Aspire lounge in T5 – official photos and the official entry rules!

Today is the official opening of the Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.  Yesterday evening I was sent some official photographs by Priority Pass which you can see below.  I have also reproduced the official press release.

You can buy entry tickets via the Aspire website.

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 Priority Pass

Access

The access rules are as we expected:

Priority Pass IS accepted.  This is great news if you have an American Express Platinum charge card as this comes with two Priority Pass cards, each of which admits two people for FREE.  If you don’t have an Amex Platinum, take a look at my other article today which shows how to buy a Priority Pass for half price – although, with that deal, you still pay £15 per visit on top.

Lounge Club is NOT accepted – this is a blow to Amex Gold cardholders as they receive two free passes each year for any Lounge Club lounge.

Airport Angel is NOT accepted

Cash prices are £40 on the door and £35 if you book in advance

Note that NOT all food and drink will be free.  There will be a charge for champagne and premium wines as well as for premium food dishes.  All drinks are served from a bar – it is not self-service.  The showers and spa will also incur an additional charge.

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 Priority Pass

The official press release:

London (4th August 2015): Collinson Group, owners of Priority Pass, and Swissport, the world’s largest aviation services provider, today announced the opening of the first independent, shared use lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

‘Aspire, the Lounge and Spa at LHR T5’ will be jointly owned and operated by Swissport and Airport Lounge Development (ALD), Collinson Group’s lounge operating arm. Located at Gate A18 in Terminal 5, it will be the first lounge open to all travellers in one of the world’s busiest airport terminals.

Priority Pass members will have access to the lounge as part of their membership. Travellers without membership can enjoy three hours in ‘Aspire, the Lounge and Spa at LHR T5’ for £35 when booked in advance at www.executivelounges.com or for £40 at reception on the day subject to availability. The lounge is open from 5am until 11pm daily.

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 Priority Pass

Errol McGlothan, General Manager EMEA, Collinson Group said: “Aspire, the Lounge and Spa at LHR T5 has been designed to meet the exacting needs of the millions of travellers who travel through the terminal every year. Using insights gained from frequent travellers, we are confident that we’ve delivered the most compelling destination lounge where travellers can relax and refresh ahead of their next journey. Developed in partnership with Swissport, we are delighted to offer travellers access to an independent lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 for the first time.”

Stephen Wilkinson, Property Director, Heathrow said: “We are delighted to announce that as of today, we now have independent lounges in each of our terminals. Our team works tirelessly to ensure our customers receive the very best service when they fly and we’re delighted that Aspire, The Lounge and Spa at LHR T5, at Terminal 5 will enhance this service from today.”

Shaun Weston, Travel Services Director, Swissport commented: “Since launching in 2012, the Aspire brand of airport lounges has grown in popularity and now covers many global destinations. The opening of ‘Aspire, the Lounge and Spa at LHR T5’ is a significant step for Swissport, giving us a presence in one of the world’s leading airport terminals. We look forward to combining our operational expertise with Collinson Group’s reach amongst travellers, to deliver a world class facility.”

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 Priority Pass

The 4,000 sq ft lounge space is dominated by soaring windows on two sides giving guests dramatic runway views. An extensive British-inspired seasonal food and drink menu has been created which includes a wide range of complimentary as well as premium (chargeable) options, changing throughout the day. Guests can also enjoy a unique opportunity to sample Spey Whisky, draught beer and a selection of wines on a complimentary basis or choose to pay for carefully selected ‘Wine Flights’, an innovative way to taste a variety of wines from different regions.

A highlight of the lounge is the ‘Bliss Spa at Aspire’ which is the award-winning beauty company’s first location in an airport. The specially designed travel spa menu includes a range of facials, manicures and pedicures available as refreshing 20 minute express, or luxurious 40 minute appointments guaranteed to deliver amazing results in a fun, positive environment.

This includes an express version of the famous Bliss Spa Oxygen Blast facial, a 40 minute complexion reviver for bright, glowing skin and the Hot Cream Manicure for perfect nails. & magazines, refreshments and beverages.

To help guests relax before or during a long trip, state-of-the-art ‘rest pods’ let guests  recline back on specially engineered, reclining loungers, watch television and recharge in private so that they are rejuvenated for the journey ahead.

Travellers on business will have access to connected work spaces with complimentary high speed WiFi, charging posts and designated quiet zones to make the most productive use of their time.”

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.

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Comments

  1. General Mayhem says:

    Thanks Rob. Having dropped out of silver recently this is very good news.

    A small word of caution – my last two trips via gatwick South I have been turned away from the no 1 traveller lounge because they were too full.

    • This happened to my wife yesterday also. Can’t help but feel that when that happens the lounge should at least five out a coupon or something to use in the restaurants and cafes in the airport so you can grab A cup of coffee or whatever

      • You can pay £5 via the No 1 Traveller website to reserve a place, even when using Priority Pass.

        • Is it worth reserving a place in a lounge that is almost at capacity? I’m not a frequent lounge user but I can’t help but feel if a lounge is full it wouldn’t be a very pleasant experience.

