News from the GGL F&M Event

Old Jul 16, 15, 3:49 pm
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News from the GGL F&M Event

I know we have a thread on the event itself but there are outcomes from the event that are newsworthy to FTers. Therefore I trust it is justified starting a new thread.

First of all this is the first time I have attended such an event. Very very nice. I read that some FTers booked dinner at nearby restaurants for a post-event dinner. Absolutely unnecessary, there was plenty of quality food and very nice wines on offer - especially from the New World bar.


Keith Williams made a speech saying that BA have listened and that there was much more redemption availability; lounges refresh; and food improvements yadda yadda yadda. Anyway I managed to grab a few minutes with Keith Williams afterwards to get more detail on his "new news" (to be fair he made himself available and was very approachable - credit to him). As well as a couple of conversations with KW I also met with some other very impressive staff therethat seemed to be well informed, here is the summary:
  • There is a new entree coming in CW initially on the longer LH routes but including NY. This will make 4 entrees in CW
  • Lounges in JFK have been run-down as BA was considering moving to T8 to be with AA. That is now dead and there is going to be a considerable upgrade in T7 costing ten of millions (KW told me either 20m or 50m but I can't remember - yeah I know....). Work is starting at the end of this year.
  • I asked KW about the YQ charge. He said that it was coming down and had been removed from CE flights already - for LH he anticipated this coming down and being removed eventually given where the price of fuel is today. He claimed that the totality of YQ income to BA has not yet and never will make up for the losses BA incurred from the increase in fuel charges over the past few years.
  • KW also said that LHR lounges would be revamped. A conversation with someone else with knowledge on the project said that the new corridor from the First Check-In area would cost BA nothing bar the construction costs - they have proved to BAA (and BAA have accepted) that "Premium" customers don't do shopping in T5. They also stated that the lounge refurbishment in T5 would depend on signing a new lease with BAA after the current 7 year lease expires.
  • New runway (LHR). It is evident that KW expects (or at least would like) someone else other than BAA to pay for third runway and the supporting infrastructure (my reading of this was that he expected the taxpayer to pay for all of this_. He said otherwise the costs would be passed on to the travelling public. I couldn't quite understand KW thinking on this as I said to him - BAA will pay for it and we will pay for it with the next 100 years of passenger departure fees (surely!).
  • T5 FastTrack Security. KW was very interested in our various experiences in this area and asked me to email him directly with personal experiences. I will do so and point him at our little thread on the subject.

Think that was about it from me. Anyone else get any news?

Last edited by Banana4321; Jul 16, 15 at 5:06 pm
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:01 pm
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There may be a First area at LGW, and possibly but not probably a Flounge when they move to the South Terminal
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:05 pm
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Thanks for letting us know. Out of curiosity(sp?) how long have you been GGL and how often have you been invited/how often do these dinners happen?
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by BA038_Passenger View Post
There may be a First area at LGW, and possibly but not probably a Flounge when they move to the South Terminal
Oh yes I had a conversation on this too, with the LGW person. I think it's recognised that the 3pm closure hasn't gone down too well. However I'm told that a new First lounge at LGW is coming with the Terminal move and it will be a proper Flounge with proper opening hours.

I was also told that drinks from the Flounge after 3pm may be available to GCH holders in Galleries by special-request/luck-of-the-draw-with-staff etc. So worth asking if you are in there after the Bermuda departure.

Last edited by Banana4321; Jul 16, 15 at 5:22 pm
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Jamier45 View Post
Thanks for letting us know. Out of curiosity(sp?) how long have you been GGL and how often have you been invited/how often do these dinners happen?
This was my first time. However I am told that a London-area event happens every year and the if you're on the list then you can expect to attend every year as long as you are GGL. It's not a dinner - it's a themed multi-canape event.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Jamier45 View Post
Thanks for letting us know. Out of curiosity(sp?) how long have you been GGL and how often have you been invited/how often do these dinners happen?
You may want to consider, as a GGLer in the making, whether your BAEC address is London, or, say, Lossiemouth. If the former, you may well get something like 3 invitations every 4 years approximately. If the latter you would get a 100% chance of an invitation to all Lossiemouth GGL events. I can't remember when the last one of those was held.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You may want to consider, as a GGLer in the making, whether your BAEC address is London, or, say, Lossiemouth. If the former, you may well get something like 3 invitations every 4 years approximately. If the latter you would get a 100% chance of an invitation to all Lossiemouth GGL events. I can't remember when the last one of those was held.
Personally I was very surprised to not see you there cws :shrug:
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Banana4321 View Post
Personally I was very surprised to not see you there cws :shrug:
Since BA have facilitated my current location - which is 36,000 feet above the Mississippi River - I would have been surprised to get an invitation. However they do arrange some nice events for me, despite not being London based, so no complaints here.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Banana4321 View Post
... if you're on the list then you can expect to attend every year as long as you are GGL..
Might want to reset your expectations Banana4321. I went last year and the year before, but no invite this year despite still being GGL and requalifying for another year already. Mrs gcuk very unimpressed. She loved the macaroons. Didn't get invited to the open day at Heathrow either
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by gcuk View Post
Might want to reset your expectations Banana4321. I went last year and the year before, but no invite this year despite still being GGL and requalifying for another year already. Mrs gcuk very unimpressed. She loved the macaroons. Didn't get invited to the open day at Heathrow either
Oh dear. I won't bother clearing my diary for this week next year in that case.

I would expect it would depend on initial acceptances but I would also suggest that making a little noise will get an invite eventually - even if it's a the last minute. I got one for the Open Day a day or so before the event. I reckon this is because I called the GGL line a few times on the subject as well as the BA promotions line.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 4:59 pm
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I've not been invited to a GGL event since 2011. But as I am almost guaranteed to get all the gossip here, I'm coping reasonably well.

Key GGL benefits for me remain the jokers and the dedicated customer services team. ^
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Old Jul 16, 15, 5:03 pm
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Welcome news. Thank you so much Banana4321 for sharing your intel. ^
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Old Jul 16, 15, 5:10 pm
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I was there as well, nice run event, spoke to Keith's wife (no Intel though) and to the head of sales, he was relatively bullish on how well they're doing (super nice chap and some banter on the cricket, we both enjoyed England's performance today).
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Old Jul 16, 15, 6:07 pm
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Unless the signing of the new T5 lease is imminent, the news on T5 lounge refurbishment does not sound promising.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Banana4321 View Post
They also stated that the lounge refurbishment in T5 would depend on signing a new lease with BAA after the current 7 year lease expires.
Who else would take the lease for the lounges in T5 other than BA?
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