O2 has extended the duration of its pop-up airport lounge at Gatwick’s North Terminal.
Due to close last Sunday, it has now been extended by two weeks to 24th October. This will cover you if you are heading off for half term.
Entry is FREE to O2 mobile customers and anyone else who gets access to O2 Priority. This includes Virgin Media customers, but not Virgin Mobile.
It may be worth spending £1 on an O2 SIM ….. although this article implies that a £10 top-up would be required to activate it.
How it works
The lounge is called the ‘O2 Roam Freely Lounge’.
It is there to promote the fact that O2 is now the only major mobile network that lets you roam freely in the EU, up to 25GB of data usage.
Can Virgin Media customers get access too?
Yes, customers of Virgin Media are eligible to register for O2 Priority, but not (we think) customers of Virgin Mobile.
When is it open?
The lounge is open between 6am and 3pm, seven days per week, until 24th October.
What’s in the lounge?
O2 is promising “comfy seats, free drinks and snacks plus free Wi-Fi. Expect a cinema room courtesy of the legends at Disney+.”
How do I get in?
You MUST pre-book your free visit on this page of the O2 website.
Visits are restricted to 60 minutes.
Can I bring a guest?
You are allowed one guest per O2 Priority account.
More importantly ….. where the heck has O2 got a fully functioning airport lounge from?
Back in October 2021, the Club Aspire lounge in the North Terminal at Gatwick Airport was closed for good – click for our story.
For a lounge that only opened in 2018 following an expensive refurbishment, and in a terminal that was always likely to get close to its pre-covid capacity in Summer 2022, this was unexpected.
There was a reason, of course.
Club Aspire lounges – as opposed to standard Aspire lounges – are owned by a joint venture between Swissport and Priority Pass-owner Collinson.
The same two partners had recently acquired No1 Lounges, which includes the flagship site in Gatwick North. In fact, it came with three sites in Gatwick North – No1 Lounge, Clubrooms and My Lounge (now the easyJet ‘The Gateway’ lounge).
You can see how four lounges could be seen as overkill and Club Aspire had a poor geographic position. It occupied the bottom level of the Gatwick lounge pavilion. This was unfortunate, as it meant it was two floors below concourse level and had no views from the main area. There were windows but they were frosted.
If you want to check out the O2 lounge, you must be a member of the O2 Priority rewards programme and must pre-register your visit here.
I would do it now, even if you aren’t travelling until nearer the end date of 24th October, as the number of daily slots is limited and it will fill quickly over half term.
Thanks to Daniel for the news about the extension.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 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.