New No 1 lounge at Luton only accepting DragonPass

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No 1 Lounges has revealed more information on its new Luton lounge.

We recently ran an article on the top new UK airport lounge openings planned for H2 2019.  One of those was the new Clubrooms lounge at Luton.

This is an odd one.  Luton has one lounge, the recently refurbished Aspire which we reviewed here.  It is decent but frequently overcrowded.

It was therefore good news when No 1 Lounges decided to invest in Luton.  What no-one quite understands, however, is why it has gone for its premium Clubrooms format, with table service and a la carte dining.

No 1 is now taking bookings from 1st July for the new Luton Clubrooms.

For bookings by 23rd June, for visits until the year end, you can save 33% (£24, down from £36) by using code LUTON24You need to book via this page here.

Got a lounge club card?  You’re out of luck – with one exception.

Only holders of DragonPass – which is mainly NatWest Black cardholders – can pay £15 to reserve a spot in Clubrooms.  This option is not available to Priority Pass, Lounge Club or LoungeKey customers.  You can reserve your spot here.

I would be very surprised if DragonPass cardholders were allowed free entry in Luton on a walk-up basis, given the £15 reservation fee.  I would imagine a top-up payment will be required.

Note that no children under 5 are allowed, and parents with children over 5 may be seated together and kept away from other guests (read the T&Cs!).

We will pop along and take a look in early July to let you know if it is worth the money or not!

Clubrooms lounge Luton Airport opening

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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. OT – it’s now approaching 3 weeks since I submitted EU261 claims for our delayed flight from NYC and BA have not responded to me, though they have emailed my OH trying to fob him off with something which didn’t even happen! If I now ask for this to be taken to the next stage am I better submitting 2 separate claims or one claim for both of us? We were on the same booking.

    • Chris L says:

      3 weeks is nothing – I suggest chasing the existing claim. Submitting two claims for the same booking might complicate things. Unfortunately, although the law does provide compensation for consumers, it doesn’t specify how quickly airlines have to respond to claims.

      • I’ve sent follow-up email on behalf of both of us already, I’m just want to be sure of the best way of going ahead if BA refuse to budge.

        • Shoestring says:

          either get deadlock agreement from BA OR wait 8 weeks;
          and then start MCOL/ CEDR (I’d go straight to MCOL)

          but yes – try and engage them first, threaten MCOL & ask for somebody to take a second look etc

          they were always pretty responsive with me (just a few days) so if you [Anna] don’t have a timely reply it could mean it’s fallen through the cracks, no particular harm I guess in repeating the claim process online & telling them you’re doing so because you didn’t get a reply/ reference/ acknowledgement

          • Thanks – was hoping you’d direct me to MCOL or CEDR!

          • Lady London says:

            get “final answer” from them, or 3 refusals, or claim still not resolved (or not heard) after 8 weeks of lodging your claim. Then go straight to MCOL.

            I wouldn’t lodge any new claim but would keep referring to the originally submitted claim(s), by ref number. Why start the clock again for them by submitting a new claim?

            I am sure you will get your money Anna.

            The different story British Airways is now coming out with in response to your claim, just goes to show that if you think you might have a claim, listen carefully to everything the airline says at the time about the reason for the delay, note who said it, and get your watch out and time exactly the point at which the door is open on the aircraft WITH the airbridge or stairs connected AND AVAILABLE TO USE. Regardless of any “welcome to… x city” at the point the wheels of the aircraft touch the ground, for EU261, at least, the above is the landing time that is compared to the originally scheduled landing time in order to determine the lateness of your arrival at your final destination.

        • Thanks LL. Our connecting flight to MAN had left 30 minutes prior to us landing at LHR so the timing is watertight. BA obviously know this and that’s why they have tried to fob us off with a different issue and by totally avoiding any mention of the air conditioning! I had a look at the Bott and Co website but can’t bear the thought of paying them £200 for each of us when I have plenty of time to pursue my claim and more than 25 years’ experience of giving evidence in court professionally!

          • Shoestring says:

            Bott & Co is great for nervous ninnies (MCOL) or else people who can’t spare the time

          • I’ve just remembered that we have some sort of legal services cover through work which might cover this kind of thing – I will give their office a call tomorrow, no point in doing all the leg work if we don’t have to!

          • Lady London says:

            I honestly think would take as long to get the legal cover help activated and even longer to brief someone, than it will take you to just do an mcol if BA hasnt coughed up 8 weeks after claim submission.

            I’d do them the courtesy of sending them a ‘letter before action’ email 2 weeks before the 8 is up and telling them you will be doing this.

  2. Where are they locating this new Luton Lounge? I find since they refurbed and extended the Luton aspire it’s a fairly decent lounge option all things considered

    • Lady London says:

      I hope Rob will test the No. 1 Clubrooms at a peak time – say 5pm on a Friday.

      Having said that, most times seem to be “peak” for the Aspire lounge at Luton. Every time I’ve been in there it’s varied from full to rammed. The lounge dragons are constantly turning away a stream of people . Wish they would add a lounge to Stansted as well which has the same problem – appalling airport with no space to sit, only retail, and only one lounge that isn’t anywhere near satisfying the need.

