Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


April 17, 2014

Gatwick Airport: British Airways Lounge vs The No. 1 Traveller Lounge

Airport lounges are an oasis when travelling; they offer home comforts including hot showers, respectable reading material rather than dodgy magazines like Heat, drinks and comfortable surroundings. They are a blessing for us ladies as they keep us out of the duty free shops hence we don’t end up purchasing a few unnecessary Chanel lipsticks.

Recently I have used Gatwick Airport for our flights to Europe and have used both the BA Terraces Lounge and the No. 1 Lounge so I thought I would put them head to head to see which lounge was the best.

So let’s get ready to rumble – The British Airways Lounge vs The No. 1 Lounge!


Funnily enough both lounges are located in the same area of Gatwick Airport however you do need to go up one flight of stairs to gain access to the BA Lounge.  The lounges are tucked in the corner of the North Terminal so you need to follow the signs overhead – beware of all the duty free shops trying to lure you in!

First Impressions

BA – you are greeted by smiling staff members who will request to see your boarding pass so you can obtain entry. Silver and Gold members can access the lounge as well as all customers travelling in Business and First Class.  (There is a separate First Class Lounge available for Gold and First Class passengers)

No. 1 Lounge – once again you are greeted by smiling staff who will look at your paperwork (if you have purchased your entry online) or they will take the £22.50 payment at the desk when arriving which can cause a slight backlog unfortunately.  You will get charged an additional £5 if you are paying on arrival.

Winner – BA Lounge


BA – There is a good selection of good however if you are looking for bacon rolls for breakfast like they have in the Heathrow lounges you will be disappointed but they do have pasta salads, sandwiches, crisps, fruit and yoghurts available depending on the time of day.

I do have slight gripe with the BA lounges in general (not just Gatwick) over their labelling of the food on display; it’s pretty pants!  A while ago their pastries were listed as gluten free on the labelling but when I asked for further clarification from staff I was told the pastries did contain gluten – how many passengers got sick from reading this incorrect food labelling!?!

80 pairs of shoes ba lounge gatwick airport gluten free food

If you are gluten free there are two options available all day; my much loathed chocolate brownie and the caramel heaven bar (which is rather nice).  It would be nice to see the BA Lounge offer gluten free passengers little porridge pots like the ones available through Perkier foods as an option rather than cakes.  There was also yoghurt and fresh fruit available.

No. 1 Lounge – the lounge offers a variety of food (we visited at lunch time) and there was soup, cake, cookies and salads available.

gatwick airport no 1 lounge food

If you are gluten free they do offer gluten free bread which I was well pleased about. I declined and stuck to the lettuce salad and cheese which was available from the food counter; free of charge.  The staff were clued up on the gluten free options which was fantastic!

Winner – No. 1 Lounge


BA – the lounge is very simple and only offers seating, free wifi and magazines.  It is in essence a very plain business lounge however it’s comfortable if a tad boring.  The wifi was super fast and easy to connect too.

80 pairs of shoes ba lounge gatwick airport magazine selection

No. 1 lounge – the lounge offers a cheerful atmosphere with a number of different seating areas so you can sit on sofas, tables and chairs or just hang!  Looking for a last minute pedicure at Gatwick; never fret you can get one done at the spa within the No. 1 Lounge.  Kids getting bored; there’s a couple of rooms to entertain the kids in (so you don’t feel guilty interrupting the other guests in the lounge) and oh did I mention there was a cinema!  Yes a cinema; fantastic if your flight is delayed.

My one grip was the wifi; it was very slow and only my sister could gain connection.

80 pairs of shoes gatwick airport no 1 lounge spa cinema

Winner without a doubt – No. 1 Lounge

Busy Busy Busy

BA – on a Friday afternoon the lounge was packed however we did find a couple of seats. On our next visit on a Saturday morning we almost had the whole lounge to ourselves so like any lounge it does depend on the day and time you are flying on how busy the lounge will be.

No. 1 Lounge – on a Friday afternoon we did find it almost near impossible to find a seat in the lounge however like the BA lounge this could just depend on the time of day when you are flying.

Winner – BA / No. 1 Lounge


BA – travellers who are Silver or Gold can gain entry to the Terraces Lounge when showing their BA card along with passengers travelling in Business.  There are two lounges  at Gatwick; the Terraces Lounge and the First Class Lounge (I have reviewed the Terraces Lounge).

If you are wanting to understand more about how to gain access to the OneWorld Lounges then this link will provide you with more information.  To become a Silver BA member you need to obtain 600 Tier points within a year.

No. 1 Lounge – the lounge access costs £22.50 per person but if pre-book the lounge then you will also be provided with complimentary access to the Premium Lane for Security (it can be slightly faster on busier days at Gatwick).  You can also gain entry using your Priority Pass Card which can be purchased online here or free if you are a Platinum Amex Card Holder.

Winner – BA / No. 1 Lounge

Overall – the two lounges offer two different experiences.  Access to the BA lounge is based on the class you are flying or your status within OneWorld i.e. Silver BA Membership while the No. 1 Lounge allows all travellers to start their holiday with a little bit of luxury with paid entry to the lounge.

I loved the concept and features of the No. 1 Lounge and I can see that this lounge will get very popular very quickly with travellers!

What’s your favourite airport lounge?


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