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Aspire lounge in Terminal 5 confirmed, whilst United says ‘no more Priority Pass’ in Terminal 2

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Heathrow Airport confirmed the story yesterday that I originally ran on Head for Points on April 1st – that an independent airport lounge will open in Terminal 5 this Summer, possibly July.

It will be operated by Swissport / Servisair under the ‘Aspire’ brand.  It is NOT confirmed at this time that Priority Pass and / or Lounge Club and / or Airport Angel cards will be accepted, but it seems likely – especially Priority Pass

(Priority Pass has a bigger network than its sister Lounge Club and I get a sneaky feeling that it pays more to lounges.  More importantly, Collinson Group – who own Priority Pass – are joint venture partners in the new lounge.)

It will be situated by Gate 18 / 19.  This means that it will be underneath the Galleries South complex (Gates 18 / 19 are around the corner as you go past Paul Smith and past the escalators that take you up to Galleries South).

I think that British Airways will be generally happy with this lounge.  Apart from any embarrassment should the food turn out to be better, it will be a lifesaver for anyone who can no longer retain BA status following the tier point changes later this month.  It may even persuade some people to continue to fly with BA who would otherwise defect to an airline in a different terminal which does have a Priority Pass lounge.

The interesting statistic will be the number of BA passengers who have BA lounge access who still use Aspire!  They may, of course, simply be popping in to get a Lounge Miles stamp so they can earn a £5 shopping voucher for every seven visits …..

Terminal 2 United Club - bar

That is the good news of the day.  Now the bad news.

Business Traveller reported yesterday that United Airlines is removing Priority Pass access from all 49 of its lounges globally from May 15th.

This will be a major blow for anyone who uses the United Club lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 on the B concourseHeathrow’s United Club is a fantastic lounge as I reviewed here.  It has the longest bar in Heathrow (photo above), it has an amazingly large range of free food and it has free-flow champagne!

It is not the end of the world for Priority Pass holders, of course.  The Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 2 is also very impressive, and of course you don’t need to head all the way out to the B concourse.  Plaza Premium is more of a relaxing contemplation space though, whilst United Club was a better option for those who wanted to maximise their food and drink before a flight!


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 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 (26)

  • Chewbacca says:

    Rather disappointing about UA as a lot of my flights are T2 to Ireland and was one of the perceived benefits when signing up for the Amex Platinum.

    No alcohol at Plaza Premium lounge, seriously? Isn’t this a bit of a joke for a lounge, no alcohol and no food?

    Apart from the sign up bonuses the Amex Platinum is looking increasingly of limited value (I get medical cover at work) One wonders what the long term strategy is for this card given the 50% increase in fee a few years back. I think the UK fee is the same in pounds (£450) as in dollars ($450) for less benefits, I believe the US one has zero fee on foreign transactions? Does Amex want people to drop its card, it seems like a strange strategy?

    • Rob says:

      It is the arrivals lounge which is no alcohol, not Plaza Premium departures

  • Chewbacca says:

    Oh ok, thanks for clarifying, still very disappointing that UA is dropping Prioity Pass.

    Off topic but wondering if the Aer Lingus merger (takeover) by IAG goes through would Aer Lingus flights be likely to qualify for BA Exec Tier points, I think Iberia flights do?

  • barnaby100 says:

    off task but does anyone have a direct link to register for accor and club carlson with a uk amex platinum. Amex have been trying to sort this for a week- 2 hours on the phone. My account is oddly set up apparently and doesn’t have the usual links.

  • barnaby100 says:

    Thanks- it doesnt work. Apparently I had a very old amex plat which was closed years ago. Now I have a old BA amex and a newish amex bus plat. But i cant access any benefits on line including FHR as the BA amex determines the links. They have deleted very old card, reset the account, tried to change the priorities of the cards but so far nothing works. My account just doesnt look like anyone elses when I log in apparently.

    • barnaby100 says:

      Well after 4 calls and over 3 hours on the phone to amex….. it is because it is a business platinum apparently and they don’t have on line access to benefits.

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