      I would take a guess that Luton allowed a No. 1 Clubrooms-level lounge to be added, and not a No. 1 level lounge, because of screams of protest from Aspire (defo not Clubrooms level) about having to share the business.

      An extra lounge in LTN is long overdue.

      • If the only way in is by paying £36 cash (or perhaps £15 co-pay on a Dragonpass) I expect it to be very quiet at 5pm on a Friday!

  3. Virgin Credit Cards – does anybody know how long the additional bonus miles take to come through? Spent the 3k in first statement period and have had the first 15k bonus but no sign of the next 15k bonus.

    Is this common with Virgin money? Have heard bad things about customer support.

    Thanks

    • Shoestring says:

      gets paid with the monthly statement dated after you hit the target

    • fivebobbill says:

      I just put over £3k through the card in my first month, statement came in 2 days ago with all 30,000 bonus points added

    • BA-flyer says:

      Same thing happened to me. Virgin Money denied I was entitled to the extra bonus, and refused to provide them. Had to go to the Ombudsman and really kick up a fuss. The whole experience put me off ever using Virgin Money for anything else; I certainly wouldn’t recommend them.

      • You could have emailed me and Sinead, who many of you met at the Christmas party, would have fixed it.

        Amazed FOS helped, they are usually rubbish on points claims.

        • Rob, I sent a letter in couple of weeks ago to appeal and finally got my reply today saying their decision remains the same.
          Only wanted it for a good non Amex earner and would have made the spend relatively easily.

          • Our acceptance rate was 68% last month. This is very low (has been over 90%). Given that technically they only want a £7k min income, which all our readers have, something is ‘up’.

          • Lady London says:

            Interestinglyt, 3 days ago on 17th June, Rob did an excellent article that included a major loyalty card provider finding the contracted rewards were unsustainable for heavy spenders [my paraphrasing].

          • That wasn’t Virgin Money though!

        • BA-flyer says:

          I did email you – it was you who suggested going to the FOS. 🙂 The FOS were not interested, so then I lodged a Subject Access Request with both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Money, and the points suddenly appeared.

  4. OT:
    Booked last min avios trip to TLV – 2 adults / 2 small kids for last week of July.

    Any accomodation idea’s at this stage? Hotels no longer possible on points. and prices exhorbitant- think £250 per night in a 4 star…

    Any tips of holiday apartments with pools, other than airbnb or other accommodation options?

    • Oh dear, hotels in Israel ARE expensive beyond any reason. Did you check Crowne Plaza? My partner and I got a decent stay there last year on points. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you try sites like homeaway.co.uk or holidaylettings.co.uk – I got good home rentals in Croatia and Turkey with them in the past

    • fivebobbill says:

      Tell me about it Nick, I’m away for 5 nights in October and the hotel prices are frightening!
      However there are plenty of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments available.
      I managed to get a very nice 2 bed, 3 bath, two-storey penthouse apt near the beach off Dizengoff, they were looking over £1100 on some of the aforementioned sites, but I got it for 799 plus cleaning fees on a particular site that gives you one reward night in 10.
      No pool though unfortunately.
      As I say, that’s for 5 nights…

    • Any hotels where you could buy points and save?

      • Thanks Raffles,
        Which hotel schemes would this be possible on?
        Ie which ones allows you to use points even when the hotel is near capacity?

        • Hyatt and Marriott

          But it may also be that Hilton and IHG hotels have reward nights unbooked (they are obliged to put a fixed number up) even if cash rates are very high.

    • Lady London says:

      Can anyone tell me why is Tel Aviv so trendy now?

  5. James says:

    Does anybody reading have experience of the following scenario please?

    One adult with an Amex-supplied Priority Pass going in to a quiet lounge with a toddler and a newish baby.

    Will they charge the baby as an additional guest or be kind about it?

    • Kids under 2 almost always go in free.

    • AndyW says:

      Also in my experience (having been to a few with an under two in the last couple of years) is that the priority pass website usually has the age range that is free.

      • James says:

        Thanks to both of you, we appreciate it. My wife will be getting a 6 am flight from Stansted with them, and I thought she could have a coffee and breakfast just after they open. Not worth £20 though. We’ll see if they have a published policy about age, which didn’t occur to us. We’ve only flown together since getting the PPs.

        • There are only 1 PP lounge at STN – the Escape
          and its confirmed on the PP app that kids under 2 go free

        • Lady London says:

          At Stansted i use Prêt. Other than space issues not much difference with lounge and food is better. If you want to get into that lounge best to get there when they open which is 0400 or so. Big lots of tables frequently reserved for people arriving about 3 hours after that, so they dont take many walkups some days. Seen people getting turned away 6am and before.

  6. Chrisasaurus says:

    Hi Bits fans. Question for you – the access to the heathrow T5 Pods through the Thistle carpark – is this available only if staying in the Thistle? The Premier Inn next door has rooms the night I need before a 6am flight but the Thistle itself does not…

    • As Thistle invested in the infrastructure (ie the automatic gate) I would imagine no.

      The £5 goes to the airport.

