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No1 Lounges sold to Aspire and Collinson – they will rejoin Priority Pass

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As we predicted a couple of weeks ago, No1 Lounges has been sold to a joint venture of Collinson (owners of Priority Pass and 50% owner of Club Aspire lounges), via its Airport Dimensions subsidiary, and Swissport (owners of Aspire lounges and 50% owner of Club Aspire lounges).

The deal includes the nine remaining No1 Lounges sites, covering London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Birmingham.

The sites in Luton and Edinburgh have closed permanently.

No1 Lounges sold to Aspire and Collinson

No1 Lounges undertook a CVA process at the end of the last year to free itself from onerous leases. The Australian arm of No1 Lounges was sold two weeks ago which only left the UK sites.

It appears, at the moment, that the No1 Lounge and Clubrooms brands will be retained. The My Lounge brand looks as if it will disappear, as No1 had already planned, with the two Gatwick sites reopening under a new name.

Whilst it isn’t clear, it seems that No1 will operate independently from Swissport and Collinson. The press release implies that CEO John Upton will remain, at least for now.

One positive move for HfP readers is that No1 Lounges will return to Priority Pass, which is owned by Collinson.

No1 Lounges sold to Aspire and Collinson

For Collinson, acquiring No1 Lounges is about far more than making money from the lounges themselves.

With the UK Plaza Premium lounges pulling out of Priority Pass on Wednesday and No1 Lounges having pulled out last year, there was a big risk that UK financial institutions would drop Priority Pass.

After Plaza Premium withdrew, No1 became a ‘must have’ if Collinson wanted to retain momentum for Priority Pass and Lounge Key with American Express, HSBC and other partners.

This move is a blow for Plaza Premium and DragonPass. Acquiring No1 – or at least seeing it kept away from Collinson and Priority Pass – would have been a key driver in expanding DragonPass’s penetration with UK banks and credit cards.


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 (39)

  • MJ says:

    I’m still hoping Amex continues to expand their Centurian lounges. Visited the HK lounge a couple of years ago, and was considerably impressed compared to the Aspire/Plaza Premium lounges in the UK.

    • Dominic Barrington says:

      I tried to visit the centurion lounge in Dallas a few days ago, only to be told it would take over 90 minutes before I would be allowed to go in. Needless to say I never got in because it was time to get on the plane!

  • Adam says:

    I wonder if this will affect the validity of my credit note, still unused since 4th April 2020!

  • pigeon says:

    When these lounges rejoin priority pass will I be able to use lounge access credits from previous Amex card years that have gone unused due to the shutdowns? Or has Amex actually expired these?

    • Rob says:

      Amex Gold passes are expired if not used.

      • pigeon says:

        Pretty much the only voucher / pass I’ve had that’s actually expired during Covid then!

        That said if the savings were passed through to Amex that might have put them in a position to fund the Deliveroo / Extra Shop Small / etc offers, so I’m not necessarily losing out.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    Slight aside DragonPass had extended our membership after email confirmed and passes to January 2022, overnight extended to July 2022 and passes expired!
    Email sent today, will report back

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    Will No 1 now drop the sham of pretending to be fully booked, when it is clearly empty and remains so (BHX) to try and con a £5 booking fee out of passengers with PP?? I would expect so with Collinson at the helm!

  • Tracey says:

    I wonder if this impacts DragonPass? Natwest rewards swapped from priority pass to dragon pass a couple of years ago. But hit and miss which lounges are included.

    • Colin JE says:

      +1 Hope the Collinson owned lounges won’t start playing games with Dragonpass holders.

      Will also miss No1 Edinburgh but hopefully another lounge may appear in that corner.

  • Chris says:

    Presumably there is also a mostly built Clubrooms in Edinburgh that would be available to a new tenant, Will miss No.1 as when they started out it was a step above the rest, don’t forget how bad the BA lounge in EDI is for breakfast and hot food! The best outcome would be a Plaza Premium but that feels a bit farfetched in the current climate.

  • Simon Held says:

    What happens about Amex access to lounges?

    • Rob says:

      No1 goes back into Priority Pass so it will be accessible again to anyone with Amex Gold or Amex Platinum.

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