Aspire Lounge Edinburgh Review feature image

Aspire Lounge Edinburgh Review

I love flying, but I don’t much care for the hustle, bustle, and jostle of the standard airport experience. Which is why I tend to book into an airport lounge before my flight.

However, like all airport experiences, not all lounges are equal. If you’re traveling from Edinburgh, an option you’ll have is to visit the Aspire Lounge at Gate 16.

Is it worth the entrance price or one of your Priority Pass visits? Find out in my Aspire Lounge Edinburgh review…

Snapshot Verdict

Is the Aspire Lounge at gate 16 in Edinburgh Airport value for money? There are many reasons why it will elevate your travel experience, including:

  • Easy access and comfort: Just a 5- to 10-minute walk to the right after you pass through security, and you’ll find yourself in an oasis of comfort and convenience. Cozy and spacious, this Aspire Lounge is ideal for all, from families to those who want to catch up on work emails before boarding their flight. Perfect if you are flying from gates 10 to 29.
  • Superb amenities: Enjoy fast free Wi-Fi, charging points, a wide range of food and drinks, and access to thousands of global publications via PressReader, as well as exclusive bathrooms.
  • Inclusive atmosphere: Welcoming all travelers, the lounge features a mix of work and family booths in a community-friendly environment, with magnificent views over the airfield, too. You’re guaranteed a peaceful, relaxing start to your travels in a setting that will make you feel like a VIP without needing to be a first-class ticket holder.

Finding The Edinburgh Aspire Lounge At Gate 16

I’ve been to some airports where reaching the lounge is a little like searching for a needle in a haystack. You won’t have such problems with this Aspire Lounge.

It’s perched above Pret A Manger in the northeast corner of the terminal; perfect if you’re flying from gates 10 through 29.

If you are departing from gates 1 through 9, there is another Aspire Lounge at Gate 4. It’s not as modern as the lounge at gate 16, but you do get many of the same services and food and drink choices.

Once you’ve cleared security, it’s a straightforward walk to the lounge at gate 16 – turn right, and keep going! It’s going to take you around 5 to 10 minutes to get there, assuming you don’t make any impromptu stops on the way.


I’ve always found security at Edinburgh Airport to be pretty efficient, but I’d still recommend that you allow a buffer of, say, a quarter hour to accommodate any potential delays.

First Impressions

When you walk into the lounge, the first thing you’ll notice is the eclectic vibe. It’s cozy yet spacious.

There’s a mix of comfortable sofas, dining tables, and work booths that are like mini-offices. The light’s not so bright as to cause glare, but not too soft to strain your eyes – exactly right, whether you’re catching up on a little work or a little sleep before boarding.

The Work Booths

As I’m the kind of traveler who falls asleep quickly on planes (especially long-haul flights), I tend to use lounges to do a little work before flying. If you do likewise, you’ll find the work booths in this lounge more than adequate.

The Wi-Fi is fast and free, with no annoying sign-in pages. Documents and the like take no time to download – which is also great for that last-minute book purchase to while away the time on your flight.

There’s a charging point at each desk, too. Plug in and ensure you have enough juice to power your device across the Atlantic.

Let’s Talk Food & Drink

There’s no need to go hungry here, with a range of hot and cold food and snacks served buffet style. There are options galore on the breakfast menu, from bacon and eggs to pancakes, cereals, and fruit.

From midday through to close, you can enjoy light meals that might include options such as chicken tikka masala, chili con carne, and cauliflower, butternut squash and spinach dhansak with rice, as well as a range of salads, pastries, cheese, sliced ham, and biscuits.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available – though you’ll need to pay a little extra for premium brand drinks, champagne, and prosecco – as well as tea and coffee.

You won’t be able to get a full three-course menu here, but there’s no limit on what you can eat, and a fair selection. Plenty if, like me, you want something substantial enough to sate your appetite without blowing you up like a balloon before you take your seat on the plane.

The Atmosphere

Have you ever experienced that some airport lounges can feel a little stiff and stuffy? Not so with Aspire in Edinburgh. If you’re mixing business with pleasure, the work booths are solid gold.

Aspire Lounge Edinburgh

They’re quiet, adequately equipped and comfortable, and just enough separation from your fellow lounge visitors. No problems with catching up with emails, creating some content, or doing a spot of brainstorming.

Outside of the booths, you’ll find there’s a community feel about the place. It’s somewhere you can people watch, while maintaining the privacy you seek.

From families going on vacation and kicking back in a family booth with personal televisions, to couples getting away for a romantic weekend, to executives taking solo business trips, the world wanders in and out of this relaxed airport lounge.

