Underwhelmed by CCR

Old Nov 7, 19, 6:36 pm
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Underwhelmed by CCR

We just flew out to the US in F (only our second time ever in F). We arrived early at the CCR to maximise our experience having not done so the first time. We arrived around midday to find it packed and, after a wander round, found two seats out on the terrace. I had to go and find someone to get us a drink (Mrs Definitas wanted the much vaunted LPGS). We went to try to get a table to eat lunch around 1pm but the dining area was full. We decided to order the club sandwich and wait for onboard catering for something more substantial. I ordered mine with no egg and Mrs D ordered white bread. Sadly both came on granary and mine had egg. Two replacements were promised and mine came with egg again so, despite not being a fan I accepted it. Both were cold and tasteless. There was only one guy waiting on tables on the terrace and he kept disappearing so service was not great. Service in F on board was definitely inferior by some margin compared to our first time in F with a friendly attitude but haphazard service with no crew members around for several periods during the main meal service so I went to the galley to ask for a wine refill and had to explain almost in words of one syllable which wine I wanted and the cabin crew member happily admitted that she was not at all familiar with the wine or food choices. So, overall we felt underwhelmed with the whole experience, particularly compared to our last time. We came away thinking it was OK but definitely nothing to really recommend it to the point where we decided not to bother again. We only fly longhaul J twice or occasionally 3 times a year (always to the US) and felt that our F experience this time didnít justify the extra Avios (which we struggle to earn).
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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:41 pm
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Have to agree that when we had our 1st First we were both very underwhelmed by the CCR or at least the, total lack, of service that we experienced. Food served only made the entire experience look cheap ( single scallop anyone) and getting a drink was neigh on impossible so we ended up sitting at or just by the bar in the end. I blame the place, imho, being woefully understaffed. I'm not really the kind of person who wants a dozen people waiting hand and foot on me but spending twenty+ minutes even trying to see a member of staff let alone get some assistance just doesn't measure to all the bells and whistles of the place that BA seem to feel the CCR has.

The best service we actually had during our extended stay ( we did the same as you also wanting to maximise our first experience) was when we were in one of the cabana's where the young lady could not do enough for us and was there like a shot the couple of times we pressed the call bell.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 8:59 pm
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Very little point paying for any BA F at usual
fares.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by Definitas View Post
We just flew out to the US in F (only our second time ever in F). We arrived early at the CCR to maximise our experience...
The CCR is only an airport lounge, and arriving several hours before departure to "maximise the experience" suggests unrealistic expectations that will almost certainly lead to disappointment.

A lounge is a place to kill time and not really a destination in its own right.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:14 am
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I can sympathise. You simply cannot compare BA F to many others, it is simply not set up to compete in the same way. What route was this?
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by Misco60 View Post
The CCR is only an airport lounge, and arriving several hours before departure to "maximise the experience" suggests unrealistic expectations that will almost certainly lead to disappointment.

A lounge is a place to kill time and not really a destination in its own right.
I generally agree but there are some very nice lounges with great views, or even outdoor areas, and also very good food, and also transport to the gates.

Connecting at LHR from the US to other points it's not unusual to have a 2-4 hour layover, over even a bit longer, so if you are flying F an elevated experience is welcome by many. My CCR experiences have been fine for the most part, although I've had slow service, seen dirty dishes pile up and so forth.

The airlines also do in many cases promote their lounges as part of the premium experience so for the person who has saved up miles to access the Garden of Edens they are pushed as with spas and celebrity chefs, it's really not the fault of the customer if he/she is disappointed.

Here's how BA describes CCR

The Concorde Room


The Concorde Rooms are the epitome of elegance and available at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK. Our lounges are welcoming and inviting spaces with luxurious furniture, beautiful chandeliers and amazing artwork.

Enjoy pre-flight dining in our private dining booths with full waiter service and a la carte menu from Executive Head Chefs Frank Coughlin and Errol Figueroa. Our hosts will be happy to pair your meal with the finest champagnes and wines from around the world.



For your relaxation, private cabanas with a comfortable day bed and en suite give you the privacy you wish for. If you choose to dine or would simply like a refreshing cup of tea our hosts are on call with room service or a wake up call.*

If you would like to catch up on news or use our computers, the state of the art business suite is available for your use. For your convenience mobile chargers are also available**.