      • You can pay £5 each way at the desk in the Thistle for the access codes at any point – they won’t know if you’re staying or not.

        Alternatively time it right and follow someone through…

  7. O/T (Tesco Debit Card): Since 3% interest is dusted now, I wonder any good use of this current account.

    Any Credit Card bill that I can pay with Tesco Debit Card that earn points?

    • Richard says:

      they arent meant to earn as it is a transaction to a financial institution and usually dont in my experience

      • David says:

        Do you shop in Tesco? Tesco Pay+ linked to Tesco debit card is the highest possible earning rate from Tesco shopping: total of 2.25 CC points (5.4 avios) per pound, including normal Clubcard earning.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      I’ve recieved Clubcard points on payments to Interactive Investors, NSI and HMRC and its been implied to me that Curve will soon be restricting some or all of these payments so it might be worth holding on to if you’ll be paying any of them.

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        I’ve not had any Clubcard points on said purchases since Curve implemented the MCC change.
        Used to pay off all my credit cards with my Curve Card linked to my Tesco Debit Card!

    • Charlieface says:

      Double points for using the card as a clubcard at Tesco petrol stations. This is irrespective of whether you pay with the card. £50/month on fuel = extra 600 points

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You get that after you close the account anyway 😉

      • Genghis says:

        Yep. Paying on Pay+ with the clubcard set as your debit card clubcard number and using the debit card as the payment card = 2.25 clubcard points / £ (and Tesco are the cheapest for me – check out the PetrolPrices app).

  8. Si**o says:

    OT/ Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher

    I currently have a trip booked for LGW-ALC -LGW next week that I now will not be able to use due to work.

    1)I take it I can cancel and get the voucher back?
    2)I will be working over in Poland now for the next few months, can I use the voucher for a trip starting in Poland back to the UK?

    • 1. If you cancel (as opposed to change), you forfeit the voucher.

      2. Yes, you can start your journey outside the UK.

    • Si**o says:

      Perfect thanks, rung avios and managed to get WAW-LHR-WAW for the dates I needed in the future.

      Flights/dates can be changed as long as the change is within the same zone.

      They made me pay 1,000 avios in difference due to peak/off-peak timmings which is fine, but did also make me pay the £35 change fee on top.

      • BigSi says:

        That is correct, you made a change to the booking and need to pay £35 fee.

  9. Shoestring says:

    https://www.flyingblue.us/en/partners/hotel/hotel-le-club-accor-hotels/presentation
    Give yourself even more reason to indulge in a special treat by enrolling in the new Miles+Points service from Flying Blue and Le Club AccorHotels.
    With Miles+Points you’ll have the opportunity to double earn Flying Blue Miles and Le Club AccorHotels Rewards points simultaneously with each eligible flight taken or participating hotel stay:
    When you fly you earn Le Club AccorHotels Rewards points in addition to your usual Flying Blue Miles (2 euros spent on a flight or paid options related to the flight = 1 Rewards point).
    When you stay at a Le Club AccorHotels hotel you earn Flying Blue Miles in addition to your usual Rewards points (1 euro spent at Le club AccorHotels = up to 1 Flying Blue Mile).

    • Doing this tomorrow or Sat – no brainer to register.

    • Lady London says:

      Interestingly, Qantas has just announced some kind of a tie-up with Air France and KLM (who are Skyteam) and Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) as part of the revamp of their loyalty program announced yesterday.

      Would be too good to be true to think you could book tickets on Qantas by flying on AF and KL, but who knows.

      Wonder if this means the old alliances are increasingly falling away, will be ignored and airlines doing their own individual tie-ups instead.

      • marcw says:

        Well it’s very interesting indeed. In fact, you can already book JAL and Malaysia Airlines with Flying Blue miles. Sometimes it’s better vale than using Avios, since on Flying Blue connections are included.

  10. David says:

    Bits: About to book a €1000 prepaid hotel room. Have BA AMEX, Good Amex and Curve//Hilton VISA as options. What’s best? I don’t have time for getting a new card and rarely spend abroad.

    I’m thinking Curve//Hilton.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Personally I’d use Curve/Hilton for that.

      Amex Gold would be second as you’ll get double points, but pay 2.99% FX fee.

      • Lady London says:

        Hilton card would preserve more of your rights s75 etc as Curve is intermediary.

    • Shoestring says:

      if you hit the £15K spend on Gold (to trigger the 10K MR bonus, Gold is better than BA Amex (ignoring value of 2-4-1 etc)

      Normal GBP spend:
      1.67 MR/ £1 (Gold) vs 1.5 (BAPP),

      foreign spend – both pay the 2.99% – in this scenario you”d be earning 2.67 MR/ £1 on the Gold

      no idea about Hilton

    • Andrew says:

      Before doing anything, best to check through your card provider’s and employer’s offers to see if there are any deals that will give you a return?

      Just clicked through for booking my boss’s stay in an Accor Hotel. £2,300 for 3 nights. 20% Back means £460 for me. 🙂

  11. OT – Just applied IHG premium card added to Curve, got 2 questions if anyone could help.
    1. It shows Marriott card in Curve app, is that normal?
    2. Any cash advance charge for ATM currently?
    Thanks

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