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Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

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This is our review of the Aer Lingus Lounge at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2.

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

It is, shockingly, almost five years since we last reviewed this lounge, and that piece was written by Anika. My last visit was even further back than that.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

I was out in New York last week, getting my first experience of flying transatlantic on an A321LR aircraft. This aircraft, now being used by Aer Lingus, JetBlue and TAP Air Portugal amongst others, has larger fuel tanks than a standard A321 and is able to reach the US East Coast from Western Europe.

It is, of course, still a single aisle aircraft, despite having flat beds in Business Class. You’ll see how it turned out later this week.

My trip routed London Heathrow – Dublin (aircraft change) – New York Newark, although you can of course connect to Dublin from many airports in the UK.

I paid cash (£1,300 return) for my ticket with the UK to Dublin leg booked separately on Avios to avoid long haul premium Air Passenger Duty. Aer Lingus long haul flights are also bookable with Avios but Business Class seats between Dublin and New York appear hard to find.

My flight earned Avios but no British Airways Executive Club tier points – more on that in a later article.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Where is the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2?

Terminal 2 is the newest of the four Heathrow terminals (Terminal 1 closed when the new T2 opened) and, whilst not as expensively finished as Terminal 5, is bright and airy.

The layout is similar to Terminal 5, with the main shopping area down one level. The lower level is also where the independent Plaza Premium lounge sits – review here

The Aer Lingus lounge is located within the main departures area on the same level as security, so don’t head for the escalators.  Instead, head to your right. You will find it next to the Lufthansa lounge. All of the other Terminal 2 lounges – Singapore Airlines, United, Air Canada – are in the T2B satellite terminal.

There is technically no Business Class on Aer Lingus flights from Heathrow, although an ‘AerSpace’ ticket gets you most of the benefits with an empty middle seat, no charge for buy on board snacks and lounge access. Apart from that, the lounge is mainly for the benefit of passengers connecting to Business Class long haul flights or who get in via status.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

British Airways Gold and Silver cardholders can access the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow when flying Aer Lingus, whether or not their ticket shows a British Airways codeshare flight number.  You cannot bring a guest if getting access via your BA status.  British Airways Gold and Silver cardholders are also allowed to access Aer Lingus lounges in Ireland but only when flying to London.

The first thing you notice when walking in are the large floor to ceiling windows. These run the full width of the lounge and flood the space with light. I’ve never been here in the evening so I don’t know how the atmosphere changes.

After many visits to the impressive Plaza Premium lounge downstairs – which is a windowless space – this lounge is a breath of fresh air.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Just after the reception and in front of the seating areas were the toilets and one shower facility. I’m not sure if the lack of more showers can become an issue at times, but the one shower they have looked impressive by airport lounge standards:

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

I was in the lounge around 7am, which meant that the breakfast buffet was out. This hasn’t changed from our last visit in 2017 – there is a selection of cereals, pastries, yoghurts, cheese and crackers as well as filter coffee, two coffee machines and juices:

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2


Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

No hot food is available. In general, the below-average quality of the food feels out of place given that the lounge operates at a high standard in all other areas.

The lounge was very quiet when I was there, with only around 10 guests. Irrespective of volumes, you are unlikely to ever struggle to find a table to eat at but, given the slim pickings available, you really don’t need to be sitting at a table anyway.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Whilst it is easy to miss behind the TV, there is a small private area with a meeting table and chairs for four people. This would also make a comfier place to eat, especially if you have small children.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

The chill out zone!

Around a quarter of the space in the lounge is given over to a separate ‘relaxation area’. In terms of design, I’ve always found this quite impressive.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

This area also has a row of five lounger-style seats facing the floor to ceiling window overlooking the tarmac. You get a good view of the aircraft parked at Terminal 4 from here, which included Etihad, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways when I was there.

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

The only other point worth mentioning is that, next to the buffet area and well hidden, is a small work area and a printer:

Review: the Aer Lingus lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Is the Heathrow Aer Lingus lounge worth a visit?

The Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 is spacious and well lit with a large number of seats. The interior is contemporary, mirroring the Aer Lingus colours.

Whilst the food and drink has always been a bit of a let down, the Aer Lingus lounge is a good place to spend some time before a flight and arguably better than it needs to be.

I won’t review the short flight to Dublin. If you are unaware, there is a US Customs & Immigration base at Dublin and Shannon, meaning that you complete all formalities in Ireland. US-bound flights land at domestic gates and, after your long haul flight, you walk straight out of the airport.

The next part of this series will look at Dublin’s US Customs & Immigration system and ’51st & Green’, the US pre-clearance departure lounge in Dublin.

Travelling from Heathrow Terminal 2? Here are your lounge options ….

