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new lounge rules for gold? [End of Open Doors for Golds]

new lounge rules for gold? [End of Open Doors for Golds]

Old May 20, 11, 10:51 am
  #151  
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
I have never flown EZ, nor do I plan to, but I have found the open doors policy excially the last few years to be perhaps the main reason why I have kept up my GC status, after this/next year (as its already in the bag) I do not think that I will male the effort. BA lost half my business when they changed their program once upon a time. The lost half as much again when they downgraded their product (and so many other carriers I fly improved theirs upfront), however it was nice when flying occasionally from Milan to SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN THE UK, to use the BA lounge as it was far superior to what the other airlines there offered. I also like using it in Istanbul at times when flying other airlines as it was less crowded and often closer to the gates I needed. If LGW was a problem......then they should have suspended it for LGW, otherwise I can think of no place except possible GVA where the problems alleged by certain posters would have been an issue. What a mean spirited penny pinching rule change.
I agree completely, and I will add that BA has been trying very hard for the last 5 years or so to increase its customer base in Europe. We have lower TP thresholds, lower business class prices and we have open doors. If I am AMS based and I happen to fly KL to some non-shengen location, I prefer to use the BA lounge. I still give BA tens of thousands per year to keep my Gold card so I think they can afford the few drinks and chips I consume at AMS. It makes no sense for BA to drive us away after trying so hard to gain our business.

So if this is really about Gatwick or GVA, then go post up some signs at the doors there to block the "freeloaders". And leave the rest of us to our beer and crisps at the unoccupied outstation lounges.
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Old May 20, 11, 10:53 am
  #152  
 
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hmmm... so BA are polishing gold with file then.

I have been Gold for a year and have just requalified, unfotunately I will be a few TP's short of getting a gold upgrade voucher.

I have only tried to use this once and I was on EZY from Glasgow, but of course I could not get down the concourse to the lounge

I do not know how many golds there are maybe 50k worldwide but I have always found the lounges pretty empty.

I must admit I have taken some food, just an odd bag of kettle chips and those pretzel thingys, this is to avoid the birdseed in ET.

After all the messing with strikes etc, poor food in CW I would have though BA would be trying to keep us all happy, instead they remove a fairly inexpensive to maintain perk!
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Old May 20, 11, 10:54 am
  #153  
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Originally Posted by arcticfox View Post

Not to mention every time a GCH stops by a BA lounge when not flying with them, it should remind them of one of the few noticable benefits BA has over its competitiors.
They will when they find out they won't be allowed in.
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Old May 20, 11, 10:55 am
  #154  
 
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Wow, what a lot of over reacting.

If the title of the thread had been "what do you think of BA lounges" most would come back with, "OK" nothing special etc

Most airports now have decent bars, restaurants, free wifi etc so what exactly are you going to miss ?? Do you really object to having to pay £5-£10 for a drink and snack rather than raid it from a buffet style Terraces lounge ?

I agree, it is petty of BA to take it away as I can't see, other than LGW, where there might be an abuse (that is worth adding up!).

Only time I use the benefit is when flying with UA out of T7 in JFK (As I hate AA) and think I have used it once or twice at LGW. As a perk, I would have to say it is one of the cheaper ones to offer.

Also, if you are in the US you have to PAY to use the lounges if you join AA/UA FF scheme (ie Red Carpet membership) and when in them they are so cr*p you wonder why you bothered.

So, get real, if you are in the Regions and don't fly on BA then either buy a PP or go to the local bar.

Finally, I agree with some that the bigger question is what do you get for being Gold ? Other top tier schemes have free additional luggage but to be honest BA have been punished for making Silver too attractive. I scraped Gold this year by 5 points but if I don't qualify for Gold next year then Silver has J check-in and lounge + seat selection and that is all I am really fussed about.

Maybe those aggrieved (or even not) could suggest what benefits they think BA should offer a GCH over and above those currently offered.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:02 am
  #155  
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Easyjet is a competitor though and on routes where profit margins are already at their tightest.
To/from LGW maybe. AFAIK easyJet don't use LHR and BA don't use LTN or STN. BA and EZY compete on less than a handful of routes.
Originally Posted by JumboJim View Post
How about giving us - not necessarily like-for-like - another benefit instead of making Gold another step closer to Silver?
I can't help feeling that something along those lines is coming.
Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I imagine it's something along the lines of....BA passengers are having to put up with the heaving mass of EZY freeloaders taking all the goodies and are complaining that the lounges are too busy.
Let me get this right. The 'heaving mass of EZY freeloaders' are BA gold card holders? If I were a GCH flying on EZY, I'd object to being called a freeloader.
Just an opinion as I've never been in a lounge where EZY passengers are allowed.
So you've no experience of a BA lounge suffering from a 'heaving mass of EZY freeloaders', then.
Originally Posted by Earthman View Post
I know but ,aren't they GOOD ba customers if they are gold even if occasionally open doors is used.Why píss them off ?
Indeed.
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I can't imagine every EZY flight from LGW is packed with BA Golds!!!
Indeed (again).
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Out of curiosity, how on earth would one know that those pax are traveling on EZY?
Quite.

