My recent trip to Cyprus involved a very early start – getting up in the dead of night to avoid paying for the airport hotel definitely seemed a good idea when I booked the flight, less so when my 3am alarm went off that morning.
I took a few steps to try and ease the pain a little – paying a little extra to park right next to the terminal meant we could walk straight over without having to deal with shuttle buses; and Patrick’s insistence that we pay for speedy boarding so he would definitely be able to take his quadcopter on as hand luggage paid off when it also meant we could skip the huge bag drop queue – and, of course, I was glad of the extra legroom on our flight.
And I’m not kidding when I say that the bag drop queue was huge – I had assumed that Bristol airport would be dead at 5am on a Monday morning. But not, it seems, in the summer holidays – the entire place was absolutely rammed. And at that time, I’d certainly not had enough caffeine to deal with that many people.
But luckily for us, once we had made it through security, we were able to avoid the bustle of the departures lounge and wait out the time until boarding in the peace and quiet of Bristol Airport’s Aspire lounge.
Bristol Airport’s Aspire Lounge
The Aspire Lounge is run by Swissport, who have lounges in airports everywhere from Cardiff to Kuala Lumpur, and it is open to passengers of all airlines. Entry to the lounge starts from £22.99 per adult and for that, you get pretty much everything you need to get sorted for the journey ahead. Everything is well decorated, spotlessly clean and the staff provide an excellent service in a space that feels more like an hotel lounge than a departure lounge.
The lounge opened at 4am so by the time we got there, there were already people settled in and making use of the facilities on offer. There’s free WiFi, charging points, magazines and newspapers, dedicated toilets and a special zone for business travellers. And for families, there are booths with smart TVs, which I’m sure would help keep children occupied while waiting for their flight.
When we arrived, we made our way to a comfy seat in view of the departures screen (there’s no annoying announcements, so you do need to keep an eye out) and made short work of the complimentary buffet breakfast. The lounge provides complimentary food and drink all day – for us at breakfast, that meant lots of cereals, pastries, yogurt, fruit and a warm bacon roll. We topped up our caffeine levels with lots of tea, but decided it was a touch too early to make a start on the free alcohol.
We then sat back, relaxed, read the papers and pottered about online until it was time to head to the gate.
All in all, we would definitely consider booking into the Aspire Lounge on our next flight out of Bristol. Although there is an entry fee, I reckon that we would have spent a good portion of that in the main departure lounge anyway.
And with the fact we had a five-hour EasyJet flight ahead of us –and there’s no way Patrick would have made it through that without eating – having the lounge breakfast beforehand also saved a lot of money compared with paying to eat on the flight.
And I think most importantly, it made the start of our trip easy and relaxed, which at 5am is definitely worth paying for.
Ready to book your vist to Bristol Airport’s Aspire lounge? We recommend using Holiday Extras – a really handy site where you can get all your holiday finishing touches, such as airport hotels, transfers and lounges, all in one central place.
I received free entry to the Aspire Lounge for the purpose of this review, but as ever, all opinions are my own.
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