In a discussion on HfP yesterday about the value of the Fast Track airport security passes that you get at Gatwick when you pre-book the No1 Lounge, reader Keith mentioned that you can get free Fast Track security at selected airports if you have a Mastercard.
This includes London Gatwick and London Luton, plus five other UK airports.
This was news to me, and is probably news to you too.
You need to register here for Mastercard Travel Experiences.
How does Mastercard Travel Experiences work?
It’s very simple:
- you register your ‘participating’ Mastercard at the Mastercard Travel Experiences website here, or via their app
- you receive THREE Fast Track airport security passes every 12 months
- you receive discounts at selected airport restaurants when you show your Mastercard Travel Experiences ‘e-Cert’ or the app
The only catch as far as I can see is that only the named cardholder can use the Fast Track passes. Your family or partner can only accompany you if they register a Mastercard of their own.
Which Mastercard cards are ‘participating’?
It isn’t clear, so you need to use trial and error.
My Curve Card was accepted. Our reader yesterday said that his Barclaycard Avios card was refused, but this was very shortly after launch so the situation may have changed.
If you don’t have a card that works, you can order a free Curve Card here. Curve will even give you £10 for ordering it via our link. It doesn’t show on your credit file as it isn’t a credit product.
Please post your successes or failures in the comments.
(EDIT: Reader feedback below is mixed and confusing. Curve cards seem to work for some people but not others. The same goes for Currensea. Other UK cards seem to fail, but cards issued in the EU seem to be OK. It is all very odd.)
Which airports offer Fast Track security to Mastercard holders?
You cannot see the full list of 177 participating airports on the Mastercard Travel Experiences website. It shows the first 15 alphabetically but you can’t see the rest. The app doesn’t show any of the 177 airports and insists that you plug in random airport names to search.
However, I tried the major UK airports with manual searches.
You can get free Fast Track security passes for the following airports:
- London Gatwick
It doesn’t work for Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Derry, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Humberside, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, Newquay, Norwich, Southend or Teesside.
What restaurant discounts are available?
The list of airports with restaurant discounts is far bigger than the list of airports which offer Fast Track.
At Heathrow, for example, you have:
- 10% off at Leon (T2)
- 15% off at Giraffe (T5)
- 15% off at The Curator (T3)
- 15% off at The Prince of Wales (T4)
- 15% off at Wonder Tree (T2)
- 15% off at Spuntino (T3)
Remember that, whilst I have focused on UK airports here, you can use it at airports globally.
I haven’t tried it out yet but I can see it being useful for low cost flights from Gatwick and Luton. If you have used Mastercard Travel Experiences, please let us know how it went in the comments.