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Odd rules emerging … is the Aspire lounge in T5 really an Aspire lounge?

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Two weeks ago I covered the official opening of the new Aspire airport lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.  This is likely to be popular with Head for Points readers who do not have British Airways status but who do have a Priority Pass via an American Express Platinum card or who bought one directly.

(EDIT: Here is our latest review of the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5)

Everybody else can pre-book admission for cash via the Aspire website.

Since it opened, there have been some rumblings of discontent about access and rewards and what level of control Aspire actually has over the lounge in terms of giving out benefits.


First up is the Aspire annual lounge pass.

As you can see here on their website under Membership, you can pay £260 for an annual pass which gets you access to every Aspire and Servisair lounge.

This pass is NOT accepted at the Terminal 5 lounge.   The website for the annual pass recently changed its wording to say it is accepted at ‘selected’ lounges, and the list of lounges where it can be used now includes the phrase ‘(T3 only)’ next to ‘London Heathrow’.

This is a rather poor show by Aspire.

What is odder, though, is that you can pay the same £260 for an annual ‘unlimited visits’ Priority Pass.  This gets you into 700 lounges – so all of the Aspire and Servisair ones, plus another 685 on top – for the same price.  This WILL get you into the Terminal 5 Aspire lounge.

The T5 lounge is actually a joint venture between the company behind Aspire and the company behind Priority Pass.  So why do Priority Pass allow you to use your pass in the lounge whilst Aspire is blocking their own – poorer value – annual pass?

The second issue is over the LoungeMiles scheme. 

Aspire and Servisair have their own loyalty scheme called LoungeMiles.  Full details can be found on their website here.

To join LoungeMiles, you simply need to pick up a card next time you visit a Servisair or Aspire lounge and get it stamped.

If you collect five stamps, you receive a free lounge visit.  This is an easy reward to claim – you simply hand over your completed card at the door, in the same way you would redeem a Caffe Nero stamp card!

If you collect seven stamps, you can exchange your card for a £5 Amazon, John Lewis, M&S, Boots, The White Company or Debenhams gift voucher.  There are also some restaurant redemption options.

For clarity – you DO receive a stamp even if you use a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card to get into the lounge.

These are the UK airports where you can collect LoungeMiles stamps:

Aberdeen – Servisair Lounge

Belfast City – Aspire lounge (according to comments below)

Birmingham (Terminal 1) – Aspire Lounge

Bristol – Aspire Lounge

Durham Tees Valley – Servisair Roseberry Lounge

Edinburgh – Aspire Lounge

Humberside – Servisair Lounge

Inverness – Servisair Highland Lounge

Liverpool John Lennon – Aspire Lounge

London Gatwick (North Terminal) – Aspire Lounge

London Gatwick (South Terminal) – Aspire Lounge

London Heathrow (Terminal 3) – Servisair Lounge

London Luton – Aspire Lounge

Manchester (Terminal 1) – Aspire Lounge

Manchester (Terminal 2) – The Styal Lounge

Newcastle – Aspire Lounge

Heathrow Terminal 5 is missing from the list and the LoungeMiles website confirms that this is not a mistake.  You also cannot earn stamps at the Cardiff and Glasgow lounges because they are not directly owned by Aspire.

The Aspire lounge in Terminal 5 is a lounge where you cannot use an Aspire annual pass and where you cannot selected rewards in Aspire’s own loyalty scheme.  Very odd.

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four 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.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 you get a 30,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

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 (17)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Danksy says:

    I’m sad enough to admit to visting the LGW lounge just to get the stamp… Not a patch on the number1 lounge !

  • NigelP says:

    Thought we’d give the new T5 lounge a try out. After redeeming avios for a BA club Europe flight last year and enjoyed the BA lounge, flying through Heathrow on economy seemed like a good idea. Whilst this is a lovely lounge with great views the seating is limited and it’s not very busy at the mo – not sure how it would cope with more visitors . Where are the comfy sofas and individual tables? Is the £15 entry really worth it for a limited hot beverage – no decaf coffee unless you want instant. Don’t get me wrong this is a nice place just not great. Glad we had the free breakfast at the crowne plaza courtesy of platinum status – thanks to head for points.

    • Danksy says:

      Free breakfast at Crown Plaza? I’ve never had free breakfast at IHG due to status!

  • MoNkEyMaN says:

    You can also collect stamps in the Aspire Lounge in Belfast City Airport.

  • ECR says:

    I think that maybe an old list as it don’t include Belfast City and includes London Gatwick South which seemed to have closed last time I was there.

    I was told at LHR T5 last week that they didn’t have a Loungemiles stamp and weren’t allowed to sign the card and that it says on their website.

    Their website confirms that LHR T5 is excluded:-

  • Gin and Tonic Please says:

    Hi Rob. Amazon have withdrawn from the LoungeMiles scheme now.

  • airportangeldude says:

    We’re still giving away 6 entries (ooh matron) for £13 on the Airport Angel scheme.

    Just need a Barcs a/c.

    So – about £2 each for all the booze you can drink.

  • AndyS says:

    Thanks, didnt kno you could get lounge miles on “free” entry. Is there anything in the rules to stop you handing a completed card to someone else – if not i see this as a way to get a guest in for free once you have enough stamps!

    • Rob says:

      From the sound of it, this does seem possible although I can’t confirm.

    • ECR says:

      I asked several months ago in one of the lounges if I could give a completed card to someone else for lounge access as I didn’t need it and was told I could. I can’t really remember, but think they said the person I give it to should complete their details on the back of the card.

  • adamcreen says:

    Here’s the explanation from Aspire which they tweeted me today:
    “Hi, Although the lounge is named Aspire, it is not wholly owned by Swissport and therefore Aspire Membership Cards cannot be used. If you require any further information please contact our customer service team via [email protected]

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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