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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)

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

  • ken says:

    Can a croissant get any smaller than that ?

    Lounge looks fairly empty, would be interested if PP holders were getting knocked back.

    How long was the wait for breakfast ? Were others waiting longer ?

    Is there still a limit on alcohol drinks ?
    Can you get a pint rather than wait 20 mins for a 1/2 pint and another 20 mins.

    Reads too much like a bland advertorial, so I had (wrongly it seems) assumed it was sponsored content.

  • Andy says:

    I was in here Tuesday this week albeit on an EK J boarding pass with swmbo. Oddly enough this article struck a chord as the lady behind me had a PP and was refused on the basis they were full, they weren’t. I was more cheesed off the guy at check in didn’t mention the EK lounge was closed and this lounge is the only one currently open….still, I got a few more steps in I suppose.
    Ps. The pancake maker was also closed……..

    • Voldemort says:

      She’s probably right. Emirates will block book spaces based on how many people will visit.. even though those people may not physically be there yet.

  • Mark says:

    Since covid you can’t get in this lounge, always ‘sorry we’re full’ but if you offer to pay cash they can see if they can ‘fit you in’. Might as well come out and say they are no longer taking priority pass, the we’re full line is BS.

  • Vasco says:

    Like many others, I tried to access this lounge in October with my PP and was told they couldn’t let me in as it was full of business class passengers (it clearly wasn’t).

    I’ve made Flying Blue Gold since then, and when I access it based on that I was directed to the quiet area which they were reserving for business class/status passengers, giving the lie to that as we don’t even share the same space!

  • Nick says:

    LOL @ ‘partnership with priority pass’… which is essentially worthless at UK lounges as they never let you in! Last week I was told I could only enter if I paid £24 there and then.

  • MinR says:

    I just fed back to Amex regarding this and wanted them to confirm they will refund me if the lounge deny me access and claim to be ‘full’ unless I paid for access.

    ‘I have taken your feedback and shared it with my team. In this case if you experience such instance, please let us know about the details of the lounge, like name, location and timings. Also, in this case, if you get denied, we have a dedicated Priority pass team who assists you with the complete details on it. I will quickly share the contact team for you- direct number is 020 8680 1338. ‘

  • Alex says:

    I was in the Manchester lounge yesterday with a PP from Amex Plat. Guy behind me was unable to get in with whatever card he was using so I guested him in on my PP as well. Lounge person was fine but a bit grumpy at letting me in, lounge was about 25% full. I heard them turning away people after I had come in, even though the lounge didn’t fill up at all.

    Food & drink was good once in – hot food buffet and sandwiches. The one staff member was manning the entrace desk AND the bar so it was pretty chaotic and she was doing a lot of running about.

    I’ve rarely used the Aspire in Manchester but if PP aren’t getting accepted 90%+ of the time then it makes the card totally worthless to me, especially as I only find out when I get to the airport early and can’t use the lounge. Also disgraceful if they say no to PP but then let people pay cash to get in. PP clearly need to have a strong word with these lounges.

  • His Holyness says:

    Flying from MAN on LX next week, seems the lounge closes at 5? Lol

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

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