This is our review of the new, expanded Skylife lounge at London Southend Airport.
Back in 2016 Rob had a pleasant day out at London Southend Airport including a visit to the small Skylife lounge. Since then the lounge has been fully refurbished and hugely expanded and reader Olivier was so kind and sent us pictures of it.
The entrance is the same as before with an added door on the right for the entrance to the new area. This is an old 2016 picture so ignore the £20.95 price (it is now £22.95 if you pay cash). The capital ‘L’ in ‘Life’ has also now been dropped!
When Olivier visited the lounge in February, the old lounge area was not in use. One of the employees told him this part would be refurbished later this year once they understood what worked with the new area and what didn’t.
The new area is huge compared to the old lounge, with a large number of sitting areas, many of them featuring comfortable sofas. There is also a large dining area with tables and chairs.
Olivier was very positive about the setting, the design, the decoration and the furniture used.
The food on the buffet was only pastries and fruit in the mid-afternoon, but they also have a machine to make your own pancakes and one to make your own hot dog.
There was a good selection of alcohol including draught beer.
All in all the improvements are very positive and the Skylife lounge at London Southend Airport now appears to be competitive with independent lounges at similar sized airports. When Olivier visited the lounge on a Wednesday afternoon there was only one other couple there. Even if it did get busier there would always be enough seating.
You can get into the lounge using Priority Pass. You can buy one here or you receive two (which admit four people between them) with The Platinum Card from American Express. You also get two free vouchers for one-off lounge visits with American Express Gold.
You can book for cash via the Lounge Pass website here.
This article is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK. You see all of the reviews here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 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.