The slow demise of LHR T5 First lounge

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This topic contains 47 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 2 Jun 2018
at 10:33
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 48 total)

  • Swissdiver
    Participant

    The First Wing is a great idea (I guess Mr. Cruz failed to block that sole service improvement at BA during his tenure). But once in the lounge, it’s over. Food is as bad as usual. But worse, after the disparition of the Bordeaux Grand Crus and the Champagne Grand Crus, there is now no more Champagne available!, at least in white. A fizzy British wine replaced it, while for now the average rosé survives. I guess the next victim on the list will be the Blue Label…


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    The First Wing is a great idea (I guess Mr. Cruz failed to block that sole service improvement at BA during his tenure). But once in the lounge, it’s over. Food is as bad as usual. But worse, after the disparition of the Bordeaux Grand Crus and the Champagne Grand Crus, there is now no more Champagne available!, at least in white. A fizzy British wine replaced it, while for now the average rosé survives. I guess the next victim on the list will be the Blue Label…

    Blue Label is over priced rubbish – I’d be far more concerned if the single malts went.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    The First Wing is a great idea (I guess Mr. Cruz failed to block that sole service improvement at BA during his tenure). But once in the lounge, it’s over. Food is as bad as usual. But worse, after the disparition of the Bordeaux Grand Crus and the Champagne Grand Crus, there is now no more Champagne available!, at least in white. A fizzy British wine replaced it, while for now the average rosé survives. I guess the next victim on the list will be the Blue Label…

    Blue Label is over priced rubbish – I’d be far more concerned if the single malts went.

    100% in agreement. But in an old discussion, the Blue Label argument was used… That said, beside a decent Glenlivet, the choice is poor…


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The recent Gin bar presentation was exceptional…. a reason to get to the airport early…

    You know if the lounge isn’t that busy, you can sometimes ask one of the managers to prep you something more to your liking… Sometimes they say yes and sometimes no.. but they can be very helpful.


    1nfrequent
    Participant

    I have to agree with this. I took my mum into the First Lounge back in September as a treat and she was left distinctly underwhelmed. When we came out she told me she might as well have been in the Club Lounge with my dad because at least they served bacon butties in there. Oh, and she thought the promotional stand there was tacky. I think I lost daughter points … 😀

    1F


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    I have to agree with this. I took my mum into the First Lounge back in September as a treat and she was left distinctly underwhelmed. When we came out she told me she might as well have been in the Club Lounge with my dad because at least they served bacon butties in there. Oh, and she thought the promotional stand there was tacky. I think I lost daughter points … ?
    1F

    LOL! You’re hilarious!

    I’ve never had the opportunity of visiting the First Lounge but the Club World Lounge leaves a LOT to be desired….!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    The First Wing is a great idea (I guess Mr. Cruz failed to block that sole service improvement at BA during his tenure). But once in the lounge, it’s over. Food is as bad as usual. But worse, after the disparition of the Bordeaux Grand Crus and the Champagne Grand Crus, there is now no more Champagne available!, at least in white. A fizzy British wine replaced it, while for now the average rosé survives. I guess the next victim on the list will be the Blue Label…

    Blue Label is over priced rubbish – I’d be far more concerned if the single malts went.

    100% in agreement. But in an old discussion, the Blue Label argument was used… That said, beside a decent Glenlivet, the choice is poor…

    Agreed.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Sorry to disagree here, but an English fizzy white wine (depending on brand) is far superior (as are many Italian Prosecco’s) to the French horse p**s they serve up nowadays. Most French champagne is made from imported grapes and the most favored are the English ones from the south coast.

    So apart from the grapes having been pressed in France, French Champagne is probably English anyway!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Some of the Catalan Cavas are far better than anything that comes from France. Most things French are overpriced and overrated, including themselves and their country.


    openfly
    Participant

    The T5 First lounge is heaven….compared to the T3 First Lounge! In T3 you can’t escape the noisy chillers anywhere, the depressingly dark lighting, the lack of windows, the uncomfortable new chairs, the “spot the mouse” game…yes, seen them twice…. At least, in T3 you can escape and use the excellent facilities offered by American and Cathay in their lounges, with the prospect of the new Qantas lounge opening in a few days.


    openfly
    Participant

    @capetonianm Sacre Bleu, monsieur!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Some of the Catalan Cavas are far better than anything that comes from France. Most things French are overpriced and overrated, including themselves and their country.

