Review of the Upperdeck lounge at Glasgow Airport

This is our review of the Upperdeck lounge at Glasgow Airport.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

A couple of weeks ago I had to travel to Glasgow and took the opportunity to check out both lounges in the airport.  I reviewed the British Airways Glasgow lounge a couple of days ago – and I was impressed with it.

However, there is a second lounge in the airport – the Upperdeck lounge.  This is an alternative to the BA lounge if you have a Priority Pass or HSBC World Elite credit card LoungeKey card, or your only option if you don’t have access to the BA facility.

The lounge was previously known as the Skylounge – you may know it under that name from a previous visit.  It appears to be run by Aspire / Servisair (they sell access on their website) but does not carry either of those brands.

For some reason, the Upperdeck lounge didn’t really do it for me.  This is purely a personal opinion though – it is big, it is light and, if you have kids, it has the best kids play space I have ever seen in a UK airport lounge.  It may well work for you.

The lounge is situated above the main airport restaurant and is a little tricky to find.  Once you make it up there, however, you are greeted with a bright large space:

Upperdeck lounge Glasgow Airport review

If that doesn’t appeal (and the banquet seating doesn’t do it for me) there is more traditional seating on the left:

Upperdeck lounge Glasgow Airport review

and

Upperdeck lounge Glasgow Airport review

Part of my lack of enthusiasm for the lounge, I think, is that it looks a bit like you are still inside the main terminal!  The British Airways lounge is designed to feel like a private club and does give a sense of being apart from crowds.

In terms of food and drink, the mid-afternoon snack selection wasn’t bad.  There was a wide choice of fruit and cake with a few sandwiches in the cabinet at the far end:

Upperdeck lounge at Glasgow Airport review

Unfortunately I don’t know what they would offer over breakfast or in the evening, which is when the food selection becomes more important.

The reading selection wasn’t the best kept that I’ve ever seen but there was enough to choose from if you were happy to sort through them:

Upperdeck lounge at Glasgow Airport review

This is where the lounge really stands out, however.  Take a look at the childrens play area:

Upperdeck lounge Glasgow Airport review

and

Upperdeck lounge Glasgow Airport review

There is plenty here to keep a small child busy – whether it means the lounge gets very noisy as well I don’t know.

In terms of access, the Upperdeck lounge is a member of Priority Pass (free with American Express Platinum).  It is not, however, part of Lounge Club (two free passes with the free American Express Gold).  It is part of HSBC’s LoungeKey.

You can also pay for entry.  You can pre-book spaces on the Aspire / Servisair website here at £21 for adults and £15 for children aged 2 or above.

If I were back in Glasgow and flying British Airways, I would choose the BA lounge over Upperdeck.  That is due to the BA lounge being rather impressive rather than any failings here – Upperdeck is perfectly acceptable and, for families, probably a better option due to the extra space and the play area.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the review.
    According to the Loungekey app this lounge is included.
    Has anyone successfully used a Loungekey pass or is it an error?

  2. Daniel Evans says:

    Thanks for the review. This is slightly off topic but the review of the Aspire Lounge at T5 is a bit sparse and I thought readers might find more information useful. My companion and I visited last Friday at around 3:30 pm and it was BUSY. There was a queue out the door and we were told we could come in but would have to share a table.

    We had 2 free lounge club (from Amex Gold) passes to use up so figured we may as well give it a go. Bear in mind that Dragon Pass is not accepted in this lounge so I couldn’t use the passes I have with my Co-op bank account. I don’t know which other lounge pass schemes are accepted.

    We entered the lounge and it was indeed cheek-by-jowl seating-wise. Luckily a couple were leaving a large circular banquette so we nabbed this table quickly. However, just as quickly we were told my a member of staff that this table was needed for parties of 4. We did offer to share with others but he found us 2 high chairs elsewhere in the lounge, so at least we got a seat and were sat together.

    My first observation of the lounge is it’s rather cramped and more of an L-shaped corridor – though it does have good panoramic views of the tarmac and B gate building. It didn’t help that the lounge was at capacity but it’s much smaller than the Galleries lounge and certainly feels that way.

    The other downside is that all alcoholic drinks are served by a barman – this leads to queues and also a (theoretical) restriction of 1 glass of prosecco per person, though he didn’t seem to be enforcing this rule too harshly.

    The food selection was pretty good and tasty – quiches, salads, cold meats etc but no cakes other than some packaged flapjacks. There’s also a slightly mean sounding note on the wall advising passengers “to enjoy the food whilst in the lounge but not to take it with them” – maybe since BA started charging for short-haul economy food, customers are now stocking up for the flight.

    Overall I’d say, if you have a lounge pass and no access to a BA lounge then it’s worth a visit. If you have to pay then you are better off at the Fortnum’s wine bar just outside! The Aspire T5 is definitely aspiring to be a lounge, but hasn’t quite made it yet.

  3. I can help you out there; the breakfast selection is not great. Bread/toast, some processed ham, some cheese, soggy pastries and croissants, yoghurts and some fruit.

