The new Club Aspire airport lounge is now open in London Gatwick’s North Terminal

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The Aspire Lounge in Gatwick’s North (easyJet) terminal has now reopened following a refurbishment.  It is now a Club Aspire lounge.

For those who care about the business side of things, ownership is now split between Swissport (which owns the Aspire brand) and Collinson Latitude, which owns Priority Pass and is moving into direct lounge ownership.

The good news is that free prosecco is being served for the first two months!

We will be reviewing the lounge in a couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that.

Access is via Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum or buy one here), Lounge Club (two free passes with the free Amex Gold) or Mastercard World Elite’s LoungeKey.  You can also pre-book entry via the Aspire website here for £24.99.  Walk-up entry is £28.

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here.  You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

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  1. FlyingChris says:

    Re: IHG Points & NYC.

    Got a 5x night trip to NYC next April. Looking at IHG as will have a free night certificate and approx 70k points to cover Night 2. Have my eye on either Kimpton (Ink48/Eventi) or the IC Barclay. Flex rates for the other 3 nights currently averaging £280-£370+taxes. Is this typical of NYC in mid-April? Presumably buying points for an average of ~ £240ish would then make sense for the remaining 3 nights? (despite obviously locking up money in IHG points for months…)

    …also the appeal of locking in a flexible points booking is quite appealing as would no longer be exposed to further USD:GBP fluctuations, a particular concern as travelling a couple of weeks after brexit d-day. Though who knows if the dollar will equally slump further this year.

    • Those sort of rates are about right for midweek stays outside of holiday periods, yes.

      If you are there over a weekend, think about InterCon Ambassador to get the ‘buy one get one free’ free night certificate which could be used at the Barclay.

      Remember that IC Times Square is currently in Court trying to break its management agreement with IHG so I certainly wouldn’t book anything there for 10 months time which involved points, certificates or the potential receipt of any IHG benefits.

      • FlyingChris says:

        Thanks Rob. Really useful. Frustratingly dates don’t involve two subsequent weekend nights otherwise the IC Amp Buy One Get One Free voucher would have been great. Good shout on the IC Times Square. Will avoid points booking there until the dust settles.

        • Genghis says:

          Another idea might just be to switch hotels – could easily be built into your itinerary – if you don’t like the look of the IHG options, and I didn’t, despite having a stack of IHG points. Stayed at the Conrad last month and rate it rather highly. You could run the numbers to see if it works for you.

          Another tip: for some outstanding flavour combinations, diarise to get booked into Momofuku Ko. Expensive but worth it.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I don’t like their attitude 🙂

  2. Scottydogg says:

    If you want to get your car upgraded from your small SUV to a full size (or better) , just slip the guy $20 . Works for me , just google the $20 sandwich trick
    Done it in fort lauderdale the other year and the guy took me out to the lot and let me choose my own car.
    I think the hourly rate these guys get in Florida is pretty low , so $20 is a big deal , and when you have a car for 2 weeks , $20 is nothing really to get it upgraded

  3. OT but does anyone know a quicker way to get the gold credit card spend points. I really want to upgrade to plat and refer OH as I have some spends coming up. Called Amex about 3 times and was told to wait 60 days…

    • The sign-up bonus? It is automatic when you hit the £2k, it posts alongside the transaction that takes you over the £2k. If it doesn’t then there is an IT issue somewhere.

      You cannot upgrade Gold Credit to Platinum Charge and get the upgrade bonus. Only possible if you have the older Gold Charge version.

      • palcsaky says:

        I think Jtz meant the companion gold credit card. My 5k took approx. 2 weeks to post.

      • Genghis says:

        Is Jtz not referring to the old Gold Credit card? Spend £500 IIRC?

        • Ah, in that case, dunno!

        • Thanks for replies…yes, sorry if I was not clear; gold companion. Something seems a bit odd then that I have been told to wait 60 days.
          Really want to time the gold charge card upgrade to platinum well.

    • AndyR says:

      You can go ahead and upgrade to Platinum you’ll still get the points as it is the same MR account. I have recent experience of this. It took 60 days from hitting the £500 spend for the points to post by the way.

      • Louie says:

        I’ve recently had the same – as with AndyR the points did arrive eventually even though the Gold card had been upgraded to Platinum in the interim.

  4. Charlie says:

    OT on the premium IHG credit card from Creation, I spent just under £10,000 and didn’t get the free reward night, as I wrongly assumed the £99 card fee was included. I did eventually get Creation to issue the free reward night, but it took a few hours of telephone calls to both IHG/Creation to persuade them. Don’t make the same mistake as me and make sure the spend target is on purchases! Now really looking forward to using the free night.

    • Mark2 says:

      So did you carefully spend £9,901?

      • Charlie says:

        It was not much higher than that!

        • Genghis says:

          Is the £99 fee included on the £10k counter on the Creation website?

      • Charlie says:

        I’m adamant that in my case it was included, but I didn’t take a screenshot, I do remember seeing it.

        When I put this to Creation they said it does not get included, and when I sum up my spend in my current year then they are right, the £99 fee is not being included.

        To their credit they made good my situation but I guess we’ll never know if they changed their systems recently.

    • That’s so weird. I’ve *just* finished reading an article on another points website about this exact issue, although he was not as lucky!

    • Genghis says:

      Always important to read the terms on any offer. It does clearly say “purchases”.
      Like the Amex £450 fee for Plat doesn’t count towards any spend targets as it’s not a purchase.

