After a long delay, the new Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick’s South Terminal opened over the weekend.
This signifies a major improvement to Priority Pass and Lounge Club availability at the South Terminal, which is the one used by British Airways. No 1 Lounge Gatwick South is often full for lounge card holders but there will now be substantial extra capacity.
If you are going to be using the new Club Aspire lounge at Gatwick South, you should join Aspire Rewards.
Importantly, you can earn credits in Aspire Rewards even if you get in via Priority Pass, Lounge Club etc.
You can find out more on the Aspire Rewards website here.
Aspire Rewards is app based. I don’t think there is any opportunity to take part if you do not have a smartphone.
You need to download the Aspire Rewards app, create an account and then scan the QR code in the app each time you enter an Aspire lounge.
As far as I can see, there is no ability to drop the membership card into Apple Wallet which is frustrating, as it means you need to keep the app installed.
How do you earn Aspire Rewards points?
The scheme is simplicity itself:
You earn 4 points per £1 if you book via executivelounges.com or pay on the door
You earn 50 points per lounge visit (25 points for a child) if you enter via a Priority Pass, Lounge Club or other lounge scheme card
Importantly, “multiple visitors within one transaction can be added to one loyalty account“
You can only earn points at UK Aspire lounges and, importantly, the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 is not participating. Heathrow T5 is the only exception, however. Gatwick North already takes part so I don’t see any reason why Gatwick South would opt out.
How do you spend Aspire Rewards points?
There are two sorts of rewards:
500 points gets you a free lounge visit – this does NOT seem to be transferable because you redeem by scanning your phone
700 points gets you a £5 shopping voucher for:
Marks & Spencer
You are basically getting 35p per lounge visit, assuming you get in via a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card, as the only redemption worth getting if you have such a card is the shopping voucher.
It is a lot more generous if you are paying cash for your visits. At an average of £25 per visit, you’d be getting a free pass after every five paid visits.
Note that your points have a 24 month hard expiry – activity does not keep them alive.
Which lounges are taking part?
Here are the participating lounges, according to the app. I have linked to our reviews:
Belfast City (Aspire) – review here
Birmingham North (Aspire) – review here
Birmigham South (Aspire) – review here
Bristol (Aspire) – review here
Bristol (Aspire Plus) – review here
Edinburgh (Aspire) – review here
Humberside (Aspire) – review here
Inverness (Aspire) – review here
London Gatwick North (Club Aspire) – review here
London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Club Aspire) – review here
London Luton (Aspire) – review here
Liverpool (Aspire) – review here
Manchester Terminal 1 (Aspire) – review here
Manchester Terminal 2 (Aspire) – review still required if you’re visiting!
Newcastle (Aspire) – review here
Newcastle (Aspire Plus) – review here
Plus, of course, the new Gatwick South lounge.
You can find out more about Aspire Rewards on its website here.
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.