If you simply want to do a bit of bird watching – the 500,000-pound, metal variety, that is – then you’ll love the view over the airfield and toward the beautiful city you’re leaving behind.

Extras That Count

Apart from the relaxing surroundings, the splendid views, the ample food and drink, and the ideal workstations and family booths, you’ll also be able to pick up any one of a number of complimentary newspapers and magazines to read while you wait to be called for your flight.

However, a standout feature is the PressReader access. This is like a digital newsstand for downloading any of up to 7,000 publications from around the world.

No need to struggle with an armful of newspapers and magazines when boarding your flight – simply download onto your mobile device and away you go. There, you have reading material for your flight, and also for when you arrive at your destination.

Who Can Use This Lounge?

Whichever your class of travel, you can use the Aspire Lounges at Edinburgh Airport. You will be expected to be wearing smart casual dress – no sports shirts, baseball caps, or other sportswear; no clothing with offensive language or slogans; etc.

Aspire Lounge Edinburgh Front Entrance Gate 16

While you don’t need to book, I’ve been caught out when I haven’t reserved my entry before. To avoid being disappointed or being asked to wait to gain entry, I’d recommend that you book online.

Opening Times

The Aspire Lounge at Gate 16 is open Monday to Sunday between 4:30am and 8pm, except on Saturday when it closes at 7pm. (The lounge at Gate 4 has similar opening hours, except it is open between 9am and 5pm on Tuesday.)

You can stay in the lounge for up to three hours before your flight time. If you have pre-booked directly with Executive Lounges and your flight is delayed, you can stay in the lounge until your flight is ready to board.

How Much Does The Aspire Lounge At Edinburgh Airport Cost?

When I last checked this lounge, the cost was £43.99 for an adult, with a concession price of £39.99 for those aged 65 and older. Children between 2 and 11 are charged £29.99, and those younger than this are free of charge.

Of course, these prices are subject to change, and you should always check prices before you book entry.

If you’ve booked using a cardholder scheme – like Priority Pass, for example – don’t forget to take your pass/membership card with you.

Maximize Your Aspire Lounge Experience

You’ll want to get as much as you can from your time in the Aspire Lounge. To do this, all it takes is a little planning to make the most of your Aspire experience. Here are a few pointers.

Book Your Entry

Don’t risk arriving and being turned away – book your entry ahead of time. This is especially important during peak times – like summer and the holiday season.

Plus, when you book direct, you’ll get some extra benefits like free delay cover.

Plan Your Time In The Lounge

Have a game plan for your lounge stay. Know which gate you’ll be departing from, and your boarding time.

Consider how long you want to chill in the lounge before your flight, and factor in lounge-to-gate walk time. If you plan to do some work while you’re here, prepare it in advance.

Arrive Early

A no-brainer? Sure is, but it’s about more than being on time for your flight. For me, it’s about giving myself plenty of time to enjoy the lounge.

I don’t want to be rushed. I don’t want to feel like I haven’t had value for money.

Arrive early and you get a better choice of seats, too, whether you want a quiet corner, a window seat, or a place for people watching.

Settle In

When you have arrived and checked into the Aspire Lounge, take a few moments to get settled. Do you want to relax with a newspaper, or do you want to get stuck in some work?

Take the bag off your shoulder, sit down, and breathe. Get a drink, and let the pre-flight stress melt away.

Charge Your Devices

There’s nothing worse than boarding a flight with partially charged devices, is there? There are plenty of charging points here – use them and charge everything you can.

You don’t want to get halfway through that film you downloaded for the flight only for it to be interrupted because of a lack of charge.

Make Use Of PressReader

PressReader gives access to thousands of global publications. You don’t want to miss this gem!

Before you arrive at the airport, review what publications are available on the PressReader website, and make a list of those you want to download. Stock up while you’re in the lounge; they’re all yours to keep for the flight and beyond.

Enjoy All The Aspire Amenities

Finally, take advantage of all the amenities that the Aspire Lounge has to offer. Tasty, complimentary food and drinks, and a desk to work at in a quiet, comfortable environment.

Whether you want to have a hearty breakfast, simply sip a coffee while you get up to date on the latest headlines, enjoy the views, or have a snack while catching up on last-minute work tasks, this is your time and space to ease into your flight.

Seat Belts On, Prepare For Take Off

Usually, those last couple of hours before your flight departs is time to kill. Shouldn’t it be an integral part of your journey?

Book into the Aspire Lounge at Edinburgh Airport, and you’ll elevate your travel experience from the humdrum. You don’t need a First Class ticket to feel like a VIP.

Oh, that question about if the cost is worth it? I think you now know the answer.

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