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Review: the impressive Northern Lights Executive Lounge at Aberdeen Airport

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This is our review of the new Northern Lights Executive Lounge at Aberdeen Airport.

A brand new executive lounge opened at Aberdeen last weekend as part of the major redevelopment project currently underway at the airport.  Reader Rob was there as it opened and generously agreed to write a review for us.

You can find all of our other UK airport lounge reviews here.

Full details of the Northern Lights lounge can be found on the Aberdeen Airport website here where you can also make cash bookings.

Over to Rob:

“After several years of using what can only be described as a soulless, dark, disappointing lounge at Aberdeen Airport, we were pleasantly surprised when the latest upgrade to the airport terminal was unveiled on the 1st of July.

Tucked away on the 1st floor at the end of a rather long corridor and accessed by an elevator, the lounge boasts incredible vistas of the pan and runway, with a large panoramic window as a striking feature.  This is an ‘official’ PR photograph as mine had too much glare on it from the window.

Northern Lights business lounge Aberdeen Airport review

Brightly lit and with an airy feel to it, the lounge has a greater capacity to its predecessor, and also has a larger complement of comfortable seating as well as a large table with stools in the centre for working at.

Northern Lights business lounge Aberdeen Airport review

A quirky feature of the lounge is its dedicated toilets, removing the previous requirement to exit the lounge and walk to the bathrooms.  Toiletries in the bathrooms are provided by Gordon Castle of Scotland.

The real crowd pleaser for this lounge is the food selection.  Catered for by “The Kilted Chef”, who runs an upmarket restaurant fine-dining restaurant called Eat On The Green in Aberdeenshire,  there is a salad bar, a cheese plate, and a hot plate.  At the time of our visit it featured Aberdeen Angus Sliders, scotch pies, potatoes, and a vegetable dish.

Northern Lights business lounge Aberdeen Airport review

There were also two soups, some cakes and some shortbread.  Coffee is from a Nespresso machine with the tea selection sourced from Twinings (interestingly it is loose leaf and served in individual teapots).  Food was refreshed several times throughout our stay and there was always plenty to go around.

Northern Lights business lounge Aberdeen Airport review

Alcohol is complimentary in the lounge, with a great selection of local Craft Beers (such as BrewDog Punk IPA) and a selection of self-serve spirits and wine also available.  For those celebrating, or wishing to dabble in some whisky sampling, the “Whisky Wall” has a variety of different Scotches and Bourbons for guests to sample at varying costs.

Northern Lights business lounge Aberdeen Airport review

The lounge was well staffed, but when we arrived there was a mass exodus of guests, resulting in large quantities of empty wrappers, glasses and plates being left around on tables. However, over the course of our stay these were uplifted and the tables cleaned.

Conclusion

The new Northern Lights Executive Lounge is a huge improvement on the previous sad, aged, Swissport offering in Aberdeen.

Walk up entry prices are around £25, which is reasonable considering the enhanced food and beverage provisioning at this lounge; it is much better than the usual sandwich and cake fayre provided by contract lounges.

The new Northern Lights Executive Lounge can be accessed by Priority Pass (buy one, or free with American Express Platinum), Lounge Club (free with American Express Gold) and all other major lounge pass networks. It also hosts premium cabin passengers on certain airlines who do not have their own lounge.

If you want to book in advance and will be paying cash, you can book via the Aberdeen Airport website here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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 (11)

  • Hingeless says:

    Can Leeds airport please do the same!

    • barnaby100 says:

      What is wrong with the Leeds lounge? It is much better than many airline business lounges. I would put it towards the top of UK/europe paid for lounges.

      • Hingeless says:

        The lack of toilets is the main issue, windows would be nice too.

  • John says:

    Was there yesterday flying AF business, agree is a good lounge. Hot buffet breakfast was good but as usual with these things tiny plates to make you take less food on each visit!

  • James says:

    We used the lounge with our Priority passes recently whilst flying to LHR and were blessed with an extended stay when BA delayed our flight by 2 1/2 hrs.
    The lounge was busy and continually well serviced during our stay. The hot food offerings were particularly fine. Staff were helpful and very friendly.

  • Matt says:

    A lounge with Brewdog Punk IPA on tap…almost worth a flight to Aberdeen in its own right.

    • Andy says:

      Looks a quality lounge made all the bwtter with having Brewdog Punk IPA!

      easyjet sell Brewdog Punk IPA as part of their buy on board menu.

  • CV3V says:

    Scotch pies in a lounge #awesome. They should go all out and do the mash potato and baked bean version!

  • Graeme says:

    Agreed, this is an excellent upgrade on the previous lounge.

    This is my local lounge. I’ve been through twice since it opened and will be there at least another 3 times by y the end of this month.

    Besides Punk IPA, the other beers I spotted in the fridge were:
    Brewdog – Nanny State
    Harviestoun – Schiehallion
    Harviestoun – Bitter and Twisted

    All are bottled and are self service – there are unfortunately no draught taps!

    The Angus mini burgers (I am not American, so I won’t call them “sliders”) when I went through were bacon and cheese burgers… very moreish!

    The breakfast time hot selection (which was put out around 04:45) included sausages (both link and Lorne types), bacon, mushrooms and scrambled eggs.

    • CV3V says:

      you may have to explain Lorne sausage to the HfP southern contingent….

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