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Our review of the Executive Lounge at Norwich Airport

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This is our review of the Executive Lounge at Norwich Airport.

This article is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.  We are now down to the really tricky final few lounges ….. it has taken us a long time to find someone passing through Norwich!

Reader Ian sent us some photos and this overview of the Norwich Airport lounge on a recent flight.

Over to Ian:

Norwich is a modestly sized airport, although it is bigger than you would think – it carries a lot of traffic for the southern parts of the North Sea oil and gas industry as well as the growing renewables operation.  You can fly to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester and Newcastle.  Long haul, you can fly to almost anywhere in the world via KLM’s Amsterdam hub, and tour operator TUI also runs a number of seasonal routes.

Norwich Airport Executive Lounge review

The airport introduced a “development fee” in 2007 to help fund further development of the airport’s infrastructure, passenger facilities and route network.  All passengers are required to pay the £10 fee, although children under 15 are free.  You must pay the fee online or at the payment machines before security.  Only the ticket desk and online accept American Express.

Fast track security can be added for an additional £3.  Generally I wouldn’t bother as queues are usually short and security efficient.  The only time I would consider buying access is if a large flight, such as a TUI one, is checking in.

I had priority access with my lounge access today and found that I couldn’t use the normal lane.  There was only one other person in front of me.

After clearing security there is a small duty free section, although I didn’t find prices to be much cheaper than the high street.
You then enter the departure area which has standard seating, a small WH Smith to the right and a ‘Traditional British pub’ on the left called Navigator which serves food all day, and a Costa Coffee.

The lounge

The Executive Lounge at Norwich Airport is situated next to Costa Coffee.  It is a very small lounge, with around 17 seats / desks, overlooking the tarmac. Whilst it can be quite busy in the mornings it appears to free up after the 08:40 flight to Aberdeen.

Here is the official PR picture:

Norwich Airport Executive Lounge review

….. which, to its credit, is pretty close to the real thing:

Norwich Executive Lounge seating

Just inside the entrance there is a small selection of newspapers, as well as a variety of charging cables, a printer and Wi-Fi.

Norwich Executive Lounge

There are no toilet or shower facilities within the lounge. Toilets are situated outside diagonally across beside WH Smith where there is also a small business area.

Food and drink

A range of teas, coffees and assorted soft drinks are available in the lounge. A limited selection of alcohol is served by the hosts, with a maximum of two drinks per guest.

Norwich Executive Lounge coffee

There is virtually no hot food. Before 10am, breakfast is available which includes a selection of pasties, croissants, white and brown bread, crumpets and a small selection of fruit, biscuits and nutri-bars.  Condiments include butter, margarine, marmalade, Nutella and Marmite.

Norwich Executive Lounge pastries

From 10am the website indicates that a selection of cold meats and cheeses, soup and bread rolls, cake and tray bake selections plus a variety of bar snacks are served. Since I was on a morning flight I did not stay long enough to see the changeover.

The lounge also makes provision for gluten free guests.

Norwich Executive Lounge coffeeConclusion

The Executive Lounge at Norwich Airport is an acceptable place to spend some time if you have complimentary access. Whether it is worth the £20 entry fee is a different matter.  For that money you could get better food and drink at the Navigator pub which has decent seating and is not too busy first thing in the morning.

Acccess to the Executive Lounge at Norwich Airport is given to anyone travelling in KLM business class, or those with SkyTeam Elite Plus status or higher. Loganair Flex + customers and Flybe customers travelling to Aberdeen on a flex, zonal or 4-4-3 pass also have access.

You can also get access with the major lounge passes including Priority Pass (which comes free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately), DragonPass, Lounge Club (two free entry vouchers with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold), Lounge Key, Lounge Pass and Diners Club International. Under 12’s are not permitted.”

Thanks Ian.  You can read more about the lounge on the Norwich Airport website here.

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Comments

  1. A-ha !

  2. I get my PA to book my flights but find that the Norwich pedestrianisation has left a dearth of parking options around the airport

  3. Got stung for the tenner fee. What a cheek! This should be incorporated in the ticket prices. Stansted for me if I ever have to got back to that neck of the woods!

    • Whilst not condoning the fee, if you can get to Stansted from Norwich for £10 (or family of 4 for £20) then please share how – plus factor in the time saved!

  4. Thanks for the gluten free mention. While it would be nice if it were more specific, the fact it was even put in the review is great!

  5. Pasties for breakfast? Corned beef and onion?

  6. Its interesting to see how Identikit in nature most of these small lounges are without having to go to the trouble and expense of taking a flight through each airport to see them all (assuming of course that one had complimentary access by some means or other as this one definitely doesn’t seem worth £20).

