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1 October 2020

Best and worst UK airport lounges

Our inspectors went undercover to find where you'll get the VIP experience - and where you'll have to make do with a soggy sandwich
Manchester lounge 480399
WhichEditorial team

With airports becoming ever busier, pay-as-you-go lounges have soared in popularity.

No longer the preserve of the business traveller, here any passenger can stump up between £20 and £50 for the promise of some peace and quiet - with food, booze and super-fast wi-fi included.

But not all airport lounges are created equal. For every sweeping runway view, elsewhere there are dingy basements. A swanky a la carte menu is the exception to a dozen tired buffets.

That’s why our undercover inspectors have visited 21 pay-as-you-go lounges at some of the UK’s biggest airports - including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh.

They tested everything from the comfort of the seating and the speed of the wifi, to the quality of the food and drink.

Find out which lounges are worth your money, and when you’ll be better off with a restaurant in the terminal.

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Airport Lounges
  Price (advance) Price on door Toilets Runway view Spa facilities Made-to-order dishes Includes fast-track security Our score (out of 5)
Belfast International Causeway £27.50 £27.50 Y Y      
Birmingham Aspire £21 £24   Y      
Birmingham No1 £28 £35   Y   Y Y
Edinburgh Aspire £22 £24          
Gatwick Aspire North £21 £24 Y        
Gatwick My Lounge North £24 £30 Y        
Gatwick No1 North £32 £40 Y Y   Y Y
Gatwick No1 South £32 £40 Y Y   Y Y
Gatwick Clubrooms North £38 £50 Y     Y Y
Gatwick Clubrooms South £38 £50 Y Y   Y Y
Heathrow Plaza Premium T2 £38 £40 Y   Y    
Heathrow No1 T3 £32 £40 Y Y Y Y  
Heathrow The House T4 £40 £50 Y Y   Y  
Heathrow Skyteam T4 £30 £40 Y Y Y Y  
Heathrow Aspire T5 £35 £40   Y      
Heathrow Plaza Premium T5 £40 £50 Y Y      
Luton Aspire £25 £40 Y        
Manchester Escape T3 £21 £40 Y Y      
Manchester 1903 T3 £35 £40 Y Y   Y Y
Stansted Escape £25 £30 Y Y      
Southend Skylife Lounge £20 £24          

Using the table: Our score: 1 = A sub-standard lounge we think is well below average; 2 = An adequate lounge with room for improvement; 3 = A solid lounge that meets expectations; 4 = An excellent lounge, above average; 5 = An exceptional lounge – among the best.

Airport lounge reviews