BA First lounge, T5

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  • esselle
    Participant

    For the first time in more than 2 years I found myself in the BA F lounge on Saturday afternoon.

    A number of visible changes have taken place in the intervening period, but as I assumed Covid was “behind” us I hadn’t anticipated as many enhancements to the service.

    When I asked what champagnes they had available, the reply was “white or rose”. No choices beyond that; whilst the rose was Lanson, the brut was not one I had heard of. The white burgundies are no more, replaced with some choices similar to the Aldi value range.

    Gone are the bottles of still and sparkling mineral water. Instead, a tap offering still water had been installed. It took about 20 seconds to fill a small glass, queue much shuffling of frustrated feet among the 6 people standing behind me waiting for water.

    Food menus have been replaced with a QR code. The menu featured only two hot choices, both definitely in the “snack” category. The buffet featured chicken wings or a small savoury pie with sweetcorn or peas.

    Gone are the scones, jam and cream, although the sandwiches were good.

    All the staff seemed friendly and willing to help, but the training budget may have been cut a touch.

    A somewhat disappointing visit, and perhaps easy to imagine that this is now the post-Covid norm.

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I was in the T3 F lounge in August (at Heathrow) and there they provide a full buffet help your self offering but with the phone / QR code for the sit down restaurant and table service. I wonder when BA will follow the other airline lounges who are back to the previous full service. BA take note of both the CX and QF lounge service next door to you in T3.

    As for the service in the QF F lounge in Singapore… even puts the BA Concorde room to shame…

    Or as usual with BA, is it down to one of your customer surveys suggesting the current service is what passengers are after….


    Gold-2K
    Participant

    Concorde Room was really good yesterday. Staff were very attentive and service quick and friendly.

    Had a poor experience in BOS recently, definitely not back to the pre-Covid standard. 5 minute wait just to get cups at the coffee machine. Definitely understaffed.

    Ona positive note, First Class catering is back to the full choice, in fact slightly more than before. Good experience yesterday out of LHR and the omni-present Harissa Cauliflower as the only non-meat option has gone to the “great vegan restaurant in the sky” …….. thankfully!!

    Inflight manager told me some “exciting” news for club world catering imminent. Anything has to be better than the current single tray “economy food in China dishes” offering. Here’s hoping!


    christ
    Participant

    I thought BA had gone back to self service in London – or is that just the club lounge. I used to like the champagne and wine section in the first lounge when you turned left (and the champagne bar but I understand that has gone).

    Last year when was in Scotland I always found Glasgow lounge the best as even though not free pour alcohol, the staff were so good and quick when you asked. I really think Glasgow lounge was one of the best as staff so friendly – also Aberdeen good (where as Edinburgh was awful for me).


    DannyBoy
    Participant

    Richard Corrigan was recently in the T5 lounges a couple of weeks ago with some of the BA management team and was making notes!


    JD_84
    Participant

    Slightly OT, but was in T5 Galleries South on Sunday and there was a distinct lack of Champagne on offer, in fact nothing sparking at all. The hot and cold buffets were alright, the Steak and Ale pie seems very similar to the Tom Kerridge one that is available for short haul BOB – does anyone know if they are the same? They could use a few more sweet treats, all that was on offer was a lemon polenta cake (very dry) and an apple cake (very wet) – the Jude’s ice cream in the cinema area has disappeared.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Or as usual with BA, is it down to one of your customer surveys suggesting the current service is what passengers are after….

    Yup. I’m sure it will be “Feedback is that after a couple of glasses of cheap plonk and customers are in the mood to enjoy BA First – the best business class in the skies.”

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    rferguson
    Participant

    I’ve never understood why BA named that lounge the ‘First lounge’ when in reality anyone travelling IN First uses the Concorde Room which is the real First Lounge. I think BA would have been better to name the lounge something like the ‘Gold’ or ‘Emerald’ lounge to help manage expectations by conveying exactly what it is – a lounge for frequent flyers NOT flying First Class lol

    7 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    How about “The Canteen” from the above it seems appropriate

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    miningguy
    Participant

    Just arrived at the T5 F lounge. Its Wednesday and about 0700. The breakfast buffet is open and asides from the lack of black pudding (horror!) and the replacement of sauce bottles with little plastic sachets (wrong) I looks about the same. Staff all very friendly.

    WRT removal of glass water bottles…personally I’m in favour. I hate the waste and I find a filtered dispenser more then adequate. I’m not sure everyone will agree with that stance but I increasingly need to justify to my 5 year old whenver we buy anything in plastic etc…the world is changing.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    openfly
    Participant

    I’ve also started back into the BA T5 First Lounge recently. There are a few noticeable signs of cutbacks.
    The First Wing security is supposed to open at 5am. I’ve been through three times, but it’s usually 10 minutes late. Also whatever time you go through the First Wing security they only have one side open, causing queues. Talking to a lounge manager he said that the removal of water bottles, still and sparkling, is a cost-saving move. The single water facility was installed by Britta for free.
    The lounge staff are very slow to clear the tables close to the new small buffet…but friendly.
    I gather that the available wines and champagnes are somewhat inferior to the past offerings. The alcohol-free beer has been removed.

    The pandemic would have given BA time to refurbish the toilets from their scruffy condition….nope. The toilets are still dreadfully shabby.

    But the most noticeable change is that BA have abandoned priority boarding for groups 1 and 2. They now board groups 1 to 3 together, so technically groups 1 and 2 are group 3….back to the old days of “bunfight boarding”. So a First Class ticket only entitles you to group 3…..quite appalling! One has to wonder what BA will do next to degrade the premium product.

    9 users thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    With so little differentiation, it makes one wonder if BA is moving in the AA direction to ditch First, other than a few routes where they have big business contracts that demand it.


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    It would be fair to say, given the absence of any assertive communication from Doyle, does BA know what it is doing or have a plan?


    FDOS
    Participant

    I’ve never understood why BA named that lounge the ‘First lounge’ when in reality anyone travelling IN First uses the Concorde Room which is the real First Lounge. I think BA would have been better to name the lounge something like the ‘Gold’ or ‘Emerald’ lounge to help manage expectations by conveying exactly what it is – a lounge for frequent flyers NOT flying First Class lol

    I don’t think it is unfair to say that BA’s marketing has always like to big things up.

    As for the reality, that’s another matter.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    EU_Flyer
    Participant

    To Fly. To Suffer.

    It seems BA isn’t managing their most loyal customer’s post-covid expectations well.

    I’m currently in the Lufthansa Senator Lounge at LHR T2. It’s balmy, with mosquitoes. Average food, stale cake and tepid chicken which has salmonella written all over it.

    Average seems to be the level of many airline’s lounges where they have a hub advantage, which BA do at T5 and LH do at T2 for short haul/ narrow body flight passengers.

    Shame the SQ lounge isn’t closer to my flight’s gate.

    Safe travels all.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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