I love traveling out of London Heathrow Terminal five. I find its architecture and modern design inspiring. We have already reviewed the best airport lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, but if you aren’t flying in Business or First and don’t have high status with British Airways, you will need to know the best airport Priority Pass lounge to pick at Terminal 5.
Interestingly, Heathrow Terminal 5 is an airport terminal at Heathrow Airport, the main airport serving London. Opened in 2008, the main building in the complex is the largest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom.
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1. Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5
British Airways is the only airline that flies out of London Heathrow Terminal 5, but if you don’t have status and are not traveling Business Class, there are, in fact, only two lounges you can access in London Heathrow Terminal 5. You can only access one of these with your Priority Pass, and this is probably the best Priority Pass lounge at London Heathrow due to its airy design.
If you are not flying Business or First Class and do not have an elite airline status, you can access the Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 with a Priority Pass. The Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 is located by Gate A18 in Terminal 5 and is the worst airport lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 with the worst food and drink selection but that is mainly because the other lounges are so good. This lounge has a wonderful design and views and is the only lounge you will have access to if you don’t have an Amex Platinum Card and you are flying out of London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Ironically, while it is the worst (and only) Priority Pass lounge in Terminal 5, it is the best Priority Pass lounge across all the Terminals if you are flying in Economy or Premium Economy and need to use your Priority Pass to access an airport lounge.
To access this lounge, you need a Priority Pass, apply here, as Priority Pass members have free access to the lounge as part of their membership. Otherwise, you need to pay a horrendous £40 GBP per person at the door. I am not convinced that my cup of tea and salad with a couple of rolls that I usually consume (and would cost around £10 GBP at the sandwich shops like Pret a Manger at Heathrow) merit this access fee. Unless you plan to drink yourself silly with booze, I can’t imagine this lounge ever justifying such a high price tag.
But if you have a Priority Pass, this lounge is your best and only bet. You can also access this Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 with the two free lounge passes with the free (in the first year) American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card or unlimited free Priority Pass with the AMEX Platinum Card. The two free Gold Lounge Club passes or the Platinum AMEX Priority Pass can be immediately used to get into these lounges to enjoy free drinks (including alcohol) and food.
The easiest way to get an unlimited free Priority Pass is with American Express Platinum. A cardholder gets TWO Priority Passcards, each of which admits a free guest, so a family of four can get in for free. If you want to apply for the free American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card, which two free lounge passes (free in the first year) with an extra referral point bonus, or the Platinum AMEX with extra bonus Amex Reward points, apply here.
The lounge itself feels intimate and offers all sorts of different seating options. Almost all of which have glorious views out over the planes. The whole space is incredibly airy as a result of the design of Terminal 5. The alcohol is free and generous, but don’t expect to fill up on high-quality food as the food selection is good but has gone downhill since this lounge opened. The main problem with this lounge is that it is so busy, it is difficult to get a seating area to yourself.
The 4,000 sq ft lounge space is dominated by soaring windows on two sides, giving passengers dramatic runway views. But the lounge feels relatively small in size compared to the lounges at Heathrow or the main British Airways Galleries Club lounges. However, it has a better view and occupies a premium position with views across the airport, looking down at the planes from two sides. The view is better than the view from either of the British Airways Business Class Galleries Club lounges. Although the Galleries Club lounges are higher up in the terminal, they are set back in the middle of the terminal and away from the front windows of the terminal, so they have less of a view of the tarmac and planes.
As you enter the Aspire lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, you pass the spa and showers (£20 GBP a shower) and then turn the corner to reach a number of seating areas, a bar, food, and drink area as well as work stations. At the far end of the lounge are 6 sleep pods. These are tiny rooms with privacy curtains (slightly see-through), each with TV and reclining seat-beds which you can sleep on. When I took a look, 5 were occupied, and 1 was free.
A “British-inspired” seasonal food and drink menu has been created, which includes a wide range of complimentary as well as premium (chargeable) options. The complimentary food is a self-serve buffet. The hot food on my last visit included a rice and chicken dish, a pasta and meatball dish along with vegetarian samosas, and fresh warm bread rolls. See pictures in my more detailed review of the Aspire lounge food & drink offering.
There is usually soup at lunchtime and sometimes scones with clotted cream and jam in the cold buffet. There are salads with olives, cheeses, and hams. On my last visit, you could also have crisps (salted, cheese & onion and salt and vinegar), biscuits from a biscuit barrel, or chocolate cake.
The complimentary non-alcoholic drinks at the Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal on my last visit included various juices, cokes and Fanta, water and tea, coffee, and hot chocolate from one of many machines dotted around. There was also a choice of free alcoholic drinks, including Prosecco, spirits including Baileys, Martini, Tia Maria, Gin, Bacardi, Port, and Whisky. There were plenty of beers and wines available.
I would specifically choose to travel from Terminal 5 at Heathrow over and above the other Terminals or other airports like Gatwick because the Terminal is awesome. This is a decent lounge to access with my Priority Pass. You can’t compare this lounge to British Airways Galleries Club lounges. The British Airways Business lounges are excellent with much more space and food.
This Aspire lounge is smaller with less appealing food and less variety of food than the British Airways lounge, but it is pleasant even though it can be VERY busy. The other criticism I have is that you have to leave the lounge to access the bathroom facilities.
2. Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5
Also, in Terminal 5 and the other lounge you can get into with a lounge pass is the Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5. Plaza Premium has some great lounges at London Heathrow, including departure lounges in Terminals 2, 4, and 5 and arrival lounges in Terminals 2, 3, and 4.
Most Plaza Premium lounges are in Priority Pass, but the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, the main home of British Airways, cannot be accessed with your Priority Pass card.
To get access to this lounge, you will need an AMEX Platinum card. To get extra referral Amex Reward points when you apply for the Platinum AMEX, apply here. You and a guest can use this lounge using your American Express Platinum card at the door, which you simply need to show at the door. If your partner has a (free) supplementary Amex Platinum card, then you can both show your cards to gain entry, both of you + 1, which means that 4 people can gain access from one Platinum American Express account.
The lounge is located on level 2, Terminal 5 Departures at London Heathrow Airport (Next to Gate A7), with opening hours 5:00 am – 10:00 pm daily. This lounge is in the mirror image position to the Aspire lounge (reviewed below), which is by Gate A18 in Terminal 5. If you are facing towards the planes at what I consider the “front” of the Terminal 5 departures area. This Plaza Premium lounge is at the very far left of the terminal at the gate level.
This lounge tends to be much less busy than the Aspire lounge below and serves a great breakfast of cereals, pastries, juice, along with hot breakfast items including scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages. There are light bites that are fairly filling in the evening, including Nachos and hot dishes like vegetable curry with steamed rice, rosemary potatoes, beef stew, penne pasta, and BBQ chicken wings. The selection is similar in quality, if smaller in volume than the BA Galleries Business Class lounges. If you want peace and quiet, you may prefer this lounge.
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