The holiday starts at the airport for most Britons, which lounges are up to scratch?
With many Britons believing the holiday starts at the airport, some travellers like to pay for more for the added luxury of an airport lounge.
After all, the wide selection of complimentary food and beverages, as well as comfortable seats and better services are likely to make you feel like a VIP.
However, this touch of luxury comes at a price and UK airport lounges can cost anywhere between £18 to a whopping £50 to enter.
But is the grass really greener on the other side?
According to undercover findings, “they were mostly unimpressed, with only six of the lounges gaining a score of three or more out of five”.
However, Heathrow’s No1 Lounge in T3 has been announced as the UK’s best.
Costing £32 for adults or £18 for children in advance, the lounge features a fully tended bar, complimentary hot and cold food, as well as unlimited WiFi, guest showers and even a cinema.
Heathrow airport was voted to have the best lounge
For an added fee, you can even book yourself into your very own pod bedroom or indulge in a spa treatment.
Ranked second best was Manchester’s 1903 in T3, costing £40 on the door.
This retreat from the boarding gate provides passengers with freshly cooked food including a 1833 vintage reserve cheddar, a wide range of alcoholic drinks including Champagne and FastTrack pass to whizz you through airport security.
However, the Skyline Lounge at Southend Airport has been rated the worst.
Some travellers like to pay for more for the added luxury of an airport lounge
Costing £20.95 to walk-in or £17.95 pre-booked, the lounge boasts passengers can ‘live the high life’.
Beverages including premium wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks are included however some beverages such as prosecco will cost extra.
However, according to Which? findings, the lounge was “noisy” and “TVs playing in the background… made it hard to relax”.
Passengers were also treated to “soggy pre-packed sandwiches” instead of hot food.
Which? conluded: “Given Southend Airport was recently rated one of the best airports in the UK by readers, the Skyline Lounge really is a waste of money”.
Glyn Joes, CEO of Stobart Aviation who owns Southend Airport, commented: “We fully acknowledge this report which points out that our airport lounge does not reflect the high standards we set ourselves in all aspects of our airport operation.
“We have been evaluating options for the lounge, but plainly too slowly.
“It isn’t good enough. We will improve, as a matter of urgency.
“We have been ranked Best London airport by Which? for five years in a row so the lounge rating is an anomaly, albeit an unacceptable one.
“We will now bring the lounge up to the extremely high standards that we expect from all areas and facilities at London Southend”.
Results: the best and worst UK airport lounges
Heathrow No1 T3 – 4 out of 5
Manchester 1093 T3 – 3.5 out of 5
Gatwick My Lounge North – 3 out of 5
Gatwick No1 North – 3 out of 5
Gatwick No1 South – 3 out of 5
Stansted Escape – 3 out of 5
Birmingham No1 – 2.5 out of 5
Gatwick Clubrooms South – 2.5 out of 5
Luton Aspire – 2.5 out of 5
Birmingham Aspire – 2 out of 5
Edinburgh Aspire – 2 out of 5
Edinburgh No1 – 2 out of 5
Heathrow Aspire – 2 out of 5
Heathrow Plaza Premium T2 – 2 out of 5
Heathrow Plaza Premium T4 – 2 out of 5
Heathrow Skyteam T4 – 2 out of 5
Manchester Escape T3 – 2 out of 5
Gatwick Aspire North – 1.5 out of 5
Southend Skylife Lounge – 1 out of 5