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Lounge update: Virgin Atlantic moving into Plaza Premium, more Aspire lounges opening

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Lounge news in brief:

Virgin Atlantic to use the Plaza Premium lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2

Whilst Heathrow’s Terminal 3 remains closed, Virgin Atlantic flights are arriving and departing from Terminal 2.

At present, there are no lounge facilities in place for Virgin Atlantic customers.

This will change from 20th August.

Departing passengers, flying in Upper Class or having Gold status in Virgin Flying Club, will be able to use the Plaza Premium lounge.  This lounge has won multiple awards and is very well designed, albeit with no windows (image below).  Our last review of the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 is here.

Arriving passengers will be able to use the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge in Terminal 2.  This is located in the arrivals hall, just a few paces from the point where you enter the landside area.  This isn’t a huge lounge but I am not expecting it to be busy, and it does have shower facilities.  Our last review of the Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 2 arrivals lounge is here.

The Virgin Atlantic website has more information here.  You can find out more about Plaza Premium’s London lounges on this page of their website.

Virgin Atlantic moving into Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge

Aspire to re-open more regional lounges this week

Aspire is pushing ahead with plans to re-open its UK lounge network.  We have already covered some openings, including Heathrow Terminal 5, Gatwick North, Luton, Birmingham (x 1) and Edinburgh (x 1).

The Aspire website now shows the following upcoming openings:

Aberdeen Airport Northern Lights Executive Lounge – 15th August (review here, book here)

Bristol Airport Aspire – 14th August (review here)

Liverpool John Lennon Aspire – 14th August (review here)

Manchester Airport Terminal 1 Aspire – 14th August (review here)

The following Aspire lounges do not currently have an opening date:

  • Belfast City Aspire lounge
  • Birmingham South Aspire lounge
  • Bristol Airport AspirePlus lounge
  • Edinburgh Airport Aspire lounge (old)
  • Glasgow Airport Upperdeck Lounge
  • Humberside Airport Aspire lounge
  • Inverness Airport Aspire lounge
  • London Gatwick South Club Aspire
  • London Heathrow T3 Club Aspire
  • Manchester Airport T2 Aspire lounge
  • Newcastle Airport Aspire lounge
  • Newcastle Airport AspirePlus lounge

The Aspire website is here if you want to keep an eye on announcements for your local lounge.  Click on ‘Lounges’ in the top left corner and select an airport.  There is a red message on each page showing the current position.

There is no sign of No1 Lounges opening any of its UK sites at the moment.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 £24.  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.

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (10)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Tony says:

    Only used this lounge once and have to say I was underwhelmed. The absence of windows is a big negative in my book. Was also quite busy and I felt the f&b offerings were mediocre. Passengers also left with that fairly long trek over to the B gates I assume?

    • Larry says:

      Indeed I agree! The lack of windows is incredibly horrifying! I could not even imagine the nightmarish thought of not being able to the look at tarmac! Disgraceful! Although, you are at Gatwick so what the fuck did you expect?

    • Larry says:

      It’s an airport.
      It’s big.
      Get over it.

  • Peter says:

    Was in Aspire Gatwick North last week and it was full – got the last table! No1 is definitely missing out

    • tony says:

      What were they doing in the Aspire lounge in terms of service to make it “covid compliant”?

      • Peter says:

        The food on the buffet was individually wrapped/boxed. There was less selection – tomato soup that tasted like ASDA smart price, microvave rice and beans – even the $10 Dragonpass would not have been worth it.

  • Kenneth McCarthy says:

    “At present, there are no lounge facilities in place for Virgin Atlantic customers.”

    The link you have provided above states that eligible customers can currently use the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Terminal 2?

  • Marcodalondra says:

    I flew from T2 last Saturday (7th August) and this lounge was still closed.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, doesn’t reopen until 20th which is why Virgin isn’t moving in until then.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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