During the pandemic, British Airways has been quietly cutting lounge access at many of its European destinations. This has not been well communicated to customers who often did not find out until they were turned away at the lounge door.
Most of the lounges used by British Airways are still open, so anyone with a Priority Pass can usually still get access. Some HfP readers have been frustrated to see Iberia passengers getting access whilst BA passengers do not.
There is no proof that these cancellations are permanent. We have already seen BA adding back lounge access at domestic airports such as Jersey as travel has picked up. Bologna has returned to the list in the last couple of days, for example.
EDIT: we have updated the list on 12/9 with reader feedback, thank you
The latest official position can be found by checking the oneworld alliance lounge access page here. When looking up a lounge you need to look for British Airways to be listed under the ‘Airlines’ heading.
Flyertalk has also put together a crowd sourced list of which BA lounges are currently open. You can find it in this thread in the wiki part at the top. You will also find information there on lounges outside the UK, but treat the oneworld website as the most accurate source.
As of last night, the oneworld website showed that the following European airports had lounges which were accepting British Airways passengers:
- Frankfurt (JAL flight days only)
- Gran Canaria
There may be other lounges which have begun to accept BA passengers again but which have not been picked up yet. Check the oneworld website link above for the official line and please post in the comments if you spot any.
The ‘open’ list is slightly eclectic – Spain-heavy, probably due to the Iberia relationship, with some huge omissions. The one I use the most – Hamburg – is gone, for example, although Priority Pass remains valid.
If you want to secure lounge access for an upcoming trip, you can get a Priority Pass for free with the American Express Platinum card. Both the main cardholder and one supplementary cardholder receive a Priority Pass, and each card admits two people for free.
This means that you can get a family of four people into a lounge for free, as many times as you want if both the main and supplementary cardholder are travelling together. There is NO LIMIT to the number of lounge visits you can make for free. Our full review of Amex Platinum is here.
You can also get a ‘two free visits’ Priority Pass if you apply for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. As Amex Gold is free for the first year, this is an easy way of getting totally free airport lounge access for a couple. Further visits after the first two free ones are charged at £20. The Amex Gold route is by far the easiest option for a one-off trip.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.