Three bits of airport lounge news:
Priority Pass adds a new option at Manchester Airport
Historically, Manchester Airport has tied with London Gatwick for the airport which generates most reader complaints from Priority Pass cardholders about ‘no room at the inn’.
The situation is better than it was, to be fair. The Club Aspire and Clubrooms lounges are now open again in Gatwick South and the addition of Plaza Premium seems to have reduced the strain on Gatwick’s North Terminal.
Some relief is also now in sight at Manchester – if you’re willing to pay.
The 1903 Lounge in Terminal 2 has joined the programme. 1903 is the ‘exclusive’ brand at Manchester Airport – so exclusive that it has a dress code. The Priority Pass app says the dress code is ‘smart casual’ whilst the website says ‘casual and elegant’ – take your pick!
An additional fee must be paid on the door if you enter with a Priority Pass. Oddly it doesn’t say what this fee is but I am guessing it is £15.
Rhys reviewed the new 1903 Lounge in Terminal 2 here. It is open from 4am to 8.30pm. Image below.
The 1903 Lounge website is here if you want to learn more or book for cash. Priority Pass cardholders can also pre-book 1903 via this site for £21 although I was struggling to find available slots when I checked yesterday.
1903, by the way, references the year that the Wright brothers made their first flight.
The 1903 Lounge in Bristol has also joined
The 1903 Lounge at Bristol Airport – the old Aspire Plus lounge – has also joined Priority Pass.
Slightly confusingly, Manchester Airport is now running the lounges at Bristol Airport even though it doesn’t own the airport. The old Aspire Lounge is now an Escape Lounge (our last review is here) and the old Aspire Plus lounge is now a 1903 ‘luxury’ lounge (old review here).
As with Manchester, access to the 1903 Lounge will require payment of an additional fee on the door. The fee is not stated but I am guessing it is £15. Current opening hours are 3.30am to 7.30pm.
Note that the Bristol – but not Manchester – 1903 Lounge is ‘adults only’.
Both of these lounges are due a full refurbishment in 2024. Whether it is worth paying the premium to use your Priority Pass at 1903 before the refurbishment is therefore questionable.
Meanwhile in Glasgow ….
The Lomond Lounge at Glasgow Airport has also joined Priority Pass as a ‘premium’ option.
It is important to note that no walk-ins are accepted. You must pre-book your visit here and pay an additional fee of £16 at the time.
Current opening hours are 4.45am to 6pm. No children are allowed in the lounge via cash bookings, although some will be there if they are flying business class on certain airlines.
The Upperdeck Lounge, reviewed here, remains available for Priority Pass cardholders who don’t want to pay an extra fee.
PS. Glasgow has also gained a Priority Pass restaurant deal, Bird & Signet. I have added it to our Priority Pass UK restaurant master list here, which also explains how these deals work.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 2024)
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 Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass 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.