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

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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

and

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.

Travelling from Edinburgh? Here are your airport lounge options ….

Edinburgh Airport now has a number of premium lounges to choose from, including several independent, airline-agnostic lounges. We have reviewed them all:

The No1 Lounge no longer exists and has been taken over by Plaza Premium.


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 (20)

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

  • BajiNahid says:

    They need to close this down and extend the BA lounge and use it for Qatar and BA, with multiple BA flights and 2 Daily (coming soon) Qatar Flights, and with American making a return next year along with Finnair, this could either be an extended BA lounge or a new oneworld lounge.

    • Jack C says:

      Not everyone wants to use London Airways or their Oneworld alliance.

      We avoid transit via LON too. Prefer Star Alliance or SkyTeam in that regard.

    • Rob says:

      BA lounge was virtually empty when I popped in at 3.30. No need to do anything to it. It’s already 10x bigger than the Glasgow lounge!

  • John says:

    Closed early and next door full in Feb when I was there. No chance to get in either. Priority pass looking less valuable. Not sure what Amex pay for it but it’s not worth much.

  • Simon says:

    To my amazement I managed to get into the “new” Escape lounge at Bristol airport today using Priority Pass. I think it has opened earlier than expected which means there were less bookings.

    Not much difference to the old Aspire lounge that was here but a welcome return to self serve bottles of beer.

  • Jeff says:

    You’ll laugh. I still have some completed ‘LoungeMiles’ rewards cards (used to get stamped on each visit, collect 5 stamps and get a free lounge visit.)

    Question is, do I dare attempt to redeem two (that are already stamped x 5 / completed) and if so….where in Edinburgh?

  • Froggee says:

    Aspire Edinburgh remains a part of the scheme but as per the FAQ below you might be out of luck:

    When do the cards expire?
    24 months after the first issued LoungeMiles stamp.

  • Aaron says:

    This lounge is surely on the refurb list. Belfast City currently being done and it was nowhere near as dated as this one!

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

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