.

      • Qwerty Bertie says:

        That’s a shame. Thanks very much for your help though.

        Just thought of plan B however, which I think should work and get £450.

        The flights are for 3 passengers in Virgin PE, and it’s more than £600 per person. I can book each passenger separately, with a different card, using the 2 spend £600 and 1 of the spend £200. I think I read that these seats allow anytime seat selection, so can then put the three together…? I’ll go off and double check.

  6. OT – I’ve just spotted a new Virgin Life Insurance promo on the Red app… 20,000 miles for 6x £5pm minimum

  7. Very off topic but I know there’s some very generous people on here and it does involve a transatlantic flight that a major carrier could potentially provide or even an Avios/VS Miles rich HFP’er could help with….

  8. OT – great excitement as I just discovered PoundLand takes Amex (sorry if you all knew already). Gonna be a big shop to hit that sign up target…

  9. Can I ask a bit of an off-topic question?

    I have around 100,000 Avios in my BA Household account, of which roughly 65,000 in my name and 35,000 in my wife’s name. I also have approx 60,000 Amex Rewards points.

    I am looking to make an Iberia redemption for 120,000 Avios. I have on many occasions transferred Avios between my BA and Iberia accounts, with relatively few problems. Is there any way to utilise the Avios in my wife’s name for this redemption? Ie is it possible to transfer Avios between BA household members (and from there to Iberia), or another solution?

    Between my Amex and my Avios I have enough for the redemption, but obviously I would rather use my wife’s Avios instead of the Amex rewards points if there is any way to do that.

    • If you’re in a BAEC household account then it automatically draws the Avios pro rata from each account.

      For example say you had 150k Avios between you, 100k in your account and 50k in your wife’s. You then make a redemption for 60k. It would take 40k from your account and 20k from hers. No extra action or transfers required on your part. So if you already have 100k between you then just transfer 20k from Amex to your account and as you’ll then have 120k in your HHA you’ll be able to make the redemption 🙂

      • Apologies read it as you wanting to make a BAEC redemption rather than doing it in Iberia!!

    • No, no way of doing this unless you pay for the transfer between the two BA accounts. (I’m assuming she is not Gold which would allow a 27k free transfer.)

  10. Michael C says:

    OT with a tenuous connection to Premium Economy flights!
    We’re looking at LHR-LAX in Oct. I know AIr NZ always received rave reports, but I understand their wacky seating has now gone?
    The prices are similar, with BA working out slightly cheaper.
    Is ANZ so much better that we should go for it, or just stick with BA and accrue the miles?

    • The Original Nick says:

      @Michael C, I’ve booked my Mum and her friend for March out to LAX (Vegas trip) on ANZ Premium Economy. Used the Amex £200 off £600 offer for this so worked out well. From what I’ve looked at I think the ANZ product will be nicer. They also had the option of booking for £50 exit seats which will be nice for them both as they’ve had hip replacements. There’s also an option to upgrade to Business via there bidding option. You can credit the miles to VS accounts. It’ll be a change for my Mum as she normally uses BA. The wacky seating has pretty much all gone now AFAIK.

  11. Rob, any idea if stays at the new IHG principal hotels count towards the “staying at three different IHG brands” target…no mention of this new acquisition in the terms. Thanks,

    • Not sure if you’d want to, I stayed at the Met in Leeds recently for two nights, it wasn’t great certainly not a four star Hotel IMO but, as it only cost £73 for two nights triggering a freebie anywhere (in theory) in IHG’s portfolio I lived with it!

      • Brian Webb says:


        I stayed at the Met in Leeds on Sunday night for £45. I was shocked at the lack of alterations made before rebranding as an IHG brand, very dated feel at this hotel. I’ll stay once more to trigger the free night voucher but it’s not a 4 star for sure.

    • No, I don’t think they will.

      • I e-mailed IHG and they said the met would count as one of my four brands

        • quote from e mail

          I appreciate the opportunity to assist you today. I’d like to inform that the ‘Discover our Brands’ offer requires 4 different stays at 4 different IHG brands so I’m glad to inform that your upcoming stay at ‘The Met Hotel Leeds’, shall be counted on the offer:

        • Want to bet?

    • pommy ray says:

      no sorry does not I asked them !

      • it’s an IHG hotel – they even have a label saying “New to IHG” so can’t see how IHG can deny it’s not an IHG brand. The question is which brand!

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