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Can I pay to get into a British Airways lounge?

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Today I want to look at if you can pay to get into British Airways airport lounges.

British Airways has a very impressive set of lounges at its London hubs, as well as some surprising gems overseas.  A brand new BA lounge complex opened at London Gatwick Airport in 2018 which we reviewed here – it is possible the nicest lounge that BA has.

At Heathrow, British Airways has EIGHT lounges!

In Terminal 5, you have:

Galleries Club South – review here (main building, business class tickets and Silver card holders)

Galleries Club North (main building, business class tickets and Silver card holders)

Galleries First – review here (main building, Gold card holders)

The Concorde Room – review here (main building, First Class ticket holders)

Galleries – review here (Terminal 5B satellite, business and First Class ticket holders, Silver and Gold card holders)

Arrivals – review here 

In Terminal 3, you have:

Galleries Club – review here (business class tickets and Silver card holders)

Galleries First – review here (First Class tickets and Gold card holders)

British Airways also has lounges at many UK regional airports – Manchester is pictured below

Can I pay to get access to a british airways airport lounge?

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that British Airways does not sell airport lounge access.  A lot of airlines have started to do this in recent years but not BA.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t buy access to a suitable lounge, however.

All UK airports have ‘pay to visit’ lounges.  We have reviewed lots of them – click here and you will see all of our airport lounge reviews.

The three main UK ‘pay to enter’ lounge networks are (click to visit their websites):

No 1 Lounges 


Plaza Premium 

Heathrow Terminal 5 has an excellent Plaza Premium lounge (review) and a very average Aspire lounge (review)Our lounge reviews list covers the rest of Heathrow, Gatwick and some other UK airports.

You can also buy a Priority Pass card which gives access globally to over 1,000 lounges.  You can learn about Priority Pass here.  Two free Priority Pass cards, which get four people into a lounge between them, are a perk of the American Express Platinum charge card.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

Can I get into an airport lounge for free?

Yes, there is a way to get into an airport lounge for free.

Apply for the – free in the first year – American Express Gold credit card.  Here’s my Amex Gold review.

It comes with a Lounge Club card.  Your first two airport lounge visits using the card are FREE.  Further visits are charged at £20 each.  If you are a family of four, your partner could also apply for an Amex Gold which means you would have two Lounge Club cards between you, which would get four people in.

Lounge Club does not get you into British Airways lounges but it DOES get you into the majority of No 1, Aspire and Plaza Premium lounges as well as many many more.

Even better, Amex Gold comes with 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for signing up.  These convert into 10,000 Avios, 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles or many other schemes, which is an amazing sign-up deal.  You can learn more about the Amex Gold credit card here.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)

How to get 30,000 Avios from Amex Gold or 60,000 Avios from Amex Platinum (September 2021 offer)

The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 30,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year. You can apply here.

30,000 points is a special offer which ends on 9th November 2021. Find out more 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

You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 60,000 Avios. You can apply here.

60,000 points on The Platinum Card is a special offer which ends on 2nd November 2021. Find out more here:

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

If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also look at the British Airways Accelerating Business card, because it currently has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up. You can apply here.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.

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