If you are travelling from an airport then you might consider taking advantage of one of the airport lounges on offer. The airport lounges allow you to wait for your flight in a comfortable area, with complimentary food, drinks, Wi-Fi, daily newspapers and more.
Last year I had my first taste of airport lounge access, and I was keen to visit again on our recent trip to Florida. I posted a photograph from the airport lounge to Instagram, and many of you were wondering how on earth we managed to get it for just £13.50 for both of us.
The answer lies in a bank account add on. This add on, called the Travel Plus pack, available from Barclays, gives the account holder the following benefits:
- RAC Comprehensive Breakdown Cover
- Worldwide Family Travel Insurance
- Airport Lounge Access (you will need to register for airport lounge access two weeks before you travel)
- Card Secure
For a total of £13.50 a month. There are two secrets to let you in to – the first is that if you hold a joint bank account, it applies to both parties, and the second – you can add the pack on for just one month, then cancel it when you get back. If you are travelling in Europe then you can even opt for the cheaper Travel Pack at £8.50.
What is it like inside an airport lounge?
Both times we opted for The No1 lounge – at Gatwick North and Gatwick South. We had a much better experience at Gatwick North – the lounge came with the following amenities:
- Free Wi-Fi
- One hot “snack” each – bacon rolls, etc
- Complimentary buffet
- Free tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks
- Paid bar available
- Gaming room with a PS3
- Cinema room
- Complimentary newspapers and magazines
- Children's soft play area
- Computer area with 3 macs
The facilities at the lounge at Gatwick South weren't as good, but it was still nice to have somewhere comfortable to relax and enjoy some food before our flight – which was then delayed by two hours, so I'm glad we were in the lounge.
Is it good value for money?
Considering that the Travel Plus Pack also included travel insurance, RAC cover and Card Secure, I found it to be incredibly good value for money. However, we did opt to make a reservation at the lounge at a cost of £5 each. This secures your entry to the airport lounge (they may turn you away if they are full) and gives you a fast track through security. I would strongly advise that you make a reservation.
Not only were we provided with a complimentary buffet, bacon rolls and drinks, there were plenty of magazines (including Tatler and InStyle) for us to read and even to take away with us. It would have cost us a lot more than £23.50 (including the reservation fee) to eat breakfast in the airport and buy a couple of magazines.
To cancel, all you need to do is ring Barclays and ask for the pack to be removed. You can ring Barclays using your mobile contract minutes by using their mobile banking app. The cancellation is applied immediately.
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