This is our review of the Aspire lounge at Newcastle Airport.
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.
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:
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.
The lounge is a fairly compact and does get pretty busy, especially in the run up to a British Airways flight.
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:
There is plenty of seating:
On the right hand side you’ll also find a quieter zone, partitioned from the rest of the lounge by glass walls:
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:
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:
Mini croissants are pre-packaged:
Whilst you get a few basic cereals including cornflakes, Weetabix as well as fruit and yoghurt pots:
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 Lounge Pass 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 £69 via this link or you can get it for free via the following cards:
- The American Express Platinum Card with Priority Pass membership with unlimited lounge visits for you and one guest at 1,300+ lounges globally
- The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card comes with a two-visit Priority Pass membership
- The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard comes with a LoungeKey card, and offers unlimited lounge visits, although you will be charged for bringing in guests.
Thanks to Priority Pass for supporting this series of articles.