New lounges in AKL, LHR & SFO

Old Jul 22, 07, 1:55 pm
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New lounges in AKL, LHR & SFO

From Herald on Sunday

...
Auckland International Airport is next on the list for an international lounge, in the next 12 months, then Heathrow, then San Francisco, says Ed Sims, group general manager of international airline.
...
AKL gets badly overcrowded at peak times so a refreshed larger lounge will be very welcome, but other than the old F lounge (now used by crew) there doesn't seem to be anywhere to expand to without building work - which has not started.

LHR is not surprising. With BA moving (mostly) to T5 next year and the *A relocating terminals, it is a good opportunity to move away from RCC and have a NZ lounge. So I think the "in the next 12 months" remark may be a bit early.

SFO will also be welcome, especially if they have showers. While SFO is much easier for connecting than LAX the lack of showers and terrible RCC is annoying. Sometimes due to the schedules you need to spend several hours waiting for the NZ flight in the evening - will be good to have an NZ lounge to wait in.
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Old Jul 22, 07, 4:14 pm
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About time, the AKL lounge is not the nicest lounge in my books, pretty old looking and not much going for it when compared to MEL/SYD/LAX.

Considering AKL is well.. in New Zealand would expect that lounge to be the nicest
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Old Jul 22, 07, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by AndDee View Post

Considering AKL is well.. in New Zealand would expect that lounge to be the nicest
yes especially considering the amount it costs to join the Koru Club to get access to the few lounges it includes.
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Old Jul 22, 07, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Kanada goose View Post
yes especially considering the amount it costs to join the Koru Club to get access to the few lounges it includes.
I'd expect most paid Koru Club memberships are for the domestic lounge access, rather than international. At least that is the justification in the various corporates I'm aware who give it to their more frequent travellers. If you are flying international longhaul, or frequently flying trans-tasman, you get access through status soon enough.
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Old Jul 22, 07, 5:50 pm
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That's stretching the truth

Claims of a "new" London Heathrow lounge are rather creative.

Currently Air NZ is in awful Terminal 3, and uses the United RCC.

Next Easter, when British Airways takes over the new Terminal 5 and much of Terminal 3, ALL Star Alliance airlines move to a redesigned Terminal 1. There are only two existing Star Alliance lounges there - South African and BMI - and its simply a question of who Air NZ will share with. I'd be surprised if they built a 747-sized lounge for two flights per day.....
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Old Jul 23, 07, 12:35 am
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Does anyone know what they're building out the window of the Intl lounge at AKL? It's on top of the roof between the lounge and the roof of the departure gates (looking out at the end of the runway).
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Old Jul 23, 07, 12:57 am
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Be nice to see a dedicated lounge in SFO, one with showers as the United RCC doesn't. I prefer to use SFO over LAX for my entry and exit point into the US, as it's less crowded and I've had better luck on PE to BP upgrades out of SFO. But without a shower in the northern summer, it's via LAX for me.
Showers in the Auckland are good (used it this morning on my LAX-AKL-MEL flight), hope they don't reduce the size (or take them out together).
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Old Jul 23, 07, 3:08 am
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Originally Posted by Kanada goose View Post
yes especially considering the amount it costs to join the Koru Club to get access to the few lounges it includes.
But when you think about it, it remains a good deal that very easily pays for itself.

Rather than paying for a airport bar beer you can have a few for no charge.

Rather than waiting in such a long line to check your bags you can use that time to catch up on emails with your blackberry.

Rather than buying flexible tickets you could think no, instead I will sit here for an hour and a half and do some work (and if you don't have checked baggage the staff are usually fine with changing your flight for no fee when you ask, if they are having a good day).

etc...
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Old Jul 24, 07, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by splatnz View Post
Does anyone know what they're building out the window of the Intl lounge at AKL? It's on top of the roof between the lounge and the roof of the departure gates (looking out at the end of the runway).
The new arrivals corridor that will link the existing pier to the centralised primary line for immigration. We have been promised travelators along this corridor, how exciting!
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Old Jul 24, 07, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by DCF View Post
Claims of a "new" London Heathrow lounge are rather creative.

