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British Airways changes access rules for the Dubai airport lounge

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I was in the British Airways Dubai lounge on Saturday – an updated review is on the way.

The bottom line is that, whilst a virtually brand new space, it is far too small, especially when an A380 is running.

BA has now made some drastic changes to offset this. The new policy is confirmed on the oneworld alliance lounge website here.

British Airways Dubai lounge

Going forward, the British Airways lounge is only accessible to:

  • First Class passengers
  • British Airways Gold and oneworld Emerald members

Club World customers, BA Executive Club Silver and oneworld Sapphire card holders are now meant to use the (not great) Marhaba Lounge opposite.

However, I’m not entirely sure that this is being followed in practice.

When I arrived with my children, I was given a pass for ‘The Bar’ (the renamed ‘Concorde Bar’ – the ‘Concorde’ branding is going at JFK too) which is a private room at the far side of the lounge. This is now the only place with self pour alcohol.

I was travelling Club World and am Gold, not Gold Guest List. My daughter is Silver, my son in Blue.

If I was sent to ‘The Bar’, who was using the rest of the lounge? And why was only one other group in ‘The Bar’? It seems odd that there would only be two Gold card holders on a 100% full Boeing 777 service.

Whatever the answer, you should assume that – unless you are Gold or flying in First Class – you won’t be using the British Airways lounge.

We’re nominated for a Business Travel Journalism Award

I’m pleased to say that we’ve been nominated for ‘Editorial Team of the Year’ at the 2022 Business Travel Journalism Awards.

Whilst we have won a few of these awards in the past (ahem), it is always difficult to compete with the print titles because we don’t do long-form writing.

It’s far easier for the judges to appreciate a 5,000 word deep dive into a topic than consider the effort and skill required to write 10 x 500 word ‘sharp, relevant and to the point’ summaries on 10 different topics.

October 2022 was a record month for us with 2.47 million page views, putting us comfortably on target for 25 million for the year – a good way to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

PS. Talking of 500 word articles, I contributed a piece on predicting the future of travel to Malcolm Ginsberg’s new ‘Travel News Update’ monthly newsletter this week, which you can find here. ‘Travel News Update’ is designed to be a free round-up of forthcoming events, openings and developments in the industry.


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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (45)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Andrew O says:

    I was in the lounge on the 5th October and it was crowded. I was on the 777 back to LHR flying club.

    With all the recent changes I think I’m going to stick with Virgin and try and use the KLM/Air France alliance.

  • Chung Man Wong says:

    Good luck with the award! It is always a joy to read HfP articles.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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