    • Like wise us at Edinburgh recently, they said they had too many advance bookings to accept PP

  2. Great to see some badly needed competition for BA mediocre offerings. Will use it in Thursday but can’t help thinking they have over blown the hyperbole. Soaring windows are a feature of T5 and hardly exclusive. And the costs are outrageous. £40 and it doesn’t cover a shower or a glass of champagne! Not that many Woolf ever pay that and with just 40 seats I think we can expect to see lots of people being turned away.

    • I read on flyertalk that the capacity was 80. Still not enough mind.

    • I will be there about noon – look for the bloke with the 7-year old girl. May be a brief visit as she will want to watch YouTube on the Galleries computers!

  3. It is a shame that this replaces the great little coffee shop that was here before. I suppose the tranquility (way better than the lounges) was inevitably going to be its downfall in T5 where revenue rules.

  4. My understanding is that CPP have stopped the Airport Angel product.

    • Didn’t know that, no-one mentioned it. Thanks.

      • I don’t think Barclays know this either. Or, call me cynical, maybe they do… :)

        • cheekychappie says:

          True enough about CPP stopping AA, but the question now is: what will Barclays replace it with? I imagine it will not close until about May next year due to running down current obligations.

          • cheekychappie says:

            Strange – looking at their Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/airport.angel you wouldn’t guess that the service is being discontinued.

            Plus they still seem to allow people to join them direct.

            And Barclays certainly don’t mention it’s stopping.

            Yet CPP have definitely informed the markets they’re withdrawing AA. I guess they could sell it on but it doesn’t seem to be very profitable. More than a 12-18 month wind-down would be bizarre.

            I reckon you still have plenty of opportunity to get 6 lounge visits for under £15 all in over the next year. (Or free. Nod, wink :) )

      • The Bidvest Premier Lounge at the King Shaka Airport in Durban informed us during a holiday last month in South Africa that they no longer accepted Airport Angel cards… the manager let us in a favour. Perhaps other readers who have recently tried using their AA cards in business lounges could relate their own experiences?

        • cheekychappie says:

          Wouldn’t surprise me if AA started not renewing lounge contracts as & when they come up for renewal. Particularly contracts for less-used lounges as regards their membership. Eg bearing in mind current contractual obligations (for example with Barclays) they will probably keep UK lounge contracts going for 18 months or so as it all winds down – but far-flung lounges might get eliminated as options on the scheme much earlier.

          My best guess (having slept onit!) is that unless they manage to sell AA to another operator, all membership will cease on 31 Dec 2016.

          BTW T3 No1 Traveller was fine for AA entry a couple of weeks ago :)

    • Colin JE says:

      Interesting, where did you see that please?

  5. Sideysid says:

    Im flying from T5 next week, was hoping the lounge would be open to Lounge Club and Airport Angel (which I have both) so looks like its a no go then as paying £40 p/p for a family of 3 for an hour or so isn’t good value for me. Any other options for me?

  6. The no 1 lounge in Gatwick is always turning people away.

  7. The_Real_A says:

    Does anyone know what the food offering will be?

  8. Where can I see that the Platinum Amex Priority Pass card allows a free guest. The FAQs on PP says there is a fee for guests.

    • Trust us! You get a card and your first supplementary Platinum cardholder gets a card. Each card admits the holder and one guest for free.

      You cannot, on the Priority Pass website, buy a card which works exactly the same way (ie free for holder and a guest).

      • IslandDweller says:

        Don’t think that’s correct. Yes primary and first additional cardholder on platinum scheme get a PP card each, which covers free entry for those two individuals. But any further guests are charged at £15 a visit

        • No, that is not how it works. EACH card can bring in a guest for free.

          It even says on the Amex Plat application site “including access to Priority Pass™ lounges for you and a guest.”

          • EvilGazebo says:

            Confusion may be related to type of Amex Plat: Personal gets holder plus guest per cardholder. Small Biz card only gets holder

        • Sorry, you’re wrong. The £15 fee for the first guest on each PP card (ie 1xmain and 1xadditional cardholder) are definitely 100% covered by Amex – you do not pay. This is the big perk of PP via Amex Plat and was one of the major selling points from Amex when they increased the annual fee by 50% a couple of years ago!

          • Indeed. I’ve guested people a few times with my amex plat PP and never been charged.

  9. Hello all! I’m flying BA Club World on Friday using 2-4-1 (thanks to Rob and everyone on here). Will be my first time. I hope to enjoy it even though everyone says other airlines have far better business class products.
    I also have the Amex Platinum. Can anyone tell me which of the Lounges in T5 is the best for CW? (My flight is at 10:45am if that makes a difference). Any restrictions on me using the BA lounge and nipping off to the Aspire Lounge too?

    • BA lounges by far. If you’re flying from satellite B, then the lounge in t5b. Otherwise galleries north is my preferred one. The aspire lounges are a joke and I can’t understand why people get excited about them – always full so half of the time you’re turned away, poor food offering, paid drinks and showers… Come on… For 40 quid, i’d rather grab a steak and a glass of Malbec at gaucho and then go to the airport, rather than arrive 3 hours early to enjoy a pack of crisps and a warm pint of Stella…

    • The quietest lounge is the one in 5B. However, BA (under orders, apparently, from Heathrow to keep people in the shops in the main terminal) only announces that flights are off 5B quite late. It is worth asking at check-in if they know the gate (they will, the plane will already be on it, being cleaned) and then head directly to 5B if it is there. If it is off 5C, you can still go to 5B and then go back to the train and head on to 5C nearer departure.