    It does also seem disappointing that they can’t offer a decent egg, bacon and sausage breakfast for anyone involved in the oil industry and heading off for a tough week’s work ahead of them….

    • Or should that have been Identical………..

      • Google Auto Complete is clearly a hazard given that this blog thing doesn’t allow immediate self editing of your posts. I bet that Genghis at least will have spotted my full name before it gets removed. But at least I now know his first real name and discovered that he is really quite a pleasant chap and not some fiendish warror from the Mongol hordes…………..

        • The Original David says:

          Why don’t you turn auto-complete off then? Life is much easier that way…

        • Charlieface says:

          Or just check what you wrote before you press submit. Shock horror I know. But maybe on mobile it’s not a natural thing to do.

    • Lady London says:

      Oïl industry feeds guys pretty well though.

  7. Concerto says:

    That 10 pound fee sounds like some sort of shady money grab you find in 3rd world countries. I’m surprised it’s allowed in Britain, should be in the ticket price.

    • Les Anderson says:

      Sadly you’re spot on regarding the ‘ improvements tax’ it’s a total rip off. Here in Norfolk we’ve been questioning its purpose for years as we’ve seen no ‘ improvements for the average flier at all,
      The airport won’t comment on it validity at all.
      A total con and holiday spoiler. Welcome to Norwich.

      • The Original David says:

        Is it stated on the various airlines’ websites when you book? If not, I’d claim it back from Amex…

        • That sounds good; what else can I claim back from Amex?

          • The Original David says:

            Anything that’s not in line with the contract you’ve agreed to. Making the price £10 more expensive would fit that category in my view.

            My most pleasing success recently was for a downgrade on an Asian airline (out of scope for EU261). After 3 months getting nowhere with the airline, Amex refunded me the fare difference within 24 hours of me asking them.

  8. Gillian Rudge says:

    I always suspected the ten pound development fee would perhaps pay for things like this.
    Some update scanning machines would speed things up a bit though

  9. Lady London says:

    Was that a resort fee, sorry development fee, charged by Norwich Airport?

    I was thinking of giving Norwich Airport a try on a break soon, but £10 ? off the passengers? They’re taking the p***.

    If they want money they either apply for a grant based on jobs and trade they bring to the area or they should charge the businesses or airlines using the airport as a commercial place of business. Like every other airport, those airlines and businesses then have to decide the balance of directly or indirectly recovering from their customers.

    I wonder how many familles of 4 got ambushed by those machines demanding £10 each and said “Norwich Airport?” “Never again”.

    • Us locals know about it, and campaign to the airport to raise their fees as part of the ticket price instead. Family of 4 pay £20 – we flew to Menorca last week. There are other smaller airports charging this, eg Newquay.

      • Lady London says:

        Really? So singles get discriminated against, again? That subsidy by me paying full whack and others not, adds to “Norwich Airport”? “Never”.

        • Having been required to spend a considerable amount of time in Norwich for work reasons many years ago, I would gladly pay £10 to never have to visit the s******e again.

          Sounds like a third world scam to me.

        • Tim Hewson says:

          No. A family of four Adults would pay £40. Children under 16 are free.

          • Well the point of paying at the airport is clearly so that you don’t know the extra charge exists when you book.

            But as with Ryanairs many hidden ripoffs its usually a case of once bitten twice shy so seems extremely shortsighted.

            Having said that the island of Mallorca is going down much the same path with a special tourist tax and a prohibition on apartments owners renting apartments for under 28 days that are eventually likely to Kill The Golden Goose.

  10. Jean Stacey says:

    About time Norwich “international?”Airport started doing more winter sun breaks,instead of most flights to hotspots in Europe ceasing to fly at the end of September..Those of us who would love to have an autumn break to say Cypress or Corfu can’t go,and also Jersey…I thought that would’ve been popular for Christmas breaks.
    Unfortunately I have to use Norwich when I go away…but had to pay nearly £200 extra just for my flight in May to Corfu. Why can we never get a cheap last minute bargain??. If you have ever managed it,please let us all know. It is a big rip off all round,including the parking fees.

    • The Original David says:

      Have you thought about moving house?

      • I was disappointed with the abandonment of the Dundee service, it forced me to drive all the way, most inconvenient , although I managed to survive the journey with the help of several large tinkering bsrs for sustenance.

    • Surely its possible to get a train down to Stansted or Luton airports. Especially if you can find some little out of the way station where nearby streets are not parking controlled and so you can park there for free while you are away?

      I agree that airport parking itself is normally very expensive, although rail fares do add up if you are going with four passengers………

      • I agree, with Julian finding a local station though when I was driving my rover it was vandalised by local youth, I now drive a Lexus.

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