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Is British Airways closing the Newcastle lounge permanently?

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According to reports on Flyertalk, British Airways is to close its lounge at Newcastle Airport.

Staff have, reportedly, been put into consultation over redundancy.

Whilst I would normally urge caution over such rumours, I know the person who posted the story and he is probably the most regular user of the Newcastle lounge.

Is British Airways closing the Newcastle lounge permanently?

It is not clear if British Airways passengers will be able to use the Aspire lounge, or indeed if BA will let Aspire take over the space.

Regular readers will remember that Aspire took over management of the British Airways lounge at Belfast City Airport last year, with a medium term plan to combine the space with its own facility.

There do not appear to be any other lounge closures planned at present, although you need to question whether airports like Aberdeen can sustain both a British Airways lounge and an excellent independent lounge.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 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 (38)

  • Lady London says:

    It’s a bit of a brand clash but if you’re planning on using this Fairmont offer make sure you sign up ahead for any Accor promotion. You’re spending the money so you might as well.

    Rob did an article on the new 3x 2 day Accor stays promo last week. Small beer compared to Fairmont cost as only 120 euros achievable per person but might as well. It will pay for a few drinks at least.

    Split your stay into chunks of 2 nights with each consecutive 2 night block booked by a different partner, your son etc. and ensure you are all pre-signed up before making the booking for each chunk. This way 12 nights gets 240 euros. Just inform the hotel either before or when arriving that you’d like to stay in the same room.

    Accor has advanced skills in refusing to honour promotions offered and will make consecutive stays in the same name only 1 stay 1 promo credit. They also make sure promos dont stack.

    Fairmont of course had one or two lovely promos and hard to imagine they are now owned by Accor but still…

    • Lady London says:

      Hum. noticed this one is Travelzoo which would give Accor an excuse not to pay out !! a channel that looks “direct” would need to be found.

    • memesweeper says:

      “ Accor has advanced skills in refusing to honour promotions “

      LOL – not just me then!

  • Green Plastic says:

    Just out of interest, who are the people who fly CE on domestic routes like Aberdeen when the lounge at ABZ is closed? Surely it is simply not worth the premium. I appreciate some (most?) of them might have their tickets paid for by their employers, but still seems a waste

    • Rob says:

      It is included if connecting to a long haul in Club.

      BA brought it in when buy on board launched because people paying £6k for fully flex CW Aberdeen to Houston would otherwise br forced to pay for refreshments on the connection.

    • Andrew says:

      Sometimes if you’re a student or with lots of stuff then actually flying CE can be a better value option as you get 2x32kg included.

  • MikeL says:

    Just be aware that you will be required to provide documentary evidence of a negative Covid test within 72 hrs prior to departure. Friends of ours paid £150 per test x 4 from an accredited testing centre in Manchester but it was just out of date by the time they arrived in Barbados. As a consequence , another 4 local tests @ $150 each and they were sent to an isolation hotel for 2 days until the test results were known.

    Travelers without a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required to take a test upon arrival. If you are traveling from a High-Risk country and haven’t submitted proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result or the test is not validated, you will be required to take a test and remain at the airport or a government facility until the results are available.
    To be considered for fast-tracking processing upon arrival, persons traveling from High and Medium-Risk countries are advised to take a COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited facility 72 hours prior to travel. PCR test results should clearly state PCR test and the date the test was done.
    Persons from High-Risk countries with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be quarantined at a designated holding hotel or approved villa at their own expense, or free of charge at a government facility, and will be monitored daily for the onset of symptoms.

    • Nigel says:

      It seems a second test required a week into stay too (I think not mentioned above)?

      “Effective 14 September, arrivals will be required to undertake a second COVID-19 PCR test 5 – 7 days after arrival.”

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/barbados

    • ChrisW says:

      Good Lord. They are really going to have to introduce something easier/cheaper if they want to encourage people to travel longhaul this winter. What a faff.

      • Catalan says:

        @CRISW, this ‘faff’ as you put it, is keeping Barbados safe. Good on them for doing so!

      • Jack says:

        Agreed. I won’t be traveling with onerous regulations. I suspect most will agree.

    • Andi says:

      The tests on arrival are free of charge if you have them at the airport rather than at your hotel, as is the second test 5 days in. I am heading out next week and have booked a suite with a private rooftop plunge pool to isolate in for 48hours while we await the result (at the Crane Resort). The UK is currently listed as a medium risk destination which allows you to continue your holiday as normal once negative results come back. Last week however, Barbados moved Spain, France, Italy and Ireland into the High risk category which requires 7 days of full quarantine (this can be done in a government facility or in accredited hotel but you are not allowed to leave your room if you choose the hotel option). This is due for review every 2 weeks and I am worried that the recent spike in the UK may mean an upgrade for us from Medium to High risk which will ruin the idea of a shorter holiday.

