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

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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)

  • MarkH says:

    OT as bits: am I right in thinking that when booking a BA reward flight to CPT (flying to JNB and connecting on ComAir) that my bags won’t be checked all the way through?

    I think I read on here a while ago that I would need to collect the bags and then go to a different terminal and drop the bag off/go through security etc again. If so, how much time do I need between the flights to do this?

    • Polly says:

      4 hours minimum

    • Rob says:

      Yes. Even if this wasn’t BA policy, though, you’d need to do it anyway due to SA customs.

    • MarkH says:

      Thanks Polly & Rob. Have booked the JNB flights on my 2-4-1 voucher (will be the first time in First!!) and will sort the connecting flights separately which will give greater flexibility with the itinerary.

  • Gavin says:

    Off topic – Doubletree Excel or Doubletree Greenwich – which is best? Am Hilton gold and will be staying there on Saturday night with Mrs Gavin, we are spending the weekend house hunting in the area so a quiet spot to rest is the key.

    • Rob says:

      Doubletree Excel is quiet if there is nothing on at Excel – apart from City Airport which is about 100 metres away 🙂 There is literally nothing to do except visit the pub behind it. Could not be more deserted but the airport is there (shut Sat noon to Sun noon).

    • David says:

      Shame is that it’s Deptford (by the bridge) rather than Greenwich. I stay there a lot for work. It’s decent, they’ll upgrade you and give you a drinks voucher. The service isn’t always great on reception (though now they’ve settled into being a Doubletree it’s improved – the transition from Mercure through independent to DTbH was a struggle for them!), the breakfast room is odd (and in the basement so no windows). The top floor rooms are large with great views, but you need two lifts (or one lift and a flight of stairs) to get there.

      Enjoy!

      • Gavin says:

        Thanks all. Will go for Greenwich as it’s £20 cheaper, sounds like not a lot in it though. Another long weekend of tramping the streets of London trying to find somewhere we like awaits!

  • BluehorizonUK says:

    OT but really trying to book the following http://bit.ly/2Cjabaa but hitting brick wall. HELP!!

  • Olly says:

    Regarding Hilton Honours, I am sure there are a few readers who have Diamond that will expire at the end of March and would like tho keep it. Ive read the previous comments about status match and wonder can i do it before out expires? I will go down to Gold thanks to Amex Plat butt would like to stay Diamond (as it does make a difference in real world terms) and I’ve got IHG Platinum so was intrigued to hear of that route compared to the status challenge. Do I wait or apply now and do I ask for the challenge (I’ve already got 4 stays booked with Hilton’s in April but don’t know if they would be counted towards a challenge) Or do I ask for a straight match to IHG Platinum to Diamond? Many thanks guys

    • Louise says:

      Your stays booked for April should count for status match. Are you concerned it’s because u booked them before?

      I don’t think Hilton are status matching without the 8 stay requirement

      • Olly says:

        Thanks Louise,
        In part, yes I am wondering if those already booked count but also wanted to know if I could do a straight match to from IHG Platinum to Diamond as someone else said they got but I don’t know if they were a newbie or, like me, already had Hilton status. Will they offer me an extension basically?

    • mark2 says:

      I find it annoying that you have to do eight stays when you are already Gold; but that’s life.

      • Pangolin says:

        With Marriott you have to do 9 stays from Gold, and unlike Hilton they don’t count award stays.

  • Anna says:

    There’s only 1 flight from LHR to LBA that day, too early for us. Looks like all the regionals are being culled!

  • Anna says:

    Sorry for yet another OT. BA have now just emailed me to say they have cancelled my re-scheduled LHR-MAN connecting flight altogether. No substitute offered. Do I now have to go into battle with them over my re-routing rights?

    • Anna says:

      They are still selling seats on this flight at £343 one way!

      • Anna says:

        Just spent 45 mins on the phone to BA CS, eventually they have re-booked us onto the flight. They couldn’t explain why our tickets cancelled. It’s almost as though BA was hoping that someone would pay £1029 for those seats before I noticed and they could legitimately say the flight was fully booked! Surely even BA wouldn’t stoop that low?

        • Lady London says:

          Hum. They could have offloaded you because they thought they could now sell the seats higher. Yes BMI did stoop that low with me (I got it sorted after spotting they were still selling seats on the flight they’d told me they’d “cancelled”, just like you). So I have no reason to think BA wouldn’t stoop that low too..

        • JamesB says:

          It is stories like this that make me dread even my once a year flight with BA. When Flying Blue goes revenue-based it might be worthwhile exploring whether it is a bettef option for you. You will have the SPG and MR to FB opportunities, and later clubcard to Flying Club too.

          Good luck with BA.

    • Lady London says:

      Hi Anna
      can you please keep us informed as to the outcome of this (when you get it ). I’m not sure if you have re-routing rights if they’ve notified you more than 14 days ahead. Perhaps another poster can confirm.

      Yesterday I suggested you ask if BA will pay a night hotel at LHR and re-route you following day due you having had such a long complicated journey to LHR so not able to wait for a later flight same day if they can’t connect you on the flight originally booked. That is, if you can afford to land at MAN 1 day later. If BA wouldn’t comp you a hotel night due to their schedule change then personally I’d pay my own night at the Sofitel and ask them to re-route me Sunday.

      Alternatively is there any other routing you could see that BA could provide you that would land you directly in Manchester? If so then request it from BA.

      Personally I’d try for the above now, as I have a feeling a flight or two might eventually come back to the Saturday and then your position would be much weaker!

      Please keep us advised as to the eventual solution.

      • Lady London says:

        Anna’s reply came whilst I was typing the above:-)
        Glad you got it sorted Anna

        • Anna says:

          Thanks all, best outcome would be OH getting an extra day off work so can come back a day later!

  • Simon says:

    For Hilton HHonors, is there any way to purchase over 80,000 miles per calendar year (excluding bonus?)

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I haven’t tried it, but points pooling should let you buy the full allowance on another account.

      • mark2 says:

        A good idea. It depends on the timing of course, but you could get 40,000 MR by applying for Amex Gold and then upgrading to Platinum giving you 80,000 HH free.

      • JamesB says:

        Good point but it requires accounts to be open for 30 days though, so if Simon needs the points quickly it is not an option unless he already has family and friends with Hilton accounts.

  • roberto says:

    OT but Lounge ish…

    Tried the Plaza Premium lounge today at T5 and had a rather nice full english ( well, no eggs ) and can reccomend both the grub and the lounge. Free entry with my Amex Plat.

    Far better than a BACon roll in Galleries.

    • Rob says:

      Neither of us have made it in yet and the promised press event never happened. 7th March I should be there I think.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I went to the BA lounge North and then left for the Plazza lounge. Much quieter and better food.

      • mark says:

        this might swing my choice when I am there for my seoul flight, depends if they have started taking priority pass etc by then as that will make it busier, I can get in with my plat.

    • Chelseafi says:

      I have amex Plat do I get in plaza Premium with that rather then my PP, plus can you take in a guest? Thanks