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Lounge Focus - London Gatwick (LGW) South: Temporary BA Lounge

Lounge Focus - London Gatwick (LGW) South: Temporary BA Lounge

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Old Feb 6, 17, 12:44 am   -   Wikipost
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This thread is relates to the temporary lounge facilities for LGW South. At the time of writing there are three lounges open, the two permanent lounges for First and Club, linked immediately below, and the temporary Speedbird lounge, which is handled in this thread. The Clubrooms facility referenced below has now ended.

Details on the new BA First Lounge can be found here:http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...-february.html

Details on the new BA Club Lounge can be found here:http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...ub-lounge.html

Temporary access directions for the new lounge can be found by clicking here.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 6:44 pm
  #1  
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Lounge Focus - London Gatwick (LGW) South: Temporary BA Lounge

Evolving Draft

The LGW South Lounge is not yet ready. An electrical signoff was not completed in time for opening, and with some reluctance by all concerned, for safety reasons it was decided not to open the lounge until it was fully ready, even though it is not far from completion. Currently there is no date fixed for the new lounge to open, in the meantime two other lounges have been pressed into service.

The temporary arrangements in South are:
  • First travellers and Goldcard holders can use the No. 1 Clubrooms Lounge. Also New York, Bermuda and Jersey passengers can use this lounge too, if travelling Club, irrespective of status.
  • Club Europe, Club World and Silver travellers can use the Speedbird Lounge, a temporary provision in the former Virgin Clubroom area.

See letter in post 6 below, which is handed out to customers as an explanation, on the other side of that letter is this map:



Both lounges are open from 05:30 to the last flight (around 21:00 hrs). The seating capacity of both lounges combined isn't great and there are reports of queues at peak time. One reason for that is that people are arriving airside well before their flights, perhaps prompted by all the announcements of the changeover. Since South is relatively uncongested at the moment there isn't a particular need to arrive early. Neither facility has showers available for the guests, but there are showers in the BA Lounge, when it opens.

Now there is a good short cut from security which will continue with the new lounge. After security there is a main route down to the shops, and access to the lounges involves taking a escalator back up to the floor with the lounges on it. However if you go sharp left after security you end up kept on the upper level and very quickly emerge in the channel below the Speedbird lounge, as shown in the map above. The new BA lounge will eventually be in the grey boxes at the top of the map, left of Nando's.



The alternative, if you have a Priority Pass card or something similar, is the No. 1 Traveller lounge, which is in the same area, which is reportedly less busy at the moment now that easyJet has moved out of South. This is run by Aspire, and offers something similar to the Speedbird Lounge in terms of food and drink.

Now conscious that this thread has a longer lifetime than the first week, what I'm proposing here is that this post is a stub until the main lounge is available. Post 2 will eventually have the First lounge basic information in it. Post 3 information on the temporary lounge arrangement for the former Virgin lounge. Over time we will get this thread to cover the long term position, as BA gets the relevant lounges plugged in.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jan 28, 17 at 10:10 am
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Old Jan 24, 17, 6:45 pm
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First Lounge - LGW South Terminal.

Passengers for First, Gold cardholders and travellers to New York, Bermuda and Jersey are being directed to the No. 1 Clubrooms. Pending the arrival of the permanent facility, here are some details about the temporary arrangements.

Location: right opposite the Speedbird lounge, they are not very far apart. Note the instructions above to take the short cut from Security by turning sharp left as soon as you are clear of the security area.



Opening hours: 05:30 to 21:00 hrs (effectively the last flight).



This is quite a small lounge, around 80 seats in all, and with 60 people in the lounge it does look more crowded than the Speedbird. Seating is in 4 rooms, there is only one working desk (which I'm now hogging) and not much power provision. One of the rooms has a TV in it, 3 have windows but there's not much of a view There is a very high staffing to the lounge, so the service quality is very high. The food and most of the drink provision comes from waiter ordering. The menu is much better than North:









There is a separate menus for later in the day, I think they have a bigger kitchen facility than in North.




Drinks
All alcohol is on order from the waiting staff. The complimentary champagne is de Castelnau, other premium champagnes are available at the prices below. The wine and spirits is also not charged for, I'll type it out later since I can't imagine is visible on smaller screens.






Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jan 25, 17 at 2:27 pm
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Old Jan 24, 17, 6:46 pm
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BA Speedbird lounge (former Virgin lounge) - South Terminal interim lounge

For Club/Silver passengers predominately, though Bermuda, New York and Jersey bound customers can use the Clubrooms if travelling Club or Silver/Emerald. Gold cardholders can also use this facility.







This is the interim lounge in the former Virgin clubrooms. It consists of two main seating areas, one more work/business focus, and a series of side areas with smaller, more intimate seating arragements. At the front is a bar area, and there are plenty of fridges and coffee machines around the seating areas. It is operated by BaxterStorey. It is open from 05:30 until the last flight.





