Holidays are meant to be relaxing, or at least enjoyable depending on what type of holiday you are looking for. If like me, you are forced to travel during school holidays (both due to H as well as Mrs F working within education) then you’ll know that regardless of which airport you travel from, they are generally chaos… that is unless you start your holiday in style with an executive lounge experience just like the Aspire
I’ve been lucky enough to experience Aspire Executive Lounges previously when I travelled from Manchester Airport last year and had a great experience so when the team at Swissport got in contact to see if I’ve like to be one of the first to try our their brand new second executive lounge at Birmingham Airport it was difficult to turn down, especially knowing the alternative was to face the reality of being one of many sardines in the departure lounge.
Aspire already have an existing lounge based quite centrally at Birmingham Airport however for those not familiar with the airport, despite it being an international airport, it does only have one terminal which is obviously quite large so in order to aid travellers, its added a second to its collection there based in the top end of the terminal close to gates 1-20, typically the area for the budget airlines such at FlyBe.
As usual when you enter the lounge, you are pleasantly greeted by the host who checks your booking details prior to allowing entry, don’t worry, if the lounge isn’t at capacity you can pay (slightly more) to enter on the day… however do check the dress code (its relaxed but not too relaxed) as they don’t let any riff-raff in there.
Most things in the lounge are complimentary from soft drinks or hot drinks to alcoholic drinks (not Champagne or Prosecco) as well as food which changes from breakfast to lunch and tea dependant on the time of day. You’ll also find things such as snacks for those not looking to eat anything too heavy prior to flying.
As we travelled in the morning we experienced the breakfast menu which included cereals, pastries as well as your popular cooked breakfast items such as bacon, sausages, beans and scrambled eggs. There were also fruit juices, yoghurt and fruits to be enjoyed as well. All foods were fresh and tasted great, the perfect fodder to take on a four hour flight.
The lounge itself was really spacious, modern and obviously clean, although given it had only been open for a couple of days I’d expect nothing less. In terms of seating there was a mixture of booths, small tables and high bar type stools which allow you to look into the air field and watch the planes. One thing that did disappoint me was that the only way to view the planes were to sit on those high stools so if you have younger children expecting to watch planes from this lounge I’d advise to book the main Aspire Lounge at the airport which offers more low level viewing of the runway instead.
In terms of the length of time you can stop here, typically your booking allows for 3 hours use although if your flight is delayed for any reason, providing you have booked direct with Executive Lounges, you are free to use it as long as necessary. Don’t worry about getting the lowest price either as booking directly guarantees this as well as they offer a price match promise.
There aren’t any toilets within the lounge but given that they are only located just outside via either a lift or staircase, it didn’t cause any issues. Plug sockets include USB charging points meaning you don’t need to worry about draining your favoured tech prior to your flight. Add into the mix complimentary newspapers and magazines, quiet zones as well as flight information and you have everything you need to ensure you have an enjoyable start to your travels.
For more information about the new Aspire Airport Lounge – Birmingham Airport (South) then check out the Executive Lounges site now.
We are definitely converts to starting our holidays enjoying Aspire Executive Lounges so will make sure we book again next time… now if only we can enjoy another holiday before the summers out.
Until next time…
NB: We were provided with complimentary access to the Aspire Airport Lounge – Birmingham Airport (South) in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.