An interesting route allows you to get free membership of the DragonPass airport lounge programme.
This allows you to enter any DragonPass affiliated lounge for just £24, which represents a substantial saving – often close to 50% – on the standard cash rate.
Let’s take a step back first for some background …..
If you do not have airline status or are not travelling in Business or First Class, the only way to get airport lounge access (without paying steep walk-up prices) is via membership of a lounge club.
The two major lounge access schemes are:
- Priority Pass (buy outright here or free – bring up to four people unlimited times – with American Express Platinum or four free visits per year for Amex Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders)
- DragonPass (perhaps best known in the UK for being given to premium NatWest customers and Barclays Premier and Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card holders)
What exclusive deals does DragonPass offer?
Here are some interesting London examples which are NOT available with Priority Pass:
Exclusive DragonPass offers at Heathrow:
You get dining discounts – but no freebies – at Giraffe (T5), Joe’s Coffee House (T4), The Prince of Wales (T4), Spuntino (T3), The Curator (T3), Leon (T2), Wonder Tree (T2).
Exclusive DragonPass offers at Gatwick:
You can get dining discounts – but no freebies – at Nicholas Culpepper (North), Sonoma (North), Shake Shack (North), Giraffe (South), Wonder Tree (South), Joe’s Coffee House (South)
You can search the DragonPass lounge directory here.
What does a DragonPass card cost?
The standard prices for a DragonPass card are listed here (toggle to GBP in the menu bar).
The standard fee for a basic membership is £68, which comes with one free lounge visit. Additional visits are charged at £24 to your registered credit card.
However, there is a way of getting the basic card for free. You won’t get a free lounge visit included, but you save (£68 – £24 cost of one visit) £44.
The Regus deal for a free DragonPass card
Regis, the serviced offices group, partners with DragonPass even though it no longer lets you get into any of its airport business centres.
Visit myregus.com and sign up for a free account. Note that you can skip many of the questions you are asked.
Membership is free and you can now, if you wish, book yourself paid-for meeting rooms or hot desking space at any Regus centre.
Once registered with myregus, you can sign up for a free DragonPass via this page of their website. (A lot of people find that this link does not work unless you come via the Regus website – it seems to detect where you are coming from and divert you if its not from myregus.com. If so, you will need to click through from inside the Regus website. Set yourself up as a company and then go Quick Access / Partner Offers / Airport Longe and click through.)
This offer is exclusive to Regus members. You will be emailed log-in details for the DragonPass app – there are no plastic membership cards.
There is some confusion over how you pay for your lounge visits. On the registration page, it says:
“Before you visit a lounge you must top-up your account with a Visit. This can be done in the DragonPass using a Visa or Mastercard.”
This implies that you need to buy a visit pass for £24 (ignore the reference to £19, this page has not been adjusted for a recent increase) via the app before the card will be accepted by the lounge.
However, the confirmation email says:
“Your visit will be automatically processed to your registered payment card. No need to top up. No fuss. Just fast, easy access to relaxed lounges worldwide.”
In practical terms it makes minimal difference. You can top up in seconds via the app if necessary, and unused prepaid visits are refundable.
You’re sorted. With the DragonPass app on your phone you can visit any of their lounges for just £24 per person. This represents a substantial saving on the ‘on the door’ price of many of the lounges.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply 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.