First Time on BA-- BA FIRST lounge questions

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by Max M, Jun 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    I'll be flying BA FIRST, and for that matter BA for the first time in August.

    According to BA's website:

    "At your service

    • Assistance with any travel queries including bookings, lounges, baggage and transfers
    • Assistance with booking Concorde Room facilities such as cabanas and access to the Quintessentially Lifestyle concierge services
    • Pre-booking spa treatments with Elemis at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Terminal 3
    • Priority assistance for mishandled baggage"
    Just got off the phone with a U.S. based "customer service" agent [calling the You First line] who had a thick Southern accent [Southerner here too-- not hating :p] and told me that since my flight terminates in LHR,with no onward travel on BA, I wouldn't be eligible to use one of the Cabanas at the Concorde Room @ LHR, nor do Cabanas exist at JFK. :rolleyes:

    Also, when I asked about booking spa treatments @ LHR, she told me she couldn't do that over the phone and I'd need to wait until I arrived at LHR in August to do so.

    I plan on calling again sometime tomorrow to see if I receive a different response, but I'm wondering if I was fed rubbish or if the agent was correct in what she told me?

    I do have Platinum Status with AA, but booked this award using Avios. Maybe this reservation being booked with no BA status, and it being an award ticket factored into how the agent responded to me?
     
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  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Hi Max. Are you flying one-way US-LHR in BA first?

    This has nothing to do with being on an award ticket or status. What they said was substantially correct.

    You will get access to the Concorde Room in JFK. It is a nice lounge by US-soil standards....full dining, etc....but it isn't over the top. There is a small Molton Brown spa in the j lounge at JFK which you would have access to. You may be able to pre-book that. If you want to use it, I'd definitely try pre-booking as it can get busy at JFK.

    One other tip at JFK, when you arrive at T7, go to the farthest door. That is where the BA f/j check in is. Then, keep staying to the left, there is a small, little-used security channel there that, at the end of it, drops you right off at the CCR door!

    Upon arrival in lhr, if you don't have an onward flight, you won't have access to the area where the Concorde Room is. They were right in saying that you couldn't access it.

    Assuming you arrive in the morning, you WILL have access to the Arrivals Lounge. This is a very nice, business-oriented lounge. Showers, breakfast, spa. My review here (with photos) http://www.sitinfirst.com/2011/12/british-airways-arrivals-at-london-heathrow-lhr/ There is a "Concorde Breakfast Room" there which you will have access to within the arrivals lounge. Table service is offered there.

    There is a spa in the arrivals lounge, but I seem to recall no pre-bookings are taken. You might call the First line and specifically ask about booking at the lhr arrivals spa if you are interested. They are mainly 15 minute neck shoulder rubs....I've never seen a wait more than 15 minutes for these.

    Are you flying out of lhr in BA f at a subsequent date? On that journey, you'd have full lhr CCR access...prebook cabanas/etc...

    Enjoy your trip. BA f is one of my favorite experiences in the sky.
     
  3. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Hi Max M,

    I am not a BA expert in the least, but in the last couple months have been fortunate to take 5 segments in the new BA F so feel like I know enough to be dangerous ;)

    Everything that NYBanker said was true. I would suggest, though, rather than calling, you email You FIRST as I have personally had a lot more luck doing that.

    When I traveled to LHR via JFK the CCR did not open unitl 4 or 4:30PM; we had a very long layover (~6 hours or so) and spent the bulk of the time in the BA F lounge, though did move over to the regular lounge since the F lounge was quite warm and the other one had the showers...since you're in F you have the luxury of sampling them all!

    Enjoy your trip, you should love BA F.
     
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  4. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Thanks NYBanker and TheBeerHunter! :)

    I wanted to pre-book the spa and cabanas, since we'll be in LHR during the last week of the Olympics, and I imagine the BA lounges @ LHR will be busier than normal.

    I wish I was returning back to the US via BA, but alas, I'm flying back out of LHR on a UA BusinessFirst award ticket coming back, after a UA India call center employee totally botched my previously ticketed VS Upper Class award after CO eliminated the VS awards, just prior to the full UACO integration. But that's an entirely different issue...

    Prior to the BA JFK-LHR flight, we'll stop by the AA FL @ JFK since we're flying into JFK on American Eagle.

