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Anonymous4 May 2010
Last year I purchased a first class ticket Heathrow/ Hong Kong in the half price sale….
I have just used my ba miles to upgrade from business to first class (Heathrow/Hong Kong) for travel this month …. I just wondered whether the upgrade is just for the flight or whether this applies to check-in (First) and lounge etc.
( I know that this year there is no complimentary black cab transport to and from the airport….)
Also does the onboard crew know that you are an upgrade and not a “full fare” paying passenger?
Assistance very much appreciated4 May 2010
Should be exactly the same as if you had purchased a First ticket.
Note it is either BA Miles or Airmiles which you used; they are different companies with different rewards currencies.
1. Make sure you are dropped off at the far (south) end of the terminal, to easily access First check in
2. Use the Fast Track security near the First check in.
3. Turn right through the white door directly into the Concorde Room.
4. Head directly to the Elemis Spa and reserve a massage treatment.
5. Perhaps have a shower if you haven’t had one recently.
6. Check out the artwork throughout the Galleries and Concorde lounges.
7. Enjoy table service pre-flight dining.
8. Consider booking a cabana pre-flight via YouFirst.
9. On your return, make sure you request the staff draw you an infinity bath in one of the specially reserved bathrooms in the Arrivals Lounge.
10. Enjoy Eggs Benedict after your bath in the Concorde Arrivals Dining Room.4 May 2010
Many thanks your comprehensive response VintageKrug!
I used miles earned through frequent flying and BA credit card.
Last year I did venture into the Concorde Lounge for champagne however I did not have time for your suggested indulgences prior to flight.
My more frequent BA flights are short-haul and I use the biz lounge (with the horse statues in the entrance). I seem to remember that there may be a first class lounge in that area which I assume less formal?
Thank once again4 May 2010
In that case it’s BA Miles you’re using.
What a shame you didn’t have time for all the added frills of the Concorde Room.
The Galleries lounge for Business Class passengers and those with Silver Card status has two horses outside, and is situated directly above the floor on whcih the Galleries First and Concorde Room are situated.
You should certainly have a look into the Galleries First lounge if you haven’t been in before, but after that I would stick with the Concorde Room; it’s not all that formal and I am certain you will enjoy it there!
PS forgot to mention having a sit on the Chairs in the Concorde Room Boardroom; they are exConcorde and rather unique.5 May 2010
The cabin crew will not be aware, and frankly have no interest in whether or not you used your miles to travel first class. I speak as ex BA cabin crew. Have a great flight.6 May 2010
Could not agree more with VK’s excellent and comprehensive advice. The Concorde Room is indeed superb and worth arriving a bit earlier for so you can relax before your flight.
The infinity baths are fiercely protected by the lounge staff in arrivals but your First boarding pass will turn their frost into a smile!
Have a wonderful journey!!6 May 2010
A question, the infinity baths are they exclusive for First or can CW passengers enjoy them if available? I am travelling JNB-LHR-ARN this weekend. Given the need for security screening again, and 2:20hrs layover I planned to test the arrivals lounge. Any tips?6 May 2010
My experience is that the infinity baths (“Cabanas”) are exclusively for passengers who have travelled in First. If you arrive in CW you will be able to use the shower suite, but I’m not sure it would be worth your while leaving airside just to get to the arrivals lounge which is landside only. I would have thought you would be better off staying airside and using the Galleries lounge – much less stressful!6 May 2010
Given the fact I need to clear security and immigration at T5, I might as well try the arrivals lounge despite going land-side… Just something new and fun to try. I do the same at FRA in the new arrivals lounge there when arriving early as their breakfast is superior to anything in the Senator lounge..
It is more for time killing than anything else this weekend…6 May 2010
That’s fair enough. The breakfast in the main arrivals lounge is pretty standard fare and much the same as in the galleries lounge but on a smaller scale. You can request items (eggs etc.) as well as select from the buffet but this is not well advertised – just ask one of the staff in the lounge, they are very helpful. You can also book an Elemis treatment although it is often necessary to negotiate this quite strongly as they never seem to have sufficient therapists around to meet demand! Hope you have an enjoyable journey and find the lounges to your liking.7 May 2010
My experience is that you have to be travelling F to get an Infinity Bath in the landside Arrivals Lounge. They will draw the bath for you, as it can take some time to fill up.
I had not heard of them referred to as Cabanas, which is the term I had always used to refer to the airside day rooms in the Concorde Room exclusively available for those flying outbound BA F from T5, which do not have baths.7 May 2010
Agreed, you have to have arrived in F to get an Infinity Bath in the arrivals lounge. Be prepared to wait, takes about 20 minutes and then a bit longer once you get in there to get the temperature right!
BA refer to them as Cabanas in their material (First – On arrival) and there are references in the lounge, although if you ask for “a Cabana” the staff are often quick to advise you that these are not “day rooms” like the Cabanas in the Concorde Room.7 May 2010
This all sounds very nice in theory, but it is such a shame that you get fairly hopeless service arriving in first if you have the misfortune to require an onward internal flight and you can not be bothered or have the time to go landside. The last few times my wife and I have been through T5 Concorde lounge (travelling 1st) we have had to almost fight to get any service from the spa within a 2 hr period. Once we managed a proper massage (so called), once got nothing and the other time got one of the “electric” chairs. It is a disgrace that 1st class get no preference at the Spa. Also, for anyone who remembers the old Molton Brown spa at T4, I’m sure you’ll agree that the new spa is just a cost saving. Molton Brown gave proper massages, not the hopeless through the shirt ones or even worse the impersonal “electric chair”.10 May 2010
I did have a chance to use the arrivals lounge on Saturday around 11am. Whilst I was not able to get a bath, I did have a shower and breakfast. I was very happy with the experience, and impressed with the overall value of the lounge. For me it was a simple detour going landside despite connecting to ARN. The Concorde breakfast room looks like the place to be.
I guess I will have to book BA again on my next long haul, hopefully before 30 June. The European promotion with extra miles is really appealing. Round-trip ARN-LHR-JNB yielded an impressive extra 35000 miles in addition to distance miles, cabin bonus and Silver tier bonus. This is one of the best promotions I have participated in since I became a “junkie” about 12 years ago.
I guess these extra miles will allow me to bring a companion soon, upgrade to First, or take advantage of First award ticket to get the full experience. I guess I will wait for the new First to be available on more aircrafts, just as I am saving my LH upgrade vouchers for the new LH first.
The problem is that my girlfriend really doesn’t appreciate premium travel. It is completely lost on her, she be happier on Ryanair as long as the flight is direct… Perhaps BA First with Concorde Room, SPA plus the extras can convince her..10 May 2010