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Forums Other Airport lounges Birmingham – No1 lounges on Sunday?

  • ammo1337 3 posts

    Hi all, first post here.

    Recently booked my parents a trip from BHX and have given them my AMEX platinum supplementary card for the lounge access and insurance.

    Reading online about these priority pass lounges – especially No1, seems to be quite contrasting with some saying terrible service and hour long queues, and others having a wonderful experience.

    I’m presuming this is because of times/days of travel so wanted to find out if anyone has any experience of either the clubroom/no1 lounge lately, particularly on Sunday evenings/afternoons?

    Any personal recommendations on either of these lounges and if it will be necessary to prebook?costs £12 for the no1 and £30 for the clubroom in total.

    Much appreciated for any words of wisdom!

    Bill 173 posts

    Slightly related….a couple of weeks ago four of us got into the aspire around 3pm. It was close to capacity.

    The aspire at gate 1 was closed. No idea about the No1 lounge though.

    Big word of warning….. Birmingham are redesigning the security search area. There’s a queuing system to get in to the lift to go up from ground floor to first floor.

    There was a lot of congestion in the terminal.

    Upon exiting the lift there’s immediate entry to a other queue.

    I estimate the time queuing was about 35 minutes in total.

    There is the option of fast track purchase which will probably speed it up.

    So allow plenty of time.

    Overall, it took 1 hour from train to departures. That included dropping off bags with Loganair (small plane this short queue).

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    BHX has been a mess to get through security for a long time now – I highly recommend paying for fast track. I went through about 6pm on a Sunday two weeks ago and it was carnage.

    I gave up on the No1 lounges some years ago as they would rarely let me in – I actually think it’s nicer to go and sit in one of the quieter corners by the departure gates.

    Clubrooms looks nice but I haven’t been in.

    TGLoyalty 574 posts

    Absolutely worth paying for clubrooms if you have time to spend an hour or so also agree with fast track if the flight is before July, the airport says it’s on track to complete in June but never know.

    The real Swiss Tony 686 posts

    Fast track at BHX is a bit of a joke. Took me 30 minutes to get through last time but one (7am on a Sunday I think), as once it got to an hour before departure, they were pulling pax out of the normal queue and putting them at the front of the fast track lane. Time after that was better but still 15 mins.

    The problem with all the lounges (maybe with the exception of Clubrooms which in my view whilst OK still isn’t great) is that the entry process is so convoluted, queues build very quickly. I find All Bar One in the South pier (gate 1 etc) to be perfectly acceptable for a bacon sandwich & a coffee.

    ammo1337 3 posts

    Thanks all for the advice, decided to book the clubrooms just to be sure. They always like to be early so they should be able to take advantage of the full 2-3 hours or so.

    BOSSMANTRAVELS 18 posts

    Thanks all for the advice, decided to book the clubrooms just to be sure. They always like to be early so they should be able to take advantage of the full 2-3 hours or so.

    Clubrooms is definitely the way to go

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    Not sure if your parents have gone yet, but I can confirm BHX is still carnage, both arrivals and departing. Departing is now an additional queue to get into the lifts (the staff on hand are not managing the scrum, meaning people block the doors and lifts don’t move, queue gets longer, repeat…).

    Fast track gets a separate line to the lifts, but only for one of the lifts and you still need to fight with the main queue. Once you get out of the lifts, you wait to join the next queue.

    There is no non-lift route and it’s also the only way to the train station link (unless you take the 10 minute walking assault course).

    I would love to claim BHX to be worse than MAN right now, but I have not had the pleasure of MAN in a little while…

    TGLoyalty 574 posts

    The new security hall is supposedly on track for June 1st completion though. 3 scanners are already operational and already in use aswell.

    But yup see a new “horror story” in the papers every few days.

