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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
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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
Approve
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Birmingham Aspire £21 £24  
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Birmingham No1 £28 £35  
Approve
 
Approve
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Edinburgh Aspire £22 £24          
Gatwick Aspire North £21 £24
Approve
       
Gatwick My Lounge North £24 £30
Approve
       
Gatwick No1 North £32 £40
Approve
Approve
 
Approve
Approve
Gatwick No1 South £32 £40
Approve
Approve
 
Approve
Approve
Gatwick Clubrooms North £38 £50
Approve
   
Approve
Approve
Gatwick Clubrooms South £38 £50
Approve
Approve
 
Approve
Approve
Heathrow Plaza Premium T2 £38 £40
Approve
 
Approve
   
Heathrow No1 T3 £32 £40
Approve
Approve
Approve
Approve
 
Heathrow The House T4 £40 £50
Approve
Approve
 
Approve
 
Heathrow Skyteam T4 £30 £40
Approve
Approve
Approve
Approve
 
Heathrow Aspire T5 £35 £40  
Approve
     
Heathrow Plaza Premium T5 £40 £50
Approve
Approve
     
Luton Aspire £25 £40
Approve
       
Manchester Escape T3 £21 £40
Approve
Approve
     
Manchester 1903 T3 £35 £40
Approve
Approve
 
Approve
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Stansted Escape £25 £30
Approve
Approve
     
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.

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