The new British Airways and Aspire lounges at Amsterdam Schiphol reviewed

British Airways opened a new lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol earlier this year.  At roughly the same time, a new Aspire lounge – accessible with a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card – opened directly opposite!

Reader Alison was in both lounges recently and kindly sent me a report.  I will be doing the same trip myself in June so I will see how my findings compare.

As usual, I have edited this article and any mistakes are highly likely to be mine!

“The good news is that the new British Airways lounge in Amsterdam is far more glam than the run-down lounge I visited a year or so ago. On that occasion, I had come straight to the airport after running the Amsterdam marathon and unfortunately for my co-passengers discovered no shower facilities available.

At the moment the BA lounge is very hard to find!  This morning I had enough time to kill to make the search worthwhile – I gave up when I passed through on my way out of Europe a couple of weeks ago as I only had an hour or so to kill and had a bit of work to do before commencing 12 hours of offline bliss.

To get to the British Airways and Aspire lounges from the shopping area, it’s about a seven minute brisk walk with a trolley bag out of the terminal building and up an elevator (outside the building!) then along a long, deserted (at least it was deserted at 6:30am) pre-fab walkway.  Thankfully it has a reassuring number of signs indicating that, yes, even though you feel like you are in a restricted access area and should be wearing a hard hat, you are still on the right track.

BA lounge Amsterdam 1

There is a sign on the exit door from the terminal which leads to both the BA lounge and the Aspire lounge listing all the respective lounges’ member airlines.  I hope this saves a lot of people from a fruitless expedition (though I suspect not as many people read it as ought to – I saw the lounge host refusing entry to several people to and directing them to go all the way back to the terminal). If you are in any doubt as to your eligibility to enter the lounge, I recommend a close look at the sign.

I was just starting to feel like Starbucks might be a better option than the long walk (which I was already imagining in reverse in a couple of hours, running short of time to board) when I saw a man coming toward me. I asked him if it was worth the walk. Like an encouraging marathon spectator he replied, “You are almost there. Keep going.” Not really an answer to the question I asked but he was right, just around the corner were two doors leading to two shiny new lounges.

BA lounge Amsterdam 2

I always ask when entering a lounge whether flights will be called – I relax better if I know a friendly voice will remind me when to stop what I’m doing and make my way to the gate. Otherwise, I’m prone to getting lost in my emails (or champagne) and needing to run as the signs blare Final Call.

The lovely Dutch BA lounge host replied with a smile that, yes, the flight would be called 15 minutes prior to departure. Hooray – now, where’s that champagne? But, hang on, it was a very loooong walk here. And I don’t know where the gate will be.

“How long will I need to get to the gate”

“About 20 minutes”

“Oh, so if I hear the announcement, I’m very late and need to run to the gate”

“Yes.”

Not a touch of irony observed.

BA lounge Amsterdam 3

The British Airways Amsterdam lounge is fine, nothing special on offer but well decorated and plenty of seating and power points. A little detail I thought particularly well thought through was the inclusion of British power outlets as well as European – I’d imagine very useful for many guests. No shower facilities in the BA lounge. There is a set of washrooms outside the lounge.

I’ll let the catering options speak for themselves except to say: there was nothing hot to eat that I could see. Also no champagne. I was told that there was prosecco available – it was not on display though and it was too early, even for me, to test that.

BA lounge Amsterdam 4

At least until the permanent access route is open, you’ll probably be better off in a cafe near your gate than in either lounge if you only have a short while to kill.   This is especially true if you want champagne (at least at 6:30 in the morning) or hot food.

I did check out the Aspire lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol as well.  If you don’t have a Priority Pass or similar, it is €30 (€40 if you’d like a shower).  You can prebook via their website.

Here are a few photos of the Aspire lounge (the first one shows a reserved area for Singapore Airlines passengers):

Aspire Lounge Amsterdam Schiphol 1

and

Aspire Lounge Amsterdam Schiphol 2

and

Aspire Lounge Amsterdam Schiphol 3

The Aspire lounge is not bad but probably not worth the current walk if all you want is a fairly quick coffee and some wifi. Schiphol has plenty of options for that and I’d suggest that spending a couple of Euros on your coffee to save the walk is a good investment. Though, of course, it depends what price tag you put on your time.”

Thanks Alison.  I will be passing through during the afternoon rather than at the crack of dawn so it will be interesting to see what is different.  In general, the feedback I have seen is that – if you are hungry and have a Priority Pass – the Aspire lounge is the place to be.  Otherwise, for peace and quiet, you are better off in the British Airways facility.

If you are planning to visit the Aspire lounge and do not have a Priority Pass, your best option is to book in advance and guarantee admission via the Aspire website here. You can also book the lounge via the LoungeBuddy website here.

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Comments

  1. It took me several goes to find the BA lounge in Munich last year, even after asking a couple of times.

  2. I have tried both several times, and aspire wins every time

  3. Which lounge will QR use for their new DOH service? Couldn’t see any info when we booked our BKK trip a couple of weeks ago!

    • stealthmoose says:

      I think you’re looking at the options! It’s the BA lounge unless you have PP.

