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Review: The Amelia Earhart lounge at City of Derry Airport

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This is our review of the Amelia Earhart lounge at the City of Derry Airport.

It is part of our series on UK airport lounges. You can see the full list here, which is almost complete.

Since none of us are based in Northern Ireland reader Derek very kindly offered to review the Derry lounge for us.  Another reader, Keith, supplied some of the photographs below and we also took some images from the airport and Priority Pass websites.  Over to Derek:

“City of Derry Airport is a small publicly owned and funded airport in Northern Ireland, in the north west corner.  In the early noughties the airport used to be a haven for tier point seekers with Loganair fares. In those days the executive lounge was in a conference room beside the control tower and only had a coffee machine.

City of Derry Airport

Everything changed with the arrival of Ryanair. The main departure lounge was expanded and an extension added to provide new toilets, shops and a proper executive lounge, the Amelia Earhart Lounge. At present Ryanair is in retreat and Loganair has returned.

Amelia Earhart lounge

The Amelia Earhart Lounge at Derry

This lounge is a small rectangular room which can seat about twenty five people and faces out onto the airport apron. Anyone familiar with the now extinct old style of British Airways executive lounges at small regional airports such as Southampton will feel very much at home in it.

Amelia Earhart Lounge

The entrance is located behind the checkout for the gift shop and the shop staff also act as the reception/lounge staff. It is best to check at the Customer Service desk before Security that the lounge is available so that they can get it ready for you.

Seating

On entering you are faced with two rows of seats. The row closest to the window consist of two small tables each with two small lounge chairs against the window and on the other side of the aisle two sofas.

The other row consist of two small tables each with two small lounge chairs backing onto the sofas and two tables with two chairs against the back wall. There are a few standard three pins UK sockets in the walls.

Amelia Earhart Lounge

Food and drink

In the far corner from the entrance are the food and drink offerings. These are very limited. There are two fridges. The unlocked one contains soft drinks and water. The locked one contains beers, white wine (in quarter bottles) etc.  There is a locked press beside the fridge that contains other alcoholic offerings.

Amelia Earhart lounge drinks

There is a strict two free alcoholic drink limit in the lounge. On the window side is a kettle and Nespresso machine.  Beside these are the only snacks: biscuits and crisps.

Amelia Earhart lounge

Access

Access to the lounge is given to anyone travelling on Loganairs’ FlyFlex+ fares and holders of Priority Pass (free with American Express Platinum, or buy one here) or DragonPass lounge cards. It can be booked in advance on the City of Derry Airport website – normal price of £12.50 – and you can also pay on the door.

Note that the lounge does NOT accept the two free Lounge Club passes issued with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.

Conclusion

City of Derry airport is a small airport and the main waiting area is pleasant enough. The lounge is a more comfortable place to wait for your flight, is beside the departure gates and the staff are always very pleasant. Only once have I seen the lounge busy and that was when a Ryanair flight was delayed by four hours and people bought access to fill their time.  For most flights there are no more than ten people using the lounge.”


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (October 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

60,000 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 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  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 (11)

  • Shoestring says:

    Only 2 free drinks! That would be a pretty poor use of DragonPass, which even with the Barclays deal cost £15 each after your 6 free ones have been used.

    • Lumma says:

      Dreadful drinks too…

    • db7 says:

      CoDA is such a small airport with mainly 49/39 seat jungle jets flying from it one doesn’t need to arrive until about 45 minutes before the flight. The lounge is more than adequate for a fifteen minute wait and two drinks is a rush.

      Unless you have free access I would just pay the 12.50 or just go to the bar/cafe and pay as needed. Except when a FR and charter flight are leaving at the same time the main area is a pleasent enough place to wait.

  • Michael says:

    This is a perfectly pleasant lounge – I’ve visited a few times.
    It’s a quiet and comfortable space to relax or work and avoid sitting in the small departures area.
    I think there’s a good selection of drinks (I’m not sure what exactly sure what some people are complaining about! Perhaps they’re expecting unlimited champagne and premium spirits in a regional airport lounge?) although I do think the food selection is poor.
    For a regional airport with often less than 5 flights a day, I think this is a well managed lounge (as it must be difficult to make the numbers work).
    With free Priority Pass access or only £12.50 paid entry I think it can only be recommended.

    • Lady London says:

      It’s a similar standard to quite a few lounges i have used with BA and LH status at outstations.

    • Shoestring says:

      Sure, with a free PP or paying £12.50 it’s OK – 2 alcoholic drinks costing (say) £8 (Guinness/ Magners/ small Bud – but not large servings & not a pint) plus peace & quiet & some crisps/ biscuits.

      Anything more than free or £12.50 and it starts to look expensive for what you get

  • Peter K says:

    Why doesn’t Derry get it’s own airline? They could call it DerryAir!

  • Nick_C says:

    I didn’t know that she landed near Derry. Nice to name the Lounge after her.

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