At Heathrow’s Terminal 2 you currently have eight lounges to choose from.

Our overview of the best airline lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2 is here, or you can read individual reviews of all the lounges here:

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (27)

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

  • tony says:

    “There is no Business Class on Aer Lingus flights from Heathrow. The lounge is for the benefit of passengers connecting to Business Class long haul flights or who get in via status.”

    Except EI sell something called Aerspace, which includes the free middle seat, lounge access and fast track security, which sounds awfully like CE to me. Also some other more expensive economy fare types include lounge access at Heathrow.

    • Rob says:

      True ….

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      And some EI flights between DUB and LHR use the A330 or the A321LR so by booking Aerspace you get a long haul type lie flat seat on the short hop. It’s surprising how much of a difference it makes to board first on the A330 and get settled in your seat. I get far more work done.

  • PeterK says:

    Can you through check bags if you buy separate tickets for the LHR-DUB & DUB-US sectors?

    • Rob says:

      I didn’t try, because a) I was only away 4 days and b) there is zero – zero – chance that Dublin Airport could manage the transfer in its current state of chaos.

    • ADS says:

      I did this (pre pandemic) on a very tight connection (my original LHR-DUB flight was cancelled that morning, so they moved me to the next flight)

      The checkin agent did not hesitate in checking it through – but he warned me that it probably wouldn’t make the connection

      In the end my DUB-SFO flight was nearly an hour late leaving … and my bag did actually make it !

  • Kevin C says:

    Air Iceland were using this lounge when we travelled with them last November. There wasn’t much to eat and you had to order a croissant through a QR code back then. Nice staff.

    • Bimbonello says:

      I very much doubt you were flying on Air Iceland from Heathrow in November…

      (Air Iceland was a domestic airline merged with Icelandair in early 2021)

      • Kevin C says:

        I stand corrected and can only hope I didn’t cause too much confusion among the hfp readership.

  • Grant H says:

    Another point to note, as is expected of an Irish lounge, they do offer cool cans of Guiness (and bottles of Carlsberg) at all hours, for those so inclined…

  • yorkieflyer says:

    I do hope the buffet wasn’t the same one that was put out in 2017?

  • David says:

    I noticed that when I was there but wondered why they didn’t have “real” Guinness on draft !

  • James Harper says:

    I was in the EI lounge at LHR one morning last week too and I agree the food offering was beyond poor for breakfast time. I ‘braved’ a croissant which was mushy and tasteless. The lounge is comfortable and the one shower is one more than Lufthansa have next door but all told I would rather have spent my time in the Plaza Premium – though of course Amex Platinum would have let me in the LH Business Lounge.

    The flight to DUB was OK, it was the A21N and I was at the front so comfortable. While there was supposed to be an onboard offering there wasn’t. The aircraft had routed NYC-SNN-LHR and then changed to return to DUB while the inbound from DUB returned to SNN. Apparently the plane had not been catered at SNN so the on board offering was next to nonexistant and matched by a crew who lacked the warmth you usually find on EI it wasn’t great.

    FWIW, later in the day the EI lounge in DUB T2 was every bit as underwhelming, nice location but food offering was very poor too. I did get an Aer Space G&T on the way home though thanks to a much better crew.

    • tony says:

      I thought AMEX plat only got you LH lounge access on an LH (or LH Group) ticket. If it’s Y you get into the Business lounge and if it’s C class, you’re into SEN.

    • Michael says:

      I thought it was only the “W” rotations to BHD that had no proper catering at present under the excuse of Brexit.

      Plane comes in catered from DUB to LHR but heads on to BHD. As this is a domestic flight the duty free bars are sealed. This is what the crew told me last time my expected cheese toastie and G&T became a twix and tea. Didn’t think they would try that stunt on other routes or maybe they just don’t cater apart from DUB (a bit like BA)

      • James Harper says:

        Something went wrong that morning but we had no explanation for it, they swapped over the two A21Ns only a few minutes before boarding commenced and the crews had to change over too. There was some explanation about the aircraft that operated SNN-LHR-DUB which I was on returning to DUB for maintenance but as it departed DUB for YYZ about an hour after we arrived I don’t buy that.

        Given the long haul operation from SNN and planes remain based there for days at a time, EI must have a catering facility there so why the plane wasn’t catered will remain an unknown.

  • jk says:

    I wish IAG would just pull Aer Lingus into OneWorld properly, it would make things a lot easier.

    That lounge could be awesome if they wanted it to.

    • Nick says:

      EI cut out all the complexity in their systems when they left oneworld last time. To go back in requires rebuilding all of this…

      It’s also why integration into the AJB is very slow, despite having legal approval to do it. Not for want of trying but they deliberately stripped everything back and it’s not an easy fix.

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