  4. I visited the Aspire lounge at Schiphol a few weeks ago, it’s the first lounge I have ever visited. To get it for free with the Priority Pass was great. It was a nice quiet environment, just sit back and relax, watching planes outside. I didn’t think you could put a plate of food together, but some people were piling plates high with the selections available. As for the distance from lounge to gate, because of the work, it’s a very, very long walk. You could get to the main gate entrance from the lounge in 10/15 minutes, but then you have to pass through security and get to your boarding gate. I was on a flight, which was boarding at one of the very last gates, a very long away from security. Leaving 20 minutes was not enough time for me, some running and very quick walking was required. It was more like a 30 minute walk from lounge to boarding gate, plus any queuing through security to be comfortable.

  5. I took some pics of the gulf air lounge at LHR T4 on my way through a couple of weeks ago rob, if that is one that you haven’t covered/are interested in?

  6. Lionel says:

    Great report. Lovely to see the distinction between the relative allowability of Champagne vs Prosecco @ 06.30 in the morning :)

  7. Alastair says:

    Had a visit to the Schipol BA lounge in January in mid afternoon – and while I would agree with what was written I would say that the food availability was VERY poor at that point. There were maybe five sandwiches all of which looked as though they had been there for a while. It will be interesting to hear if they have upped their game since then – otherwise I would certainly choose the Aspire lounge (having access to both)

    • Everytime I have been the food choice and availability in the BA lounge has been dire. Hence my preference for Aspire. They don’t have the best selection, but at least there is food availability. Usually bread rolls, cheese, meats, soup, crisps and so on

  8. It’s good to have readers opinions on AMS lounges, especially given all the cheap deals which depart from there. I visited the Aspire lounge back in December. The route and length of the walk to get there was astonishing – you walk over a prefab walkway on the roof of the terminal building, the walkway is also partially exposed to the elements – so was a bit chilly on a December morning. On reaching the lounge there was a customer in front of me who had just been refused entry as he was at the wrong lounge! That must have been a long walk back to the terminal.

    Used the Aspire lounge in the morning, it was packed, whilst the empty SIA first class area was being closely guarded by an employee. Personally, I didn’t like this lounge – it wasn’t worth the long walk, lack of food, lack of available seats and (bizarrely) it was too brightly lit. I had planned on checking out the BA lounge but didn’t think it worth the visit given how little time I had left. I should just have stayed in the main terminal and rested myself in a coffee shop.

  9. I trekked to the BA lounge before the first flight of the day. At least it is a bit warmer now as it was freezing then. It would be good to hear a later review as we there was no food at all when we visited. At the moment I’m adding this place to the lounges that I can’t be bothered to visit. At least the old lounge was on the way to the gates and didn’t involve a substantial detour.

  10. Noqueuing says:

    The BA lounge at Amsterdam is one of the worst BA lounges I’ve been to.
    The catering is on the same level as at some of the basic US lounges: you have olives, radish, and miniature pickles. You MIGHT get sandwiches if you’re lucky. This week Wednesday they brought a tray with about 15 sandwiches which disappeared within minutes.

    But the worst part of the lounge is the time it takes to get from the lounge to the BA gate.
    I’m not a slow walker, so I can only imagine what it’s like for someone eg a bit older. You have to walk very fast to make it in 20 mins.
    Like previous posters mentioned you still have to go through security, but it’s usually quite quick.

    The only positives I can think of is free drinks and the fact that you can always find a seat as most people can’t find the lounge or don’t bother to do the hike.

  11. Pierre says:

    Talking about lounges, the plaza Premium at T4 is excellent!
    I spend a few minutes to grab a coffee and check out the new facilities – it’s excellent, on par with their T2 lounge, albeit slightly bigger.
    Officially the lounge does not open until June 5th, but travellers can already pop in and use the facilities.
    I wonder what will happen with the current agreement that PP has with the Skyteam lounge once the Plaza premium is open.

  12. I was quite excited when Schipol claimed the BA lounge would rival the galleries at T5 as I am constantly in Dam.

    I have been there on 4 separate trips and it is dire. The crazy walk (admittedly I’m assuming this will change) combined with horrible “food” (saltines, packaged meat stick things, pickles and if you’re lucky cherry tomatoes) makes it pointless to get these.

    Lots of plug points though (I could care less what version they have – who doesn’t take a universal adapter with them these days?)

  13. I had a very long layover in Amsterdam a month back so spent as long as they’d allow in the Aspire lounge with a Priority Pass – 2 or 3 hours, I forget which. Annoyingly its right under the landside viewing area I’d just come from. I’m hoping all that work they’re doing will involve a shorter walk (or that they stop giving me silly layovers). There was someone before the long walk checking people knew they had the right access when I was there, though I think they just accepted when I said yes.

  14. Graeme says:

    I am in the ba lounge now. The walkway route is now significantly shorter than was (i.e., even a week ago). Still like walking through a construction site though. Now around three minutes from the main terminal area via an indoor lift near the start of the D pier.

  15. Lionel says:

    Not called Schitpol for nothing :)

    And we complain T3 stinks for Lounges!

  16. Glad to see I’m not the only person disappointed with the food – it was dire on the evening I went – pre-packed, processed cheese, those dancing salami things and a few pickles. I suppose if you want to get drunk on an empty stomach, it’s the perfect place. I’ve tried complaining to BA – all I get is that my feedback is appreciated. Poor show BA.