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New luxury lounge planned for Newcastle Airport

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It looks like a lot of regional airports in the UK are seeing value in adding high-end lounge offerings.

I was recently in the Lomond Lounge at Glasgow Airport (review here) which has also just opened and offers, to my view, a genuinely premium experience – albeit for £40.

Newcastle Airport is the latest to announce a new premium lounge, and is hoping to have it open and running by Summer 2020. Our experience with lounges, however, is that they are almost always delayed ….

The new lounge is being designed for 100 guests – so it will not be huge – and will compete with the existing British Airways lounge reviewed here  and the existing pay-to-use Aspire and Aspire Plus lounges (review).

To quote Nick Jones, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport:

“Airport lounges are becoming increasingly popular, and with the introduction of this new premium lounge in summer 2020, this will ensure we are satisfying customer demand.

“We are working closely with the designers to create a high-quality facility that responds to a range of customer requirements.”

It does look very classy (see artists impression above) with a warm brown-grey finish with wood and brass accents, as well as excellent views.  We will be up there to try it out next Summer.

Newcastle new luxury lounge

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.

Comments (128)

  • Marko says:

    OT: I chatted with a frequent flyer from the US yesterday and he mentioned that he brings gifts to the Cabin Crew when he flies long-haul Business, and that in the US it is not so uncommon to bring small gifts to flight attendants. He asked me if people did that in Europe and I had no clue, I have never done it personally.

    Does anyone of the FFs here know if this is something that happens on long-haul flights departing from Europe? People trying to get a last-minute upgrade, better service or just being nice? 🙂

    • Ian M says:

      I’ve never seen it and it’s never crossed my mind.

    • Gari Baldi says:

      Seems creepy to me.

    • Mike says:

      What is it with Americans and their determined wish to tip/gift everything that moves on the planet……….I believe in a cheery thanks. .

    • LewisB says:

      The worst part of American culture is the tipping, and possibly not including tax on purchases. Never seen anyone gift a flight attendant anything… just seems strange!

    • John says:

      Lots of posters on BA flyertalk have said they do it, and there are some Brits amongst them

    • Marko says:

      I thought so that it is not very common in Europe. When I experienced a fantastic service from a flight attendant I would just thank her for that prior to landing and mention her full name in the survey. Most of them were really happy to hear that. Giving gifts would seem a bit odd, and it never even crossed my mind to do it.

    • Mummy55 says:

      My sister who has worked as cabin crew for over 30 years always takes chocolates and sweets to give to the crew when she flies as a passenger.!

    • Anna says:

      I can’t think that it would get you an upgrade as that’s decided before you board the plane! Also I suspect there are guidelines about what they can accept, e.g. any food items would have to be sealed, so no homemade cake or similar!

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      My girlfriends sister fly’s for a major airline, we discussed this the other day, apparently the crew love gifts!

      • Rhys says:

        On the recent Virgin Atlantic press flight to Tel Aviv, CEO Shai Weiss had two big boxes of wine gums for forward and rear crew!

    • AndyL says:

      I do it regularly (out of kindness) It is always well received and appreciated.

      • Dev says:

        The only thing I have ever given to cabin crew members on British Airways is the Golden Ticket. When an individual provides exceptional service, I will do so at the end of the flight. The look on their faces when they realise what they have been given is absolutely priceless.

        On one occasion, while travelling in BA F, the service by the member of cabin crew working on the starboard side of the cabin, was beyond any superlatives I could use. We chatted a lot throughout the flight and after we had landed, I gave the physical BA Golden Ticket to her. At first she thought I had given her a business card. But when she realised what she had received, the sound of clapping, happy laughter and whoops of joy from her and her colleagues in the front galley were the sounds I heard as I disembarked.

        Having also experienced excellent service on Virgin Atlantic flights, I have provided feedback to the airline on several occasions. It is my understanding that the members of cabin crew do not necessarily get any of the feedback or thanks. I hope that they will institute something similar to BA, so that frequent flyers can thank them in a special way.

        • Crafty says:

          Right… er, what is it then?

          • Little Pansey says:

            Sounds like some sort of adult proposition

          • Dev says:

            The BA Golden Ticket is a physical card shaped paper ticket that you can give to a member of BA staff, not just cabin crew, in recognition of the service you have received from them. In turn, as part of their regular reviews with their managers, they get rewarded for receiving it. Quite a good idea in my opinion.

  • Scallder says:

    OT (kind of as an Amex offer query): my wife and I both had the £100 off offer from Princess Cruises. I spent £100 last night on both our cards to pay off a bit from my parents’ upcoming cruise but the charge is showing as ‘Carnival’ given they’re the parent company, rather than Princess.

    Has anyone else used this offer and if so did it come up as Carnival and did the credit come through ok? TIA.

    • Mr. AC says:

      I’d wait a week and give Amex a call (or try the chat, although I’ve had mixed results).

    • Andrew says:

      My brother did that for me. Not sure what appeared on his statement, but he did get the £100 back. It is officially “Carnival Plc t/a Princess Cruises”.

      Keep an eye on your statement though, he doesn’t use that particular card very often, and within 48 hours of a spend on the Princess Cruises website he was getting Deliveroo charges through – Amex immediately refunded.

