The 5 best European lounges you can access with The Platinum Card from American Express UK

Oct 3, 2019

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This story has been paid for by American Express, but the opinions are those of the author and TPG. This is one way TPG continues to provide our readers with free news and advice about travel.

Both The Platinum Card from American Express UK and The Business Platinum Card from American Express UK come with a long list of benefits, particularly if you like to travel. One of our favourites here at TPG UK is the comprehensive lounge access across the world. Armed with this card, you and any Platinum supplementary card holders will have access to Priority Pass, which offers access to more than 1,000 lounges in more than 500 airports.

And you can access the lounges with any boarding pass on any airline — even the cheapest discount economy tickets will get you in.

With so many to choose from, in no particular order, here are TPG’s favourites in Europe.

Plaza Premium Lounge — London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 4

  • Location: Airside — 1st Floor, near Gate 1
  • Hours: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
  • Conditions: Maximum three-hour stay; children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and those aged 2 and younger are admitted for free.
Plaza Premium Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 4. (Photo by Plaza Premium)

We rate the Plaza Premium Lounge in T4 as the best Priority Pass lounge at LHR, which you can access with your Platinum Card’s Priority Pass membership. It’s located above the SkyTeam lounge, which you can also access with the card in the same terminal. It pretty much has everything. The food selection is small, yet tasty. The decor makes it feel like a nice hotel lobby, reminiscent of the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Terminal 3. There are entire bedrooms — for a fee, of course — complete with private shower room and toilet if you’re delayed or have a long layover. And there’s a separate bar area to help to keep the main lounge area quiet.

Star Alliance Lounge — Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Terminal 1

  • Location: Terminal 1 at CDG, after passport control but before security on level 11.
  • Hours: 5:30 a.m. — 9 p.m. daily
  • Conditions: Access to the Business Lounge only; Maximum three-hour stay; Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and those aged 2 and younger are admitted for free. Terrace with separate smoking area available.

This is the lounge that leading carriers like Singapore Airlines, ANA and Turkish Airlines provide for their high-paying business-class passengers, so you can expect a decent standard. The Star Alliance Lounge at CDG is a great way to say au revoir to Paris, with an appropriately impressive selection of French wines and gourmet food (think of all that cheese!). The real highlight, however, is the outdoor terrace that gives you a chance to suck in one last gulp of fresh, non-pressurised/recycled air before you board your flight.

Photos by Dia Adams
(Photos by Dia Adams / The Points Guy)

No1 Lounge — London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 3 

  • Location: Airside, after security, follow the walkway to the left of World Duty Free and follow signs ‘Airport Lounges’ and ‘Gates 13-22’. The lounge is located one floor up, and is accessible via lifts or stairs.
  • Hours: 4:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily
  • Conditions: Access permitted three hours prior to departure; Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and those aged 2 and younger are admitted for free.

The best T3 lounge in Heathrow that you can access with your Priority Pass via the Platinum Card is the No1 Lounge, purely for the fact that there’s an à la carte menu and a great range of drinks included with your entry. Yes, it’s not a varied food menu and the portions are small, but its little perks that really make a lounge like this stand out. Beer on tap and free spirits and mixers are also great bonus features if you like a couple of pre-flight drinks.

The views to the taxiways and runway are also better here than the other Priority Pass lounge in T3. The cinema actually feels quite like a real cinema despite people using the room as a place to sleep.

(Photo by Daniel Ross / The Points Guy)

Almost@Home Lounge — Helsinki (HEL) Terminal 2

  • Location: Airside at HEL in the Non-Schengen area before Gate 32. Non-Schengen flights only.
  • Hours: 5:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily
  • Conditions: Maximum three-hour stay; Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and those aged 2 and younger are admitted for free.

Why the unusual name? The design of this airport lounge is meant to make you feel like your own home. You can expect comfy sofas with scatter cushions and throw rugs, bookshelves and a buffet built like an actual home kitchen.

The Almost@Home Lounge in Helsinki offers varied seating options and a tremendous food selection, including regional specialties, and a cooking area where guests can even make their own meals. The lounge also features showers, complimentary Wi-Fi, wine, beer and soft drinks.

Almost Home Lounge in Helsinki, Priority Pass Lounge. Image courtesy of their Facebook page.
Almost Home Lounge in Helsinki, Priority Pass Lounge. (Photo courtesy of the lounge’s Facebook page)

The Grain Store Cafe & Bar — London Gatwick (LGW) South Terminal

  • Location: Airside, take the lift up one level from the main shopping concourse. Only 1 card per visit per Cardholder will be accepted and at point of registration.
  • Hours: 4:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Conditions: Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to receive £15 off the bill. £15 will also be deducted from the bill for each registered guest.

As the name of this ‘lounge’ suggests, this isn’t actually an airport lounge. Instead, it is a clever way to provide cafe-quality à la carte food and drink to Priority Pass members without the hassles of lounge capacity constraints or queues at buffets. Each card holder can receive £15 off their bill, and take it from us — the food is much better than you’ll find at the buffet of most of the lounges at this airport.

If you’re in a hurry, the restaurant can provide anything on the menu to-go, and there is also an extensive cabinet of pre-made food for you to grab and go, which is perfect for low-cost flights where meals are not included.

Note that opening hours of these lounges is subject to change at any time.

You can apply for the Platinum Card from American Express UK here, and the Business Platinum Card from American Express UK here.

Featured image by Daniel Ross / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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