      If 5A, then they are much of a muchness. I prefer Galleries North – there is something about the layout that I find preferable to Galleries South.

      • Interesting – I tend to use Galleries North when on a domestic flight (as the low numbered gates are at that end, beneath the lounge) but on long-hauls prefer to go to Galleries South as I generally find it quieter. Of course when I then got Gold I would nip to the First Lounge at South for a hot meal anyway 😉

      • Hingeless says:

        I didn’t know BA cleaned its planes, I thought they just picked up the newspapers off the floor in Club

  10. Godfrey says:

    I popped in this morning (6am), only one other person, i was told not serving hot food, but will start in the next days/weeks. no newspapers, but can’t believe this is permanent ! Nice, bright and airy. Quite small so might get a bit overcrowded. I will check it out again in a couple of weeks. I left to get papers and breaky from BA lounge only to be told Munich flight leaving from C gates, so grabbed papers and left for C gates and no lounge, come on BA get a lounge in C gates, or at least give us back our mini bottle of champagne for the inconvenience !!!

  11. The_Real_A says:

    OT – Just a reminder that Tesco Clubcard double up has started on all products at Tesco Direct.

    At 2p/point – I value this ahead of Avios conversation (based on the fact im unable to see any sensible availability for the rest of the year on the routes i need, and i can get an ex-eu Turkish J seat for not much more than the tax on a BA redemption)

    • Yes, I saw this last night by accident. It is a shame we are at the wrong point in the Apple upgrade cycle because I would have jumped on a new iPad. Unfortunately, if I buy one now it will be have been superceded within 6 weeks.

      • The_Real_A says:

        I was considering a phone too, but it was £100 more than Amazon so the numbers didnt quite add up. Im still suprised at the vast range from Tesco Direct…

    • Don’t forget that RedSpottedHanky offer 2x face value for train tickets, so if you are buying the train tickets anyway and don’t need/want to go via some other seller, then that is also a definite 2p per point.

    • I’m frustrated that for my £67 of vouchers, they’ve given me £50, £15.50 and £1.50. Not very easy to split when you want to spend £5 or £10 to double up and use the rest for assorted things, as the “change” comes back as points so not available as vouchers until the next statement date.

  12. Out of interest, should Amex Platinum supplementary card holders receive their PP card automatically or does it need to be requested. I’ve had one for about a year as the main cardholder but my husband doesn’t have one….

    • Not sure. What I do know is that’s wife’s was not renewed automatically this year (she is my supp) and I had to call Amex to get it.

      • Simon Spanswick says:

        This happened with me a couple of years ago. I was told then that if the supplementary PP card had not been used, a renewal would not be issued, except on request.

        • Ok thanks both shall give them a call

        • That is possible. This was for a one-off flight from T2 on Aer Lingus where she wanted to use Plaza Premium because she dislikes the Aer Lingus lounge. I think every other flight she has done in the last year was BA.

  13. Hi, do u get free champagne in the BA lounges in T5? If so which champagne is it? Thanks.

    • Yes

      Galleries Club – I don’t know but not a famous name
      Galleries First – Tattinger Prelude (I think) and Castelenau Rose
      CCR – LP Grand Siecle

    • Yes, still Taittinger (the £45 a bottle version) in Galleries First which is surprisingly impressive.

      • I was at the galleries lounge at LGW – Antoine de Castelnau Champagne is now in self service at the wine bar. Great improvement!

  14. Johnny5a says:

    Have you seen the opening times? They’re closed from 6 Aug to 31 August.

    • Which opening times? #confused

    • On executivelounges.com it lists the opening hours under the heading :”Normal opening times”, followed immediately by a calendar saying “We are closed all day on” and listing every day in August. Without any further qualification.

      Thanks to helpful support staff at ExecutiveLounges.com (who admitted that they too were confused when they looked it), I learned that the latter comment refers only to online bookings.

  15. Priority pass,lets you in to the new T5 aspire lounge, with one free guest and is for 3 hours.hours. BA lounge is for business and first class passengers.on my they do have shower facilities,they have the relax pods area,hot and cold food and drinks.the bliss spa are £20 for a 20 minute appointment,you can pay the fee of 39.99 to gain access as a walk in,there is also another card which admits entry as a leisure card and is a pay as you go option.the lounge has TV areas,and flight information screens,it has a good variety of food and drinks.

    • You need to be specific about WHICH Priority Pass you are talking about. We don’t all have PP via Amex even when we have the “full” PP version as available through the website – as per Rob’s explanation above. Standard full PP will still pay for a guest unless obtained via Amex.

  16. Absolute rip off of £39.99

    No hot food as advertised. Only stale sandwich and slice of cake!

    After entering and finding out there was no food as advertised I asked for a refund and I would leave, however the Manager Joe Olival refused. Now taking it up with my Credit Card company.