    We were in this lounge Friday and it didn’t do it for us either. The service was friendly enough but the one thing that occurred to me was the state of those big chairs by the windows, they were quite disgusting. the arm rests were as dirty as the grungiest train seat you ever saw!

    This was a stark contrast to the lounge at EMA we used on the way back, a wonderfully clean and calm space with an exclusive feel and a great spread of food.

    I get that ‘paid lounges’ charge for champagne but I was a little surprised they also levy a charge for prosecco ….

    I agree that this feels almost like an extension on the main terminal and based on this, given that GLA is our local airport, I’m glad we ditched our Amex Platinum yesterday having hit the £2,000 spend threshold bonus, as this didn’t offer the ‘lounge’ vibe we enjoy.

    • I was in there last week at breakfast time and had sausage and scrambled egg. The sausage was pretty good. Since the Aspire lounge opened I have not used the BA lounge as it always felt like a soulless place to me.

      • the real harry1 says:

        normally under 2s go free, if they’re under 5 try & be pleasant to see if you can wing it

  4. Do you know what the entry policy is for children? How old does one need to be before they’re chargeable (or counts as an entry in your PP card)?

  5. I think you mean banquette seating rather than banquet 😉

    (sorry, it’s just it doesn’t look like the food spread is that amazing, certainly not enough to be a banquet :D)

    Good review though, nice to gradually cover them all.

    BHD Aspire not bad when I was in it last week, not as many food options as EDI but fine for a short wait.

    • Daniel Evans says:

      Ah yes, banquette is what I meant! In my defence, I wrote that review at 5:15am. 😉

      • Haha – that’s dedication doing a HfP review at that hour!

        I’ve opted for Aspire Lounge at EDI over the BA one this AM so I can have a bacon roll. Turns out they’re actually improved the offering further – now have bacon, scrambled eggs and tomatoes on offer with rolls of you want to make your own. Puts the BA offering to shame!

        • I’m in the Aspire Edinburgh in 12 days time and very much looking forward to my second visit. I was impressed the last time with their bap style rolls. A very pleasant place to relax

        • Brighton Belle says:

          How come Aspire can offer a reasonable food experience at Edinburgh but Gatwick North is frightful.

  6. I use the very decent BA lounge at GLA on a regular basis, but occasionally I travel “All in” on Flybe. Every time I have to ask for a lounge voucher at check-in which I find a nuisance, but that’s a different issue (at the other end of the check-in area I always have to remind the ladies doing check-in for BA to attach a priority label to my bag…).
    I don’t know if I have just been unlucky, but the Upperdeck at GLA has been one of my worst lounge experiences so far. Even memories of the old dark and cold but quiet Flybe lounge are better than what I have endured so far: a noise level that makes you want to escape back to the main departures area, hen parties anticipating beach and booze, young men in shorts trying to find out who will be first to lie under the table, lack of crockery and cutlery, dirty seats and some shocked posh couples vowing to only fly BA Club in the future…
    I’ll give the Upperdeck another go at the end of the week – as I said, maybe I’ve just been unlucky so far.

    • Priority label? lol

      • Sadly I’ve never found them worth the card they’re printed on, seems to make zero difference!

    • No I don’t think your experience is a one-off.
      This lounge often gets used by aspirationals that have never been in lounges before and want to consume their body weight in booze … oil workers going to far east or couples / families flying business (thankfully BA and Emirates have their own lounges in GLA).
      I’ve used this lounge and its various and very varying predecessors over the years (am now BAEC Gold so really only do it 5 or so times a year) but other than a few decent staff who are helpful one normally is given an unsmiling if not grumpy “welcome” at this facility. Often there’s a line to sign in (too many times staff don’t know how to sign in the various customers being sent to them by the likes of United Airlines BusinessFirst passengers).
      The layout is cold and the reviewer is right, it has nothing to distinguish it from the concourse downstairs. Whoever designed the layout is an idiot. Milk is nowhere near cereal. I’ve never seen a hot breakfast other than a crock of porridge and alcohol has to be requested. The space behind (yes behind!) the counter where one accesses the coffee machine and refrigerators is cramped and silly.
      Only recently has fresh fruit been available and no bottles of water are available.
      Newspapers are a poor selection and mainly gone by 10am but there are tons of crappy free magazines that no one takes out ifvtgr lounge due to the poor quality.
      I often hear people who’ve paid nearly £20 a head complain at the poor value they think they’ve gotten.
      There’s also only one singular men’s loo with one cubicle and two urinals. Not enough when flights are called and the booze bags all rush to empty their filled bladders.
      As for praising the kiddie corner – when Judy this place is like a crèche and very noisy and reverberant so not a working area.
      Basically they’re trying to be everything to everyon and pleasing no one.
      All in all I avoid this place unless I’m flying United BusinessFirst or a budget airline when I use my PriorityPass to grab a cuppa.
      Sorry GLA it’s like your airport, just a miserable customer experience – oh and standby to get stung for £2 to be dropped off in a car or taxi!!!!! Welcome to Glasgow? Really?