      All of the rules are available at https://www.visitbarbados.org/covid-19-travel-guidelines-2020

      • Mark says:

        Take a look at FT and Tripadvisor before you book to BGI. We were thinking about it but there is a non-negligible risk of someone on your plane being tested positive on arrival which means you will be required to isolate (properly enforced, not like in UK!) for 14 days. Seems most returning locals don’t get tested before departure as it is free for them on arrival. If someone tests positive then several rows around them on the plane are required to isolate. There are some pretty unpleasant stories of ruined holidays…

        • Andi says:

          Agreed. Obviously one way of slightly mitigating the chances of this is flying in business where the seats are more spread out and there are fewer people in the cabin who could potentially test positive. The screens and space available in the business cabin also minimise the risk of you catching it but this does not minimise the risk of someone else being positive. It is a risk I am willing to take at the moment for a decent and relatively safe holiday in the sun. Barbados is recording on average 1 positive case a day – mostly picked up in testing on arrival.

  • Andrew says:

    You don’t need to fly CE to use the lounge.

    Silver and Gold cardholders have access no matter where they are sitting.

    Don’t forget that many people who take domestic flights use them like buses so rack up tier points. I’ve friends who live in Aberdeenshire who do weekend nightshifts at GSTT. Friends in Fife who work as a locum teacher and locum GP in London (they first met in the BMI lounge) and an old school mate whose commute from Edinburgh to Docklands is quicker than many of his colleagues.

    On a normal Friday night domestic from LHR, you’ll find there’s over 100 people in the Silver and Gold queue and half a dozen in the “everyone else” queue.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Rob,

    From your distant memory, do you recall which suite types are interconnecting, if any?

  • Novice says:

    Barbados is also offering year-long residency visas for ppl who want to remotely work. I understand why an island nation would do this (Barbados economy is dependant on tourists) but I think if I was the person making decisions on an island, I’d go down the NZ route. I said this back in Feb that UK is an island if we shut borders etc. (which brexiters wanted anyway) then we could have all been living better now.

    I think it’s horrendous that a person can go to a pub but can’t see your GP, doctors, dentists etc. I think there’ll be more death due to the fact no doctors want to see any patients than what the virus has caused. I think Sweden possibly went down a better route. I like extremes. Either shut the whole border or just let everyone catch the virus. The 5% in population who die should have been written off as Act of God and all survivors could have just relaxed. Now it’s turning into a waiting game. Will we get second wave/lockdown/death?

    • Novice says:

      Apparently, there’s going to be mass testing in England now according to bojo. I don’t know what have they been waiting for? I’ve been saying this for ages.

      • Novice says:

        Actually, he just made it up. The tests don’t exist.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Mass testing with 250k tests a day. He’s talking out of his ar*e. People were already being offered tests 100’s miles away when they had symptoms.

          Problem is the symptoms are similar to many different non Covid ailments.

          • Novice says:

            I agree. With winter bugs going around soon, all symptoms are similar to what I go through every December since I was born. That’s why I keep saying to everyone I know that I think I’ve had it because Dec/Jan my winter bug was a little too edgy (thought I was gonna die)… So, my prediction is 9/10 in winter, it’ll just be the normal bugs and everyone will stress themselves to an early grave…

            And, I know my logical self can sound harsh when saying let at risk ppl die and other survivors live but it’s not like I don’t have skin in the game. My granny is old and frail and I don’t want anything to happen to her but thankfully she encourages everyone to live and not stress over her.

    • John says:

      Funnily enough Sweden has now met the unofficial criteria for coming off the UK naughty list, but the UK is about to meet the criteria for getting on the list

  • Iain says:

    Rob – do you know what the virgin Barbados schedule is in October? Can’t find any reward availability

    • Rob says:

      No, I don’t unfortunately. It’s Saturday only at present I think but picks up next month.

  • Cuchlainn says:

    OH travelled back from BHX to BFS on Sunday night and was refused entry at BHX Airside Aspire Lounge, whilst trying to use her Platinum Amex issued PP Card – 4 people in the lounge but refused entry as “not booked 48hrs in advance”. Not advised on PP App or webpage.

    Is this common at PP / Aspire etc lounges and any recourse for refused entry ?

    • Riccatti says:

      Common for lounges in the UK looking to make an extra buck with “a reservation”.

      Recourse… cancel Amex Plat!

      • Lady London says:

        Unless the lounge is the size of a postage stamp this is pretty blatant.

        Thanks to @Riccatti’s comment I now realise that must have been what Mylounge in Gatwick North must have been trying on me when they were practically empty but wouldn’t let me in

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