According to a press release I got on Friday, the long-awaited Club Aspire lounge at Gatwick South (the British Airways terminal) was due to open at midday yesterday.
This lounge has suffered from excessive delays – it was due in early 2019. It is taking over about 2/3rd of the old Virgin Atlantic lounge – the other 1/3rd became MyLounge, which has been open for months and which we reviewed here.
This is a much needed lounge. If you can access the British Airways lounges then you’re fine (see my review here of the EXCELLENT new BA Gatwick lounge complex). If you are relying on Priority Pass etc, your only option has been the No 1 Lounge (reviewed here). The problem is that No 1 Lounge runs to 100% capacity most of the time and you are unlikely to get in unless you pay £5 to reserve a slot.
Priority Pass seems to be deliberately not working with Gatwick South’s MyLounge. Collinson, the company behind Priority Pass, is also a 50% shareholder in Club Aspire lounges and probably wants to drive traffic there.
If we’re lucky, the Priority Pass crisis at Gatwick South is now over!
But what’s it like? Good question. All we know is:
“The lounge is split into three main zones: a business area with workstations; a quiet lounge and rest area with an amazing view of the runway; and a dining area next to the servery and bar. Travellers have access to a seasonal self-serve buffet selection of hot and cold food; an extensive range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks; charging points; complimentary newspapers and magazines; and unlimited WiFi to stay connected.”
I intend to check it out in the next couple of weeks and will report back.
In the meantime, you can find full details, and book places for cash, on the Aspire website here. The website says it opens tomorrow, but apparently it is open today.
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:
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.
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.
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.