This is our review of the SKYLIFE Lounge at Teesside International Airport (formerly Durham Tees Valley Airport).
This was previously known as the Premium Lounge before the recent rebranding of the airport. The various lounge club websites, such as prioritypass.com, are still using the old names for both the airport and the lounge.
This article is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK. You can see all of the reviews here.
In our ongoing effort to review every lounge in the UK, reader Anita very kindly sent us this review of the SKYLIFE Lounge, the only lounge offering at Teesside International Airport.
Over to Anita:
“Durham Tees Valley is no more. Having been taken over by the local authorities, it has now been renamed Teesside International Airport in line with its aim to attract 1.4m passengers by 2023.
Dwindling passenger numbers and the cancellation of many scheduled and charter routes means Teesside International Airport has suffered serious neglect in recent years. Hopefully the change of ownership will reverse this. There is a real air of optimism and energy about the place, starting with a revamp of the airside areas, including an improved lounge offering called ‘The SKYLIFE Lounge’.
At the moment the lounge is only open from 4.30am – 10am and 3pm – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 4.30am – 10am on Saturday and 7am – 11am on Sunday. There are so few flights it doesn’t need to be open longer.
Here is an official PR picture:
…. and here is the real thing:
The SKYLIFE Lounge is easy to locate given the size of the terminal! There is no duty free, only a WH Smith and a bar serving food. The lounge is next to Gate 3, which is where the KLM flight leaves from.
We were the first to arrive at 7.45am for a 10.05 departure. By 9.15am the lounge had 21 passengers in it, all of whom appeared to be business travellers. The maximum capacity of the lounge is 50 so it was about half full – although there are plans to extend and provide a dedicated lounge for leisure travellers and families as the airport picks up more charter business (under 18s are not allowed in).
The lounge itself is a bright, air-conditioned space, with lots of natural light and views out to the runway. Staff are cheerful and helpful and appeared to know regular guests. There is a mix of sofas, tables and chairs for individuals and couples:
….. as well as three workstations. Connectivity is good with plenty of power sockets throughout the lounge, although no USB charging points.
Toilets are within feet of the lounge entrance in the public area outside.
The SKYLIFE Lounge has a decent buffet with lots of variety. We had our pick from a hot breakfast (sausage, bacon, beans, scrambled egg):
…. as well as pastries, cereals, breads, biscuits, crackers, cheese and fresh fruit. I’m told that the afternoon offering includes sandwiches, a pasta dish, sausage rolls, cakes and scones.
There is cranberry, tomato, apple and orange juice, still and sparkling water and bottles of soft drinks. Alcohol was again self-service. There was a plentiful supply of red, white and rose Chilean wines, along with branded spirits (Bells, Beefeater, etc). Hot drinks are available from a machine which dispenses coffee, cappuccinos, hot chocolate and hot water for the great variety of teas.
High speed wifi is available whilst printing and photocopying is on request. There were newspapers, with mostly a single copy of the FT, Times, Daily Express and Telegraph. There isn’t much emphasis on magazines here, with only an old Grazia from May. A couple of widescreen TVs were showing Sky News.
Departures are not announced, but a screen keeps you informed and as the lounge is so small the reception staff will give you a prod when the flight is boarding. You can even watch your flight pull up outside.
Teesside International Airport’s big plus at the moment for travellers is its size. It’s friendly, personable and stress-free. If you’re contemplating flying with KLM to Amsterdam, or connecting onwards, I’d highly recommend it as an alternative to Newcastle International Airport or Leeds Bradford. With no queues and a good quality offering it was a great start to our day.
How to enter the SKYLIFE Lounge at Teesside International Airport
KLM uses the SKYLIFE Lounge at Teesside International Airport for its business passengers as well as those with Gold or Platinum Flying Blue status. Eligible guests from Eastern Airways can also use the lounge.
You can also access the SKYLIFE Lounge with Priority Pass (which comes free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately), DragonPass, and Diners Club. You can also enter with a Lounge Club card (two free entry vouchers come with the free-in-year-one American Express Preferred Rewards Gold).
You can also pay cash via the Lounge Pass website at £21.95 per person. You can buy annual membership for £199 but this must be done in person.”
Thank you Anita. You can read more about the SKYLIFE Lounge on the airport website here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2020)
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 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.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee 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 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 HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to almost all of them – indexed here.