British Airways Renovating Heathrow Lounges

Filed Under: British Airways

This week British Airways issued a press release with their 20 new year resolutions for 2020. Most of the resolutions won’t come as a surprise to anyone who is paying attention.

For example, the airline will install Club Suites on more planes, the airline will take delivery of 787-10s, the airline will start carbon offsetting their domestic flights, etc.

British Airways’ new Club Suites

There’s a little bit of news among these resolutions, though, including one that stands out in particular.

British Airways Renovating Heathrow Lounges

British Airways has announced that they will be “refreshing” their lounges at London Heathrow Airport in 2020.

The airline has been working on renovating their lounges around the world with a new style, and overall they’ve done a great job with it. This has been part of their overall investment in the premium experience.

New British Airways First Lounge JFK

New British Airways First Lounge JFK

The catch is that at this point their Heathrow lounges are outdated, and in need of renovations. So it’s nice to see that the airline will finally be renovating these lounges.

British Airways Concorde Room Terminal 5

It’s not yet known just how extensive these changes will be (are we just talking about mild refreshes, or will they fully be refreshing them?), and we also don’t know just how many of British Airways’ lounges at Heathrow will be renovated.

British Airways’ Heathrow Lounges

The airline has quite a few lounges:

British Airways Galleries First Lounge Terminal 3

Other Minor News

There were two other things in the announcement that came as news to me:

  • The Elemis Spa at JFK will be redesigned and relaunched, though I wouldn’t get too excited
  • British Airways will be adding Concorde Teams in Los Angeles, New York JFK, London Heathrow, Delhi, and Mumbai; these are available to Gold Guest List members to provide them with extra service

Bottom Line

It’s exciting to hear that British Airways will be renovating their lounges at Heathrow, even if details are limited as of now — we don’t know which lounges they’ll renovate, and to what extent.

In the short term this has the potential to be messy. Terminal 5 has very limited lounge capacity, so if they close any lounges in Terminal 5 you can expect even more crowding issues. But that’s necessary in order for things to improve.

Personally I don’t care much about the Terminal 3 lounges, since I couldn’t imagine a circumstance where I wouldn’t use the Cathay Pacific Lounge or Qantas Lounge in Terminal 3 when flying on oneworld from that terminal.

Qantas Lounge Terminal 3

Which Heathrow British Airways lounge would you most like to see renovated?

  1. Hi Lucky, thanks for all of your posts in 2019 – I really like your writing style and take on situations. Just out of curiosity, when airlines announce lounge refreshes or other upgrades, do you ever get asked your opinion? Clearly I know management have their own teams who think about this, but I wondered if they ever want a third party perspective.

  2. If BA does a full refurbishment of the Heathrow lounges it will be very disruptive as the lounges are extremely busy so I’d expect one lounge at a time and the refurb would be executed very quickly in order to keep disruption to a minimum. I also heard a rumour not too long ago about a Terminal 5C lounge. I don’t know if there’s any weight to those rumours but I hope they are true so that overcrowding at the lounges will be reduced a bit as it is definitely needed.

  3. I agree that renovation will be messy, perhaps other than T3 (where there are other OW options) and T5B, which can only be used once a B gate departure is confirmed, which makes most visits rather brief, anyway.

    What makes me curious is the mentioning if „Concorde Teams“ in various locations, being „available to serve GGL clients“. So far, the Concorde Room is only available to those travelling in BA First plus a subset of GGL members, i.e. those who achieved more than 5000 TP (GGL „only“ requires 3000 TP, at least for requalification). So is there any plan to give some kind of concordish service to all GGL? Or is this just a glitch in the wording?

  4. @Andy
    5B isn’t just for departures from B gates — I use it for either B or C gates (it’s quiet and mostly empty, so I actually prefer it to the crowded 1st class lounge in A). C is just a short transit hop from B.

  5. Paul,

    Yes I use the B gates lounge over the two Terraces lounges in the main A terminal. You’ve got a better shot at a walk-in for the spa there as well.

    But I’d usually use the F lounge first, since the “First Wing” leads you into that one anyway. Then go to the B lounge with, say, 90 minutes to go.

    Also you can sometimes figure out the “B or C” issue early. For instance I believe that A380’s only leave from C. Every time I’ve taken a 747 it’s been a B gate.

  6. @The nice Paul: Thanks, I wasn‘‘t sure about that.
    @Tom: I think you are right in terms of the A380. However, the B747 can depart from a few A gates as well. Not that this happening too often, but it‘s possible and I experienced it at least once.

