Galleries Lounges Future

Old Jun 16, 18, 8:40 am
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Galleries Lounges Future

So here I am in the newish Iberia lounge in T4S MAD. And I once again find myself questioning how everyone else is seemingly getting it so right, but BA are not catching on.

The lounge is sleek, airy, clean, busy but not overcrowded, and has been offering a rolling selection of hot and cold dishes for the last 2 hours, including a salad station throughout.

There is a stylish bar area, a restaurant and buffet area, it all reminds me of the AA new flagship lounge I visited in MIA. Another Oneworld airline setting a great standard on the ground.

So I pose the question. Why are BA not following suit? Should BA amalgamate Club and First lounge and just offer a decent, large, Galleries lounge at T5? Offering a better quality food offering throughout? Will they move away from different bowls of slop and realise that food is the thing of the moment, and people want fresh, healthy, new tastes, not just the same stuff again and again.

I see real real flaires of improvement; the white company tie up, some good marketing campaigns, new club service, a more personalised EC, but there is a way to go on the basics still.

Not really a moan I just find it frustrating and find others views on the future of lounges interesting!
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Old Jun 16, 18, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by ABJ92 View Post
Should BA amalgamate Club and First lounge and just offer a decent, large, Galleries lounge at T5? Offering a better quality food offering throughout? Will they move away from different bowls of slop and realise that food is the thing of the moment, and people want fresh, healthy, new tastes, not just the same stuff again and again.
!
lol

what makes you think making one large lounge would improve things? BA would use it to reduce the GF offering to the GC service and not do any improvements!
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Old Jun 16, 18, 8:50 am
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Iím not disputing the sentiment of this thread, Iím all for ground product improvements. But itís worth keeping mind IB doesnít have an F class product any more.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by Woodbinerich View Post
Iím not disputing the sentiment of this thread, Iím all for ground product improvements. But itís worth keeping mind IB doesnít have an F class product any more.
Yeah and that is evident I would say, but for the purpose of the arguement, the Concorde Room would remain as a ground option for those pax
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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
lol

what makes you think making one large lounge would improve things? BA would use it to reduce the GF offering to the GC service and not do any improvements!
The difference between GC and GF is slim to marginal anyway, readily available champagne being the only stand-out one. I wouldnít say even GF is comparable to VS J lounge.

The reality is BA will only make improvements when it absolutely has to compete (eg if EK could setup a base at LHR with the 3rd runway), which will also be far too late to recover loyalty anyway.

I think the best we can hope for is that it doesnít get any worse. It reminds me of an advert Iceland are running at the moment ďto celebrate winning <insert funded award> weíve frozen our prices on XĒ... theyíre advertising (and expecting praise for) not raising their prices for a few weeks.

Fly BA. Itís no worse than last week!
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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
lol

what makes you think making one large lounge would improve things? BA would use it to reduce the GF offering to the GC service and not do any improvements!
Iím not sure it would. But it would create space, and could allow for more innovation in terms of ďrestaurant styleĒ experiences, multiple buffets, bar space etc.
Iím well aware that it could go the cost cutting way, but I genuinely donít think what I see in the IB lounge is, beyond the hard product, overly expensive to maintain.

Itís only a thought, both GF and GC feel very stale at the moment in comparison
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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:31 am
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Iíll have to disagree. The beer selection and the view are great, but as far as food goes I only got dry, stale tortilla and DIY salad. No huge complaints, but I still (marginally) prefer BAís food when it is there for the 3 main meals (the afternoon tea I find somewhat lacking) There was salmon but given how stale the tortilla was I wasnít gonna try that. There were a decent amount of things to make a salad out of but thatís not really exceptional. I also find the tall leather seats in the south galleries lounge really nice to stay in for a while, compared to IBís choice of seats.

Iím happy flying LHR-MAD because both lounges have all I need and theyíre both different from each other, but I wouldnít dare say one is better from the other.


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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:39 am
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I was there (Madrid) for breakfast earlier this week and the selection was dreadful. It was nowhere near the flounge offering and personally I prefer the galleries breakfast.

I donít think anyone would suggest galleries couldnít be improved if starting again now, but it was great when T5 opened and still towards the top end of lounge offerings overall.

Iíd say a good refurb and opening of a lounge in T5C to reduce crowding would put the overall Heathrow proposition back where it should be.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by RobDBA View Post
I was there (Madrid) for breakfast earlier this week and the selection was dreadful. It was nowhere near the flounge offering and personally I prefer the galleries breakfast.

