Galleries Club North

Old Feb 6, 16, 11:23 am
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Galleries Club North

So, as I was flying up to Manchester yesterday evening, I decided to use the 'appropriate' lounge - Galleries Club North - because it was closest to the gate.

Naively I also thought it would be quieter than the a South lounges - I got there at around 4.45pm for a 6.15 flight.

How wrong I was. The lounge was very busy, and of course there was no hot food either (tho I knew that would be the case). So when I got the feedback email, I gave a score of 2 and my reasons - lounge very busy and no hot food.

About 10 minutes later I was tannoyed, and found the lounge manager waiting to speak to me. According to him, the lounge team is aware of the overcrowding issues and thinking of a solution - possibly having designated shorthaul (North) and longhaul (South) lounges. He also confirmed that the lounges are in the process of being refurbished and improved.

He also apologised about the lack of hot food and said it was a common complaint that was being fed back. He seemed to like my suggestions of, at least, all day jacket potatoes, or hot sandwiches, outside the official mealtimes.

In any event, I was impressed that he made the effort to speak to me and took a note of my comments.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 11:39 am
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All gates in T5A are within 6 minutes walk of Flounge, so unless you're very tight for time - when overcrowding would not be an issue - I see no point in going to North lounge. Even B lounge is only 10 minutes walk away, if you know what you are doing. North is almost always a bit of a zoo, except at weekends.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
All gates in T5A are within 6 minutes walk of Flounge, so unless you're very tight for time - when overcrowding would not be an issue - I see no point in going to North lounge. Even B lounge is only 10 minutes walk away, if you know what you are doing. North is almost always a bit of a zoo, except at weekends.
I guess you're right. But I used the new fast track lane, which was pretty good. And, as I hadn't been in GN for years (so, in your words, I guess I didn't know what I was doing), I thought it would be quiet.

And, in any event, I was interested to see what it was like. And, in a way, I'm glad I did.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 11:48 am
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4:45pm has got to be one of the busiest times of the day. Good to hear that the BA lounge manager had addressed your low scores on a personal level, which shows that they are actually being read and maybe taken seriously. It would be very interesting to see how they propose to split SH/LH designated lounges specifically to reduce overcrowding however.

I am surprised that from a company point of view they apologised about the lack of hot food at that time, as most of the stories I have heard about go something along the lines of " themes our rules, and that's the way it's going to be"....albeit put far more politely. I personally can't see any changes happening on hot offer timings in the near future (Britishness of afternoon tea and all that) with the exception of soup, but I for a me would love to see your idea of jackets and hot sandwiches being introduced in between times
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Old Feb 6, 16, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by bafan View Post
I thought it would be quiet.
Well to be fair, the terrace can either be very quiet or very busy if a bunch of young blades have brought their mates and drinks in. The far end, by the computer area, can also be the best of a bad deal. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that the scenes of bedlam hit you as soon as you get past the newspapers - that intersection where the food and drink mainly resides - has a huge footfall thanks to the design. The outlying sections may not be quite so bad.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 11:49 am
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The other thing to note is that there are a number of domestic departure gates at thw south end of T5A as well so there is a good chance that you could go from there.

Domestic departure gates are A1-A9, A11, A19, A22, and A23.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Well to be fair, the terrace can either be very quiet or very busy if a bunch of young blades have brought their mates and drinks in. The far end, by the computer area, can also be the best of a bad deal. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that the scenes of bedlam hit you as soon as you get past the newspapers - that intersection where the food and drink mainly resides - has a huge footfall thanks to the design. The outlying sections may not be quite so bad.
I suspect it is also quite visible from north security being on the same floor without schlepping downstairs and fighting through the ever decreasing space (being encroached by shop fronts).

I just popped in and must have missed bafan on his way out but it seemed quieter than I remembered, particularly the terrace.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Stez View Post
...I just popped in and must have missed bafan on his way out but it seemed quieter than I remembered, particularly the terrace.
Sorry I missed you.

And it may have quietened down a bit by the time I left. But certainly the manager acknowledged it was very busy at the time I arrived. And he was genuinely apologetic about it.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 3:24 am
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I was there at that sort of time on a Friday; it was rammed when I arrived, and my partner was turned away when she arrived a few minutes later (BA Silver). She eventually got in after a little pleading, and we found a pair of seats on the terrace. Not a pleasant start, though it started thinning out after about 6PM.

Interesting idea of splitting shorthaul and longhaul; wonder if that would mean a better quality lounge for LH? One can hope....
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Old Feb 7, 16, 4:28 am
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Last time I went through, I timed a leisurely walk to the various A gates from walking out of the door of GF since I always forget where they are. (You could probably cut all these times by 25% if you're prepared to pick up the pace a bit to a brisk (but not uncomfortable) speed!).

a15+ -- 2 mins
a13+ -- 3 mins
a08+ -- 5 mins
A10 Gates - 7 mins sharp / bus gate
a05+ -- 7 mins
A4 Gate - 8 mins sharp / bus gate
a01+ -- 8 mins
A07 - better to cut through A8 seating
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Old Feb 7, 16, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by 27R View Post
Interesting idea of splitting shorthaul and longhaul; wonder if that would mean a better quality lounge for LH? One can hope....
Be careful what you wish for. bmi had a separate lounge for domestic due to the original design of T1. When departures became mixed and they improved the International lounge there were howls of anguish from DC members citing *A access rules. A short haul only lounge is likely to have a downgraded offering rather than a long haul lounge having the existing offering improved!
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Old May 3, 16, 7:07 am
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I read in the comments here that North might be closed? Just a nasty rumour?

http://www.headforpoints.com/2016/02...ounge-to-open/
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Old May 3, 16, 7:33 am
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I can't see that. Galleries North accounts for between 20-25k people per week being exposed to a BA premium product at a home hub. The South complex can't possibly cope with those additional volumes, so on that basis I would say it's just an incorrect rumour.
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Old May 3, 16, 7:38 am
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To be clear although the link is to HfP, the prediction about it closing is from some guy called Matt in the comments section, not from Raffles:

It will be in 5A when they close North this year.
Unless someone else who is actually known/trustworthy confirms this then I think it doesn't carry much weight.
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Old May 3, 16, 10:29 am
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Is the lounge being refurbished?
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