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The Cardiff Airport lounge has pulled out of Priority Pass and Lounge Club

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The 51 Degrees lounge at Cardiff Airport has withdrawn from Priority Pass, Lounge Club and Mastercard’s LoungeKey – the three airport lounge schemes runs by Collinson.

This was effective as of 1st October.

Executive Lounge Cardiff Airport food

DragonPass, which is not part of the Collinson empire, is not impacted.  The airport website does say, however, that “only bookings made via Cardiff Airport guarantee access to the lounge – access with Dragonpass is subject to availability.”

It isn’t clear why this happened.  One possibility is that the daily Qatar Airways service, which departs at 4pm and so requires lounge space between the usually off-peak hours of 1pm and 4pm, has led to overcrowding.  It may, of course, also have been due to a falling out with Collinson over money.

We have an updated reader review of the Cardiff Airport lounge ready to go which we will hopefully run next weekend.  It seems that fewer of you will now get a chance to try it out, however.

The airport lounge page of the Cardiff Airport website is here, although it doesn’t add much to what I wrote above.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2024)

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.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

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

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (66)

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  • fivebobbill says:

    O/T – Just a quick thank you to those that helped with info for my recent trip to Israel, just got home yesterday. To recap, having assumed the BA Tel Aviv flight would depart from T5B/C gates as usual, some of you recommended the 5B Galleries Lounge instead of the usual North/South options, others suggested we then also use the “tunnel” instead of the transit to get to 5B.
    Just to report, the tunnel was an excellent choice, we met no-one down there but the resident paramedic & bicycle! Leisurely walk time was about 10 minutes, and a novelty!
    The 5B Lounge was like heaven compared to North/South, lots of empty areas, and the girls got their Elemis treatment within an hour! An actual pleasure for a change.
    As it turned out however, the Tel Aviv flight was diverted back to 5A gates with a bus transfer to plane, but it still only took us 10 leisurely minutes to walk back to 5A through the tunnel.
    I have another 3hrs + transfer time later this month when off to Singapore, and for sure I will be heading straight to the 5B Galleries Lounge, I would highly recommend everyone else does the same if they ever have the time.
    Thanks to all once again for the advice.

    • fivebobbill says:

      Oh by the way, the “Dan” Lounge in Tel Aviv T3 Concourse C was grim …

      • fivebobbill says:

        … and Dublin T1 Lounge wasn’t much better, the food options in there have really gone downhill lately, awful, and it’s always packed.

  • Neil Holland says:

    The Accor offer still missing a “Register” button at 15:20 on Sunday.

  • Anna says:

    OT re Hilton redemptions – if you book a night on points at an All-Inclusive resort, do you get the All-Inclusive package? I was looking at the Hilton La Romana but it doesn’t say whether or not there is an extra supplement to pay for F & B.

    • Zara says:

      Hi Anna I haven’t tried this but we go to all inclusive resorts often and going to Hilton dalaman this week actually which is also an all inclusive resort. Tbh when the resort is all inclusive they can’t reallt administer anything else so I can’t imagine there’d be a charge for anything otherwise because they can’t police it but if you like I can ask at the front office when I get there later in the week.

  • Jon says:

    O/T Rob, there’s a completely new Aspire Lounge to open in Edinburgh (in new location, beside new No.1 lounge) later this month (14th apparently) – anyone planning to review?

    • Rob says:

      We’ll try to get up there. Rhys is in Glasgow tomorrow at the Lomond Lounge.

    • Rob says:

      We’ll try to get up there. Rhys is in Glasgow tomorrow at the Lomond Lounge.

  • Scottydogg says:

    OT , i had to book a flight out of London City airport on Avios to go to a wedding . BA to Ibiza next year .
    The only option for the outbound journey was 2 seats left but in Business class . Now i know that as it is out of London City that its not worth taking Buisness class redemptions with no lounges etc , but there was no other option as the cash amount was too much to pay .