      • Scallder says:

        Hi Andrew – thanks for that. They were both on the SPG Amex (wife’s and my supplementary) which we use frequently so will spot anything else, but will keep an eye on it. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • Matt says:

    OT (bits):
    IHG double bonus points promotion written up by Rob on 10th August…does anyone please have a screen shot of their email, or the t&cs for this? IHG are being unwilling (or strangely unable) to locate details of this offer. And of course I’ve foolishly deleted my email.
    Thanks for any help,
    Matt

    • Lyn says:

      Terms and Conditions

      To qualify to receive the 100% bonus points, you must book with bonus points added to your rate by September 4, 2019 and stay before October 4, 2019. After qualifying, please allow up to 4 weeks for bonus points to post to your account. 100% bonus points are based on bonus points member earns from Bonus Points Package rate only and are not Elite Qualifying. To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment. Miles earners will earn points and not miles for this offer. Must be an IHG® Rewards Club member or enroll prior to stay. Rooms are available at participating InterContinental Hotels Group hotels in select destinations around the world. Rates are limited and subject to availability. The Venetian® Las Vegas, the Palazzo® Las Vegas, Regent® hotels, and IHG® Army Hotels are excluded from the promotion. Bonus points will be awarded upon the terms of the Bonus Points Rate and completion of stay. Base points and Bonus Points are Elite Qualifying. Points earned from promotions are not Elite Qualifying. Only one member per room will be awarded the applicable bonus points. Package components may vary by region and by hotel. Any unused components of the package are non-refundable. No retroactive points or bonus points will be awarded for nights stayed prior to enrollment. Blackout dates may apply. Rates are per room, per night, and extra person charges and rollaway bed charges may apply. Other restrictions may apply. Rates do not include taxes, gratuities, or incidental charges, including food and beverages. Miles earners will earn points for this offer. A stay is one or more consecutive nights at the same hotel regardless of frequency of check-in/checkout. Subject to standard IHG® Rewards Club program terms and conditions. ©2019 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated

      • Lyn says:

        Matt, the Ts&Cs above were at the bottom of an August 7th e-mail from IHG. The e-mail specifically mentions stays at Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza or Even hotels. Hope this helps.

    • Rob says:

      Eh? Rules are on the registration page which is linked in the article on numerous occasions.

      • Lyn says:

        Rob, as it happens that particular link in the August article seems to bring up a Hilton web-page instead of IHG. Which is why I included the Ts&Cs from my e-mail for Matt.

        • Matt says:

          Thank you very much Lyn. Hopefully I can put your info to good use.
          Best,
          Matt

        • Rob says:

          Ah, sorry, I thought you meant the 4x article from Saturday. Will get that fixed. There is a ‘behind the scenes’ IT reason for it happening.

  • Graeme says:

    Slightly OT: I’ve got a £20 off £150 spend on an Amex card.
    If I book via avisba.com and choose a Budget car (£20 cheaper for a group E than an Avis one) will this still go through as an Avis booking?
    TIA

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Not in my experience. Budget goes through as Budget EMEA. It really needs to be an Avis car.

  • Stuart says:

    Does the airport really need this? The normal Aspire lounge gets full quite often but never seen more than a handful in the Aspire Plus lounge. People aren’t going to pay for this new lounge if they get the BA one for free either!

    • TigerTanaka says:

      The Aspire lounge can be a problem mid-late morning when huge parts of it are reserved for EK pax.
      Having said that, the Aspire Plus area always seems to be empty when I walk past.

      I wonder if any airlines will move their premium/status passengers to the new NCL lounge?

    • Darren says:

      The BA lounge needs a refresh, it’s looking tired.

  • Mike says:

    OT – Rob just a quick thanks for the series of articles on Vietnam and in particular Vietnam Airlines, it was not an airline I was familiar / aware of until now. Vietnam via Vietnam Airlines is certainly on my shopping list now. Thanks – great work by Rhys.

    • Rhys says:

      Always a pleasure!

      • joe bloggs says:

        I’m sure, given that it was a free holiday for you and “plus one”

        • Rob says:

          We do not allow long trips on paid HFP time if there are no meetings or no easy ability to work remotely – anything longer than a couple of days has to straddle a weekend and/or involve a couple of days out of the holiday entitlement.

          You’re welcome to apply for our next job opening though!

  • meta says:

    O/T I also had on spend £80 get £20 back on Eurostar appear on my Amex Plat this morning.

    • LewisB says:

      +1. Was considering trying out the Amsterdam route one way so this will come in handy!

      • Genghis says:

        I think I prefer the train. Much more civilised. Time wise they’re almost the same for us door to door (Amstel being our go to) even if going from LCY. It’s like the runway at AMS is in a different country.

        • LewisB says:

          I can drop my bag at CWL, pass security and board the early KL departure quicker than the taxi at AMS. Definitely not quicker for me but it’s nice to change things up sometimes.

      • PaulC says:

        We caught the Amsterdam train from Brussels having stopped off at Bruges for a few days earlier last month.

        Sadly it was 30mins late and then broke down at Mechelen and were left to make our own way to Amsterdam having been held hostage on the train for 1hour 30mins before the decided they couldnt fix it. We arrived into amsterdam 4 hours late and missed our Ann Frank time slot (Had to pay again the following day)

        We paid for Standard Premier and all we have been offerred is 50% refund or 75% back in Eurostar vouchers. Living in the North West we wont get chance to try Eurostar again so have had to settle for 50% refund.

        Very dissapointed as we never got to experince any of the Standard Premier perks, and had hardly left Brussels!!

        We could of paid a few quid less and caught any Thalys train that day but wanted to try the Standard Premier.

  • Trevor says:

    Hi folks. For info 250 points offer not appearing on my Rewards or Costco card.

    • Sharon says:

      Not appearing on any of our 4 cards in the household

    • Harry T says:

      I haven’t got them on any of the four cards (and supps) in my household. I never get targeted for these offer though – I didn’t get the last “spend x get x MR”.