Bmi to open new premium check-in facilities and lounge at T1

12 Mar 2009 by Mark Caswell

Bmi will open its new premium check-in area at Heathrow Terminal 1 at the beginning of April.

Currently all Bmi customers use the check-in desks which were put in place when BA moved out in November, along the East Face of the terminal building.

However from the beginning of April, gold card holders, business class and premium economy customers will be able to use a dedicated check-in area next to the lifts serving the Heathrow Express.

Katherine Gershon, sales and marketing director, Bmi said: “We wanted to emcompass two concepts with the new premium check-in area. We have a 30-minute check-in promise so if a business traveller is racing up from the Heathrow Express lift with 31 minutes to go we want to be able to fastrack them through check-in at the premium area. But the area will also cater for more relaxed check-ins, for example, if there is a family of four with seven bags, flying to Tel Aviv, we will be able to sit them all down and someone will come and collect their passports, sort out their bags and bring their passports back to them.”

The area will be on the main Terminal 1 concourse with a small wall with glass sections surrounding it to let light in to give it a feeling of space. “It’s going to have an exclusive premium feel but without feeling like you are sitting in a box in the middle of the terminal,” added Gershon.

As part of the revamp of Bmi’s facilities at T1, the carrier is also opening a new and improved International Lounge at the start of June.

The lounge is located where the old BA Galleries were on the first floor. It was originally due to open last year but was delayed because BA was late moving out of Terminal 1.

The lounge will be different from Bmi’s former offerings as Gershon explained: “Historically Bmi lounges were designed around short-haul operations but since the acquisition of Bmed 18 months ago we have had to think differently. The new lounge will have more sophisticated catering facilities so that passengers flying on our night flights to, for example, Moscow, will be able to dine on the ground before they board the flight.”

Connecting passengers will also be relieved to hear that the lounge will offer showering facilities and will be divided into different zones, for relaxing on day beds, to a bar area, dining section and somewhere to work with free wifi access.

Gershon said: “The Middle East routes all depart from the gates just below the new international lounge.”

Any customers flying business class, or with gold or silver Diamond Club cards or a Star Alliance gold card can use the lounge. Terminal 1 also has a recently-opened Star Alliance lounge (click here for a review) and Bmi has a domestic lounge which will be revamped in the near future.

Once the new International lounge is open, the old lounge will be closed and rennovated for another airline.

For more information

Report by Felicity Cousins

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