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The Aer Lingus lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 2 reviewed

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On Wednesday I reviewed the new Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2.  On the same day, I also got the chance to review the other lounge in the main terminal – here is my review of the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2.

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

Remember that British Airways Gold and Silver card members can access the Aer Lingus lounge when flying with Aer Lingus.

The Aer Lingus lounge is the complete opposite of the Plaza Premium lounge:

It is on the upper level (Plaza Premium is on the ground floor)

It is bathed with huge amounts of natural light and apron views (Plaza Premium has no natural light)

There is almost no food to eat (Plaza Premium has a huge buffet)

Drinks are self-service (Plaza Premium has a full, staffed, bar)

No champagne but prosecco is available (Plaza Premium has no champagne either)

Architecturally, it takes its cues from the old Terminal 1 lounge, particularly in the use of slate tiling on the walls.  Here are a few shots:

Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow main review
and
Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow review

Food and drink

All of the refreshments are on this counter.  The food comprise cheese … and biscuits.  There was also a pot of beef goulash.  That is pretty much it – you don’t get a Plaza Premium-style hot and cold buffet here!  I also took a shot of the drink selection.

Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow food review
and
Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow drinks review
and
Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow cheese review
and
Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow biscuits review

If you are in the lounge on business, there is also a small meeting room you can use for free:

Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow meeting room

….. with a view over the apron:

Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow apron review

All in all, this is a pleasant facility which is worth a visit – although you may want to eat elsewhere first!

Aer Lingus Virgin Little Red lounge Heathrow flower review


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (13)

  • Damien says:

    Can BA Silver access the Aer Lingus lounge when flying to Belfast with Aer Lingus?

  • Stu says:

    What is your opinion on EI GC? Is it a lucrative FFP to sign up to or continue with BAEC? For 4-5 IE-UK flights a month. Most to the regions (hence my inability to use BA more often than not).

    • Polly says:

      If you think you would use their biz product to the USA. Then stick with EI, as it is now v g value..flat beds etc but lounge access is another issue, their GC doesn’t get you into galleries etc but you seem like you would get to use all the benefits of their GC..But of course keep your baec going when you can fly ba…just depends on where you will spend your avios.. More and more people are using the EI biz product to the US east and west Coast now instead of LHR as taxes are minimal. Difficult one.

  • andystock says:

    Plaza Premium wins hands down for me in terms of food and seating. Is it me or dose the Aer Lingus lounge look like a work rest room.

  • Paul Irving says:

    Why do lounges have so many tables set out for 3 or 4 people? Then ones person sits on these tables instead of a table for 1 or 2!

    • oyster says:

      Completely agree.

      Went into T5 South GC the other day with family in tow (pushchairs etc) and even though the lounge was nowhere near full, there were no free clusters of chairs available.

      So 2 things.
      1. Why can’t single travellers be a little less selfish and not take up a cluster of 4/6 chairs?
      2. Knowing the above, why don’t lounge operators have a few more pods of 1/2/3 chairs and no more?

  • Andy Paddy says:

    A few weeks ago I came across from T5 to T2 and needed an Aer Lingus desk to issue me a boarding pass. There was nobody at the transfer desk and time was passing so I thought I would check the lounge… When I arrived upstairs everything was as described above, the doors open but NO STAFF there either! So I had a good chance to inspect the premises and see what was on offer! Somebody turned up about 30 minutes later and printed my boarding pass – which had my AA number so not even a BA status. I was travelling on a BA flight number so I said that OW Saphire was equivalent to BA silver and there was not an issue.

    So if you are arriving in early in the morning to Terminal 2 and there is nobody at the transfer desk, just remember that the doors upstairs are likely open even though nobody is at home!

  • Lady London says:

    How can a newly built lounge look so old-fashioned?

    • Rob says:

      I imagine they wanted to keep it simple because the huge windows provide all the focus. Flash interior decor would go unnoticed. Plaza Premium, on the other hand, was effectively forced to make a real effort on the interior because of the lack of daylight.

    • Paddy says:

      Because a lot of the furniture was brought in from the old lounge…

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    So, having been in both the Plaza and Air Lingus lounges last night…..

    It really is down to tastes…. However, if you’re trying to get any form of business done, avoid the Plaza lounge like the plague.

    1. Their WiFi is shockingly poor in any part of the lounge
    2. They play piped music… Loud enough to be heard on conf calls.
    3. It was busy, and whilst there was food, there was nothing left but some bland quiche thing
    4. The front desk staff were miserable

    So, after an hour of the worst piped music ever, I trotted over to Air Lingus.

    Firstly, it’s bright! After being in the Plaza for 2 hours, it felt like the surface of the sun

    The single member of the front desk staff was lovely and smiley.

    The drink selection was okay, and, as mentioned, no food. However, there’s a plethora of food outlets outside, including a Yo Sushi that does take away

    I preferred, to be honest, the air lingus lounge. It’s MUCH quieter.

  • Bigglesgirl says:

    For information the brand spanking new Lufthansa lounge is now officially open (I am currently sat in it enjoying a glass of sparkly at 5:30am on my way to Stockholm in SAS Plus class). I have to say it seems to be on a par with the United lounge in terms of quality of food and drink available and is, thankfully, not so far a walk. It is spacious, light, airy in muted tones of beige and grey. Not sure of the view as it is still dark, however I can see across to T4. The lounge is split into two with the ‘Senator’ lounge being through separate doors at the far end.
    I also noted on my Priority Pass app last night that the Plaza Premium lounge is now on their list!

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