    So i was wondering , what (if any) are the perks when fly Biz from London city , is there priority security ? i think i read that you get a meal voucher instead of the lounge ? is this true ?
    Its a morning flight so would be a breakfast . Will be staying in a Marriot hotel the night before the flight so wondering if i should just eat at the hotel ….

    • Rob says:

      Zero perks except Priority Boarding, which is worthless at City since literally half the plane has BA status. City has no priority security.

      • Genghis says:

        And the seat exactly the same as economy unless you can get 2CD

      • Lumma says:

        Only golds get priority boarding though at city. It’s usually group 1 then everyone else.

        The meal is usually better than the Heathrow and Gatwick routes and they’re not shy with the drinks in Club.

        It does seem a waste of points but if there’s no economy and cash is too much then it gets you where you want to be…

  • filipino_chino says:

    Damn…. I am flying on the 16th of December from Cardiff… i will have to see how much it costs to book direct…

  • MarkH says:

    OT – I have a reward flight RIO-MAD booked on Iberia and I want to book MAD-LHR for cash as it is only £29 (so much better value than 6500 + £17.30).

    Would it be possible to merge the 2 flights onto the same PNR so I can check bags through to LHR?

    Would it be possible if MAD-LHR were an Avios flight? Thinking it might be worth doing despite the poor value to save the hassle…

    If neither of those is possible, what is the suggested connection time? The flight from Rio lands at 10.10am so would getting the 12:30 or 13:20 MAD-LHR flights be feasible?

    • Lumma says:

      Book a later flight and enjoy the Iberia lounge (make sure the flight is on BA not Iberia so you’ll be in T4s).

      Assuming the flight from Rio is business you can access the lounge when flying economy on the Madrid to London leg

      • Lumma says:

        Don’t forget, there’s also the arrivals lounge if you do need to go landside to collect bags. Not much there but a quiet place to shower

    • Shoestring says:

      short answer no, (though it may theoretically be possible eg if you bought both legs through a travel agent)

      in reality, that’s not the scenario and it doesn’t matter if MAD-LHR is an Avios flight or not, the 2 legs are simply never going to be joined onto 1 PNR after the event (after you purchased them separately), IB won’t do it

      if you have luggage to collect, you’ll need to do that in Madrid and clear security again & check it in again etc (luggage wouldn’t be interlined through to LHR)

      which all takes time plus you need to allow contingency time for delays, I would say the 13.20 isn’t realistically feasible if you have checked in luggage but if not, possibly OK if you are fully prepared to lose your booking/ money for the MAD-LHR leg if you don’t make it (you can’t normally insure this risk [a short connection] as nearly all insurance cos expect you to allow enough time for the connection)

      • meta says:

        10:10 to 13:20 is ok for T4S-T4S for connection even with checked luggage. Do use lifts rather than escalators as they are much quicker. I wouldn’t do 12:30 flight with checked luggage as you need to go to T4 to check-in again. If hand luggage, it’s a very easy connection as you only need to go through security.

      • MarkH says:

        Thanks both for the info and tips.

        Unfortunately the BA flights are too early or much later so will likely be Iberia but will make sure to leave enough time.

        In hindsight I should have just booked the reward flights through to LHR and taken the small hit on value of the SH sector to save the hassle of having to collect bags etc.
        You live and learn!

        • Lady London says:

          Particularly as the lounge is reportedly very nice is it the Sala Velasquez? Personally i would not book anything leaving MAD before 4pm or even a bit later as your incoming could be late and lounge ok

          • Yan says:

            It is not a bad lounge but certainly not worth (or any J lounge) spending 5 hours after a long-haul red-eye
            If the cash ticket is that cheap, you can book a Plus fare with 3hr+ connection time and move to an earlier flight for free after landing or baggage claim (T-1hr). I believe this is the only route where same-day change works on non-BA metal

  • big dutch says:

    Cardiff Airport one of the worst I have ever come across from just about every angle and the lounge fitted right in with that – no loss whatsoever and really not worth directly booking!

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