I agree. IB's lounges at MAD are nothing special. Average food (if one can call the pre-packaged salads and wraps food) and drinks selection. Although the T4S lounge does have a lot of space, but it says more about the (lack of) traffic rather than anything else.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 10:07 am
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It's probably worth separating out a few factors. Firstly T4B has been recently refurbished, and with a lounge makeover, things will look sleek and contemporary (as we have seen with the new BA lounges in LGW, FCO, ABZ etc). Secondly another factor is "different to what I am used to". I had a spell of flying from T4S to LHR daily for 2 blocks of 5 days, and I have to say that on week 2 I was getting fairly fed up with it by what I saw as a lack of choice. The Iberia lounge menus are in the habit of staying the same for months on end. The T4 lounge is worse since it's just sandwiches (and not very good ones at that) for much of the day..
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Old Jun 16, 18, 10:40 am
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When I last used the Iberia T4S lounge 4 years ago it was a zoo, Seating for 6 people used by 2 people and their luggage, the food was ok, bar pretty good,

id certainly say GF is far better than GC with buffet food throughout the day, food to order off the menu as well as free pour champagne.

Arriving at 3.30pm into GC for a 5pm flight to Scotland was woeful and I can only describe like the aftermath of a children’s tea party.

I have to say the Newly furbished Iberia Lounge is great, seats for 1, 2 and 4 people spread out with chargers and lamps. Buffet, ice cream, mini bottles of water, changing food and Parmesan cheese.

The cava as a little disappointing and there was one rank bottle of wine but I’d now go through Madrid again after this experience.

Last edited by KeaneJohn; Jun 16, 18 at 11:50 am
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Old Jun 16, 18, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's probably worth separating out a few factors. Firstly T4B has been recently refurbished, and with a lounge makeover, things will look sleek and contemporary (as we have seen with the new BA lounges in LGW, FCO, ABZ etc). Secondly another factor is "different to what I am used to". I had a spell of flying from T4S to LHR daily for 2 blocks of 5 days, and I have to say that on week 2 I was getting fairly fed up with it by what I saw as a lack of choice. The Iberia lounge menus are in the habit of staying the same for months on end. The T4 lounge is worse since it's just sandwiches (and not very good ones at that) for much of the day..
Isnīt this normal/common? Iīve been travelling every week for the last 5 weeks between LHR and AMS. Premium Plaza LHR T5 always the same.... Aspire AMS, always the same... so I would regard it as "normal" even though itīs very boring.

I know these are not airline owned lounges, but the same applies if you use very frequently the lounges.

I guess, at the end of the day what really matters is the atmosphere. A place to relax, chill, have a couple of drinks and a snack, do some work, etc. I think here, the new Velazquez lounge in T4S is spot on.

Anyhow, for gourmet experiences, better to use other services.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by tobsw View Post
Isnīt this normal/common? Iīve been travelling every week for the last 5 weeks between LHR and AMS. Premium Plaza LHR T5 always the same.... Aspire AMS, always the same... so I would regard it as "normal" even though itīs very boring..
It is different with LHR Galleries Club and First, in that the buffet items change on a rotation, so if you go once a week to GC / GF the items will have changed, and the sandwiches fillings will rotate as well. The buffet items also change within the week, particularly for GF (e.g. fishcakes on Fridays).
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Old Jun 16, 18, 12:02 pm
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BA stopped using the Galleries branding for new lounge openings in 2013 with the opening of the refurbished GLA lounge.

The GLA lounge, and all new and refurbished lounges up to the FCO lounge featured the Galleries Evolution concept (an evolution of the original Galleries concept), with lounges branded simply as 'British Airways Lounge'. FCO and ABZ have heralded a new, much smarter (IMO) concept.

The trend since 2013 has definitely been to combine First and Club lounges; take SIN, IAD and BOS as prime examples, with EWR before that. However, BA are still keen to differentiate at focus cities with dedicated F-only products such as Concorde Dining and Concorde Bar.

Separate First lounges will still be a feature at major hubs - LGW has a separate First lounge, as will JFK once the current refurbishment is complete later this year. I don't see any future where LHR loses a separate First lounge.

I would bet good money that the JNB, SFO and ORD lounges will lose a separate First lounge when they are refurbished, with the first two perhaps featuring a Concorde Bar product and the latter a Concorde Dining product.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 1:05 pm
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I think previous threads on this topic have concluded that one of the challenges that BA faces in providing a high quality lounge offering at T5 is the relative mix of (lower margin) short haul to long haul flights. In theory at least, a significantly higher proportion of IB flights at T4S are long haul.

Perhaps this could be solved by tweaking the segmentation (e.g. designating T5B as 'long haul' and introducing a Oneworld Emerald section)?
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