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BA lounge at PHL denies access to AA / US elites / flyers

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Old May 17, 14, 4:12 pm
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BA lounge at PHL denies access to AA / US elites / flyers

Hell - I can't tell which forum is the right one - so if this needs to be moved - so be it.

Was supposed to be on BA 68 to LHR in First Class yesterday but could not make a connection due to weather.

Anyway, reouted today to Envoy Class on US.

According to the OW Club Alliance rules, Emerald tier frequent flyers can use First Class, Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.

When she saw my OLD BP on flight 68, it was like come on in! When she saw that I had been downgraded to US Envoy Class, she denied me entry. I explained the rules and FINALLY she said - you can go on the business side. It is not busy.

There was NO one on the club. But there was no way in hell I was going to be admitted to the First Class lounge. She stated that BA had to protect the integrity for their flyers.

It ticked me off. She actually then said that the US flyers had their on regular lounge down the hall.

how would others have handled this situation?
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Old May 17, 14, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Nicksterguy View Post
Hell - I can't tell which forum is the right one - so if this needs to be moved - so be it.

Was supposed to be on BA 68 to LHR in First Class yesterday but could not make a connection due to weather.

Anyway, reouted today to Envoy Class on US.

According to the OW Club Alliance rules, Emerald tier frequent flyers can use First Class, Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.

When she saw my OLD BP on flight 68, it was like come on in! When she saw that I had been downgraded to US Envoy Class, she denied me entry. I explained the rules and FINALLY she said - you can go on the business side. It is not busy.

There was NO one on the club. But there was no way in hell I was going to be admitted to the First Class lounge. She stated that BA had to protect the integrity for their flyers.

It ticked me off. She actually then said that the US flyers had their on regular lounge down the hall.

how would others have handled this situation?
I would have asked for her manager, on the phone if need be.
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Old May 17, 14, 6:35 pm
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On the AA site, choosing "oneworld International Premium class" on the lounge directory only shows the AA and US Clubs as options, not the BA lounge. On the oneworld site, it does list the BA lounge as an option with this statement: "Notes: Access to First Lounge is restricted to Emerald members or those travelling in First Class".

I suspect BA wants everyone not flying BA business or first to use the other lounges, but it would seem that access should have been granted.
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Old May 17, 14, 7:51 pm
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Denied Access to BA Club at PHL as a OW Emerald

You definitely should be able to access it as an emerald regardless of class of service since that is a OW lounge unlike the CCRs at JFK and LHR.
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Old May 17, 14, 8:34 pm
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Given that the lounge is a genuine BA lounge and not a 3rd party lounge, access to the 1st lounge should be granted for a passenger on a US flight

As far as how to react, I would be irked at not getting access but given that ime BA 1st lounges outside London are not that great, wouldn't be too worried if granted access to the business lounge

I would contact BA customer service to complain about this happening since the agents should be aware of (a) what airlines are part of OW and (b) who is entitled to access
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Old May 17, 14, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Nicksterguy View Post
Hell - I can't tell which forum is the right one - so if this needs to be moved - so be it.

Was supposed to be on BA 68 to LHR in First Class yesterday but could not make a connection due to weather.

Anyway, reouted today to Envoy Class on US.

According to the OW Club Alliance rules, Emerald tier frequent flyers can use First Class, Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.

When she saw my OLD BP on flight 68, it was like come on in! When she saw that I had been downgraded to US Envoy Class, she denied me entry. I explained the rules and FINALLY she said - you can go on the business side. It is not busy.

There was NO one on the club. But there was no way in hell I was going to be admitted to the First Class lounge. She stated that BA had to protect the integrity for their flyers.

It ticked me off. She actually then said that the US flyers had their on regular lounge down the hall.

how would others have handled this situation?
I was denied the business side last month as an AA sapphire flying US in Y. The dragon said I should go to the AC or US Club because their club can get busy. Not that it was busy but it could.

