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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.

Norwich Airport Executive Lounge review

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.

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 coffee

Conclusion

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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold 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

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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.

Comments (30)

  • 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”.

    • signol says:

      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”.

        • mvcvz says:

          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.

          • Julian says:

            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.

  • 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?

      • Alan says:

        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.

    • Julian says:

      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………

      • Alan says:

        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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