This is our review of the new Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport, which opened in August 2022. Plaza Premium has taken over and expanded the space that was previously occupied by No1 Lounge, albeit very briefly, prior to the pandemic.
I initially visited the lounge for a private party to interview Plaza Premium’s CEO Mr Song – this article will run later in the week. I returned to the lounge during normal hours before my BA CityFlyer flight back to London, as I wanted to see how the lounge worked with a full complement of paying guests.
It is great to finally see a Plaza Premium lounge in the Scottish capital and the first outside London.
How to access the Plaza Premium Edinburgh lounge
Now that Plaza Premium has severed all ties with Priority Pass, the only way to access the Edinburgh lounge is by booking a spot for cash, using a DragonPass lounge club card or by holding a credit card which gets access.
In my case, I gained entry using my American Express Platinum card, which gets you and a plus one entry into all Plaza Premium lounges worldwide. It is one of the best benefits of the Platinum Card in my view.
Cash bookings are available via the website, with a 2 hour slot costing £37.40.
The Plaza Premium lounge at Edinburgh is currently open from 4:30am until 5pm daily.
Where is the Plaza Premium lounge at Edinburgh Airport?
The Plaza Premium Edinburgh Lounge has taken over the space that was previously used by No1 Lounges by Gate 16. It is very close to the Domestic Arrivals exit.
This is a modern extension to the airport which opened in 2019 to accommodate two new lounges. The other lounge is the Aspire next door, which I have reviewed here.
The No1 Lounge was only open for about a year before it closed due to covid. When Collinson (the owners of Priority Pass) bought No1 Lounges during the pandemic they decided to close this site, at which point Plaza Premium swooped in to lease the space.
To find the lounge, turn right once you exit the duty free shop after security, and head down to Gate 13-16. The lounge is just by the Brewdog bar:
Access is via a stairs or lift:
Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport
Once up the stairs you head in via a shallow ramp to the check-in desks:
When I arrived at midday the lounge was closed to on-the-door arrivals: it seems that even Plaza Premium isn’t immune to the current issues plaguing airport lounges and restaurants, who are struggling to recruit staff. Luckily I had asked the staff to hold a slot for me when I was there for the party on the previous evening.
Given that the No1 Lounge was only open for just over a year it was in very good condition. Plaza Premium has kept a lot of the fixed furnishings, such as the bar and buffet area, whilst refreshing all the soft furnishings and other design elements such as the armchairs, tables, lighting etc.
It has also opened up two additional spaces in the lounge which were previously boarded up whilst No1 operated the lounge – it was space allocated for a Clubrooms premium zone – which almost doubles the usable space.
One of these spaces is a ‘VIP area’. Plaza Premium is hoping to offer to airlines as a dedicated space for their business class guests. Turkish Airlines was one of the guests at the lounge opening party so we may see them move in ….
For now, however, this space is available for pre-bookings and features a range of seating:
It definitely has a more exclusive feel to it thanks to its smaller size.
The other newly opened space is a kids’ playroom / games room. This is another fairly large space that straddles the right hand side of the lounge, and features a long shuffle puck table, table football, mini climbing wall, a TV, various activities for children and seating for parents.
This part is definitely one of the better kids’ areas I have seen at a lounge. It is big enough for parents and children to spend their entire time there thanks to the dedicated tables and seating areas, which gives families the freedom to be a bit noisier without disturbing other guests.
The remainder of the lounge is sandwiched between these two spaces, with the Edinburgh Gin Bar acting as an anchor for the lounge. There are over 10 different types of Edinburgh Gin on offer, more than any other airport lounge bar in the world (apparently!)
In front of the bar you’ll find a casual dining area:
To the right is more restaurant-style seating, plus the buffet (more on that in a bit).
The rest of the lounge is a couple of steps down, on a mezzanine level, which helps to break the space up. This part features a big hot-desking style table with lots of plug sockets as well as plenty of leather armchairs:
Connectivity is great throughout the lounge, with plenty of mains sockets throughout the lounge. The only notable exception is in the dining area.
Food and drink in the Plaza Premium lounge at Edinburgh Airport
For now, Plaza Premium is offering a self-serve buffet in the lounge. It plans to bring an a la carte service to Edinburgh, which would be a significant upgrade on the Heathrow lounges.
Morning service includes a full Scottish breakfast. I arrived during lunch hours and there was a decent hot selection available, including a range of curries, veggie lasagne, fish and chips and pie:
Cold items include finger sandwiches and a selection of salads:
When it comes to drinks, soft and hot drinks are available to grab from fridges and machines around the lounge. Alcohol is free from the bar, although you do have to pay a supplement for some premium drinks. House wines, beer, gins and spirits are all free, including cocktails using the Edinburgh Gins.
Last week, Plaza Premium won the Skytrax ‘Best Independent Airport Lounge’ award for the 6th year in a row for its Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge.
The Edinburgh Plaza Premium lounge is better than Heathrow Terminal 2. There is a huge amount of natural light and fantastic runway views thanks to its dual aspect location and wrap-around windows. The Heathrow T2 lounge, in contrast, has no natural light.
There is an excellent family room where children and parents will feel comfortable without being self-conscious about disturbing other guests, and the current buffet is impressive.
If and when Plaza Premium introduces an a la carte menu – which I’m told is very much on the cards – it will further elevate the lounge above its UK counterparts. I would be shocked if this lounge doesn’t win at next year’s Skytrax awards.
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 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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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 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.