The EZY theory is one coming from several posters in this thread. It is difficult to believe that the 'enhancement' is aimed just at EZY passengers.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:02 am
  #156  
 
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Having used Open Doors 2 or 3 times in the past 12 months I am very disappointed. It was a very welcome benefit.

Palmer
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Old May 20, 11, 11:04 am
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
I think others have hit this square on the head. This is likely aimed at blocking those people who earn Gold flying via their work (and often the choice of airline will not be their own) but then chose a budget airline for their personal flying, visit the lounge and potentially grab stocks of food on the way out.

Unfortunately, BA's decision has caused collateral damage.
If you think that the average officer worker is not adept at finding ways to fly on the airline of their choice, irrespective of a company policy, then you rather underestimate the resourcefulness of the average business traveller! I am fortunate to work for a company which has no particular preferences, so long as I do my bit to keep costs reasonable.

And to address your second point - I am someone who, for purely economic reasons, chooses the lowest cost major carrier on any given route when travelling inta-Europe with the family - I could not afford to choose otherwise. If BA offered me a limited number of Lounge vouchers for the rare occasions we do fly together, I would happily pay a little extra to fly BA purely to give them the "fun" of a bit of the pampering I am lucky enough to enjoy when I travel on business, and the cost would be little more than a couple of soft drinks, a glass of champagne and a bite to eat. It would be nice to see those lovely kid zones getting some use rather than looking so sorry and empty. In return BA would get a very high degree of loyalty for all my lucrative business travel plus 12-14 ET flights filling the backs of their planes. Not to mention getting the "next generation" of business travellers hooked on the "status" drug at an early age! It sounds like "win win" to me.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:05 am
  #158  
 
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Originally Posted by itsmeitisss View Post
Well perhaps the rule about removing food and drink needs to be enforced now the strike is no more.
Which rule is that then?

When BA removed substantial catering in ET and UK domestic, they encouraged SCHs and GCHs to eat and drink in the lounge and to take food with them for the flight. There were even take away boxes available for this purpose when the new policy kicked in.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:08 am
  #159  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Seen as every other FFP has done away with the benefit. One hardly needs to have attended Harvard to understand what lies behind BA making this change.
Thank you Hiddy - your quote has just reminded me why I try never to employ such "qualified" people unless they have seen the light, dropped out and re-engaged their brains!
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Old May 20, 11, 11:09 am
  #160  
 
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Originally Posted by moral_low_ground View Post
Wow, what a lot of over reacting.

If the title of the thread had been "what do you think of BA lounges" most would come back with, "OK" nothing special etc

Most airports now have decent bars, restaurants, free wifi etc so what exactly are you going to miss ?? Do you really object to having to pay £5-£10 for a drink and snack rather than raid it from a buffet style Terraces lounge ?

So, get real, if you are in the Regions and don't fly on BA then either buy a PP or go to the local bar.
I don't think that you'd find too many people saying that the lounges were "OK", particularly at LHR. Given that those, like me, who fund their flying out of their own pocket rather than business travel have a choice of who to fly with and choose BA, why take away something that is of minimal cost, and rarely used by most passengers? Surely they could have offered (say) 4 vouchers a year for use when not flying with BA and/or when you are going with family on holiday and need more than one guest?

I would love to be able to fly with BA to my home city but oh, they stopped flying there 10 years ago.....

I have a PP, and don't see how that is part of the equation...
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Old May 20, 11, 11:09 am
  #161  
 
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This is what we in the States euphemistically call "entitlement benefits"; i.e., something that may be stupid as h-ll to begin with, but once it's been around a good long while it's difficult to change without the masses rising up with pitchforks and torches. I remember the outrage voiced by the silvers and golds on this forum when paid seating selection was introduced, with predictions that the elite BA customers would abandon BA in droves. They're still here, still flying in the front of the plane and in their favorite seats too.

I agree with Hiddy, no reason to let even your best customers raid your lounge, even once or twice a year, while giving their custom to a competitor. That's just silly. Reward them in other ways. Just my opinion.

Full disclosure: I've never been gold, but have maintained silver for a few years now.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:19 am
  #162  
 
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completes my decission to stick with AB for status

It's a damn shame this was decided, but it was waiting to happen! I can't recall how often I have been joking with the lounge-receptionists whenever using the lounge, but not flying BA, if "Willie" hadn't already forbidden my entry.