    Problem is also people see there are queues so turn up extra early causing more issues for those that need to leave within 2/3 hours. Death spiral 😬

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    The new security hall is supposedly on track for June 1st completion though

    I hope there will be an alternative way up to it – the new lifts simply cannot cope, it will be horrendous on a peak day

    MarkyUK_FR 2 posts

    Yesterday was carnage. All lounges refusing PP (apart from clubroom which offered at additional fee but was almost full to capacity in any case). In all the lounges, door staff were polite while they turned us away and were dealing with constant abuse from demanding others. I don’t mind being turned away, premium class pax should get priority… I’m down with that. Finally decided to pay for clubrooms as terminal was hot, crowded and uncomfortable. Experience was not good. No reflection on the young team running around serving bottomless drinks to greedy people who should know better (couple in they 60s at next table had the interesting strategy of ordering drinks then hiding them while attracting the attention of a different waiter to order another, and another. We were there for 20mins and they got through 6 drinks each. Parents at the door were demanding they be let in because their ‘children were tired’ was a new one on me. Food really was awful. I ordered the ploughman’s which was presented with limp salad, warm slices of a thin tasteless cheese and some sort of paté/terrine. Wife ordered fish and chips but there were none available. She then asked for a ciabatta bacon and avocado roll… well it was a bread bap with bacon and a hint of avocado spread. Chips were cold and fused together on plate.
    As the toilets in the clubroom were inop I was asked to use the loos opposite. As I did, I crossed paths with the young lad who had refused us to No. 1 round the corner. He thanked me for behind so polite and understanding and invited me back to No.1. As he was so thoughtful we decided to move there for last 20mins before the flight. Much nicer food and better bar service. Still very overcrowded with groups proudly shouting across the lounge about their “free entry” that came with their all-inclusive package to… insert name of a Greek island/hen-night destination here.
    Will avoid BHX if I can. Was there for a conference and the whole airport experience was stressful (even with priority lanes). Not the fault of the staff… lounges are just oversubscribed and used by people who simply don’t know lounge étiquette…
    Guess in getting old too… :-/

    The real Swiss Tony 686 posts

    Sounds delightful. And to think we’re barely into the start of the summer season. Troubling to hear that the clubrooms was worse than the No. 1 lounge, too…

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    To try and find a positive in the sorry disaster that is BHX, I went through the new security hall yesterday, fully equipped with ‘leave everything in the bag’ machines, so there is that. But this being BHX, there were zero signs informing this so people were busy taking stuff out of their bags, being shouted at, and repacking their bags before they went through the scanner.

    The real Swiss Tony 686 posts

    @ChrisBCN Are you saying all the scanners are now swapped out for the new kit? If so, I assume that explains at least in part the carnage airside as people had gone prepped for a 2hr wait in security and were suddenly through in 5 mins.

    Grant 106 posts

    To try and find a positive in the sorry disaster that is BHX, I went through the new security hall yesterday, fully equipped with ‘leave everything in the bag’ machines, so there is that. But this being BHX, there were zero signs informing this so people were busy taking stuff out of their bags, being shouted at, and repacking their bags before they went through the scanner.

    Even the website is still saying the ‘new normal’ will not be operational until 1st June and until then pax should continue to remove liquids and electronics from hand luggage.

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    @ChrisBCN Are you saying all the scanners are now swapped out for the new kit? If so, I assume that explains at least in part the carnage airside as people had gone prepped for a 2hr wait in security and were suddenly through in 5 mins.

    Yes. The old area is boarded away, the new hall is in use. The route to the new hall is still a mess, so I assume that is still being worked on.

    It’s still a very long wait in security (20 minutes through fast track, regular was much, much, much longer).

    Don’t automatically assume that the new scanners will speed things up – it’s all about how many lanes you have open i.e. how many staff you want to pay for…

    ChrisBCN 261 posts

    until then pax should continue to remove liquids and electronics from hand luggage.

    Interesting, on my sample of one man monitoring one lane yesterday, you MUST NOT take things out of your bags!

    TGLoyalty 574 posts

    BHX is simply saying that until June 1st you could still be expected to use the old machines so should expect to have max 100ml etc and take out laptops.

    But if you go through the area for the new machines you will be treated with the new rules which are remove nothing and no 100ml limit etc.

    Re clubrooms food being worse than the standard lounge that’s really odd based on my visits to either lounge in the last few years. Maybe I’ll give No.1 a go if I pass at a quieter time

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