  5. Dougie Forde says:

    OT About a week and a half ago I added by telephone the second leg of a 2 for 1 flight with BA. The flight is appearing on my account but no Avios have so far been deducted and no payment for taxes and charges has appeared on the credit card. Is this normal? How long should I wait. Concerned that the flight may disappear!

    • Dougie Forde says:

      Also noticed there is no ticket number allocated for the return flight but there is one for the outgoing flight

    • Genghis says:

      The flight won’t disappear. It needs to be manually processed by the back office team and should be in due course closer to when you fly (most likely not yet ticketed, though I have seen it both ways). If you’re in a rush to cancel the credit card, last time I contacted BA by Twitter and got a call back with payment taken. If not, I would’t worry now but make sure it’s ticketed closer to the time.

    • I got same problem, I called after two weeks then been told the first agent forgot to add £35 change fee to the booking so the tickets couldn’t be issued. Tickets was issued 3 days after I give BA the credit card authorise for extra £70.

      • Louie says:

        Was this adding on return flights that you couldn’t book when you booked the outbound because the return date was beyond T-355? If so, you shouldn’t have been charged a change fee in any case.

  6. james says:

    OT- I’m flying LHR-JFK with BA, then after a few days JFK-CUN with AA , then CUN-LGW-LHR-MAN again all with BA.

    I have AMEX Gold with 2 long passes, any idea which of the airports lounges above would be best to use the 2 lounge passes?

  7. Darren says:

    OT, I referred a friend for SPG from Platinum last week, how long would it take for them to be accepted? They got the normal “we will get back to you” online response but have not had a letter or email yet.


  8. No Ads for me says:

    o/t Is it just me or is anyone else seeing the HFP page fail to load completely (just left with blank page) if an ad blocker is turned on? (safari on mac)

    Turn the ad blocker off and the page loads.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Haven’t you basically solved your little conundrum already? 🙂

      • No Ads for me says:

        No, as I refuse to have ad’s forced on me. If this is an attempt to block those making a free choice to avoid ad’s, it’s a really bad choice.

    • That shouldn’t happen. We have set up a banner at the top which tells you that some articles will not render properly if you have an adblocker (which is true, as you have seen from the many moans on here in recent weeks). You can dismiss the banner and it will not return. It should not stop the page loading and you are welcome to keep reading regardless.

      Not a single other person has reported this happening today and we have done – at 7pm – 14,000 page views today via Safari.

      The % using Safari is also unchanged – 39% today vs 40% yesterday before the banner went up. Our Safari for the last month is 38% so we’re actually above trend today.

  9. No Ads for me says:

    Only seems to be in Safari. Chrome has the little red banner pop up (easily closed) but loads without ad’s

  10. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Xmas Saver – turning water into wine – so today I headed to a bigger T and they happily turned my Xmas Saver TD purchase back into points, enough nearly to fly 4 of us out RHS one way @ peak ie 30K Avios. Not bad at about £25/ ticket (+ the £17.50 fee on top). I make it 0.33p/ Avios.

    This bigger T had an automated system that could see via transaction ID that I paid in points so refunded me in points, there was no phoning up or other contact with TD apart from the jock on the service desk processing the refund. My forward XS strategy might be to use only the bigger Ts, because the smaller Ts don’t have the system to see if you paid in points/coupons or cash (or mix) so it might be more difficult to get a refund in points. Going to try with a small store TV or something like that come November.

    • Genghis says:

      Surely you’re buying at 1/2.4p = 0.42p? Not fancy keeping this deal to yourself? I wouldn’t be publicising such a great scheme.

      • the real harry1 says:

        0.42p it is 🙂 always check the math when Harry’s in town lol

        I’ve always been far too sharing, guilty m’lud – but with the demise of TD, most others won’t be bothered to try their luck I’m sure.

        • Genghis says:

          I’m sure many will be come the time if you can buy £1 of Uber Credit for 33p say. More difficult of course without TD but I’ll just buy stuff from larger Tescos

        • the real harry1 says:

          If you can order non-food item online (whether thru Gr or TD lite), you’ll have an order ID same as now, so if you decide you don’t want the item, that is as good as your receipt to get a refund. A bigger T should be able to refund you onto the payment method/s you used.

      • lev441 says:

        Sharing is caring Genghis! 😉

        @TRH1 – When did you make the purchase? Must have been in the last 30 days otherwise they wouldn’t have given you a refund? Also – I know the TD refund process worked on a different system than the store system so this may not work again!

        • the real harry1 says:

          that’s what we need to test come XS 2018 (November onwards)

          same principle should apply in theory

          jock on the till said T is still going to have online ordering of non-food items, limited range, maybe some kind of TD lite?

      • There is a huge peach at Tesco that has never been publicised here or elsewhere as far as I can tell. I did share it with somebody but they have never mentionec it either.

        • the real harry1 says:

          you okra tell us about that one 🙂

        • If anybody has all the tesco tools and know-how at their disposal to figure it out then it is you Harry. However, I just found out by accident. Your comments today were lukewarm in some respect!

    • Jimbob says:

      Sorry for the newb question – but can’t you directly turn Xmas saver vouchers into Avios?

  11. Allan says:

    Got the MBNA letter today for my Miles & More card, converting to a horizon one. Any ideas on how this will affect miles expiry – will the 36 month ago flights drop off instantly? Need to spend those miles otherwise.

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