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You can now pay £6 to reserve the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5

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Before it went into administration, independent UK airport lounge operator No1 Lounges had come up with a novel method of dealing with the low sums paid by lounge card scheme Priority Pass. It allowed members to guarantee entry for a pre-payment of £6 per person.

This was a smart move by No1 Lounges. It was pure additional profit for the company – it was taking in the same number of Priority Pass guests each day, but was receiving an additional £6 from many of them.

It was also good news for Priority Pass holders who were happy to pay £6 in order to guarantee lounge access. It was bad news for those who were not willing to pay, of course, but they could still take their chance on the door.

Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 reservation fee

Ironically, the £6 fee was not enough to make Priority Pass visits viable given how little the lounge was paid per visit. In September 2020, No1 Lounges and Priority Pass ended their partnership.

Unsurprisingly, given the amount of debt that the business was carrying (it was a management buy-out) it was unable to survive the pandemic. Someone senior in the company told me that some airports were insisting on rent payments even though their terminals were closed ….

In June 2021, No1 Lounges was sold to a joint venture of Priority Pass’s owner, Collinson, and ground handler Swissport. These partners already owned the Club Aspire brand.

(Confusingly, standard Aspire lounges, as opposed to Club Aspire, are solely owned by Swissport.)

No1 Lounges rejoined Priority Pass with the £6 reservation fee retained.

The Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 can now be prebooked via No1

It seems that No1 Lounges and Club Aspire are now seeing a little more integration under their new shared ownership.

You can now pre-book a Priority Pass visit to the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 via the No1 Lounges website.

The reservation fee is £6 per person, the same as at No1 Lounges. You can reserve here.

You still need to show your Priority Pass or Lounge Key (the Mastercard World Elite scheme run by Priority Pass) card at the door.

Interestingly, pre-booking no longer appears to be available for DragonPass or Diners Club cardholders.

Which other lounges can be pre-booked?

This page of the No1 Lounges website lets you pre-book the following lounges:

  • Birmingham – No1 Lounge (£6), Clubrooms (£15)
  • Gatwick North – No1 Lounge (£6)
  • Gatwick South – No1 Lounge (£6), My Lounge (£6)
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 – Club Aspire (£6)

At Gatwick, your reservation fee also gets you fast track security access.

Club Aspire lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 reservations

Is the Club Aspire lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 worth visiting?

You can find all of the UK HfP airport lounge reviews by clicking here.

Specifically, our most recent review of the Club Aspire lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 is here.

Personally, I don’t like this lounge due to its poor design although it does what it can with the space it was given by Heathrow. I think Aspire should increase its footprint by bringing the entrance forward – there is plenty of space available.

A quick visit to the Plaza Premium lounge in the identical spot on the other side of the terminal shows what can be done – but Plaza Premium is not part of Priority Pass. You can access it with American Express Platinum by showing your Platinum card at the door. DragonPass is also accepted.

Useful links:

You can reserve your Club Aspire Terminal 5 lounge visit, or any other No1 Lounge, on this page of the No1 website.

You can find out more about the other No1 Lounges, and book them for cash if necessary, on their website here.

You can buy a Priority Pass lounge access card here.

You can receive a free Priority Pass (two free visits per year) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold and a free Priority Pass (unlimited visits for two people plus two guests) with The Platinum Card from American Express.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

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

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

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 £20.  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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 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.

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

Comments (50)

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

  • Sharon Fairley says:

    Can you receive a refund from the platinum membership over the Covid period when you couldn’t travel?

  • Michael C says:

    Not that I was going in, but BHX Nº 1 had a sign outside on Sat. saying “No access for cardholders”?!

    • Andrew J says:

      Most lounges in the U.K. are now saying that – they only allow airline guests and pre-booked guests or those willing to pay to enter on the door.

    • John says:

      The sign at STN Aspire Lounge has been there so many years they really ought to make it permanent.

      ⬆️ Lounge ⬆️ (Piss off)

      • Paul says:

        When I was travelling regularly, the STN lounge would often be “at capacity”, but given the ebb and flow of passengers, if you handed over a contact number you might have to wait 15 minutes to be let in. So when we took our first flight in more than 2 years last week, and 9am the “lounge full” sign was up, like Mark J. I went and asked. There being just two of us and our flight was being at midday we were accommodated – most of the reservations on the tables seemed to be for 1pm bookings.

