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Discover The New Heathrow T5 Lounge Open To Anyone

The Aspire Lounge is truly an oasis in the heart of Heathrow Terminal Five. It is open to Priority Pass and Lounge Club members,  and anyone else willing to pay the fee. In my opinion, this new Heathrow T5 lounge is a welcome, and long overdue, addition to the terminal.

The terminal seems to have become ridiculously busy in recent years and it can be a challenge finding a quiet area to relax whilst you await your flight. Thankfully, I’m usually flying business (find out how you can too!) when I pass through and so I can avoid the chaos. But, for those short-haul flights, it seems like a waste of my AVIOS so I just have to put up with the overcrowded terminal.

Heathrow Airport T5
Courtesy of Curt Smith on Flickr

T5 may have been just voted the world’s best shopping airport (how, I ask? There’s never anyone in the endless row of ridiculous, designer shops that mere mortals would not dare to enter!) but frankly I can’t stand it. Until recently, there was just one pub and a few restaurants to keep passengers entertained. The arrival of the Aspire Lounge definitely piqued my interest,  as previously, the only lounges were for those flying Club or First. This is the only lounge in the terminal which allows guests to pay to enter, irrespective of flight class.

Arrival

We arrive on Easter Friday, regarded as one of the busiest travel days of the year. I expect to be turned away, but instead we are told that it will be a twenty five minute wait. In fact, it turns out to be five minutes! Result!

For impatient people, like me, it’s easy to figure out when you will be allowed access as it works on a one in, one out policy. Silent cheers every time someone exits.

Cost

We use our Lounge Club passes (every American Express Gold card owner gets two passes a year with their membership) to enter and save almost £60. Entry is swift, with a swipe of the card and a quick signature. Impressed so far!

Adults and children alike pay £29.99 each. For an adult, £29.99 may be a price worth paying. Whilst you would need to be able to drink pretty quickly to get your money’s worth in food and drink alone, the additional comfort is worth a premium in my opinion. That price for children though, is a complete rip off, as a child will not be drinking alcohol and is unlikely to eat through £30 in three hours!

Drink wine in the lounge
Source: Pixabay

Location and layout

The lounge is tucked away beneath the British Airways South Concourse Club and First lounges by gate A18. It is L shaped and not the best designed.

Suspended above some of the departure gates, it has panoramic views of the outlying gates and runway. It’s light and airy and considerably less cramped than the main concourse, but the food and bar are squeezed into one of the narrowest parts of the lounge, meaning bottlenecks quickly form in these areas.

It looks smart and chic though, and frankly is considerably calmer than the terminal bedlam.

Aspire Lounge Terminal 5

Workspaces

There’s plenty of dedicated work spaces and what I particularly like is that there are ample plug sockets. Our sofa alone has four U.K plug sockets, two European sockets and four USB ports. That is pretty impressive, especially considering I often cannot find one available socket in the British Airways lounges.

That said, your chances of getting much work done are slim as the internet connection is pitiful. It reminds me of the sufferance we had to endure back in the days of dial up connections. It is that SLOW and the connection is forever dropping.

Plug sockets in Heathrow T5
Plentiful plug sockets

Drinks

Unlike in the Club Lounge, you cannot help yourself to drinks and instead have to queue at the bar. There, you have a choice of two white wines, beer on tap plus a selection of other soft drinks and spirits.

There are also a few fridges throughout the lounge, with a selection of tonics and bitter lemons, and coffee machines with a number of options. The coffee is pretty good too!

Food

There’s a selection of hot and cold food options and crisps, buns and cakes. Again it is wedged into a tiny area so causes more traffic jams but the food is pretty good. It is fresh and tasty, consisting of different pastas, quiches and vol-au-vents.

There is also a salad, cheese and fruit bar but the food really could do to be relocated in a more spacious area.

Aspire Lounge food
Food in the Aspire Lounge Heathrow T5

Spa

There is a spa in the lounge, but don’t get too excited. It’s not complimentary! You really would be a fool not to pay the £29.99 entry fee if it was included, but sadly prices are £20 for an eye treatment or mini facial and £40 for a 40 minute facial. I think that is pretty reasonable value for an airport though.

Comfort

The lounge looks very appealing, even more than the British Airways Club Lounges, but the sofas are pretty uncomfortable. I don’t think the decor has been designed with encouraging people to linger in mind.

Aspire Lounge seating
Seating in the Aspire lounge

Facilities

Disappointingly, there are no toilets inside, meaning a long walk to use the facilities. Showers are available but these cost £20 to use and must be booked on arrival.

Value for money

Much as I enjoy the escape from the madness, I’m really not convinced that it is worth the price. There are some great features but the price is excessive for kids, it is not the most comfortable and it can get pretty busy in the food and drink area.

Have you visited?

Maybe you have visited the Lounge and would like to share your experience. Feel free to have your say below.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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14 comments

  1. Megan Jerrard

    Thanks for the honest review – I’ve not yet traveled through Heathrow Terminal 5, though I do like sourcing clubs and escaping the madness where-ever I get the chance whether it’s a long or short connection to my next flight. Usually the work places and comfort make it a win for me, though I agree that it’s disappointing that there are no bathroom facilities – you would think that would have been the first thing they considered! Will have to see how I feel on the day 🙂

    • Yes the toilet situation was not great. I’ve been to a few really nice lounges since and it’s even more disappointing in comparison

  2. Yeah, that’s interesting–not sure if I would feel it is worth the price either. Looks like a great spot to get away from he crowds, I like the workspaces with the multiple outlets and the food and drink are great, especially for the price! But, the slow wifi, lack of restrooms and such make it a little less appealing. Would love to check it out sometime and see if anything changes though!

  3. Sandy N Vyjay

    A good lounge to relax in is so welcome, especially whenever you have a long layover. T5 seems to be a great option in Heathrow, it is heartening to note that it is open for everyone. So now we know where to head to if we are stuck in Heathrow for a longish period..

  4. This looks classy, and I would love to explore it next time I am at Heathrow. Plus, I like that it’s free for Priority Pass members 🙂

  5. Aspire lounge looks very good. I dont really use lounges at the airport just because I never wait more than 3-4 hours. But If I have to wait I will definitely buy (if possible) an entrane ticket for lounge to relax and have some food before my next flight.
    Maybe one day If I will earn more air miles I will get free entrances 🙂

    Best,
    Kasia

  6. I’ve only ever visited a lounge once, and enjoyed having a break from the chaos that sometimes fills the gates. I really appreciate the honest review. The entry does sound quite steep (especially when the children’s prices are the same as the adults!) and to pay extra for the spa treatments is a bit rough (and the treatment prices sound pretty expensive too!). Did you manage to eat much though? The pasta looks nice; did it taste as good as it looked?

  7. We like to use a lounge if there is one available as Mrs W is not a fan of flying and relaxing in the lounge can be calming. We have used an Aspire lounge in a different airport and like you, are not really sure if they are worth the money. The service is not really as good as the airline lounges.

  8. Thanks for the honest review. Think with all you mentioned, it’s worth trying but I won’t be spending recklessly at the lounge thanks to you

  9. That seems like a pretty good deal for the cost you mention. A comfortable place to lounge in and the food looks great too. Makes sense.

  10. This lounge looks luxurious! I have never been to London but I definitely want to. It’s on my list of places I want to visit 🙂

  11. I have been through heathrow once and that was a not so good part of the airport. Definitely looking forward to transiting again now that it is revamped so much!

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