Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Aspire lounge (Gate 4) at Edinburgh Airport

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is my review of the Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport.  This is the original Aspire lounge by Gate 4, next to the British Airways lounge.  Our 2021 review of the new Aspire lounge, by Gate 16, is here.

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

The flight back from Gleaneagles Townhouse yesterday (review to come) gave me a chance to complete our re-reviews of the Edinburgh Airport lounges. This one had been tricky to do because it closes at 5pm and we normally travel later.

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

You can learn more about the Aspire Lounge, and pre-book cash visits, on the Lounge Pass website here.

The Aspire lounge is located next to the British Airways lounge at the far end of the shopping precinct by Gate 4. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most convenient one for British Airways passengers – my flight to London City left from Gate 11 and a Heathrow flight was next to it on Gate 10.

I got in using my Priority Pass, which comes with my American Express Platinum card (or you can buy one) and allows unlimited free lounge visits.  You also get four free lounge visits per year with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, which itself is free for your first year.

There was no problem getting in via Priority Pass at 2.30pm – the lounge was busy but certainly not rammed. It was busier than the photos here imply because I would jump up to take one whenever someone got up to leave.

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

I can’t easily compare this with the other Aspire lounge by Gate 16 because I haven’t been there for some years but it is substantially more modern and spacious than this one at Gate 4.

The Plaza Premium lounge (review here) is light years head of Aspire Gate 4. If you have an American Express Platinum card or a DragonPass card you should head straight to Plaza Premium. Unfortunately Plaza Premium does not accept Priority Pass.

Inside the Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport (Gate 4)

The lounge is an odd shape.  As you enter there are a few cubicles on the right hand side, which makes this a decent option if you want to work in semi-privacy:

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

You then enter a fairly small but pleasant space with both cubicle, booth and bar stool seating:

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport


Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

Initially, you think this is it.  Eventually you spot that, behind the buffet and bar, the lounge snakes away around the corner. You find yourself in a bigger space with a lot of light and views of the airport car park.

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

I’ve always found that this space gives off a bad vibe but it’s not clear why.

I think it is partly because it is quite dark (bizarre, given the huge floor to ceiling windows at the back) and the use of grey sofas, grey and burgundy chairs, grey walls and black tables.

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

It is also quite a tight space with a lot of furniture. The trend these days is towards brighter, lighter colour schemes – the only bit of brightness here is on the seating by the entrance.

Heading to the loo is tricky.  You let yourself out into the main corridor via a one way fire door, and then walk around the corner.  On your return, you need to head back to the main entrance and see the reception staff.

Food and drink in the Aspire lounge at Edinburgh Airport (Gate 4)

The food here has always been OK. At 2.30pm, so not exactly peak eating time, there were two hot options, including a chicken curry with rice and naan bread (it tasted better than it looks):

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

…. a fair salad selection:

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

…. and scones, jam and cream plus some packaged cakes.

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

There’s also a pancake machine:

Review: Aspire lounge (Gate 4) Edinburgh Airport

You need to ask for alcohol but they are generous with their wine pours – I see that I made the same comment when I last reviewed this lounge six years ago! Coffee is self serve from a machine.

As I said above, if you look at my pictures you might wonder why I wasn’t full of enthusiasm.  It is hard to put my finger on it myself.  Aspire is certainly a good place if you want some privacy or are worried about your kids making a noise, as you can tuck yourself away in a corner or a booth.

Plaza Premium should be your first choice if you can get in (DragonPass or American Express Platinum required). To be honest, I’d probably try the Aspire lounge at Gate 16 second (review here) which does take Priority Pass. If you end up in the Aspire lounge at Gate 4, however, it isn’t a total disaster.

You can book for cash via the Lounge Pass website here.

Comments (19)

  • Grant says:

    If it’s anything like the Newcastle one stay clear there is nothing calm or relaxing about them, Newcastle resembles a school canteen when full. bit of a joke that BA feels that this is comparable to there own lounges being a quiet less crowded part of the airport.

    • Richard Peters says:

      To be fair I think it depends on the time of the flight and there is a quiet area which for the early BA flight is great and still quieter than the main concourse. I agree at times with holiday makers off to Alicante etc buying the lounge package and then trousering drinks can make it rowdy,

      • mvcvz says:

        Not sure quite how one might “trouser” a drink. Sounds quite messy and unnecessary.

  • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

    Same furnishings and food as MAN T1 Aspire. Which to be fair even when busy before an Emirates A380 flight, still retains a roped-off quiet area. I’m quite partial to it. Except for the unforgiveable unwarmed scones.

  • Peggerz says:

    I’ve not used this Aspire Lounge for many years as it always seems dreary and a bit meh. Better choices at gate16 as Rob says, particularly the Plaza Premium with DragonPass.
    I’ll be interested with your view of the Gleneagles Townhouse. It is very popular, the Spence restaurant is highly rated and the staff are really welcoming. It is seen as a very welcome addition to Edinburgh’s upscale hotel scene….. until Rob’s arrival?

  • Fraser says:

    This lounge was closed at 8am on Monday, so I used the newer one – not at all busy either. Aspire does win versus Plaza Premium for a cooked breakfast, now with black pudding added to the selection!

  • Frances Morris says:

    you are the only person I’ve heard of recently, that has been able to get in with your priority pass. Usually too full. I was turned away in March – only accepting business class customers and pre-booked.
    I’m flying from Glasgow on Saturday – will be the same story – so I booked using my dragon pass.. Priority pass is pretty useless these days.

  • VALittleRed says:

    Went in for a very brief visit to the Aspire Lounge at Belfast City on Monday. Nice enough space to sit and and some basic snacks but no alcohol (apparently due to licensing according to one of the staff). I was also travelling with someone that didn’t have access so I left for the pub instead

  • His Holyness says:

    Aspire at 16 has a food buffet several times the size of Plaza. Even the ambience of the Aspire at 16 isn’t so bad but obviously Plaza is more airy.
    I find Plaza as a brand to be overrated and for their T5 lounge to get a 1* (from 5) food hygiene rating is very worrying.

  • Paul says:

    Both Aspires were full so no admittance without a reservation on Tuesday at 12 midday this week.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.