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Review: the new(er) Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport

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This is our review of the new, second Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport.

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

For the past week, in partnership with Priority Pass, we have been 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.

This is the final review of the five in this series. It was, as you can imagine, a very interesting logistical exercise getting around Luton, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh in just four days, especially as most lounges had reduced opening hours.

Review Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport

The Aspire lounges website doesn’t distinguish the two sites at the airport – the ‘new’ lounge is currently the only one open, and originally opened in late 2019. Covid has forced it to shut for a significant time since then so it still feels pretty new.

The new lounge is in the north east part of Edinburgh Airport near Gate 16, on the first floor.  For reference, the existing Aspire Lounge, which is temporarily closed, is at Gate 4.

Inside the new Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport

Like the recently refurbished Aspire lounge at Luton the Edinburgh Aspire features the brand’s new ‘look and feel’. It will be familiar to anyone who has been in a modern Aspire lounge recently.

Here is the signage at Gate 16. Don’t try to find the No1 Lounges part of the complex – the sites have closed permanently and will not reopen unless a new operator takes them on.

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh entrance

The lounge is fully accessible, via stairs or lift. It is on the first floor:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh entrance 2

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

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh reception

The Aspire lounge isn’t huge but has made a good use of space. A zig-zag central walkway connects a number of different ‘rooms’ divided by semi-see-through partitions. I am a big fan of this as it makes the lounge feel cosy and intimate rather than an extension of the gate area.

At one end you have a series of booths, which is where I spent most of my day working:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh booths

Adjacent to these are a number of casual seating areas, including next to the window:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh seating 2

Unfortunately the view isn’t great, despite the many windows and large amount of natural light. The lounge overlooks a large terminal extension with corrugated roof:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh window

In the middle section of the lounge you’ll find some bar-style seating as well as a few cafe tables:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh bar seating

Whilst on the other side you have more dining-oriented seating:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh dining area

This part is also closest to the buffet and bar:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh bar

and

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh buffet

The buffet features a few hot bits and bobs. At lunchtime this includes soup of the day, cauliflower & red pepper curry and chicken & chorizo pasta, as well as what seems to be some leftover sausages and bacon from breakfast:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh hot buffet

You also get some cheese, salad and cold ham:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh cold buffet

…. whilst sweet bits include a selection of biscuits, croissants, scones, clotted cream and jam and little yoghurt pots.

Here is what I had:

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh food

and

New Aspire lounge Edinburgh scone

A pancake machine appears to be in operation all day long, which will keep the young (and young at heart) happy.

Alcohol is available at the bar although you need to pay extra for prosecco or champagne. There is a self-serve coffee machine at both ends of the lounge.

Staff are very friendly and come round clearing the tables of empties on a very regular basis, which is great.

All in all, it is a good looking and comfortable lounge and worth a visit. The food and drink couldn’t manage the excellent spread on offer in Aberdeen at the Northern Lights lounge, however.

Opening hours

The Edinburgh Aspire lounge is open from 4:30am to 6:30pm daily (5.30pm on Saturday).

Do check the latest times on the website here as there are constant changes at present. Opening hours have already been extended once since my visit.

How to get entry to the new Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport

There are two ways to get access to the Aspire lounge at Edinburgh. One option is to book ahead on the Executive Lounges website here, with headline prices starting from £26.99 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 new Edinburgh 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

Using a Priority Pass or LoungeKey membership doesn’t guarantee you a spot – it is first come first served. With the No1 and Clubrooms lounges now permanently closed (they were not included in the recent sale of the rest of the business) lounge capacity will remain tight.

Thanks to Priority Pass for supporting this series of articles.

Comments (8)

  • numpty says:

    Good looking lounge. I wonder how they handle the rugby crowds, the old old lounge was like being at my office christmas party during the free bar.

  • Ianmac says:

    There yesterday coming back from the Scotland Japan game. Agree this is a very nice, clean and pleasant space. Food selection not huge but perfectly adequate and all really tasty. Used Amex Plat Priority Pass, no issues.

    • tony says:

      That’s a useful data point. Wonder if this series of articles has given Aspire/Priority Pass the wake up call that they so badly needed on this “full lounge” line.

      • rickm says:

        Haha hardly. You seem to forget that these are advertorials aimed at driving more traffic to the lounges in question… Having said that, have used the lounge 4,5 times in the past 2 months, and the team is friendly and tends to be accommodating where possible, but they are contracted to klm lufthansa etc, so do face capacity issues around those flights in my experience.

        • Tony says:

          So are you suggesting that Ianmac is a stooge? That’s fanciful. Last time I saw the “we’re full” circus was at BHX and I was on a Lufthansa J ticket. The lounge was certainly busy but that was full of people getting as many beers in as possible before jumping on the plane to Malaga.

        • Chrism20 says:

          If it’s aimed at driving more traffic one look at the comments on some of these reviews over the last week would put some off altogether.

          Also if they have asked for the reviews to encourage more traffic they may well just realise that the traffic is there but the lights seem stuck on red.

  • janolabs says:

    Rhys, out of curiosity, what was your (challenging) itinerary? Have you got a Flightdiary you’d be happy to share?

    • Rob says:

      Rhys is off this week so I don’t know if he’s picking these up. I honestly don’t know – not seen the expenses claim yet! Eastern was definitely in there though as part of the mix. May even have been a Loganair.

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