Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The Aspire lounge in London Gatwick’s North Terminal to close for refurbishment

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Aspire has announced that its lounge in Gatwick North will close on 26th February for refurbishment.  It will re-open under the Club Aspire format in May.

This is the oldest Aspire lounge in the portfolio, albeit only 6 years old, so the company clearly believes it is due a revamp.

This closure will put additional pressure on the No 1 Lounge (reviewed here) and My Lounge (reviewed here).  If you are planning to visit Gatwick North – the easyJet terminal – with a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card you may want to consider paying £5 per person via this link to reserve a spot and guarantee admission, as well as getting Fast Track Security.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2020)

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

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. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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 Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club lounge – see the list here

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  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 HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to almost all of them – indexed here.

Comments (134)

  • Stu N says:

    OT: Have a JFK trip booked for end of year, currently on 777 both ways (every single flight on our outbound was a 777 which is unusual). As the route is notorious for 747777 swaps I’d like to keep a close eye on it. Is it just down to checking MMB periodically or any smart ideas since the demise of MyFlights?

    • Darren says:

      Snap, just booked on 777 yesterday. I’d be interested in replies.

    • John W says:

      Hi Stu ,
      One suggestiion could be Expert Flyer. you can enter your dates of travel and flight number and the software provides the seat map along with any vacant seats / Booked seats
      http://www.expertflyer.com/
      Free trial allows X number of searches per day

      • Stu N says:

        Thanks, will give that a go. Nothing seems to compare with ease of use of MyFlights, I happily paid for Gold for months covering “valuable” flights. Such a shame there was no way around GDPR for them.

  • rob says:

    HSBC World Elite 2nd year Fee Update.

    Realise a few of us have this and have had issues with the T’s & C’s; HSBC have written to me that as a goodwill gesture if I change to the standard premier mastercard they will refund the £195 2nd year fee for the world elite and can keep the points.

    • Polly says:

      HSBC elite fee. Same with us. The issue was the points, you would lose them if you dropped down to free card even one day before the year was up. If you wait until that exact day of 1 year, you are charged the fee. It’s really a no win situation. The manager who dealt with mine agreed it was a mess. They are trying to clarify it.. They said most people don’t fight it. I told her we were used to exceptional cs from amex, and that amex wouldn’t hesitate one second to refund the fee and keep us a customer. And make sure we kept our points.
      Am now waiting for a BA bonus! Some hope.

      • Lady London says:

        @Polly very impressed with your brisk answer to HSBC above “we were used to exceptional cs from amex, and that amex wouldn’t hesitate one second to refund the fee and keep us a customer. And make sure we kept our points.”

        I have filed this for my own future use.
        Btw I think the World Elite MasterCard also has access to the excellent MasterCard hotel scheme? which the standard HSBC MasterCard won’t.

  • Andrew says:

    Following my experience at the Radisson in Crystal City a few years back, it doesn’t surprise me.

    Google Streetview is a great way to see how hotel brands change. In the link below, it’s easy to see how this hotel lost it’s Radisson brand, temporarily became a “Crystal Inn” with a classy branded tarpaulin over the original Radisson sign and following some building work is now a Hilton Garden Inn.

    https://goo.gl/maps/3a5KEr1saTF2

    (It took 4 attempts by the staff to find us a room that, at least matched the booking of two doubles, wasn’t already occupied, and had been cleaned.)

  • Davide says:

    Is the gold to plat link still working? If so could someone post for me?

  • Aliks says:

    I signed up for the Hilton challenge last year, but was underwhelmed by the US Hiltons I stayed at, so I didnt complete.

    Does anyone have any experience of repeating the challenge – will they offer the same deal again?

    • Pangolin says:

      US is probably the worst choice for testing out Hiltons as everyone and his dog are Diamonds there.

      AFAIK, Hilton is the one scheme that doesn’t specifically block people from repeating a status challenge (e.g. without a five year period), so no harm in trying.

  • The_real_a says:

    Lets hope for some club carlson pointd promotions! Always suprised there was never a points credit card in the uk for them (amex mr aside)

  • JamesB says:

    OT: Seems like Rob has gone on strike today!

  • Anna says:

    Formulating Plan B – coming home via the states but definitely not in WT! There are a few F redemption seats from US cities which would alleviate the trauma of extra connections. Is one allowed in the Concorde Room when one lands at LHR from an F journey?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Only if connecting to another flight. There is a concord breakfast area in the arrivals lounge but I wouldn’t get too excited.

      • Anna says:

        We would be connecting to MAN, does that count?

        • Grimz says:

          Yes iv done that when connecting to ABZ

        • Stu N says:

          Yes – just hang onto your F boarding pass. You can also go landside and back into lounge complex via F Wing. It’s probably about the same time-wise as the flight connections route but a longer walk which I like to get legs moving and much quicker security. Plus it’s worth it for the novelty value of a nice check-in area and actual premium security!

      • Polly says:

        Actually, you can go into the arrivals lounge just landing in t5 off an F flight. You don’t need to be going onwards. The concord room is lovely for nice dining. And you can book in for a nice facial if there’s a slot. Go straight to the Lee is desk when you go into the arrivals lounge.