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Review: the Aspire lounge at Birmingham Airport

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This is our review of the Aspire lounge at Birmingham Airport.

It is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

All this week, in partnership with Priority Pass, we are reviewing some of the best independent airport lounges outside London. All of these lounges can be accessed with a Priority Pass membership, which you can buy here with a 40% discount or get for free with selected UK credit and charge cards (click here to learn more). You can also pay cash, of course.

Aspire lounge Birmingham entrance

There are currently two Aspire lounges at Birmingham Airport – the ‘main’ lounge and the South lounge, which is temporarily closed. This review is of the ‘main’ lounge, just round the corner from where you exit duty free after security.

Inside the Aspire lounge at Birmingham Airport

The lounge is very easy to find – just turn left and take a few steps towards gates 1-20. You will immediately see the entrance, pictured above.

You are asked for your boarding pass and booking (if you have one) at the little reception desk:

Aspire lounge Birmingham reception

As you can see, Halloween decorations were out in full force!

The lounge itself is long and thin, but straddles windows overlooking the gates. There are a few different zones, including:

Aspire lounge Birmingham seating 1

and

Aspire lounge Birmingham bar seating

and

Aspire lounge Birmingham seating 3

As you can tell, this Aspire lounge has not yet been refurbished and still features the older style decor and design. The lounge was due to be refurbished during Covid but the plan was put on ice – it’s not clear when that will now take place. Despite this it is all in good shape and I believe a lot of the soft furnishings are new.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that the lounge does not have its own toilets or showers. You need to exit the lounge and head to the main toilets instead which are not very far.

Food and drink at the Birmingham Airport Aspire lounge

Unlike the other Aspire lounges I have reviewed recently hot food and alcohol is table-service only. You order by scanning a QR code.

At breakfast time hot items include a full English, sausage or veggie barm and bacon roll. Alcohol includes Famous Grous Whisky, Absolut Vodka, Boddingtons, Magners cider, Beefeaster pink gin, Gordon’s gin, Martell, Havana Club Rum and red, white and rose wine. A 125ml glass of prosecco is available for £4.99.

In addition to the table service you have access to the cold buffet, which includes a pancake machine as well as croissants and cereals:

Aspire lounge Birmingham cereals

…. and fruit and yoghurt:

Aspire lounge Birmingham fruit yoghurt

Here is my full English:

Aspire lounge Birmingham full english

…. and a croissant:

Aspire lounge Birmingham croissant

When is the Birmingham Airport Aspire lounge open?

At present the lounge is open from:

  • 4:30am until 6pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sundays
  • 4:30am until 9pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays

Keep an eye on the lounge website as these times are subject to change in the current environment.

How to get entry to the Aspire lounge at Birmingham Airport

There are two ways to get access to the Aspire lounge at Birmingham Airport. One option is to book ahead on the Executive Lounges website here, with headline prices starting from £24.99 per person. This guarantees you a spot at your booked time.

The alternative is to use a lounge membership program such as Priority Pass or DragonPass. Standard Priority Pass membership is currently £41 per year (40% off) via this link, or you can get it for free via the following cards:

Using a Priority Pass or LoungeKey membership doesn’t guarantee you a spot – it is first come first served – but the Birmingham Aspire was not particularly busy when I went. Capacity will also increase when the Birmingham South Aspire lounge re-opens.

Thanks to Priority Pass for supporting this series of articles.

Comments (52)

  • tony says:

    So is the conclusion that PP have bartered so hard that they are now paying below the marginal cost of running the lounge, something that will have increased in line with rising input costs.

    Is it a problem elsewhere, or is this UK specific? Think I last used the PP in the summer of 2020 coming back from PMI and had no problems at all.

    • His Holyness says:

      2020 was filled with optimism. No one thought it would still be a $hit show all this time later.

      My guess is that the payments haven’t changed but instead of PP revenue being some icing on the cake they don’t have the bulk business from airlines, walk-ins to accept PP.

  • The cyclist says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of these reviews, I quite like Aspire.Personally, my personal favourite UK lounge is Aberdeen, a great view of the apron and runway for those of a planes spotting geeky disposition. Looks like a lovely breakfast spread at Birmingham though, I do so love a big sausage first thing with my coffee.

  • R L says:

    I flew out last week and the staff told me they were not operating as part of Priority Pass at present and were block booked by the airport to provide business lounge access for airlines direct only. I was refused access despite there being only 3 people inside and no other flights operating business class other than the KLM one I was booked on in standard class.

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