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Review of the Aspire Lounge at Birmingham Airport

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This is our review of the Aspire Lounge at Birmingham Airport.

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

Reader Rob kindly sent in a brief review of the Aspire Lounge at Birmingham Airport:

“A short hop across the main departure lounge, you’ll find the entrance to the Aspire Lounge. This is a Swissport lounge which grants access to DragonPass, Lounge Club and Priority Pass holders as well as FlyBe passengers holding their most flexible “premium” tickets.

The lounge was refurbished in recent years and still looks fresh; it has pleasant grey ash wooden accents throughout the lounge with varying styles of seating including a business/quiet zone. The dress code is relaxed but smart casual, and large groups must book before entry.

The picture below is from the Aspire website.

aspire lounge birmingham 1

One advantage of this lounge is that the view outside is straight onto the BHX Pan, where you can see anything from a 737 to the weekly RAF Voyager service. It’s a definite bonus for anyone who is somewhat of a spotter.

Throughout the lounge there is excellent power availability with EU, UK and USB plugs available, whilst all work benches have relatively comfortable stools to perch yourself on whilst firing off those last minute emails.

This picture is from the Birmingham Airport website.

aspire lounge birmingham 2

The food and drink selection is not great; a few sandwiches, some soup and some crisps are complimented with entry level spirits, beers and wines. Not the best selection but if you’re only making a short stop before boarding it serves its purpose. If the lounge is busy, which is a regular occurrence, don’t expect the food to be refreshed too often.

aspire lounge birmingham 3


The lounge is long and narrow, with good segregation and seating throughout. When it gets busier, the small business area is great to sit down in and relax while reading emails or even just a newspaper. Position-wise, the lounge is well placed to access the budget airlines area of the terminal (Gates 1-20) as it’s a 5 minute stroll away, although BHX is a pretty compact airport with a 15 minute walk allowing you to get where you need to be regardless of your gate.

There aren’t many staff members in this lounge, and it can get a little messy during busier periods but as mentioned; if you’re just making a short stop then you shouldn’t have too many issues.

This lounge is a mid-tier paid entry lounge and in terms of comfort and seating it is reasonable. However it lacks feeling, atmosphere, good food and the general pizzazz that other lounges provide.

When at Birmingham Airport I’d always visit the No1 Lounge first.  It has superior food offerings, ambience and more comfortable seating – it’s a no brainer.”

Thanks Rob.  If you want to compare this with Rob’s review of the No1 Lounge, you will find that here.  You can pre-book access to the Aspire lounge via their website here.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (October 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

60,000 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 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

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 a special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  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 (7)

  • Smid says:

    Depends if you want self pour or the associated 5 minute wait for the barman/queue. That’s my big problem with Number 1 lounges…

    • Andy says:

      Used the No.1 lounge about 6 times and never had to wait for more than a minute or so to get a drink. Comes to something when having self pour over a few minute wait defines which lounge you visit.

  • Kingy says:

    That is a fair and balanced report.
    The quiet zone is next to the entrance which can be a little noisy at times and they have a habit of reserving blocks of seating which leaves you waiting to pounce when someone vacates a table.

  • Alex says:

    This is the lounge you get send to as a BA Silver/Gold on the Iberia flight

  • JohnW says:

    I was in this lounge a few months ago (after getting turned away from No 1 Traveller). It is one of the worst lounges I’ve ever been to. My wife was saying that you’d better off just sitting in Pret in the terminal. The No 1 lounge isn’t anything special but far better than this.

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