BA to use Aspire lounge at Gatwick North
Last week we revealed that BA would be moving to Gatwick North, when it starts long haul flights this month from 17 July. Obviously they have no lounge there, but there are a number of pay lounges. During the move to the South Terminal, BA offered lounge access via No 1 Lounges but this time they have decided to go with the Club Aspire Lounge. This means that there will be a three drink limit for alcohol! Currently, you have to pay for Champagne and Prosecco, so it remains to be seen if BA make any special arrangements for its passengers.
Here are the free drinks available:
Red / White / Rosé Wine
Birra Moretti (draft)
Beefeater Pink Gin
Martell VS Cognac
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum
Old Navy Rum
Jim Beam Bourbon
Famous Grouse Whisky
The Aspire lounge reopened last week with special measures in place such as:
COVID-19 health and safety measures in place, including:
- Social distancing
- Self-service check in (where possible)
- Reduced capacity in lounges
- Table service instead of buffet style service
- Reduced menu
- Increased cleaning schedule
- 3 alcoholic drinks limit per person, per visit across UK & Irish lounges
- No physical newspapers or magazines in the lounge
The current food menu for Aspire Gatwick features:
Veggie Sausage Barm V, Ve
Soup of the Day option, you can see which soups will be on offer below.
Red Pepper & Tomato Soup V, GF
Leek & Potato Soup V
Highland Vegetable Soup V, Ve
Cream of Mushroom Soup V
At least one of the following hot dishes will be available throughout your visit.
Pork Cider Casserole
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Casserole V, Ve, GF
Vegetable & Bean Tagine V, Ve
Butternut Squash & Chickpea Casserole V, Ve, GF
Greek Yogurt & Granola V
Orzo with Mediterranean Vegetables V, Ve
Moroccan Cous Cous V, Ve
Scones – with Rhodda’s Clotted Cream & Jam V
At least one of the following sides will be available throughout your visit.
Tilda Long Grain Rice V, Ve, GF
Long Grain Rice with Wild Rice V, Ve, GF
Buttered Cabbage Mash V
Mixed Vegetables V, Ve, G
You can find out more about the COVID-19 measures in place across Aspire and Club Aspire lounges on the Club Aspire and Aspire Lounges COVID-19 Measures landing page.
IC Ambassador changes to free weekend night
As part of your InterContinental Ambassador membership, you are eligible to a complimentary weekend night. It used to be valid at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and when you reserved a minimum two-night weekend stay. The second night is credited to your bill at check-in when a valid ID and IHG® Rewards Club number are presented. Ambassador is a paid membership that gives lots of perks as well as the free weekend night. Usually, the saving on the free night pays for the membership and then allows you to enjoy the perks free in effect.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, Kimpton hotels now appear to be accepting the certificates and they don’t even need to be on a weekend! You can test it out on the special booking page here. Kimpton hotels are very different to InterContinentals. They are slightly less luxurious and more modern but they do have a free wine hour!
Marriott gives bonus nights to status holders
If you have status in Marriott’s Bonvoy you will find a pleasant surprise if you open your account. In June Marriott announced that it would help Bonvoy members to reach a higher status this year despite the COVID-19 crisis. Marriott Bonvoy has already extended statuses until the end of 2021. It has now credited a number of nights to your profile depending on your 2019 status. This is 50% of the required nights for your 2019 level of status. For example, I am Platinum and would normally need 50 nights to maintain status. 25 nights have been credited to my account for this year. You don’t get the associated points though! Ambassador members can also gift a Platinum status.
With status extended anyway, you may wonder what the point is. Well, at certain levels such as 50 nights you do get to choose a gift such as
- Gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status to a family member, friend or colleague.
- Get five Suite Night Awards™ to redeem for upgrades to suites and premium rooms
So now that I am well over 50% of the way there with my actual stays and bonus, I could continue to stay at Marriott’s to get the free gift at 50 nights. The bonus nights also counts towards lifetime status.