  7. @Aztec: Ok, I understand the concept of the Concorde room. But what is the Concorde Team doing? Are they already available, now, at least in some stations? I‘ve been GGL for many years, but I never met any Concorde Team members.

  8. Time that the Emerald members flying economy and business stop polluting first class lounges. I don’t pay Full Fare first class to have vulgar businessmen on corporate accounts shouting down their mobiles in what should be a tranquil and peaceful haven from the terminal floor.

  9. Honestly, I don’t need major renovations, but how about working on better food?

    I agree with some of you above too, the bathroom situation is bad. You don’t need individual booths. It wastes lots of space and the staffs have problems cleaning them up. During peak times, there is always a wait.

  10. Struggling to locate the relevant articles but earlier in the year BA advised both T3 lounges would be refurbished in 2020. Agree with others I hope T5 at least get new bathroom and shower offerings.

  11. Almost all intercontinental flights leave out of B and C. The agents will tell you the gate before it displays. Since I do SFO pretty regularly on 747s and A380s we are always B or C. I pretty much use the A lounges because I’m emerald and can use the Galleries First Lounge with the self service champagne bar. Yes – that is a legit reason.

    The reason they won’t display the gate even though it’s already assigned is to keep passengers shopping and spending money in the main retail part of A and not venturing off to B and C where retail is limited.

    Galleries First A is showing it’s wear and tear and there are zero outlets in the rear section near the back champagne bar where it’s quiet and zero outlets on the terrace. I like to sit on the terrace and watch planes but you cannot charge anything while out there.

  12. @andy: 744 can only operate from 1 A gate and I dont think it’s ever been used by a 744.

    Pretty much anything that isn’t in the A320 family and non European is going to operate from B or C gates. 767 often used to go from A also.

  13. @Will in SFO: While it’s rare, A19 can get used by a 747, and there’s always the chance of getting a bus gate to any aircraft. (Both are from experience)

    That said, the underground passageways (level -4) make it easy enough to walk back to the A gates if that does happen.

  14. @Endra well that is a bad lie, as the emerald passengers use the first lounge and the “full fare” first passengers use the Concorde room!

    So if your going to lie about how you travel… get your information correct

  15. I see you just cut and pasted the blurb about the concorde team as you included the BA error in listing LA twice!

    You’re not the only blogger who did that though!

  16. @ Noah

    There are always rumours about a T5C lounge!

    There is shell space for a lounge and there is even an escalator installed to access it. It just needs BA and HAL to fit it out but if they were going to do that then I’d have expected an announcement now as part of this 20 resolutions package.

    It would have also eliminated some of the criticism about where will people go if they close the man lounges for the refurb but I would anticipate that they would do the refresh in sections rather than closing the whole thing for months.

    And depending on what the refurbishment is it could be done in a number of overnight sessions if all you were doing was replacing carpets and furniture.

  17. @Endra, if you really did fly first class you would know you wouldn’t have to put up with Emeralds flying economy class at terminal 5. Try googling ‘Concorde Room’ so you can lie better next time.

  18. It’s rumoured that BA will soon be opening a new Club Lounge at Heathrow T5 C pier – one has to assume this will open ahead of any T5 refurbs. If that’s the case, we can probably expect the Business Class Galleries lounges will reopen as a Club Lounge (as they’ve named their Gatwick lounge) after being refurbished.

    “Berlin will see newly upgraded lounges too”
    Guessing this is just a figure of speech as the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport is expected to finally open on 31st October.

    It will be fantastic if BA go all out and surprise us with truly-upgraded lounges and pre-flight experience. Fingers crossed!

  19. I use B lounge for my PHL flights – quiet and usually empty for my afternoon flight. that could use refresh as furniture had seen better days.
    I’d like a refresh of the main galleries lounge, furniture/seating options, and the dreadful bathrooms in all lounges. a food refresh in T5 would be nice too as it hasn’t changed in years.
    Gatwick has nice food offerings, showers and lounge options. Maybe look to do similar?
    In T3, I tend to go to Qantas instead.
    Bigger issue is that the T5 lounges are packed all day so any closure will cause complaints. I generally check in, ask about B gates – shop quickly and go to B

  20. I received a questionnaire recently from BA, having flown out of their LHR lounges, mainly focussing on the spa piece – lots of questions about did I use it, did I know about it, would I prefer a gym or indoor golf room(!) ..
    so it looks like they’re rethinking that space at the moment

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