LGW Arrivals Lounge – Sofitel

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  SimonS1 18 Nov 2013
at 19:19

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  • Anonymous


    Apparently the lounge at Gatters is closing on 31st March. Not a surprise I guess given the steady wind down of BA operations there.


    @ SimonS1 – 26/10/2013 20:53 GMT

    Other than the steady drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip repetition of the same old, same old line, what steady wind down of BA operations at LGW? I have been using the place for years and years now for flights to southern Europe and there is broadly the same range now as years ago and the long-haul coverage is substantially the same as well – in fact with the odd incremental addition. It is an entirely moot point what and whether there will be any difference to BA LGW operations with full integration of Vueling into IAG.

    Your standard line has become tediously repetitious and utterly predictable. Time to move on and think of something original? Bearing in mind your constant repetition of the superiority of EZY and EK, why don’t you concentrate on telling the rest of us what your actual experiences with them are rather than what your non-experiences with BA are not? Or is this some Bransonesque grudge-match without end?


    AnthonyDunn – 27/10/2013 09:25 GMT

    ” Or is this some Bransonesque grudge-match without end?.”

    Anthony I suggest you become more informed by reading ..

    Dirty Tricks: Inside Story of British Airways’ Secret War Against Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic – by Martin Gregory


    … the reader reviews are also interesting including… “Hard to believe that the might of BA could be used in such a bad way.”

    also prior…

    Fly Me, I’m Freddie!: Biography of Sir Freddie Laker

    …. both resulted in BA being fined/paying compensation. Unfortunately for Sir Freddie, it all came too late and Skytrain could not recover – much to the detriment of UK/US travelling public.

    It is jaundiced though predictable there wasn’t any condemnation of the bully-boy businesses behaviours/tactics or at least an attempt at understanding the background “grudges”, also na├»ve to believe “the might” isn’t still being used – however ineptly.

    IMO should Virgin not survive/thrive, BA would fleece the UK customer to an even greater extent.

    As to LGW, for decades BA has used it as either a reserve overspill or evaporation reservoir for LHR as opposed to building a sustainable business there – even British Airtours (btw no relation to Airtours) which perfectly fitted LGW model was subsumed. As such there is a continual ebb/flow depending on the needs of BA at LHR. Routes get established at LGW and if very successful get moved to LHR, likewise routes winding down get transferred to LGW some subsequently closed out.
    Actually as am of the view that a Thames solution will never happen, LHR will get one additional runway at best, then a 2 runway LGW may take on a slightly bigger role for BA/Vueling low cost trips.


    Oh dear Anthony. Seem to have hit the proverbial raw nerve there.

    Just to be clear, when you say you have been using Gatwick for years and years and seen little change are you suggesting that over the last decade BA has not cut pretty much everything of a business nature from Gatwick?

    Including cutting flights to places like Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Zurich, Dublin, Manchester, New York, Antwerp, Gibraltar, Luxembourg etc?

    Or cutting 170 jobs last year and outsourcing another 400?

    Or that its share of slots at Gatwick has been cut from 32% in 2003 to 16% in 2013?

    Or that they have cut one floor of their former lounge (ironically I think EK took it over). And now by eliminating most business travel they have been able to cut the arrivals lounge as well.

    Wasn’t it only a couple of years ago that Silla Maizey was on one of those reality programmes talking about new planes and new routes at LGW? What happened to her plans? Or has her job been cut as well?


    C’mon Simon, be fair.

    They got new planes, the 777s with upgraded F (but old W and WT+), that allowed their previous ones to be refitted in 3 classes and used at LHR.

    They’re also getting newish A320s – the ones with extra rows of seats and business class with a tight pitch outside of row 1, the ones they don’t want at LHR.

    And they have a new route to Malta, which will be hilarious when it plays out, I predict – BA takes on KM, FR and U2, Mortal Kombat for KM and a bit of an irritation for the others.


    Should be a gripper FDOS. The post 11pm arrivals into Gatwick make it a sure fire winner.


    Now now boys. Do cut Mr Dunne some slack. There are none so blind as those who blindly follow BA knowing that it is the best airline with the best products in the sky so much so that they don’t need to travel with anyone else to prove it to themselves.

