Aspire Lounge YOW - Lounge location
The lounge is open to all domestic and international travelers. Unfortunately, cross-border travellers cannot access the lounge area. To enter the Aspire lounge, once through security, follow the signs to gate 20. The entrance to the Aspire lounge is on the right-hand side, just past gate 18. It is located directly opposite Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge.
Aspire lounge opening hours are as follows:
|Monday||5 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Tuesday||5 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Wednesday||5 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Thursday||5 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Friday||5 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Saturday||10 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
|Sunday||10 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
Aspire Lounge YOW - Credit card access
The easiest way to gain free access to the Aspire Lounge is by presenting the Platinum CardMD from American Express, the Business Platinum CardMD from American Express; lounge access is for the primary cardholder as well as a traveling companion. Access is also available through Priority Pass and DragonPass; many credit cards offer free access via DragonPass.
Aspire Lounge YOW - Reception
Whenever I’ve been to this lounge, the admission formalities have always been completed quickly… but then again, my flights are mostly outside morning rush hour. So, on this Tuesday afternoon at the end of August, the lounge was almost empty.
Aspire Lounge YOW - My experience
The lounge has only been open since 2020, and what strikes you upon entering is its very modern, up-to-the-minute decor. We also like the large windows throughout the lounge, which offer a beautiful view of the tarmac.
The seating area is essentially split in two… there’s a “lounge”-type corner along the windows, and a “bistro”-type corner near the dining area. For those who want to work on the computer, the best option is to take a seat at a long table facing the window and the tarmac.
On the catering side, everything is self-service, including alcoholic beverages, but an attendant is never far away if you need something special. For our part, we concocted our own “mocktails” with various products on offer.
I particularly liked my chicken curry dish. However, the choice of desserts is a little limited.
Ready-to-eat snacks such as cookies, fruit and muffins are also available.
The lounge has a capacity of 100 people and covers an area of 340 square meters, yet on my last visit it never seemed to be more than 20% full.
The lounge offers its own WiFi, it’s free and the signal works well. Almost every seat has a charging station, so you can recharge the batteries of all your devices before your journey.
Lockers are available for your personal belongings, but they don’t seem to be used very often. Same story for the conference room, which was used more as a storage room for lounge logistics.
The only negative point I could find with this lounge is its single bathroom. So it’s one person at a time. The other option is to use the bathrooms located outside the lounge.
A two- to three-hour visit to the Aspire lounge has become a mandatory stopover before each of our flights out of the Ottawa airport.
The food has always been very good, and we can even take some pre-packaged cookies home with us from the lounge. Muffins and fruit were also pre-packaged and available. No soft drinks are available in cans or bottles.
If one day this lounge becomes very busy, my review might change, but for now it’s a secret little spot that we love. Even Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounge across the hallway, which occupies a larger area, offers nothing more to compete with it.