    Come on, capetonianm, tell us what you REALLY think 🙂


    Defcon5
    Participant

    Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. That is the only choice when flying ex Heathrow (and Gatwick, the new one there is lovely too!)


    christos
    Participant

    LuganoPirate, what sort of sparkling wine you prefer, whether it be Prosecco, Cava, English Sparkling, Champagne or any other, is entirely a matter of personal preference and you are entitled to your opinion. Personally I would rather drink champagne any day compared to Prosecco or English sparkling but that’s my palate. Having said that there is plenty of mediocre, and some downright awful champagne around, but if you stick to the good producers it’s hard to beat.

    Where are you totally wrong is your contention that ‘Most French champagne is made from imported grapes and the most favored are the English ones from the south coast. So apart from the grapes having been pressed in France, French Champagne is probably English anyway!’ This is completely inaccurate and misleading. Champagne is only produced from grapes grown in a delimited area in Northern France and the whole process is strictly controlled by CIVC, the governing body. There are some very good sparkling wines made from the same grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) with the same method used in Champagne but you can’t call these wines champagne unless they come from the Champagne region. Actually one of the best sparkling wines outside of Champagne is from Franciacorta in Italy. In Champagne the best quality and value comes not from the big brands but from the hundreds of small family producers. Through my company Criterion Wine Tours I run 2-3 tours to Champagne per year (as well as wine tours to other regions all over the world), so if you want to learn more come on one of my tours!


    rferguson
    Participant

    I like the First lounge, especially now with the First Wing access. However IMHO, I think BA should do itself a favour and at LHR and JFK they should rebrand F the lounge to the ‘Gold’ or ‘Emerald’ lounge or something similar. The fact is its a First class lounge without First Class passengers (whom are in the real First class Lounge) and simply a vast space for Gold Card holders/OWE’s not flying in First. Qatar in DOH is pretty much the same directing OWE’s not travelling F to the (even more underwhelming ‘First Class Lounge’ instead of the Al Safwa Lounge.

    Stick the BA F class lounge next to the likes of the LH Private Terminal, Swissair, QF or Air France F lounge, CX Pier etc and it would be a laughing stock. Although i’m not so very familiar with Star Alliance/SKyteam programs i’m pretty sure only very special levels of their frequent flyer programs get F Lounge access (if any)?

    The sheer numbers of BA Gold Card holders is evident whenever visiting the T5 F lounge and its obvious these numbers aren’t really replicated with many other airlines at their hubs. For example in SYD where the QF F Lounge is open to all OWE it is still never crowded. Can get busy, definitely. Same for CX in HKG. And Malaysia Airlines in KUL – they offer less that 30 F class seats a day departing KUL so obviously the F lounge is open to all OWE’s. You can find yourself the only person in the lounge for hours on end however! If BA made a Concorde Room at LHR to accommodate all OWE’s/Golds it would have to be massive – I guess the size of the current lounge plus CCR combined. Far far bigger than any of the other airlines F class facilities which I guess is just not feasible – especially when a good proportion of the customers in there are travelling to MAN or BRU in Eurotraveller (usually the case for yours truly).

    Is it an amazing lounge worthy of a luxurious wait prior to a long haul First Class flight? Absolutely not. Leave that to the CCR (although I know that could be up for debate also). Is it a good lounge to wait in prior to a flight in Y/J? In my opinion yes. It’s definitely no standout and I have my gripes. People have different priorities and I put food ahead of booze. For example the buffet is poor and I hate how difficult they make it to order food from the illusive menu (which unless you know of its existence you’d miss it). There are usually just a few in the whole lounge then you have to play ‘try make eye contact with a staff member’ to place your order.

    It’s like many things BA – manage your expectations. With the First Class wing and decent offerings I feel I am getting good value when travelling Economy on BA. I’d be peeved if it was what was offered before a First Class flight to LAX. But I wouldn’t be in there in that example.

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