      • “……..when flights are called and the booze bags all rush to empty their filled bladders.” Just about choked on my cornflakes lol. Probably one of the most descriptive reviews I’ve read in a while – you didn’t like it then ? The free drop off point was still operational last week but it is changing, soon by the looks of it. I agree £2 for drop off and pick up is criminal.

      • Exactly my experience and as James described it. Glasgow Airport is my local and I have to travel through it around 10 – 15 times per year. Mostly I fly with KLM or on holiday using the budget airlines. Both myself and my partner have Priority Pass through the American Express Platinum Cards, so the Upper Deck Lounge is my so called home lounge.

        But the experience is awful most of the time. On almost every occasion I always mutter to myself why I bother. I also have to remind myself what exactly are these lounges for and what do I want from them.

        Priority Pass describe lounges as

        “Once you’ve left security behind you, you can leave the noise, crowds and chaos behind too. Our lounges transform the airport experience from an endurance test into a moment of indulgence.”

        But the Upper Deck lounge can only be described as a canteen or a children’s playground. It’s noisy, full of drunken families with screaming kids and they leave the tables in such a disgraceful mess. No wonder some of the staff are miserable.

        To be honest I am now finding the Weatherspoon’s type bar in the concourse that you edge past to be a better experience now. You get decent food, decent seats & tables each with power points to charge phones, use laptops etc. I would rather pay a premium for what that Wetherspoons offer, than use my priority pass/or pay £20 per person to experience the tranquility of Glasgow holidaymakers and their screaming kids in that …and I use the term lightly…” lounge”.

  7. Jimmyjimmy says:

    Can you still use a lounge club pass acquired from Amex gold after the gold card has been cancelled (but still with in the first year)? Ta
    J

    • Nope, Lounge Pass and PP are linked to underlying payment card

      • What about a gold card (which came with a lounge club card) which was then upgraded to a platinum card (which came with a priority pass card) which was then downgraded to a green card (because I haven’t figured out what to do with my points yet!)? Would the lounge club/priority pass work then?

        • If now linked to a Green it shouldn’t do, but you never know you might get lucky. Just be aware risk of being charged £15pp…

    • No, you must have an active Golf rewards account. Sadly, the vouchers expire when you cancel the card. Witnessed someone trying it on in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. I had to take him aside and explain the rules as he was starting to cause a scene. Left the lounge with his tail between his legs.

  8. the real harry1 says:

    looked this up the other day – £16.50 gets you in with the DP Daily Telegraph TELEDP16 promo https://thetelegraph.dragonpassuk.com/

    snacks & up to 4 alcoholic drinks (not sure if they police it) – not too shabby vs slumming it outside

  9. Joseph Heenan says:

    I can confirm this lounge IS in the HSBC Premier World Elite Lounge Key scheme. It’s listed in the app, and I have personally visited it using LoungeKey before Christmas.

    It’s also the official KLM (and others) lounge, just show an appropriate ticket at the entrance. KLM checkin staff didn’t tell us.

    The two times I was there just before Christmas we didn’t see any sign of any hot breakfast food; I’m not sure if xcalx’s comment means this is a recent addition, or perhaps that it’s only available for a very restricted time. If there is hot food that would probably swing it into ‘worth paying for’ for me, as otherwise the breakfast offering isn’t great.

  10. The start of the review states: “This is an alternative to the BA lounge if you have a…Lounge Club card”, but at the end of the review this is contradicted by: “In terms of access, the Upperdeck lounge is…not, however, part of Lounge Club”
    Having checked the Lounge Club website, it appears the latter statement is the correct one.

    • Yes, sorry, when I wrote the article I assumed it would be in LC so I put that in and then – when I checked later – only made the amendment at the bottom. Fixed.

  11. Bag of mixed comments regarding this lounge, only used it a few times and found it be pretty good (when compared to other UK lounges), spacious, quiet and an adequate amount of food and drink. Nice view out towards the runway. I think the issue the lounge has is the number of charter passengers who use it to get boozed up (there was the story that someone was caught emptying the vodka into their kids milk bottle!). But, whenever i have been it has been quiet. That said, the wine bar on the right as you approach the lounge lift has become my preference, nice food n drink and a similar view out to the runway.

    The worst lounge visit i ever had was the old Servisair lounge at EDI when it was full of rugby fans getting tanked up on free booze, staff weren’t interested and kept on letting more and more people in with nowhere to sit.

  12. The lounge is a completely different experience during the winter months compared to summer. Glasgow is a very seasonal airport and generally pretty quiet over the winter months, same goes for the lounge.
    The lounge was better before it was remodelled a couple of years ago. It used to be split in half with half being for “business” travellers and the other half “leisure”. This meant that one half of the lounge was quiet.
    After the remodel they knocked down all internal walls to make it a big cavernous room. The kids play area may be good but unfortunately the noise echoes all through the lounge. Same goes for noisy large groups preflight boozing.
    The seating is very hard and uncomfy and as many have pointed out pretty dirty and grubby.
    The food options are basic porridge at breakfast, pasta and soup the rest of the day.