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British Airways vs Aspire – which is the best lounge in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport?

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A couple of weeks ago I ran a review from reader Alison on the two new(-ish) lounges at Amsterdam Schiphol – the British Airways lounge and the Aspire lounge.

I got the chance to try both myself last week.  The first thing to note is that the huge diversionary route to the lounges, caused by building work, has been drastically reduced.  There is still a diversion in place but it only adds 1-2 minutes to the walk.

The second thing to note is that the lounge is on the way to the BA gate (usually D26).  Whilst it is a long walk to the lounge and then a whopping 9 minute walk – even with my long legs – from the lounge to the gate, you need to do this walk whether or not you visit the lounge!  The extra time taken to divert upstairs is modest by comparison.

Inside the British Airways lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol airport

Let’s look at the British Airways lounge first.  The good news is that everything is brand new, as you would expect.  There is also a lot of light and views of the apron, eg:

Inside the British Airways lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol

and

British Airways lounge Amsterdam Schiphol

and

British Airways lounge Amsterdam Schiphol

Let’s not talk about food.  This is all they had at 2pm in terms of fresh food:

British Airways lounge Amsterdam Schiphol food

although there was no shortage of drink:

British Airways lounge Amsterdam Schiphol

There are no computers, if that is important to you.

Inside the Aspire lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol airport

In need of sustenance, I hit the Aspire lounge next door.  You can get in with a Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum) or a Lounge Club (two free visits with Amex Gold) card, or with cash.

The first thing you realise is that this lounge is b-i-g.  Big, light and, obviously, with all-new furnishings.

Aspire lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Priority Pass

and

Aspire lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Priority Pass

The mid-afternoon fresh food offering was better than British Airways (not hard!).  There were also a series of hot food trays which gave me the impression that more substantial food would have been available in the evening.

Aspire lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Priority Pass

Good news – they have stroopwafels as well!

Bad news – the newspaper and magazine selection is woeful:

Aspire lounge Amsterdam Schiphol Priority Pass

There are a number of computers to use.  These are, oddly, chargeable.  However, they are part of the Boingo network so if you have an American Express Platinum card registered with Boingo, as I do, you can use that log-in and not pay.  Wi-fi is free.

Overall, the only reason to visit the British Airways lounge at Amsterdam Schiphol is to get a British newspaper.  Once you’ve done that, there is very little reason to hang around if you have access to the Aspire lounge.

To be honest, if I was BA and had seen the plans for the Aspire lounge, I wouldn’t have bothered building my own.  Aspire could have added in the space being used by British Airways and BA could have saved the capital expenditure.  Instead, BA appears to have blown its budget on the building work with no money left for food!

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 (18)

  • jhk says:

    i do not know what ba is doing but it looks each day less service less loyalty to the members dirty plane no news papers in the concorde lounge i try this already 3 years and Always inform them but nothing has been done and sorry to say i was not big fan from klm. but step by step they do better.

    i think we need to forget Ba for the future but i remember the good old days and their service

    • Mike says:

      Yeah, simple stuff like the cleanliness is a big problem. On my last F flight I got to my seat and found some dried wine smudged on my side table, which came off with a quick wipe – so much for them ‘going over the F cabin with a tooth comb’ that they showed in that BA documentary last year 🙂

  • Blackberryaddict says:

    According to oneworld.com Qatar will use the Aspire lounge.

    When I was in the AMS BA lounge back in January, they did have stroopwafels as well – I do hope they restocked after I left. 😉

    • ee says:

      Great news that it’s aspire, we’re also BKK bound on QR at the end of this year thanks to this site!

      • joe says:

        Im a bit disappointed with it – I’ve already got access to that, I was hoping for something different.

  • Mark says:

    They don’t offer any additional food in the evening in the aspire lounge BA say they put sandwich later but I’ve never seen any