The Concorde Room at Terminal 5 London Heathrow has recently been refreshed, taking inspiration from the very best of British design, craftsmanship and heritage. Enjoy elegant lighting from Porta Romana, beautifully woven Osborne and Little fabrics and contemporary tables from Boss Design

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us.../first-lounges
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:13 am
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I find the T5 Concorde room somewhat variable and often use the first class lounge instead. However the JFK Concorde lounge is much better and I usually try and get there an extra hour ahead, the service is great and food is better than T5. Also means you can sleep on the flight back into London.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:47 am
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I agree the service is often very slow in the CCR. Sometimes it's because they are busy, but often they seem to be standing around chatting and one has to resort to standing up and finding someone, waving one's arms frantically or whatever. On the other hand sometimes it's fine. I suspect inconsistent training.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:57 am
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I think most will agree that the biggest problem with BA's premium offerings is inconsistency.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 2:13 am
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I have used the CCR 4 times this year. Every time has been fine, in fact very nice. My last visit was the end of Sept with my wife on a trip to NYC. That visit was excellent.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 2:41 am
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Originally Posted by Misco60 View Post
The CCR is only an airport lounge, and arriving several hours before departure to "maximise the experience" suggests unrealistic expectations that will almost certainly lead to disappointment.

A lounge is a place to kill time and not really a destination in its own right.
I fail to see why expecting ones order to be correct or food warm is ďunrealisticĒ. Expecting a decent level of service is also not unrealistic especially in what is BAís flagship lounge. I would wholeheartedly agree that many lounges are indeed just a place to kill time but for many - myself included - some lounges are a good deal more than that.
I very much take from the tone and content of the OPís post that they werenít expecting the earth - just what was advertised and they had paid for - either in cash or Avios.
I have never been in the CCR although my wife and I have a reward flight in F next year and are like the OP looking forward to enjoying the experience. If I have to wait 20 minutes for a drink or canít get a table for lunch or my order is wrong or food cold I will be disappointed and wonít consider that to be unreasonable. I have worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years and know well the difficulties of delivering consistent service with the problems of staffing in the modern world, when things donít go to plan I seldom get stressed about it. That said - this is a place that caters for BAís top customers or people who have paid a lot in either cash or Avios to be there - and BA need to work hard to get it right a high percentage of the time. Itís not right to tell customers to just lower our expectations.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 2:41 am
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Weíve used the CCR about 10 times now and always make for the restaurant booth seating where without fail we have had a lovely 2hr+ meal. The staff have always been very attentive. We often get to LHR 4-5hrs pre a flight, have a very good meal, have a cocktail outside then have a nosey round the shops by which time itís time to get to the gate.

I would add that the rest of the lounge is much like any other, and I dislike the look of the outside area furniture.

I agree with some above, expectations might be an issue.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 2:41 am
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Originally Posted by Misco60 View Post
The CCR is only an airport lounge, and arriving several hours before departure to "maximise the experience" suggests unrealistic expectations that will almost certainly lead to disappointment.

A lounge is a place to kill time and not really a destination in its own right.
Another post where you assume everybody thinks the same as you...

I will often get to a lounge hours early to enjoy myself or (spit!) get some work done. I've got a flight back to MAN next week from BSL at about 22:00. I'll be finished work at around 16:00, so will probably go straight to the airport. Have a few drinks, get something to eat, and watch some Netflix in the great Skyview lounge.

Other "premium" lounges manage to get the service and food offerings bang on (FCT and F lounges at FRA for example). Why can't BA at the CCR?
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Old Nov 8, 19, 2:52 am
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I think, as highlighted above, the problem with the CCR is the inconsistency. On occasions I've had some excellent food in there but on other occasions some very subpar food and indifferent service.

Anyone who listens to the hype about it is likely to be somewhat disappointed however. It's not a bad lounge and definitely the best lounge at T5 but there are better lounges elsewhere.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by Misco60 View Post
The CCR is only an airport lounge, and arriving several hours before departure to "maximise the experience" suggests unrealistic expectations that will almost certainly lead to disappointment.

A lounge is a place to kill time and not really a destination in its own right.
I totally disagree, it's their flagship lounge and as such it should offer a setting and service befitting of a first class lounge.

I have had excellent experiences at the FCT in Frankfurt, their associated first class lounges, The Swiss first class lounge, Al Safwa, The Pier, The Wing and the thai air first class lounge. I would definitely expect the CCR to be on a par with at least the Thai First class lounge.

For many people they rarely get a chance to fly first or experience the first class lounge so they treat it very much as part of the whole experience. If the airline/lounge cannot meet first class expectations, then maybe they need to rebrand it as a business class experience.
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