Knowing there would be five hours to kill on a recent trip through London’s Heathrow Airport while waiting for a connecting flight, it seemed like a good opportunity to book into the Aspire Lounge in Terminal 5.
Terminal 5 is the main hub for British Airways and is home to several lounges for BA’s most frequent flyers and wealthier passengers including the Galleries Lounge as well as the prestigious Concorde Lounge.
For those passengers not travelling in First Class or Club World, all is not lost as Aspire Lounge at London Heathrow Airport T5 is the only lounge open to all travellers providing you have a booking.
From just £30 for up to three hours in the lounge it was possible to take advantage of the peace and quiet that the lounge offers prior to boarding a late evening flight to Shanghai. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main departure lounge, Aspire provided a relaxing space to chill out or alternatively, if it were needed, get some work done.
With fantastic views of the south runway, apron and taxiways, any Av Geek can appreciate the passing Airbus A320s and Boeing 777s while sipping a gin and tonic or a pint of lager.
The £30 charged to access the lounge included the use of Wi-Fi and charging facilities as well as complementary hot food, soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits. In the three hours in the lounge, the meals and drinks consumed more than covered the cost of accessing the lounge compared to the equivalent food and drink from any of the outlets in the terminal.
The food was good with a choice of pasta, quiche, savoury pastries as well as a comprehensively stocked salad bar.
The main criticisms of the Aspire lounge were that it seems to have become a victim of its own popularity. Upon entering shortly after 18:30 there were very few tables available. Several were reserved and seemed to remain that way for the entire evening making it necessary to share tables with others
How busy the lounge was also meant that there were often queues. A lack of cutlery for the buffet and a shortage of staff exacerbated the waiting time as when the few members of staff were cleaning and drying the cutlery, the bar went unstaffed leading to a wait for drinks.
The cleanliness was exceptional with plates and glasses quickly cleared away and tables wiped down as soon as they were vacated.
A visit to the Aspire Lounge at London Heathrow Airport T5 is definitely worth the cost of admission but only if you are there long enough to make use of all the facilities and the refreshments on offer. Making use of the lounge for the full three hours the cost of the booking entitles you to offers the best value for money.