Club Aspire lounge in Gatwick’s South Terminal reopens after three years
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Well, it took a while but the Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal (the British Airways terminal) has reopened after almost three years.
It had hardly been open when covid forced it to shut. Due to long construction delays, it didn’t open its doors until September 2019.
It occupies part of the old Virgin Atlantic lounge space in Gatwick South, for those with decent memories. The other part became My Lounge which reopened ages ago – I re-reviewed My Lounge at Gatwick South here.
This is a much needed lounge for Priority Pass holders.
If you can access the British Airways lounges at Gatwick South then you’re fine (see my review here of the EXCELLENT British Airways Gatwick lounge complex).
On paper there are already plenty of Priority Pass options:
- No1 Lounge (reviewed here in September 2022)
- My Lounge (reviewed here in August 2022)
- Clubrooms (currently closed)
- get a £15 credit off your bill at the Grain Store Cafe in the main terminal by flashing your Priority Pass.
…. but in reality all four are usually very busy. No1 does allow you to pre-book a slot with your Priority Pass via this page of their website for £6 per person. You can also prebook My Lounge and, for £15, Clubrooms via the same link.
Club Aspire adds much needed Priority Pass capacity to Gatwick South.
You cannot prebook it yet but I imagine it will happen in the next few days. You can already prebook Club Aspire in Heathrow Terminal 5 and Heathrow Terminal 3 for £6 if you have a Priority Pass.
What’s inside the Club Aspire lounge at Gatwick South?
Here are some images and extracts from my October 2019 review of the lounge. I doubt much has changed in terms of furniture although the food offering may well be different.
The lounge is easy to find, as long as you stay upstairs. Once you have cleared security at Gatwick South, you head towards an escalator which takes you down to the lower level. Don’t go down this. All of the airport lounges – BA, My Lounge, No1, Club Aspire, Clubrooms – are on the upper level. You will see a corridor to your left just before the escalator. This is where you should go.
Once you pop out in the terminal, the entrance to the Club Aspire lounge – see above – is on your right. Be careful not to confuse it with the My Lounge entrance which is the first one you come to.
To be honest, when I walked in I was surprised. The lounge simply is not very big.
I know that the old Virgin Atlantic space has been separated, but in my head – knowing how big My Lounge is – I thought that there was more space left for Club Aspire than there actually is. It may even be smaller than My Lounge.
This is not quite the entire lounge, but it is most of it. Behind me, not shown, is a large communal work table but nothing else.
This is looking in the other direction. I am not quite at the back of the lounge here, but I am nearly there:
Here is the bar which is off to the side:
One wall of the lounge is glass, giving views out towards the parked British Airways aircraft when I was there back in 2019:
Here is a PR picture which gives a better impression of the windows:
Now we come to the weird bit. Off to your right, at the top of the lounge, is a small opening. When you walk through it, you find this:
There are eight … well, I’m not sure what to call them. They are not sleeping pods. They are not work pods. It is a semi-comfy chair in an open cubicle with some frosted glass.
Very, very odd. And totally unused. Not a single person was in this area.
There are also these odd seating areas to the sides:
It is possible that this area may have changed during the three year closure – it needed it.
The lounge has its own loos and one shower room. It is an accessible shower and is in the same area as the accessible loo.
Back in 2019 there was a decent breakfast spread, with a buffet which looks like it took its design from a Hampton by Hilton or Holiday Inn Express hotel. In the foreground below you have fruit, yoghurts, juices etc:
…. whilst to the side you have fruit and cereals …..
…. and at the back you have a decent supply of hot food. There were no ‘cooked to order’ options back in 2019.
Whilst My Lounge next door is theoretically aimed at the youngsters and Club Aspire at an older clientele, I found back in 2019 that I preferred the former – especially as My Lounge has upgraded to metal cutlery and proper plates!
We will try to take a look in the next few weeks to see what, if anything, has changed since the pictures above were taken.
The Priority Pass website says that the lounge is open from 7am to 2pm. I can’t confirm this as the lounge is not bookable at all on the Aspire executivelounges.com site yet.
PS. The Clubrooms lounge at Gatwick South is currently scheduled to reopen on 1st April, albeit only until 2pm
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2023)
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 1,300 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.
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 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.
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.