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Review: the Aspire Lounge, Newcastle Airport (now used by BA)

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This is our review of the Aspire lounge at Newcastle 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 Newcastle corridor

Whilst the British Airways lounge at Newcastle Airport has now permanently closed it is still home to the Aspire and AspirePlus lounges, although the latter is still shut. Aspire is the lounge used by BA if you are flying in Club Europe or have BA status.

Finding the lounge is a bit of a challenge due to a dearth of proper signage. Once through security and duty free you are spat out into a concourse with a handful of restaurants and shops.

What isn’t very clear is that the lounge is on the way to the gates. You want to do an immediate u-turn when you emerge from duty free and head down the escalators to the lower floor and Gates 1-30. It is then in front of you:

Aspire lounge Newcastle entrance

Inside the Aspire lounge at Newcastle Airport

Checking in to the lounge is quick and easy – they just scan your boarding pass and booking number if you have one.

Aspire lounge Newcastle check in

The lounge is a fairly compact and does get pretty busy, especially in the run up to a British Airways flight.

Aspire lounge Newcastle inside

There is, unfortunately, no natural light in the lounge.

Right at the back are a series of booths with individually programmable TVs, which I’ve never seen in a lounge before:

Aspire lounge Newcastle booth

There is plenty of seating:

Aspire lounge Newcastle seating 2

and

Aspire lounge Newcastle seating 3

and

Aspire lounge Newcastle seating

On the right hand side you’ll also find a quieter zone, partitioned from the rest of the lounge by glass walls:

Aspire lounge Newcastle quiet area

You may have noticed by now that the lounge features the older style Aspire decor, much like the Birmingham Aspire lounge we reviewed here. In places it can feel a little dark and ‘underground,’ so I’d love to see Aspire refurbish the lounge with a brighter design which would also make it feel larger. It’s been over five years since the last refurbishment so it is probably due for another soon.

Sadly the AspirePlus portion of the lounge is still closed:

Aspire lounge Newcastle aspireplus

Food and drink in the Aspire lounge, Newcastle

If you have read my other reviews of Aspire lounges in Luton, Edinburgh and Birmingham you will know what to expect. Aspire does a very good job of maintaining an almost-identical food and beverage offering at all its lounges.

Over breakfast time you get a slightly more substantial food offering than at Luton, including sausages, bacon, scrambled egg, mushrooms, baked beans and tomatoes:

Aspire lounge Newcastle breakfast bfufet

Mini croissants are pre-packaged:

Aspire lounge Newcastle croissans

Whilst you get a few basic cereals including cornflakes, Weetabix as well as fruit and yoghurt pots:

Aspire lounge Newcastle cereals

Alcohol is not self-pour, and you’ll have to pay extra if you want prosecco or premium spirits.

The Newcastle Aspire is possibly the least attractive of the lounges I visited on my tour – the lack of natural light (or views of the concourse, as in the Luton Aspire) really hampers the experience, although the food and drinks available are virtually identical to any other Aspire.

I did like some of the unique touches however, including the booths, and they seemed equally popular with other guests.

Whether you will be able to get in on Priority Pass is a different question. The lounge gets very full prior to the British Airways departures (you may want to check ba.com if you are not flying BA to see if you will crossover) and you may find yourself being turned away unless you have booked for cash in advance.

Newcastle Aspire opening hours

The lounge is currently open:

Monday: 4:00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 4:00am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 4:00am – 8:00pm
Thursday: 4:00am – 5:30pm
Friday: 4:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday: 4:00am – 1:00pm
Sunday: 4:00am – 8:00pm

These times are changing on a regular basis at the moment, so check the website before you visit.

How to get entry to the Aspire lounge at Newcastle Airport

There are two ways to get access to the Aspire lounge at Newcastle Airport. One option is to book ahead on the Executive Lounges website here, with headline prices starting from £26.49 per person. This guarantees you a spot at your booked time.

The alternative is to use a lounge membership program like Priority Pass and DragonPass, both of which are accepted at the Newcastle Aspire. 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:

Thanks to Priority Pass for supporting this series of articles.

Comments (30)

  • Matarredondaaa says:

    Newcastle airport on a par with Stansted. Dreadful places.

    • Hbommie says:

      Been to both in the last month, NCl being my regular and if you think that the sh*tshow at Stansted security is comparable you need to give your head a slap.

  • Shaun says:

    Anyone who moans about Newcastle airport has obviously never been through Manchester airport.

    It’s a great little airport that has supported the North East for decades and I hope its continues to do so post Covid.

  • Stephen W says:

    I went in a few weeks back and at 9am it was full of Ryanair customers trying to drink their entrance fee in double vodkas. There was no way to get any service unless you were prepared to queue 15 minutes along with them.

  • Yvey says:

    I have a Dragon Pass and have never been able to use it over the last 8 years. They always say the lounge is full, and if I leave my phone number they will ring me when there is space available. I’m still waiting for the call

  • Robert says:

    Seems like everyone is getting refused entry to this lounge. Will silver and gold exec club be able to get in ok?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. BA has bought all the spaces!

      • Robert says:

        Thanks Rob, glad to hear it. I won’t get my hopes up too much from the review, but good to have a place to sit away from the general airport crowd and grab a coffee preflight now I’ve got some travel scheduled again. On another note I done a drop off there today and it was £4 for first 10 mins, £6 for 10-20 mins, complete rip off, how do they get away with this? Guessing all airports are the same now, unless T2 at Heathrow is clinging on to its status as the only free terminal in UK!

        • Jitesh says:

          It’s free to drop off in longstay carpark. 3 min walk, you can get dropped off by the path shortcut too

          • Robert says:

            Thanks for the tip Jitesh, good to know you can still use that option if weathers ok.

  • Jitesh says:

    What time did you go Rob? Will they have proper snacks (not brekkie) in the afternoon’s?

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