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[BA Lounge Access for status members with 'extra' infants/children]

[BA Lounge Access for status members with 'extra' infants/children]

Old Dec 31, 11, 11:40 pm
  #1  
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[BA Lounge Access for status members with 'extra' infants/children]

Hi all,

I have been a BA gold Executive Club member for 9 years and will of course retain my membership for next year. I recently had an experience at Heathrow which made me sick. I was flying with some friends. In total, there were 2 gold members and 1 silver member in the group. We had 2 infants and 1 child. We were effectively short of signing in an infant as a "guest". We were not allowed to use the business lounge. It was 6am, I went in the lounge on my own, there were more staff than people.

When I travel for business (multiple times/week) I use the lounge always on my own and never have a guest with me. Frequently I dont even bother to go to the lounge as the food in First lounge is rubbish and I find Itsu Sushi is much nicer at T5 in Heathrow.

The only time I really NEED to use the lounge is when travelling with my infant and child as it is CONVENIENT. I go to the kids zone and they have their breakfast, it is convenient - nothing more.

Whilst BA continue to be blind to the needs of Gold members travelling with Infants and having experienced other Gold members having the same discussion with lounge staff, I started my own policy of HELP-EACHOTHER
I started helping other families enter the lounge by signing in one of their guests.

Personally I will continue to sign guests (families in particular) in the lounge (even if they are not travelling with me) until BA show they have brains on lounge policy for families with infants.


Moderator Note

The topic title has been edited to reflect the broadened nature of the discussion in subsequent replies.

LTN Phobia
Moderator: BA Forum

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Jan 4, 12 at 10:54 am
62aClubWorld is offline  
Old Jan 1, 12, 12:19 am
  #2  
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Hi 62aclubworld,

Welcome to Flyertalk and a Happy New Year, it is good to have people on the board with a vast amount of experience on BA, I believe the combined experience of everyone does help. Where have you been the past 9 years?

In your post I can not see what class you travel in or how big your group is. The rules are pretty clear, gold card holders can invite one guest, silver card holders have access to the business lounge. If your group is too big, which it seems it was, there is no complaint as the lounge staff followed the rules. If they did not folow the rules and denied access for a wrong reason I am sure many on this board would have sympathised.

Signing in guests is your perogative, you and a +1 can enter no matter what the definition is of the +1, as long as he/she flies on BA that day.

I personally feel the soft approach works best, if I am somewhere very regularly I try to be friendly with the staff, try to remember their names so they remember me as a trouble free pasenger. When the time comes I need an exception I would ask beforehand if for example next week I could have an exception. 9 out of 10 times that works and when the answer is no it is clear and will not cause trouble on that day.

Globalist
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:51 am
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Originally Posted by 62aClubWorld View Post
In total, there were 2 gold members and 1 silver member in the group. We had 2 infants and 1 child. We were effectively short of signing in an infant as a "guest". We were not allowed to use the business lounge.
If you had 3 card holders and 3 guests, why couldn't you sign one each into the business lounge?
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:14 am
  #4  
 
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Firstly welcome to the forum.

I think you will find here a good number of people who think the lounge is for adults only but I am not one. I completely sympathise with you. The BA policy is stupid. Children should simply not be considered as guests by virtue of the fact that they are children.

Having said that, its most unlikely you will have this experience anywhere other than in the UK (widely considered to be the most child unfriendly country on earth I'm afraid). Without hesitation from the lounge dragons, I have taken my entire family (the four of us) in to BA lounges in Belgium, Brazil, the US, and Bangkok. Other OW partners have also been very amenable such as Qantas.

Most people in these countries actually like children and couldn't even conceive of a policy that would exclude them from the lounge.

Btw, I once also talked my family in to the old Gold lounge in T4. Again, a Lounge Dragon that understood the policy is ridiculous.

I admire your activism. Perhaps we do indeed need to take this discussion to a higher level and start a campaign toward BA. Maybe one of the forum moderators can tell us if there is a mechanism here for gathering like minded people together with the purpose of sending a message to BA?

Last edited by Prospero; Jan 1, 12 at 5:25 am Reason: remove reference to deleted post
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:22 am
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Originally Posted by mjack99 View Post
I think you will find here a good number of people who think the lounge is for adults only but I am not one. I completely sympathise with you. The BA policy is stupid. Children should simply not be considered as guests by virtue of the fact that they are children.
I agree totally.

Originally Posted by mjack99 View Post
Having said that, its most unlikely you will have this experience anywhere other than in the UK (widely considered to be the most child unfriendly country on earth I'm afraid). Without hesitation from the lounge dragons, I have taken my entire family (the four of us) in to BA lounges in Belgium, Brazil, the US, and Bangkok.
Can add my anecdote of one; no problem at FCO for guest + child either.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:25 am
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How old are the infants? If they are two years old or under they should be allowed in over and above your usual guest allowance.

Welcome to FT.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:32 am
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62aClubWorld

Welcome to the board; I agree about the strict rigidity of the policy that does not enable a family to use the lounge together - perhaps the card should enable everyone on the PNR to use the lounge together?

