Swissdiver

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  • Swissdiver
    Participant

    I shall be flying to Johannesburg in January 2018 in First courtesy of a birthday present from my wife. She’ll be coming with me of course. So Concorde Room or First lounge?

    Concorde Room, hands down.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    BA tried about a year ago to introduce a boarding preference first to Club passengers and then only to Gold. They abandoned it. Not this one. As a Gold member, I am of course biased when I write I like it… But I think it makes sense.

    Luggage only travellers will now be challenged as they might not find a spot for their roll-on luggage, or only at the back-end. Interesting to see how it will be implemented.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Actually, to make matters somewhat worse, BA will accept a late cash booking for CE and not provide a meal, as policy. LP’s review is fair – no ‘C’ class on a European airline will be brilliant, but BA’s feels meaner to me.

    Never faced the situation not to see a meal served in BA CW… Now if this is happening and the sale be at a discount and the lack of meal explained to the buyer, I would not see a problem here.

    Swiss, it shouldn’t happen in CW, note I specifically referred to CE.

    Typo. Sorry. I meant CE.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Well here’s a surprise…. after I had landed and on my way to my meeting.. mobile goes off and it’s BA customer services… apologizing for the lounge issues..
    I mentioned this thread and she confirmed she knew the publication and forum..

    And the champagne came back. Someone is watching us 🙂

    Tom: More or less the same as today or last week. Nothing to write home about…


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Actually, to make matters somewhat worse, BA will accept a late cash booking for CE and not provide a meal, as policy.
    LP’s review is fair – no ‘C’ class on a European airline will be brilliant, but BA’s feels meaner to me.

    Never faced the situation not to see a meal served in BA CW… Now if this is happening and the sale be at a discount and the lack of meal explained to the buyer, I would not see a problem here.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    I’m generally very positive about the T5 F lounge, but this afternoon (Sunday 19th), it’s more or less completely full, with very few spare seats, passengers using the settees in the veranda as beds and lots of cases on seats with no one occupying them..
    It looks and feels a real mess.. (sadly)

    This pinpoints the big weakness of the lounge: no relax area…


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Nice review Markiv and I’m glad you enjoyed the lounge.
    I think the reason they don’t have Ovomaltine is that it’s no longer Swiss owned – it is produced still in Switzerland but owned by Associated British Foods. In the Business and Senator lounge you have Suchard Express and this is (to the best of my knowledge) still Swiss owned.
    I may be wrong on the reason as they still have the small Toblerone bars and this is now owned by Mondelez.
    As a by the way, the Swiss Business and Senator lounge at Zurich in A is now closed for some long overdue refurbishments. Opening in April I think.

    Suchard is no more Swiss, I am afraid. Suchard merged with Tobler in 1970, then with Jacobs before being taken over by Kraft Food in the 1990s…

    Ovomaltine is actually Swiss … in the US (Novartis then Nestle), and British owned elsewhere…


    Swissdiver
    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.

    In absolute term, you might be right. But as a Gold member for about 20 years, my experience is a relative one. When I became member, I had access to the lounges no matter what metal I was flying on, in London, we had great champagne and wine, food was good, … All this is over now. So of course it leaves a hard feeling.
    In addition, a Gold member flying economy remains a bloody good client! At 10 points a flight, we are talking about 150 a year. I think he deserve as well a nice glass of champagne!
    So it is a slow demise after all…


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Slightly off topic but I recently had the opportunity to try the QR Al Safwa lounge in DOH as I was connecting onto another Gulf country in a ‘F’ designated cabin (short haul Business Class). Having visited the Al Mourjan lounge several times and been impressed with it I was like a kid waiting at the turnstile outside Disneyland when entering the Al Safwa lounge.
    I have to say, I was really underwhelmed. It felt sterile. Food was pretty average. The biggest shock was when I noticed they had a spa in the F lounge with slots available and got excited about having a treatment – until I realised that it is not a complimentary service and the charges were not cheap. Seemed a bit mean TBH.
    I actually spent about 45 minutes in the Al Safwa then went over to the Al Mourjan for the remaining hour.

    Interesting! I always wonder about the former one as from GVA, there is only business class offered (which actually looks like a business first and is really good). So happy to see I am not missing anything… Thanks, RF.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    It works for me now as it was yesterday (I use an Opera browser with several security features). That said, I am not fully convinced by the new design, but guess it will just take time to adapt.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Thanks, LP.

    For me, most of these Intra-European flights are at the same low level… Now some details might make an experience less bad. I also appreciate the Swiss bottle of water, for instance. But their non-Senator lounges are very poor. And after all, we spending almost as much time there than on the plane. With BA, the First wing at Heathrow is a real treat. And I like my jacket to be hanged (possible on A319 and A320). I was meanwhile positively surprised by Austrian that leaves the second seat empty on Embraers (2+2 configuration).


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    BA is keeping 747s in service to 2024 (subject fuel price?) so a good idea since 380s are far more efficient/pax and at a good price and well maintained like BA’s 747s.

    Provided they can be filled in. Not happening often…


    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…


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Well that will be music to the ears of Waterside. It would be amazing if it was market leading 15 years after it was designed though, wouldn’t it? Although admittedly, there have been some changes….

    Agree, Tom. But looking at the competition, you have the choice to end up in a coffin (Swiss notably), or touching a stranger (Lufty) or stuck (EK)… OK, some screens are larger, but personally I don’t care. So as far as the hard product is concerned, BA still does well.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Well it’s certainly not market-leading in terms of the seat.

    I strongly disagree with this. I tried many business class seats and this remains one of the best, in my view. And I am not quite small…

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,617 total)
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