This is our follow-up review of the First Class Lounge at London City Airport.
You may not know that London City Airport has two lounges tucked away in the private jet terminal (‘Jet Centre’) next door. The Business Class Lounge costs £35 and is a standard airport lounge experience, requiring you to head back to the main building for departures. The First Class Lounge lets you use a private security line and be driven to your aircraft.
Anika reviewed the First Class Lounge here. I finally got to try it on Friday. For clarity, I paid for my wife and myself but I did not have to pay for my children due to our relationship with the Jet Centre team. It was money well spent to avoid City’s departure areas on the Friday night of half term – last time we used City on a Friday we all had to sit on the floor.
It was a genuinely civilised experience. It isn’t flash (don’t come here looking for Johnnie Walker Blue or Dom Perignon) but there was never more than one other group in the lounge for the time we were there. They even let my kids – but not the parents – put on hi-viz vests and have a look inside one of the private jets parked up.
When it was time to go we went through the private security channel and were driven to the steps of our BA plane, which was very cool. Note that BA’s JFK flight is excluded due to the extra security rules for US departures.
Is this a cheap experience? No, not at £95 per person. Is it ‘worth it’? Well, there are different definitions of ‘worth it’, of course. It helps if you’re a bit of a lounge / aviation geek. It’s a no-brainer if you charge your work by the hour and can fit something in before you fly. Put it this way … I’d rather pay £95 for this and fly in Economy (which we did) than pay for Club Europe and have to use the standard City Airport procedures.
My only caveat is that, if you have checked luggage, you need to drop it in the main terminal as usual which is a bit of a pain. The Jet Centre team will pick you up from the airport bus stop afterwards. It is FAR smoother if you are on hand baggage only as you can then head directly to the Jet Centre and avoid the main building.
Anika’s full review of London City’s First Class Lounge is here. Anika also did a 60-second video which is on YouTube here.
One lounge photo is above. A full set are on our Instagram page (I couldn’t photograph the car or the security set-up.) You can book the lounge here – it MUST be done in advance so that your passport details can be cleared.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 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.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee 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.