I have no time for the child-haters who think it only an adult lounge (I note BA provide a children's play area in all except the CCR, so the child-haters can stuff it) - the problem is that a GCH is likely to earn most miles and use most facilities on their own when travelling for business, so to deny a clear family unit, booked on one PNR into the lounge together is not too hard.

I would draw the line at an entire stag group booked on one PNR of course!

Last edited by Lucifer UK; Jan 1, 12 at 3:47 am
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:33 am
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Originally Posted by BA304 View Post
How old are the infants? If they are two years old or under they should be allowed in over and above your usual guest allowance.

Welcome to FT.
Exactly, this has been discussed fully in another thread here
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:34 am
  #9  
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If you had 3 cardholders and 3 infants, you could all go into the Galleries Club lounge.

But obviously only 2 cardholders (the Golds) and 2 infants in the Galleries First lounge as that is the rule I'm afraid!
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:35 am
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With BA on this one tbh. Think taking children into the lounges is fine if they behave well but the issue is on numbers.

Without the one guest policy where do you draw the line? 10 families with 5 children each in the lounge on 10 gold cards? At anywhere other that LHR that becomes an issue quickly.

Ive experienced BA apply the policy with discretion, I've been in with my family at LGW F lounge for instance. If the lounge is busy I'd expect the policy to be enforced. Not much else they can do IMO.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
If you had 3 cardholders and 3 infants, you could all go into the Galleries Club lounge.

But obviously only 2 cardholders (the Golds) and 2 infants in the Galleries First lounge as that is the rule I'm afraid!
Sounds like the 'rules' were incorrectly applied in this case. Either the OP should have been allowed in to GC with the whole group or redirected to GC if they had gone to GF. Aside from the rules, it seems somewhat jobs worth, particularly when the lounge is not busy and we are talking two gold card holders, to not allow an infant in addition to the normal gold guest rights.

@OP - with 9 years of gold experience i am sure we would value your continued posting and hope to see you again. You should email/write to BA and complain IMHO. The rules have as a minimum been applied rather zealously, and (based on what more knowledgable people than me say up thread) probably been applied incorrectly.

@UncleDude - if you have a problem with the post why not report it? If you dont like the thread why not vote it as 'terrible'? If you dislike the poster why not flag 'ignore'?
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:53 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by stueys View Post
With BA on this one tbh. Think taking children into the lounges is fine if they behave well but the issue is on numbers.

Without the one guest policy where do you draw the line? 10 families with 5 children each in the lounge on 10 gold cards? At anywhere other that LHR that becomes an issue quickly.

Ive experienced BA apply the policy with discretion, I've been in with my family at LGW F lounge for instance. If the lounge is busy I'd expect the policy to be enforced. Not much else they can do IMO.
This is it - there ought to be room for some discretion.

Well-behaved children take up very little space and aren't going to be quaffing the champagne or shouting into their mobile phone so there isn't much cost associated with allowing them into a lounge.

In my view the rules need to be there to ensure that one GCH can't let in his or her brood of eight children but the lounge attendants should have the tacit support of management in allowing a GCH to guest in an extra well-behaved child.

If it turns out that the child is running riot the family should be politely asked to leave but this is very rarely the case. (Actually I think anyone who is being disruptive should be asked to leave).
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:53 am
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I also thought three cards should get your group in but maybe officially only galleries and not first? I normally take soft approach as well and generally works, but know the rules. But I agree that I also am 4-6 times a week alone in the lounge for 5-60 minutes so seems odd I cannot twice a year take two or even three guests. Problem of course is to manage this and people here will say there cost etc are based on fact you always come on your own, etc.

I do agree though that it would be great benefit for me ("worth more" than say a GUF2) to be able to 3-4 times a year take additional guest. This may tempt me to go GGL, but I think would be great benefit if BA does for example:

- For every say 250 tp's earned you get additional guest voucher

Or

- each GCH gets 3 evouchers per year or so for additional guest

Nice benefit for little cost and would furer cement my loyalty / drive more revenue for BA.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:55 am
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Ps I generally have no issue, maybe you should have entered in three small groups rather than a big one. Perception.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:56 am
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I recall in Boston in 2005 myself and a colleague (both of us GCH) asked very politely if we could by exception have a 30 minute meeting with a 3rd colleague who was flying Lufthansa. We explained that we would not consume anything and would leave if room was needed. And guess what? - we got the frosty rulebook thrown at us a la some of the responses on this and other threads. If common sense was not to prevail, there are 2 ways of saying no and this was not the nice version.

Thereafter, clutching a metaphorical BAEC rule book in hand, we plucked 2 of the scruffiest backpackers off the later BA queue, guested them into the First lounge and pointed them at the champagne bottles. Not sure if the wide eyes of the backpackers or Miss Frost on the desk was the funnier sight but we laughed at how sometimes common sense is more important than slavish adherence to the rules (or at least be pleasant enforcing the rules).
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