    If his experience of BA at LGW over so many years is consistent I can only conclude it is based on trips to AGP for holidays in Torremolinos which is probably the extent of his travels.

    FDoS, I can’t help but agree with you about the new route to Malta but will anyone notice BA’s presence? KM are very well established on routes to and from the UK. Had it been 3 x daily from LHR with excellent connections to their sub-standard longhaul services then there might have been an issue but who is really going to book a service with such irregular timings often returning post 23.00 except the people who might fly FR or maybe EZY provided the fares are cheaper.


    @ BigDog. – 27/10/2013 10:14 GMT

    Thanks for the history lesson and reading list – with which I was already very well acquainted. Yes, the behaviour of BA at both a corporate level and on an individual basis re: Sir Freddie Laker (and others) was despicable and they deserved the public flogging (and fines) that they received. That was of an era when the legacy carriers were still top of the pile and they believed that they called all the shots. How things have changed. I have long wondered how Lord King would have managed in a situation of LCCs and state-owned Gulf carriers under-cutting almost everywhere.

    @ SimonS1 – 27/10/2013 14:32 GMT

    Strawmen and putting words into people’s mouths:

    “you say you have been using Gatwick for years and years and seen little change…” is not what I said. What I did say is:

    “I have been using the place for years and years now for flights to southern Europe and there is broadly the same range now as years ago and the long-haul coverage is substantially the same as well – in fact with the odd incremental addition”.

    That southern Europe ranges across Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal – plus some north African destinations. There are still some destinations elsewhere in Europe. Yes, there has been route churn with a load binned and a load of new destinations. The point has been made time and again that LGW functions as a point-to-point airport rather than as a hub. Which possibly explains the retrenchment of business services to LHR in a period when the company was haemorrhaging cash and then the entire European economy has tanked. A very fortunate situation for EZY to be able to exploit. And gosh, how frightfully naff that this means LGW covers destinations where people go on holiday as well as for business purposes.

    Clearly, as you have set out, BA’s presence in both absolute and proportionate terms has declined. But to suggest that this means that BA are pulling out is well wide of the mark. Once more: read the IAG capital markets day presentation. The choice, in the face of the EZY competition (and from other LCCs) was either to continue as before and close entirely – or change. BA management and staff have opted to cut their coat according to their cloth. FDOS, in another thread, made the point about the market clinically and deservedly killing off Rover Group. BA management has opted not to get itself into that position for which, were I to be a BA investor, I would be supportive and appreciative.

    As an aside, but for the luxury of being CX in HKG where the LCCs amount to some 5% of capacity and the “top-end of the premium market” business model has carried them along so far. Just how much longer is this going to last if the QF offshoot gets its licence, and HK Airways succeeds in turning their HK Express operation into a genuine LCC? Look at what is happening in SIN where SIA has had to set up its own LCC subsidiaries in order to compete. Meanwhile its earnings have tumbled and it has had to announce some premium route closures. Should the LCC presence start to bite chunks out of CX’s market, I can just imagine what howls of anguish there will be from the usual suspects should any of their cherished premium end perks get steadily eroded.

    Does BA have what it takes to grow the LGW business once more? Time and the market will tell. In the meantime, the certain knowledge that neither my bucket and spade nor back-pack and briefcase will be tainted by contact with a certain over-inflated ego based in the Far East is positively reason enough to continue using BA and LGW. Warts and all.

    Now where can I find a sand pit?


    ” I have long wondered how Lord King would have managed in a situation of LCCs and state-owned Gulf carriers under-cutting almost everywhere.”

    I doubt he would have started a LCC and then sold it off, to see it then resold in a way that gave easyJet a huge boost.

    By the way, many industries have been undercut by foreign competition, why should airlines be any different?

    -motor vehcles

    It’s globablisation and if ME/FE carriers are more efficient, then the market will allow them to take the lion’s share, it’s the way of the world.


    Dear oh dear Anthony. Getting yourself in a bit of a lather.

    BA’s share of the business travel market at LGW has fallen. Half the slots they had 10 years ago. All the business travel destinations are now from Heathrow – is that why there are multiple references to ‘London’ in the investor presentation?

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