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.
Full details of the Northern Lights lounge can be found on the Aberdeen Airport website here where you can also make cash bookings.
EDIT: We published an updated review of the Northern Lights lounge in 2021 – click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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 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.