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Aspire airport lounges in London to re-open, starting this week

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Aspire has announced that its Club Aspire lounges in London Heathrow and London Gatwick’s North Terminal will re-open this Saturday, 11th July.

Their website is accepting cash bookings.

No bookings appear to be possible for the London Luton lounge at this time – it isn’t clear if the renovation work is finished or not.  All other sites appear to be closed.

It is usually very difficult to get into the Heathrow Terminal 5 lounge with a Priority Pass card, but I’m not expecting huge queues for the next few weeks.  To be honest, the lounge is not very impressive and is also small, but if you’ve got an unlimited use Priority Pass it does no harm to pop in.

Our review of the Club Aspire lounge at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 is here.

Aspire Heathrow T5

Gatwick North is a different kettle of fish and is a decent space, in the basement level of the lounge complex.  Here is our full review of the Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick’s North Terminal and see the image above.  The review includes a video.

In terms of what is available, we are promised:

  • Social distancing
  • Self-service check in (where possible)
  • Reduced capacity in lounges
  • Table service instead of buffet style service
  • We’ve had to reduce our menu offering to a low contact menu
  • Increased cleaning schedule
  • 3 alcoholic drinks limit per person, per visit across UK & Irish lounges
  • No physical newspapers or magazines in the lounge

There is no word from Plaza Premium on when their Heathrow lounges will re-open.

PS.  It seems that British Airways will be using the North Terminal at Gatwick when its long-haul services resume later this month.  There are no plans to reopen the South Terminal at the moment.  The earliest opportunity is likely to be 8th September which is the current date to move Gatwick short-haul services back from Heathrow.  However, if a Heathrow slot waiver cannot be obtained for the Winter season, the Gatwick short-haul flights are likely to remain in Terminal 5.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2023)

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get 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 all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

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