South Terminal, London Gatwick Airport
I am going to say from the outset this probably one of the worst Priority Pass lounges I’ve been to in terms of quality, the attitude on the front desk……and the people inside it!
On my visit I was met with children running round, adults yelling at their children (and eachother), people filling their rucksacks and bags with whatever they could – and a real lack of lounge decorum. All of this was being observed, but not actioned by the lounge staff, who not only had a poor attitude – but really didn’t seem to care.
To rub salt in the wound, there was somewhat proudly a tip machine, where you could leave a tip via card if you wanted to! No thanks!
October 2023 at 18:00.
The lounge is open daily from 06:00 to 20:00.
Firstly, I shall say that this lounge strictly enforces a 3hr policy…… I was there before 3hrs, the lounge was dead, I was a solo traveler. Entry refused. Completely pointlessly.
Other than that if you a Priority Pass member you have access. If you are an American Express Platinum Card holder you also have access. I believe Dragon Pass and Lounge Key members also have access.
At around £30 per head, it is possible to buy access.
Seemingly, access is given away with booking holidays, with Purple Parking – and seemingly even when booking train tickets.
How to Get There
Once you’re done in Security, you’ll go down escalators and through the maze of duty free.
Once you’re out of the duty free maze, you should see some escalators up to the food court. Go up these escalators, and make a right. From here you’ll see sign posts to the Club Aspire, which is next to WH Smiths.
From here you’ll see the reception desk in front of you – and probably be greeted by someone refusing you access.
To be fair the layout of this lounge is actually OK.
Overlooking the apron of the airport and the runway, you have large throne chairs – looking out through the dirty windows!
There is a sort of business area for working.
There is a dining and casual seating area.
Then there is a slightly odd area, which is an area of ‘pods’. These sort of reminded me of the sleeping area in the Qatar Airways Lounge in Doha.
What I found odd about these areas is that they weren’t for sleeping – but neither for working or relaxing. They had random chairs on their own and a coffee table. Then there were other more relaxing areas, with cushions on some random seating against the wall. None of it really made any sense in terms of comfort or practical sense!
Maybe I am being over critical because the lounge put me in a bad mood? But in complete fairness, the lounge was spotlessly clean and tidy!
Food and Drink
Drinks in this lounge were a mixture of self-serve and bar service.
Self-serve drinks are soft drinks, tea and coffee and some juices.
Drinks from the bar were house beers and wines. If you want anything other, such as Prosecco, Champagne, Spirits, etc – you’ll need to pay!
The ‘house beer’ was Estrella, so I wasn’t complaining – but if you want anything else it will cost you!
Food in this lounge is all self-service.
Having been to the No1 Lounge in Gatwick minutes earlier, I can tell you that the food offering is the same, if not a little more restricted in the Aspire Lounge.
Salad stuff, some hot items, cheese, crackers donuts – the usual stuff was on offer. Nothing exceptional, but I guess reasonable for a Priority Lounge.
Wifi in lounge worked fine for me. In didn’t experience any problems.
There are no showers in this lounge! If there were, expect to pay!
When I got my Priority Pass some 10 years ago, the lounges used to decent, and never were there the 3hr rules!
As someone who now has Priority Pass and a Platinum Amex, one way or the other I don’t expect to be revoked access to a lounge because I am early for my flight, or on a long connection. The whole point of airport lounge access is to have somewhere to go for the kinds of layovers/connections and work/sleep/relax/eat! That’s what make Amex’s Platinum Card a great too for business travelers. This especially when the lounge wasn’t busy……
I was told by the lounge agent to “check the policy”, but actually, there is no express policy that says you can’t enter the lounge before 3hrs – only if it’s busy they may refuse access. So this was a false argument when the lounge was at no more than 50% capacity and due to close in 2 hours.
The quality of the food whilst OK certainly is more of a snack than a decent meal……..Given that entry is priced at £30 a head – whilst some peoples’ target may be drink more than £30 of free beer or fill their rucksack up with more than £30 of stuff (it certainly was both on my visit!) – I would suggest £30/head is by far better invested in Nandos at Gatwick…..and you’re definitely get change!
I will pass comment on the other people in the lounge, other than to say that usually in any lounge in the world, I feel comfortable leaving my phone and laptop on my table whilst I grab a drink……..not here!
Now……..I’ve come to expect the above standards of a Priority Pass lounge. But it’s a real shame the standards are slipping so low to Amex Platinum Card holders.
In conclusion, if you have access that gets you in – why not…… If you are debating paying £30/head for access – then I’d spend it in Nandos!