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Can I pay to get into a British Airways lounge?

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Today I want to look at if you can pay to get into British Airways airport lounges.

British Airways has a very impressive set of lounges at its London hubs, as well as some surprising gems overseas.  A brand new BA lounge complex opened at London Gatwick Airport in 2017 which we reviewed here – it is possibly the smartest lounge that BA has.

At Heathrow, British Airways has EIGHT lounges.

Can I pay to get into a British Airways lounge?

In Terminal 5, you have:

  • Galleries Club North (main building, business class tickets and Silver card holders)

In Terminal 3, you have:

British Airways also has lounges at many UK regional airports, although the Manchester (below) and Newcastle lounges were permanently closed during the pandemic.

Can I pay to get access to a british airways airport lounge?

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that British Airways does not sell airport lounge access, for cash or Avios.  A lot of airlines have started to do this in recent years but not British Airways.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t buy access to a suitable lounge, however.

All UK airports have ‘pay to visit’ lounges.  We have reviewed lots of them – click here and you will see all of our airport lounge reviews.

The three main UK ‘pay to enter’ lounge networks are (click to visit their websites):

Heathrow Terminal 5 has an excellent Plaza Premium lounge (review) pictured below and a very average Aspire lounge (review)Our lounge reviews list covers the rest of Heathrow, Gatwick and some other UK airports.

You can also buy a Priority Pass card which gives access globally to over 1,400 lounges globally.  You can learn about Priority Pass here.  Two free Priority Pass cards allowing unlimited access, which get four people into a lounge between them, are a perk of the American Express Platinum charge card.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

can you pay or use avios to get into a british airways airport lounge

Can I get into an airport lounge for free?

Yes, there is a way to get into an airport lounge for free.

Apply for the – free in the first year – American Express Gold credit card.  Here’s my Amex Gold review.

It comes with a version of the Priority Pass airport lounge card.  Your first FOUR airport lounge visits using the card are FREE.  Further visits are charged at £24 each.

Priority Pass does not get you into British Airways lounges but it DOES get you into the majority of No1, Plaza Premium and Aspire lounges as well as many many more.

Even better, Amex Gold comes with 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for signing up.  These convert into 20,000 Avios, 20,000 Virgin Points or many other schemes, which is an amazing sign-up deal.  You can learn more about the Amex Gold credit card here.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news stories and click here to join the mailing list for our weekly or daily email newsletters.)

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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.

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 sign-up 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.

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