This is our review of the new, second Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport.
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.
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.
The lounge is fully accessible, via stairs or lift. It is on the first floor:
You are asked for your boarding pass and booking (if you have one) at 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:
Adjacent to these are a number of casual seating areas, including next to the window:
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:
In the middle section of the lounge you’ll find some bar-style seating as well as a few cafe tables:
Whilst on the other side you have more dining-oriented seating:
This part is also closest to the buffet and bar:
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:
You also get some cheese, salad and cold ham:
…. whilst sweet bits include a selection of biscuits, croissants, scones, clotted cream and jam and little yoghurt pots.
Here is what I had:
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.
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 Lounge Pass 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 £69 per year 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.
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.