*Alliance and LH started this nonsense and I can guarantee I have given them less turnover since!

On one hand I understand: the airlines are trying to bind more and more customers by offering them frequent flyer advantages and often give away a certain status at lower than required points with promotions. In the end this fills the lounges beyond capacity and makes visiting them less attractive (overfull lounges at AF and especially LH, where you need to present boarding card AND status card in order to prevent someone sneaking in for a bag of peanuts - just to find no empty seat - come to my mind).

But then again: many of us have specifically booked and flown with BA or other carriers again and again for years and years exactly to maintain this advantage, even when being forced to travel on another carrier. We paid many full fare tickets for this, spent a lot of our time in their planes sometimes taking the longer way around and also had to put up with some disadvantages (T5 is a huge improvement, but transfers at LHR are still time-consuming, BA economy within Europe doesn't really offer much and in my case I even had to put up with Iberia for BA points; not to mention the annoying Executive Club Germany service line!).

I always tried to maintain my status in all three alliances and in Air Berlin (to have a local alternative) for this reason. I wanted to maintain maximum chances of finding at least one lounge I could use at the oddest of airports I need to use and where I can't always get on mainline carriers. And I've flown further and paid slightly more to maintain this! In many of these airports the lounges are still the only possibility to access the internet, refreshen and bridge some transit-time with a decent seat.
LH really made my travelling harder when they sabotaged this (by the way, they already took a step back and allow you in on Germanwings flights again). I read here somewhere, that AF/KL also no longer allows access to their lounges if not on their or Skyteam flights. But so far this still works for me if not some contracted airport-lounge.
As far as BA is concerned it does not affect me equally hard, since BA does not have any own lounges at too many European airports or they are only open during BA departures but not when I need them or because I can not easily reach them outside the Schengen-only area.
In most European airports where I made use of the BA lounge, I was on AB flights and AB now has their own "advanced waiting area" at many German airports and from 2012 onwards their oneworld membership will give me access to more, so this restrictive move by BA finally flips my decission if to stick either with AB-gold or BA-gold after the beginning of 2012, since all four are hard to maintain and AB offers me other advantages at local airports (car-park etc.).
So for me this clearly will result in less BA-flights (you need at least 4 per year to renew) in future!

But it really is a shame, because BA admittedly does have the best lounges of all European mainline airlines (Virgin is not a transfer airline) and BA admittedly has the best longhaul business class of all for me and this brings to end a decade-long membership with many memorable flights.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:19 am
  #163  
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Then Tupelo, as you have never been a BAEC Gold, you really have no say in this issue, do you.

moral_low_ground............you do realize that many of us fly US carriers. I point this out because besides pointing out "US airlines" rather than let's say every airline in the World, what you wrote was in fact a half truth wasn't it? There are US carriers that allow top tier members to have complimentary lounge membership, I've had it in 12 of the past 14 years with Delta, almost all allow premium passengers to use the lounges, and several, including one which you noted DO in fact give complimentary access to overseas card holders, Not that what you wrote had anything really to do with the subject at hand anyway. How exactly if I am flying MXP-IST am I giving custom to a "competitor"? BA doesn't fly that route, as a matter of fact no 1world carrier does so. Please explain (but we are getting here again a small view UK-centric view of the matter).

Whether LH and KL did away with the benefit should be immaterial? I had assumed that BA was trying to be a better carrier with a better programme?

Seriously, they should just eliminate the benefit from the two troubled airports/louges (as they have already done with one) and otherwise leave things be.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:22 am
  #164  
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I'm going to pitch in a couple of observations here...

1) I was in the First lounge at Gatwick at the end of April and observed an individual stuffing his man-bag full of Alpen sachets, with the full approval of his "better" half who presumably had the Gold Card.

2) BA seem to have degenerated the First Class product to such a degree that the clipping away of extra benefits seems inevitable.

Tighter control of who gets into the lounges would be no bad thing.

Just postulating about a point (3) - there seems to be some kind of moral belief that people have a right to enter the BA lounge. Hmm...

Last edited by Prospero; May 22, 11 at 2:59 pm Reason: ASBO prevention measure ;)
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Old May 20, 11, 11:22 am
  #165  
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Originally Posted by Tupelo View Post
I agree with Hiddy, no reason to let even your best customers raid your lounge, even once or twice a year, while giving their custom to a competitor. That's just silly. Reward them in other ways. Just my opinion.
I think you and Hiddy are missing the point. We use the competition when BA doesn't fly a particular route. If I am flying BKK-SIN, neither BA nor any Oneworld carrier flies that route. But there is an easily accessible BA lounge at BKK that I might want to use. Multiply that route example times ten thousand.

I don't fly Star Alliance regularly. I give BA a lot of money. They can afford to let me use their lounge. This is the reason we have had this benefit all this time.
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