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.
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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 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
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
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.