Coming in a couple weeks ago on QR I was admitted but it was close to pulling teeth. The dragon claimed I needed a lounge pass from QR, but I was allowed in "that one time." The BA lounge is QR's official lounge in PHL.
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Old May 17, 14, 11:38 pm
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It is my understanding that BA can and does limit non-BA passengers to their lounges when they EXPECT to be busy as well as when they actually are. Personally, if I was paying for First or even Club on BA (or was a commercial client) and couldn't get into a Club prior to departure because it was topped out with non-BA flyers, I'd feel a bit cheated. This is likely much more prevalent at the relatively (to JFK,LHR) smaller clubs, like PHL, which is quite nice.
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Old May 18, 14, 12:51 am
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This has already been discussed. If you're not flying on BA out of PHL, you will not have access to their lounge there.
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Old May 18, 14, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
This has already been discussed. If you're not flying on BA out of PHL, you will not have access to their lounge there.
Thanks. I did a quick search and did not find it.

And to person making the hissy fit remarks, no hissy fit was thrown. It is funny though. It seemed like it was something personal to her - that is not letting me in.

The person who called her a dragon has met her before.
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Old May 18, 14, 7:06 am
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Originally Posted by perseus11 View Post
It is my understanding that BA can and does limit non-BA passengers to their lounges when they EXPECT to be busy as well as when they actually are. Personally, if I was paying for First or even Club on BA (or was a commercial client) and couldn't get into a Club prior to departure because it was topped out with non-BA flyers, I'd feel a bit cheated. This is likely much more prevalent at the relatively (to JFK,LHR) smaller clubs, like PHL, which is quite nice.
I have been a victim of the "too busy" excuse, but the OP did state that the lounge was empty.

Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
This has already been discussed. If you're not flying on BA out of PHL, you will not have access to their lounge there.
"Has been discussed" <> "complies with OW rules".
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Old May 18, 14, 7:13 am
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Denied Access to BA Club at PHL as a OW Emerald

I'm sad to say it's my hometown lounge and I am not surprised. I use it in the afternoon when flying AA from time to time and I have had one of the dragons come find me in the lounge and tell me since I was flying AA I needed to leave. After showing her my BA gold card she finally relented but needless to say not going to be handing out any golden tickets there anytime soon.
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Old May 18, 14, 8:34 am
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Yea that's a weird one. I got in last month while flying PHL-MAN on US in Y after showing her my US CP card with the little Emerald logo on it.

She said I could go into either side as an Emerald, but couldn't access the First Dining stuff. Snacks and drinks were still set up though

I did get there really early as the lounge just opened (4PM I think), so it would've been hard for her to say "sorry, the lounge is too busy" when there was literally no one else inside.

I can see how a full First/Business cabin for BA's two flights out of PHL can phill up that lounge real quick, it is pretty small. But if it's not that busy, it'd really irk me to not be able to get in
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Old May 18, 14, 9:01 am
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Denied Access to BA Club at PHL as a OW Emerald

First, and even Club dining, is restricted to people flying in those cabins regardless of service. It will occasionally get crowded but ever since they removed access for Admirals Club members it has gotten a lot better. The irony of getting refused access at 6pm is the only BA flight with First departs around then and they only keep the lounge open for oneworld emeralds passing through so hard to say its "over crowded". I have been to the recently open admirals club in terminal A and while I find the guy who works the desk in the morning to be top notch it is depressing to be tucked away in a basement.

Last edited by bdohmen; May 18, 14 at 9:08 am
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Old May 18, 14, 9:03 am
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Complain to US, not to BA. US was the operating carrier of OP's flight and OP was denied entry pursuant to OW published policy. It is US which has to take it up with BA. OP was not BA's customer and BA could care less about what OP thinks, says or does.
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Old May 18, 14, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Complain to US, not to BA. US was the operating carrier of OP's flight and OP was denied entry pursuant to OW published policy. It is US which has to take it up with BA. OP was not BA's customer and BA could care less about what OP thinks, says or does.
OP can try, but I'm pretty sure that US would say that they provide a lounge for their own business class customers (nearest being the Club above A15-16) and to talk to BA about potential OW policy violations by BA employees. If US contracted with BA for access for business class customers because they didn't have their own lounge, then complaining to US might have more leverage, but AA/US operate no less than four lounges at PHL.
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