Written by Barnaby Taylor. Published on .
One of the best ways to make sure you have a positive flying experience is to start your trip from a comfortable vantage point at the airport. In fact, being able to check into some airport lounges can be a “mini break” in itself!
There’s no jostling for low rise seats, queuing for refreshments or trying to get “in the zone” in the hustle and bustle of public areas. Instead, you can begin your business trip or holiday in a calm manner, with everything on hand to prepare for your flight.
For long haul travel, airport lounges are particularly vital. It means being properly rested, hydrated and looked after before you take your seat on the aircraft.
Some provide access to reduced rates for airport parking and fast track through security too.
There’s an abiding myth that Business Class lounges are the only option. (Some of which are like upmarket day-hotels!) However, there are also airport lounges that Economy Class passengers can pay to use. At most airports, you can find these by following the “All Lounges” signs just after you pass through security.
Which gives rise to the question, how good are paid-for lounges? Let’s look at some options and find out what you get in airport lounges.
Most lounges cost somewhere between £27.50 to £40, occasionally up to £70 per person.
Club Aspire Heathrow Terminal 3 Lounge
Imagine arriving at Heathrow and having hot food, plentiful drinks and a quiet corner waiting for you. At Club Aspire Lounge that’s exactly what you get, and to an exceptional standard.
Free meals and snacks somehow taste better, right? If you balance the cost of publicly accessible food outlets with the cost of Aspire Lounge entry, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You also get to eat your meal in peace, and you can go back for seconds or thirds.
Club Aspire also offers a Business Zone for quiet space to work at Heathrow, or access to technology to do holiday research and communications. As with the other lounges listed in this article, there’s plenty of airport charging ports and unlimited WiFi too.
You may prefer to slip into an individual pod in Club Aspire, to snooze until your flight is called and if you fancy a wee dram before your nap, this lounge has an exclusive deal with a whisky brand!
The House Heathrow Terminal 4 Lounge
The beautifully laid out Number 1 lounge in Terminal 4 is in a slightly higher price band, with facilities, food and a wine list to match.
The title “The House” suggests something homely. Comfort and a warm welcome are certainly advantages. However, this airport lounge includes a luxurious start to your journey that’s hard to replicate in most homes!
This includes a well-stocked bar, the option of a private shower and the services of an attentive host. If you don’t want to sink into a seat in the dining area or make the most of the complimentary bar, The House offers jet settlers plenty of quiet space.
Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 Lounge
Where is the best place to rest and refresh, when you’re heading for Terminal 5 at Heathrow?
The Plaza Premium lounge is the perfect solution, and better still the price includes up to six hours of incredible views, workspace and free dining. This makes it excellent value for money, and an oasis of calm, for layovers or delayed flights.
There are shower facilities, a peaceful airport work area and a pleasant ambience within the Plaza Premium Lounge. The food is excellent. Being able to dip into a freshly stocked buffet during your stay means you don’t have to depend on the vagaries of airline meals too.
My Lounge Gatwick South Terminal Lounge
If you’re looking for a casual and quirky place to “lounge away” your time a Gatwick, then My Lounge South is a cool place to chill.
Some of the interesting touches included in the cost are: an outdoor balcony; recipes and ideas for DIY cocktails; and an all-day pancake station.
The complimentary food in this airport waiting space is more laid back than some, but delicious and freshly prepared nonetheless. It’s a very reasonable price too and can be used for up to three hours.
Making My Lounge South at Gatwick a great option to graze, gaze and gather your thoughts for your trip.
Clubrooms Gatwick North Terminal Lounge
Gatwick also has the far more luxurious Clubrooms North lounge, with its hosted table service, three-course dining and plush seating.
The price reflects the level of luxury, including access to an excellent range of complimentary wines and spirits. One of the advantages of this airport lounge for some is that children are not permitted, making it an especially tranquil place to work or rest before your flight.
Like many other airport lounges, Clubrooms North has a good selection of magazines and newspapers, which you can take when you board your plane.
Ultimately the real question is, do these premium lounges stack up against the likes of the Emirates Lounge, British Airways Lounge or Virgin Clubhouse? The answer is an affirmative, yes. We think they do…! But for the real business class experience, you need to fly business class.
Incidentally, it’s cost effective to book these places – and some other airport lounges – in advance. Paying on the day for airport lounges can incur a higher fee. Contact us today on 020 8417 1366 or enquire online to book your Business Class or Premium Economy flights and don’t forget to ask about what airport lounges are available on your next trip.
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