There are good views on to the apron (though the fog is hampering that aspect this morning).

This is probably a modest upgrade on the No. 1 Traveller facilities in North, it's BA only, with BA wi-fi, and BA staff running around able to get to customers easily. Two big drawbacks: there are very, very few power plugs available for passengers, there seems to be just 3 seating positions with easy power access, with 2 plugs, in the rear areas. Secondly the only passenger information screen is almost at reception, presumably harking back to when Virgin could comfortably announce each flight in turn without disturbing too many people.

There are WCs in the lounge, plus a small children's play area.



Food:
The usual breakfast arrangements for Silver are in place - fruit salad, yoghurts, croissants, pastries, plus individual bacon sandwich bags. It is essentially self service. The key missing items seem to be toast and porridge.







In the afternoon/evening the food options include 3 varieties of sandwiches (ham and mustard, mature cheddar and pickle, coronation chicken), pretzels, crisps, sliced banana cake, fruit flapjacks, brownies and biscuits. Photos, courtesy of aks120 are in post 185 click here.

The food service area is quite small, there isn't a lot of space in the new lounge, which I estimate is something like 150 seats. The new lounge management is particularly pleased with the new coffee machines. These deliver quite a reasonable cup of coffee quickly. There is a full coffee machine on the bar, but that isn't in use.



Drink:
There is a staffed bar at the moment.



The reds are a Merlot Tannat and the Rioja. The whites, from left, are Tannat Cabernet Sauvignon Rosť, Pinot Grigio and the Gascogne on the right. Plus the Prosecco. There is some overlap with the No 1 Clubroom menu, so see above for a bit more information.





Beer: in bottles, Corona, Peroni Nastro, Meantime London Pale Ale, non alcoholic beer Nanny State.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jan 28, 17 at 9:33 am
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Old Jan 24, 17, 7:18 pm
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:O

I thought you assured us months ago that the BA lounge was ready to roll whenever it was needed?! I'm flying from LGW on Saturday - I'll be very disappointed if I'm in the old VS lounge!
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Old Jan 24, 17, 8:05 pm
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Someone asked on Twitter and was told that First/Gold will use No1 Clubrooms and Club/Silver will use Speedbird Lounge.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 11:58 pm
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Given a letter at the temporary lounge this morning saying the new lounges will open in the near future and directed to the Clubrooms


Last edited by speedbird85; Jan 25, 17 at 1:14 am Reason: Added image
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Old Jan 25, 17, 12:38 am
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Oh for goodness sake - they have had long enough to get this right! I was looking forward to finally getting in a BA lounge on Friday for my commute home. My next few months of flights are back out of Heathrow and I was regretting that - now I am not!

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Old Jan 25, 17, 12:39 am
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I suppose it us understandable really - after all they only had a year's notice...
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Old Jan 25, 17, 12:57 am
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Good luck to all at LGW South for a smooth and comfortable journey today. Shame the new lounge facilities are delayed.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:06 am
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Well we are currently 1 hour from leaving the Sofitel to see what the score is - feeling fairly chuffed that I booked Number 1 as a back up as from above it looks like we will use it!

It as also foggy as xxxx here!
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:08 am
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It looks like I'll be eligible for the No1 Lounge, flying to BDA.

While I'm disappointed I won't get to see the new lounge (unless it opens tomorrow), I am looking forward to the No1 lounge.

Come on BA, you should be better than this!
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by TravellerFrequently View Post
Good luck to all at LGW South for a smooth and comfortable journey today. Shame the new lounge facilities are delayed.
What intrigues me about this is that they've had so much longer than they needed, done such a good job elsewhere and yet it seems to be tiny things...
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:12 am
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My optimism surrounding this appears to be unfounded. I really thought and believed they had got it right this time leaving me somewhat disappointed. Having said that, after the Scottish opening schedule fiasco's in years gone by I should have perhaps known better. On a brighter note, I am sure the delay in opening is for good reason and waiting another week or so for lourges that are aesthetically complete, fully stocked, and moreover safe is not the end of the world. The new check-in areas look good from the photos mind!

Last edited by TyneTraveller; Jan 25, 17 at 10:37 am
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by andrewkeith5 View Post
What intrigues me about this is that they've had so much longer than they needed, done such a good job elsewhere and yet it seems to be tiny things...
Well yes, quite! Knowing BA (and most other large UK corporations too) they are probably delaying full opening as the method statement and risk assessments for carrying out a procedure to check another procedure is still awaiting sign off in order to enable the safe cutting of pre cut sarnies.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:29 am
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Nice to see British Airways customers' get their own dedicated apostrophe too.
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