As part of its New Years resolutions for 2020, British Airways announced it will “refresh” its lounges in London Heathrow. That presents quite a challenge to a lounge network that is already overburdened with guests.
My family and I flew from London to Frankfurt earlier this week out of Heathrow T5 on British Airways. Since my American Airlines Executive Platinum status had not posted yet (ironically, it did the day after my trip), I did not have access to the Galleries First Class lounge. Instead, I visited the Galleries Club lounge, which I’ve visited many times in the past and complained about here.
> Read More: British Airways Calls This A Lounge?
> Read More: British Airways Galleries Lounge South – London (LHR – T5) Review
As usual, it was packed.
Now imagine British Airways shutting down one lounge in order to “refresh” it and consolidating everyone into the other Club lounge in T5. Talk about disaster…
We don’t know yet the extent to which British Airways will “refresh” the lounge. Will it just be new furniture (which would certainly be a start and not require any lounge closure), or will it be a more substantial remodel like the beautiful new lounge in Singapore or New York JFK? As I see it, at minimum the LHR lounge restrooms and showers desperately need a refresh and BA needs to install a lot more power ports. That will likely require temporary closure unless the refresh is painstakingly completed on piecemeal basis.
All British Airways has said is:
“Lounge luxury – the airline’s lounges at Heathrow, Edinburgh and Berlin will be refreshed to ensure customers are relaxed ahead of their flights.”
That doesn’t give us a lot of info and BA’s press team has not responded to my inquiry for more details.
The point is simple: lounge refreshes may create very uncomfortable situations in 2020. Be prepared for that and hopefully British Airways will take several proactive steps to minimize overcrowding. I mention it not because I think BA is stupid and hasn’t already considered this, but because clearly some airlines do not or proceed anyway–like the United Airlines lounge situation in Newark when it converted a United Club into a Polaris Lounge and never opened a new permanent United Club to replace it…
It is good news that British Airways is updating its lounges. But BA better have a smooth plan in place for the storm before the calm.
image: British Airways