We had an 8-hour layover in Amsterdam, and we decided to head to the city and explored for a bit. After a few hours of exploring the city central, we headed back to Schiphol Airport which was only a 15-20 minute direct train ride from the city.
Before we headed to our gate for our flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona, we decided to visit the Aspire Lounge. It was the only lounge in this terminal that was linked with Priority Pass. It was our only choice and we had to give it a try.
Not so fast
Once we found where Aspire Lounge was located, we headed straight to the front desk to check in. This was around 5:30pm on a Thursday night. We were advised that the lounge was not accepting guests at the time due to the capacity. We were told to check back around 6:30pm. Disappointed? Of course. But, the lounge staff was not lying. From the outside, you could see that the lounge was packed. There were lots of guests walking around, sitting, and eating. I had no issues with not being able to use the lounge.
We found a nearby sitting area not too far from the lounge. There were places to use the internet, or plug in your device to charge. That’s exactly what we did. We got quite a few things done. As we got closer to 6:30pm, we tried again, and this time we were allowed in. We showed our boarding passes prior to entering the lounge.
The Aspire Lounge
Upon entering the lounge, you’ll be greeted at the front desk, and you’ll notice two sections on the right and left sides. The left side had a seating area, and a drinks counter. The right side was where all the action took place. There were newspapers and magazines, lots of chairs and tables, food, and the restroom.
The entire lounge wasn’t exactly boasting in size. During the visit every little corner was taken. It was hard to find a place to sit, but then again, it was during peak times when we used the lounge. During our hour-long stay, we were able to find a spot which allowed us to have a little bit of salad, drinks, and rolls. As long as I was able to sit in a comfortable lounge chair, I was happy. I was also able to plug in my devices and was able to charge them during our visit. I did bring a cup o’noodle ramen from Korean Airlines Lounge from Los Angeles, and leave it to me to be the only lounge guest in the Aspire Lounge having a cup of piping hot ramen. One thing I remember was the spotty free Wi-Fi. We had to keep switching from the lounge Wi-Fi and the free airport Wi-Fi.
Lessons-learned from this lounge visit
This was my second time as a Priority Pass user when I was turned away due to overcrowding. The first time was at a lounge in Newark, New Jersey. The wait wasn’t that long, it was for only 10-15 minutes. The Aspire Lounge made us wait close to an hour. For the travelers who have the luxury of waiting (like us), this worked out in our favor. But those who had limited time, waiting an hour was simply too long of a wait. But as my rule of thumb, if you see a sign outside advising you that the lounge is full and/or no access given to Priority Pass members at this time, there’s no harm in asking anyway.
In the end, despite the one hour wait, I was glad that we were still able to use the lounge. It had the basic necessities for the time that we were there. Just remember, that this lounge can get very packed during peak hours and that you might be turned away. Keep that in mind and have a Plan B (wait and stay, or leave and proceed to your gate).