        Whilst here I’d like to recommend the Airport Lounge World lounge in Munich Terminal 1. Staff don’t win any prizes for breezy cheeriness, but the space is good, lots of recharging points and a very good food and drink offering at lunchtime.

    • Mark J says:

      I flew out of Luton last week (last minute flight to Inverness due to train strike). The Aspire lounge had a “Lounge at capacity – prebooked guests only” sign up. I walked past it and threw myself on the mercy of the desk clerk with my broadest smile. She did a quick visual check of the seating and let me in. It was hell, but not as much hell as the main terminal! Maybe always worth an ask? People are coming and going all the time.

  • Ro says:

    Any feedback on priority pass lounge at LHR T4?

    • Rob says:

      There isn’t one any longer, just Plaza Premium.

      • Ro says:

        Was meant to ask are Plaza Premium turning away Amex platinum priority pass customers or is the lounge normally not that full?

        • Ro says:

          Amex app does show plaza premium as T4 lounge open for business so assume should be possible to use it but would I need to flash Amex platinum card or priority pass card?

  • Iain says:

    Last time at Heathrow (late July) customer experience was dreadful! Aspire rammed and we had to go on a waiting list and Plaza Premium wanted to limit my visit to two hours so took refuge in BA south terminal and a sea of tranqulity apart from a noisy Canadian but she soon moved on. Such a shame that driving the othe end so could only drink their water.

    • lumma says:

      I don’t understand the love for the Plaza Premium T5 on this site. I was really looking forward to trying it when that cheap Dragonpass deal was available before the pandemic and just found it very average.

      • Lady London says:

        Even worse, I can’t understand why anyone would bother using this lounge. It’s low quality and tacky and feels like Blackpool. And people pay for this experience?

        I’d sooner sit on the floor in the terminal.

        • Lady London says:

          …referring to the Aspire T5

        • Mike says:

          And I’d rather sit on the floor in Blackpool than enter the Plaza Premium T5 !

          • flyforfun says:

            Really? Last time I was at T5 I went to Weatherspoons thinking I’d get a cheap meal. The state of the place, not to mention the groups drinking as if it was going to be the last drink ever, made me stay long enough to put a lounge entry onto my Dragon Pass.

            Instead of sitting at tables that hadn’t been cleaned properly with stag and hen do’s wobbling about me, I went up to the PP lounge. There, I had reasonably nice Thai Green Chicken curry, along with soups, salads and desserts. There was a bar, but I’m not one for drinking before a flight anymore. The seats were comfy and the view was great. It wasn’t busy either, but obs, YMMV.

            It’s not as great as the PP in HK, but that’s probably to do with the space it has.

  • John says:

    Personally I think a £5/6 reservation system for PP cardholders is preferable to being turned away or sent to a noisy pub with £15 credit. While not quite “free” access a lounge, a booking system does at least level the playing field and guarantee entry once booked. Perhaps this is something Amex-PP or PP-lounges could insist upon when re-contracting?

  • Wally1976 says:

    Does the £6 include fast track security in this case?

    • Wally1976 says:

      To answer my own question, it is a “no”. The fast track security use only included at Gatwick and Birmingham.

      • Mark J says:

        Last time I checked there was no way of booking fast track security at Terminal 5 anyway. Can’t remember if it’s open to business class travellers or whether it’s been removed altogether. The bundling of fast track with the lounge booking at LGW does make it good value. It’s now a regular part of my flight-booking process if we’re coming back up to Scotland on Easyjet.

        • Chabuddy Geezy says:

          I think a way around this is to buy a cheap first class ticket on Heathrow Express, this gives you fast track.

      • The real Swiss Tony says:

        And that’s currently suspended at BHX, both for direct sale and as a freebie with pre-booked lounge access. Still open to people who bought before the chaos hit and to relevant airline guests.

      • Rob says:

        …. now only Gatwick.

    • Rob says:

      No. Heathrow withdrew paid fast track at the start of the pandemic and its not really a thing anyway – it is purely a psychological thing to make premium passenger happy. It doesn’t move any faster 🙂

      • lumma says:

        Last time I flew from Stansted there was a couple ahead of me who’d paid for fast track but went into the regular security. They managed to get someone to let them into the fast track section. A couple of minutes later they re-entered the same queue I was in but just behind me!

  • Michael says:

    Does the bronze fast-track check in extend to security, or is this £6 well-spent at Gatwick?

  • Terry says:

    Heathrow T3 No 1 lounge can be pre booked too.

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

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