EXECUTIVE CLUB NEWS • March 2016
British Airways operates more than 40 lounges, the last word in luxury, all around the world. Get to know them better with this handy guide
An arrivals lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) gives customers travelling in First or Club World, or who are Gold Executive Club Members on selected flights, a place to freshen up and recharge.
A whopping 584,000 British bacon rolls are enjoyed in the Galleries lounges at Heathrow every year.
Customers in the Heathrow lounges pop the corks of 109,500 bottles of Champagne each year.
A new lounge, featuring a Concorde Bar, will open at Dubai airport in 2016.
Acclaimed British spa and skincare brand, Elemis, has a treatment space in the Heathrow (T5 and T3) and JFK lounges where therapists give complimentary 15-minute treatments and skin therapies. Customers can choose from treatments such as a ‘jet-lag eye reviver’ and a ‘runway-ready skin recharge’.
First class lounges
The First lounge at T5 includes a Swarovski crystal Champagne bar and a terrace overlooking the gates and runway. More than 60,000 customers pass through the lounge each month.
The Galleries concept was launched at the new T5 in 2008 and then rolled out across the network. In 2013, the lounge design was refreshed with Galleries Evolution. Upgraded features, including the island bar and lighting, can be seen in lounges such as Edinburgh, Cape Town, Washington and Singapore.
The design of the Glasgow lounge uses Harris Tweed fabric, sourced from mills on the Isle of Lewis, to upholster lampshades and even the walls. There is also a Whisky Snug, where the finest single-malt whiskies are served.
Innovative new technology has recently been installed in some of the Heathrow T5 lounges. The technology creates heatmaps to show lounge user dwell-time and journey. The data will be used to improve the lounge experience for customers.
Formula 1 driver, Jenson Button, was one of the first customers to enjoy the new lounge in Singapore when it opened in September. It is the first location to offer the airline’s new Concorde Bar, an area exclusive to First customers.
Acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor, designer of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the giant slide in London’s Olympic Park, is just one of a number of prominent British artists whose work can be seen in BA’s lounges. Other highlights include Valium by Damien Hirst in the First lounge at Heathrow.
BA has a portfolio of over 42 lounges in 36 locations globally, serving more than 563,907 premium customers every month.
A major lounge refurbishment programme is under way as part of the airline’s £5bn investment in new aircraft and services. The Heathrow lounges will be repainted, new furniture installed, wooden floors resanded and there will be more access to power tables.
When the lounge teams are deciding on the location of a new lounge, consideration is given to factors such as size, views and proximity to gate. Natural light is important for transfer customers moving across times zones because it helps with jet lag.
Thanks to BA’s membership of the oneworld alliance, eligible customers can access the network’s 650 airport lounges worldwide.
The Finnair lounge in Helsinki
When larger planes are operated on routes, additional lounge space is needed for customers. In preparation for the inaugural A380 flight to Washington, the lounge was redesigned. The new-look, larger lounge offers fine dining with runway views, intimate bars, business facilities, shower suites and a VIP area.
Leading members-only concierge club, Quintessentially Lifestyle, provides First customers at T5 a free concierge service that includes a personal shopper and insider access to restaurants and events.
A series of prints by Turner Prize-winning sculptor Richard Long is on display in the Galleries lounge in Milan.
Aesthetic is very important. In Cape Town, the colour of the smoke alarms was changed because it didn’t fit with the overall design.
Furniture crafted by British designer Tom Dixon features in the BA lounge in Washington, and his Beat lighting illuminates other BA lounges.
American minimalist artist Dan Flavin, famous for his fluorescent light fixtures, has a work called Untitled on display in the Terraces lounge at JFK.
Thanks to a new partnership with premium British tonic water Fever-Tree, visitors to the Heathrow lounges can now choose to mix their vodka (of which there are four different types) with the tonic.
Visitors to the Galleries lounges at T5 will be familiar with the life-size horses that light up. These lamps have become a welcome sight for frequent flyers.
X marks the spot
New airport lounges are being developed in San Francisco, Geneva, Gatwick and Miami.
The ‘Landor’ design was used for BA lounges in the 1980s. This was followed by ‘Terraces’ in the late 1990s, a concept that brought the ‘outside in’ with parasols, fountains and planting. From 2008, ‘Galleries’ presented a more modern, luxurious feel with a focus on artwork, British-designed furniture and feature lighting. ‘Galleries Evolution’ updated key elements from 2013. Watch this space for the next concept.
If sleep is a priority, the Concorde Room at T5 is the place to go. Access is exclusive to BA First customers, and it features three private cabanas each with a comfortable day bed and en-suite bathroom. There is also a Concorde Room in JFK, and a Concorde Bar in Singapore, with another due to open in Dubai.
Click on the arrow buttons below to view a gallery of BA lounges worldwide: