T5 First lounge – a complete zoo

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  dutchyankee 9 Oct 2015
at 07:41
.

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)

  • MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The First lounge at Heathrow is I believe for Gold Card holders. There is a separate Concorde lounge for those travelling First Class and an upstairs lounge for Exec Silver and business class passengers.

    I have also experienced very different levels of use in the F lounge and wonder why there is such an increase in its use.

    Surely its not just an increase in Gold Card holders or Emeralds (or equivalent across one world) having access.

    Is the exec lounge upstairs just as busy? There is very little mention on here about that lounge…

    is it only the F lounge at Heathrow with this expansion problem??


    HedgeFundFlyer
    Participant

    I think it is, in part, a wider issue to do with the overcramming of T5. When it finally opened in full in 2008 (after the initial debacle), it had a fairly serene atmosphere to it, as did the lounges.

    Since then, it has got busier and busier. Security checkpoints have been added. Shops and bars have been plonked in all sorts of unsuitable areas. Many more flights seem to use the building, and those flights seem much busier.

    It stands to reason that the lounges will creak too. Even as recently as 2011 they were never as busy as they are now.

    In part, it is due to BA’s recent success. In part, it is due to BA absorbing bmi. In part, it is due to HAL and/or BA pushing more BA flights to T5 from T3 and T1.

    I saw some plans somewhere for a southerly extension of T5A and the addition of a T5D. Both seem overdue already. I doubt this will be resolved until there is a decision on R3.

    Meanwhile, those of us who travel to Denver regularly will find ourselves once more in the bowels of the decrepit T3.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Cheers for clarifying Martyn……
    I’ve only ever used the lounge at the top, didn’t get a chance to use my Gold match .
    Ironically, passing the Concorde and first lounge on the way up


    onajetplane
    Participant

    @canucklad Yes apologies re. title – Gold holders/OW Emerald are also entitled to use the lounge so it’s not exclusive to First travellers.


    GeneintheUK
    Participant

    For the last year I had silver membership (just got downgraded to bronze) and you have to walk past the F lounges while making your way to the business lounges. I have to say that they always looked very busy, and they are not as large as the business class lounge, understandably.

    I wonder if the change of flights to terminal 3 will have some impact on the volume in the lounges. Thoughts?


    HedgeFundFlyer
    Participant

    I don’t know how the two lounges compare although I was told back in 2008 that the F lounge had more floor space than the J lounge. Not sure if that’s true but it may be when you include the bar, the terrace and the “dining” area. The F lounge is certainly not a JFK/ORD style bolt on.

    The moves to T3 will help somewhat but they are not really destinations that traditionally carry a lot of golds.

    The inescapable fact is that what was one of the best lounge complexes in the world in 2008 is now really second rate. Until there is much more floor space and a thorough refit, BA will find its ground product suffering the same fate at its Club World product.


    JamesBAgold
    Participant

    Over the past year or so the T5 First lounge has deteriorated to dreadful levels. Almost every time I am in there half the loos are out of order and the state of those that work is not great.

    As mentioned above, the waiting times quoted for showers has reached levels which would require huge connecting times. I feel sorry for anyone using T5 these days as a connection hub and wanting the opportunity to freshen up. There’s as much chance of winning the lottery as there is for a shower cubicle to be available any time soon!

    As for cleaning away dirty plates, glasses, crisp packets, I’ve sat in the lounge for 2+ hours recently and seen the rubbish mount up without an attendant coming even close to removing them or tidying up.

    Since T5 opened I’ve only ever used the CCR or First lounge but, in light of First’s deterioration, I’m slightly worried about what my first ever experience of the Club lounge is going to be like in a fortnight. I’m travelling with two relatives who do not have Exec Club status so we’re going to have to “slum it” upstairs! As per MartynSinclair at 08/10/2015 10:57 BST I haven’t seen many comments about that lounge before. Does anybody on here have recent experience?


    GeorgeJ
    Participant

    Since I am now retired I have slipped to silver status and largely fly BA long haul out of Gatwick, however I do use the club lounges in T5 quite often for domestic and European flights. Over the past two Sundays they have been very busy and the upstairs South lounge suffered from all of the faults listed for the F lounge, i.e. dirty, disorganised and crowded. The North lounge is larger and always seems a bit better organised though they ran out of cutlery at one stage last Sunday. Wine selection is still excellent however. The North is probably the better of the bunch for anyone needing to use them.
    Hoping to get gold back this year though mainly earned on QR, Cathay and American, I am a loyal One World customer but I find the BA Club seating layout quite disagreeable and since its my own money I don’t have to pay lip service to a Corporate policy any longer.


    dutchyankee
    Participant

    With the mid year ‘gift’ from BA to align all Exec Club members tier point requirements to be equal to that for UK residents (who,of course have far more opportunity to earn tier points) the number of Gold card holders will diminish (including me after over 20 years) so the First lounge might get less busy as our cards expire, and we are relegated to what sounds like an already intolerable situation in the terraces lounges! Great fun! Star alliance has already won a lot of my business away, once my Avios are spent, if I can ever find availability on that stupid avios map thing, they will then get all of my business. BA simply don’t care anymore, and in their home bases of all places, disgraceful.


    Gin&Tonic
    Participant

    JamesBAgold – I think you will find most of the users to this forum have to “slum it” in business lounges , unless BT wish to bring out a forum just for the elite F flyers.

    On BA T5 “Slum Lounges”, or club lounges as they prefer to call them I have never had a bad experience , if you can find out the departure gate of your flight in time and its from one of the satellites use the lounge in the satellite, never as busy as the main terminal and much more relaxing. Food is never anything to get excited about.

    Make sure you never befriend anyone who could only travel Premium Economy.

    Safe travels, you wont find its all that bad.


    DerekVH
    Participant

    Getting back to basics; the problem with queues for the loo might not be so bad if they some urinals instead of all cubicles!


    YellowBelly
    Participant

    So it would appear the T5A First lounge is full of BAEC Gold carriers, most of whom are probably travelling short haul into Europe from T5A. Passengers with first class boarding cards will most likely use the CCR.

    As practically all long haul flights that actually have a First cabin depart from T5B or T5C, should BA not move the CCR into T5B and rename the First lounge BAEC Gold Lounge?

    I holder a BAEC Silver and when flying long haul always head straight to the T5B lounge which is never busy and the products on offer mirror those in the business class lounges in T5A.


    dutchyankee
    Participant

    @DerekVH

    Absolutely, urinals would help a great deal. The idea of the spacious bathrooms where you can change etc., is great, but not a great use of space, so I think your idea is a winner.

    @yellowbelly

    I have often wondered about the CCR and its location as well, especially when the Flagship A380 gates are only in the satellites. I wonder if it is because, at least what I have often seen, New York JFK flights seem to depart mainly from A gates, but maybe this is only some of them. Moving the CCR would make sense too I guess, or creating another CCR in Satellite B or C. Why there is no lounge at all in C is likewise very odd.

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