    How does BA's F compare to CX's F?
     
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  5. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Just to add to this: The spas are now operated by Elemis, who took over the contract at about the time of the move to T5.

    If you want to get a spa treatment in the Arrivals Lounge, it's best to book an appointment as soon as you arrive in the lounge as we find that the next appointment can often be an hour or so later. But there is far less pressure on the spa there than in the departures lounges.

    You will need an invitation from the Arrivals Lounge reception to use the Concorde Breakfast Room. The lounge dragons are usually very good at writing these out without prompting, but occasionally they forget. (Not that it's far to go back to reception to get one if they have.)
    In case it isn't already clear from what NYBanker has said: As you are arriving at LHR and not taking a connecting flight, the Arrivals Lounge is the only lounge to which you will have access. You cannot get to any of the departures lounges because you will not have an boarding pass for an onward flight from LHR that day.
     
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  6. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Thanks for adding clarity.

    For future reference, if I was flying into LHR from the U.S. and had to schlep all the way to LGW to make a connection the next day, and had to overnight in London, would this allow for accessing the Concorde Room @ LHR, assuming BA would issue boarding passes for my connecting LGW flight at an originating U.S. BA ticket counter?
     
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  7. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    They are somewhat different experiences...but of comparable quality.
     
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  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    No. You wouldn't have lhr CCR access. You can only use the lhr CCR if you are departing from lhr. The CCR is in the departures area at lhr.
     
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  9. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Again adding to NYBanker's reply: The actual rule at LHR is that you can only get to the departures lounges in any terminal if you have a boarding pass for a flight departing from that terminal that day. So the only way that you can get to any of the departures lounges at LHR T5 is if you hold a boarding pass for a flight departing from T5 that day.

    Thus you cannot, for example, hold a boarding pass for an AA flight from LHR T3 and hope to use any of the LHR T5 lounges. You simply cannot physically get access to the areas in which they're located.

    That's why if your onward boarding pass is for a flight from LGW, you can't get to any departures lounge at LHR.
     
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  10. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    At the arrivals lounge you may opt for a bath instead of a shower, which I've read lackluster reviews of but I totally loved. It's actually more like a small pool, it's really big! You have to show your F boarding pas at the shower desk. We asked about it at check in to the lounge and they giggled, saying they did t have baths. Um. Yes, the do. ;)
     
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  11. fabiovilela

    fabiovilela Silver Member

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    Hey guys, need a little help!
    I'm arriving in T5 from an international flight with BA in First and connecting to a domestic flight to Hamburg in Business (both on BA in T5)
    After I deplane from my international flight which airport signs should I follow to get access to the Concorde room? Is it after or before security? Need a little help how to get there. I didn't find any map directions.
     
  12. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    The last time I checked, Hamburg was in a different country from London - so I think you'll find that London-Hamburg is an international flight as well.
    You will find a set of Terminal 5 maps here.

    To get to the Concorde Room, you must go to the main terminal building - so because your inbound flight will probably be at a gate at the T5B or T5C satellites, the chances are that you will have to go down to the transit. Just follow the purple Flight Connections Terminal 5 signs. Don't go through security at the satellite building.

    When you get to T5A, the purple Flight Connections signs will route you through transfer security. This should tip you out near pink number 12 on page 2 of the maps. There are two options.

    First, simply turn right and walk on the same level towards blue number 37. When you can go no further (and you are near the exit side of the security checkpoint at that end of the building), you will be at a door with a lectern in front of it. This is the exclusive entrance to the Concorde Room.

    The alternative route (particularly if the staff at that entrance aren't familiar with the "inbound in First" rule) is to go down one floor to the gate level of T5A - page 3 of the maps. Head to the other end of the building, specifically towards blue number 42. Take the escalator there up one floor, turn right and right again, and the welcome desk to the Concorde Room will be in front of you (near the reception desk of the spa/showers).
     
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  13. fabiovilela

    fabiovilela Silver Member

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    HEHEHEH, I´m sorry about the "Domestic LHR-HAM route". Since European countries are so close to each other I always think that I´m only going to another city not countries! My bad! :(
    And thank you very much for the route guidelines! It was terrific!
     

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