Currently Air NZ is in awful Terminal 3, and uses the United RCC.

Next Easter, when British Airways takes over the new Terminal 5 and much of Terminal 3, ALL Star Alliance airlines move to a redesigned Terminal 1. There are only two existing Star Alliance lounges there - South African and BMI - and its simply a question of who Air NZ will share with. I'd be surprised if they built a 747-sized lounge for two flights per day.....
Given their fairly close relationship with BMI, I wouldn't be surprised to see something along the lines of AC/SK's current London Lounge (and they too will be moving to T1).

BMI is certainly in need of far better international lounge now they're expanding their long and mid haul flights out of LHR.
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Old Jul 24, 07, 10:06 am
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Heathrow

I would be highly surprised if there were to be a NZ lounge at Heathrow.

Star Alliance carriers are apparently currently developing an common Star Alliance international lounge for Terminal 1, which will have all Star Alliance carriers shortly after BA moves into Terminal 5.

It would be a fair assumption that there will still be a BMI lounge to cover UK domestic flights (as this will need to be separate from international), but besides that an international lounge complex for NZ, UA, SQ, TG, AC, SK, OZ, BD, LH, LO, OU, OS, NH, SA and TP! (with perhaps two areas, one for C class and *Gold, and another for P class for UA, SQ, TG, NH, OZ and SA).

However, SFO badly needs a better lounge for NZ. Using the SQ would be a nice option if available, the UA RCC at SFO is dire.
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Old Jul 24, 07, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by libertyuk View Post
I would be highly surprised if there were to be a NZ lounge at Heathrow.

Star Alliance carriers are apparently currently developing an common Star Alliance international lounge for Terminal 1, which will have all Star Alliance carriers shortly after BA moves into Terminal 5.

It would be a fair assumption that there will still be a BMI lounge to cover UK domestic flights (as this will need to be separate from international), but besides that an international lounge complex for NZ, UA, SQ, TG, AC, SK, OZ, BD, LH, LO, OU, OS, NH, SA and TP! (with perhaps two areas, one for C class and *Gold, and another for P class for UA, SQ, TG, NH, OZ and SA).

However, SFO badly needs a better lounge for NZ. Using the SQ would be a nice option if available, the UA RCC at SFO is dire.
For a RCC, I thought that SFO was not too bad when I was through there last year. Some of the other RCCs on that trip were dreadful though. But yes for either SQ or a new NZ.
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Old Jul 25, 07, 11:59 am
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Sfo

I've only been to HKG, SFO, IAD, LHR and ORD RCCs, so I don't have great comparisons. As far as I am concerned if a lounge doesn't have a shower, expects you to pay for drinks (tips are virtually required even with the 2 free drinks with a full fare C class ticket) and has essentially no food beyond salty snacks, it's dire.

UA may redeem itself with its newly announced C class seat, but its overall product still remains well below what NZ, QF, SQ, CX, BA, VS and LH provide, among others.

I already use the SQ lounge at LHR whenever I fly NZ (or UA) from Terminal 3, but it will be interesting to see what that and the UA lounges are used for when Terminal 3 becomes OneWorld + VS terminal after Terminal 5 opens.
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Old Jul 25, 07, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by libertyuk View Post
I've only been to HKG, SFO, IAD, LHR and ORD RCCs, so I don't have great comparisons. As far as I am concerned if a lounge doesn't have a shower, expects you to pay for drinks (tips are virtually required even with the 2 free drinks with a full fare C class ticket) and has essentially no food beyond salty snacks, it's dire.

UA may redeem itself with its newly announced C class seat, but its overall product still remains well below what NZ, QF, SQ, CX, BA, VS and LH provide, among others.

I already use the SQ lounge at LHR whenever I fly NZ (or UA) from Terminal 3, but it will be interesting to see what that and the UA lounges are used for when Terminal 3 becomes OneWorld + VS terminal after Terminal 5 opens.
In comparison with NZ, SQ and the others you mention they sure are, but SFO is one of the better ones.
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