BA

Bits: I try London City’s First Class Lounge, Pullman Berlin, enter our New York competition

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

News in brief:

I finally try London City’s First Class Lounge

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 below.  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.

London City Airport First Class Lounge

I recommend Pullman Berlin

When we landed in Berlin, we did a quick overnight stop before flying onwards the next morning.  I decided to try the Pullman Berlin, which is one of Accor’s five star brands.

A h-u-g-e amount of money has just been spent refurbishing Pullman Berlin.  It looks amazing, especially in the public areas.  It is a fusion of Bauhaus style with animal influences (Berlin Zoo is opposite).  Click on the photo below to enlarge.  The only area left to complete is the pool and spa which is closed until the end of April.

We paid £90 per room including breakfast, which even by Berlin prices was cheap for such a high quality property.  Using points in Berlin outside peak season is generally not worth it given the cash rates.  It is very close to Zoo station – the InterContinental Berlin is directly opposite (you can use their pool whilst the Pullman pool is closed) and the new Waldorf Astoria is a couple of minutes away.

I recommend adding Pullman Berlin to your shortlist if you are heading to Berlin soon.  The hotel website is here.

Pullman Berlin

Enter our New York competition!

A quick reminder that we are currently giving away two Economy flights to New York in a special competition, flying from Heathrow or Gatwick at any point up to the end of September.

YOU decide who you fly with.  The entry form – which is here (click) – asks you which airline you’d like to fly with and to pick one reason why.  If you win, that’s who you will be on!

Entries close on Wednesday but you might as well do it now.  One entry per person, UK residents only, the winner MUST travel.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

What do you do when BA suspects you of selling Avios and closes your account?
Don't book a hotel on Sunday, because we have a special deal on Monday!
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
BA
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Paul Stevens says:

    OT: Eurostar from Amsterdam to London has a stopover in Brussels. Are you allowed out of the station or are you kept in a pen? Also, aside from buying two tickets (Amsterdam to Brussels, Brussels to London) is there anyway to increase the stopover time?

  2. Group of 9 of us travelling to Seville soon for a birthday celebration, of the group 4 are silver. Keen to start the trip in the best way so does anyone know if there are any circumstances where BA allow an additional guest into their lounges?

    Think I know the answer but worth posing

    Thanks

  3. Personally, I would arrive just in time for boarding/check-in in LCY, with quick check in and security lines. With hand luggage only, I usually arrive 30 min before scheduled departure.

    Everything else is a waste of money/time.

    That’s the advantage of using LCY: small, quick and efficient. There’s really no point going there too early. Spend your money and time somewhere else – £95 per person is a lot of booze.

  4. On a completely different note, I have just been resent a new Lloyds Avios Amex and Mastercard today with a 03/22 expiry. What on earth is going on? I thought it was meant to be completely shutting down next month?!

    • It is. The replacement card is automatic, it will still be closed in a few weeks.

      • Has anyone received a letter yet? Nothing for me and into my new year next month so hopefully should manage another voucher in time.

      • this is news to me. What happened to getting several months notice before closure?

        • Is there any value in waiting for the card to be forecefully closed or just cancelling it very shortly anyway? I suppose it ties in with amount spent in relation to card years voucher.

        • Any idea what will happen to those who have spent towards their next viucher; will they get voucher anyway without hitting target?

    • No letters for me x two Lloyds accounts.

  5. Travel to Berlin a few times a year for work. Personally I much prefer the former East and Alexanderplatz is is my go to area. Sure the hotels aren’t the big splash that they are in the former West but I love the area. Stay at H4.

  6. *to* seville!

  7. OT- any advice is greatly appreciated, has anyone had experience of Amex Platinum travel insurance claim, due to a friend’s wedding abroad being cancelled, for the air fare and accommodation fees? I would rather have put the money to somewhere I wanted to go than put up for a week there, if possible.

  8. the_real_a says:

    OT – Fintech current account Monese linking with Avios to view, EXCHANGE and earn Avios through debit card spend.

    https://monese.com/blog/2019/02/introducing-avios

  9. OT but need to get a confession off my chest, I just did something I promised I would never do and paid £352 in BA seat selection fees (88 each, each way) – I got panicky as the cabin appeared to be filling up (Gatwick 777 with 32J) and after our last trip I fell in love with the (previously much feared) middle pair so have gone for 3E/F as 4E is the bassinet seat. Not relevant to anything here but feel a mixture of pleasure at not having to rush to check in at T-24 and guilt at shelling out the ££…. ☺️

    • I think BA saw you coming

    • Groan…Never failed to see a middle pair available at T-24h . I have also seen cabin crew help reseat pax when their CW seating assignments didn’t work for them.

      • Not sure why I thought posting on here would make me feel any better 😂 Never mind!

        • Reserving the seats made you feel better though and that is all that matters. It also bought you peace of mind from now until your flight. You can obviously afford it or you wouldn’t have done it. There are no bad decisions if they are the right decisions for you, regardless of what others here think.

        • I’m with BJ on this. Just relax and forget the fee. It’s gone now and you’ve got the seats you want. I’ve paid to get seats on the upstairs of a 747 before. Enjoy your trip.

        • I’ve paid to reserve seats before as my wife hates fitting and knowing we’d get decent seats made it with the cost for me. As said, the peace of mind is invaluable.

  10. O/T
    Could someone post the gold to platinum upgrade link.

    Many thanks

  11. Shoestring says:

    O/T this is meant to be for Ubereats – worth checking on Uber taxis?
    [£5.00 off UberEats when you checkout with Mastercard.
    Use code BRIT2019 when checking out using your Mastercard on UberEats app.
    Valid until 23h59 24/02/2019 for the first 50,000 users.]

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.