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Bad news - BA's NCL lounge reportedly to close permanently

Bad news - BA's NCL lounge reportedly to close permanently

Old May 28, 21, 3:16 am
  #151  
 
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Originally Posted by duncas View Post
Such a PITA! I’ve just spoken with my dad and he says all the cafes are closed but the shops are open, although also said it’s like a ghost town. His taxi driver said it was his first airport ride in over a year!
It was very quiet last week, I think only Boots was open (even duty free was closed - had to go through some corridors to get to departures).
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Old May 28, 21, 3:43 am
  #152  
 
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The first holiday flights to Portugal started yesterday and BA begin their limited Sat/Sun schedule (Portugal) this weekend so this may prompt more outlets to open.
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Old May 28, 21, 4:05 am
  #153  
 
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According to the airport website Caffè Ritazza should be open, but that seems to be it. Not one bar even open.
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Old May 28, 21, 4:46 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by northeastflyer View Post
According to the airport website Caffè Ritazza should be open, but that seems to be it. Not one bar even open.
Was there yesterday and that was the case. Also Boots and WH Smith. No bars open, no duty free. The smoking area is open though (and nobody smoking) it's hidden behind (closed) Dixons and it's usually for customers of one of the closed bars, for the moment they have a few notices directing you towards it and they have set the access code to 1234. It gives you a good view of the apron.

Once you see your BA flight pull into gate 3 then go downstairs and sit by the area outside where the lounge used to be. If everyone boards early, the aircraft departs early and you can be halfway to London on the HEX before it's even due to land!

Does anyone know what the building work at the airport is? When walking to the smoking area there's a lot of bits boarded off, when on the plane I looked up and it seems like there's an extension being built. Does anyone know what was being planned there?
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Old May 28, 21, 10:47 am
  #155  
 
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Originally Posted by layz View Post
Was there yesterday and that was the case. Also Boots and WH Smith. No bars open, no duty free. The smoking area is open though (and nobody smoking) it's hidden behind (closed) Dixons and it's usually for customers of one of the closed bars, for the moment they have a few notices directing you towards it and they have set the access code to 1234. It gives you a good view of the apron.

Once you see your BA flight pull into gate 3 then go downstairs and sit by the area outside where the lounge used to be. If everyone boards early, the aircraft departs early and you can be halfway to London on the HEX before it's even due to land!

Does anyone know what the building work at the airport is? When walking to the smoking area there's a lot of bits boarded off, when on the plane I looked up and it seems like there's an extension being built. Does anyone know what was being planned there?
In the beforetimes the airport were planning to build a new lounge and I think construction had started on it. I'm pretty sure it's on hold currently, but looking at these renderings, it looks like the area you were describing.

Again another sign of just how far away we are from early 2020 :-(
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Old May 28, 21, 11:42 am
  #156  
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I've heard from two sources that BA are "reviewing" the lounge situation, though I don't want to build up any false sense of hope here. Aspire opens on 1 June at NCL (and elsewhere), and by coincidence BA has renewed third party lounge contracts in all sorts of places with effect from 1 June, the extent of that we will only find out towards the end of next week.
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Old May 28, 21, 12:42 pm
  #157  
 
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If - and I appreciate it's a very big if - the Aspire lounge does become available to eligible BA passengers then I hope that part of the agreement includes capacity guarantees. I would occasionally try and use the Aspire lounge with my Priority Pass when flying BA but they would often refuse me access on the basis it was full. It was never full or even close to it, but the justification was that they had X number of passengers on the Emirates flight to DXB. Being able to have a proper cooked breakfast was the main attraction so fingers crossed that we do have some good news on that front in due course.
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Old May 29, 21, 2:44 am
  #158  
 
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Currently at NCL.

Security was a whole 3 people deep....

Boots / WHSmith / Caffe Ritazza are open for F&B

Duty free is open

Sad to see so few flights, but positive to see BA return to the regions.


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Old May 29, 21, 4:12 am
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My first flight in over a year is in 7 days. Really looking forward to it. The lack of lounge will be a pain but at least its the start of travel again.

Im hoping once numbers start to pick up BA will revist the lounges. We have to remember BA we going through money like nothing and closing the lounges will have saved money. Our company did something similar with Head Office space.
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Old May 30, 21, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I've heard from two sources that BA are "reviewing" the lounge situation, though I don't want to build up any false sense of hope here. Aspire opens on 1 June at NCL (and elsewhere), and by coincidence BA has renewed third party lounge contracts in all sorts of places with effect from 1 June, the extent of that we will only find out towards the end of next week.
Anything would be welcome, though a third party lounge won't be as homely as the BA one was. Since the refurbishment a few years ago, the general departure area at Newcastle has felt more cramped. It may just my perception, but it feels like there are fewer seats that aren't within a catering establishment, so you end up having to buy something if you want to sit down. The location/physical presence of the outlets certainly feels like it reduces the light into general departure area compared to before.

All in all, it's no longer a pleasant place to wait and it's very difficult to get work done compared to the tranquility of the BA lounge. Something approaching that would be lovely...
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Old May 30, 21, 4:20 am
  #161  
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Originally Posted by squawk View Post
Since the refurbishment a few years ago, the general departure area at Newcastle has felt more cramped. It may just my perception, but it feels like there are fewer seats that aren't within a catering establishment, so you end up having to buy something if you want to sit down.
Yes I think that became painfully evident recently. Though most of the venues are shut (and the one catering venue open has few seats) even with the very low number of people flying has meant that people are sitting in some of the bar areas, there isn't enough open seating for the pathetically low number of travellers. If you go through NCL and spot that, by all means give the airport feedback via the website or Twitter.
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Old May 30, 21, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes I think that became painfully evident recently. Though most of the venues are shut (and the one catering venue open has few seats) even with the very low number of people flying has meant that people are sitting in some of the bar areas, there isn't enough open seating for the pathetically low number of travellers. If you go through NCL and spot that, by all means give the airport feedback via the website or Twitter.
On another thread someone had what seems to be quite a good idea. Once the aircraft is at the stand, go down to the seats opposite where the BA lounge entrance used to be, then you're just 10 seconds around the corner. Last time I travelled, in the autumn, there was still a group 1 (I'm not 100% sure if it was only group 1) desk at the the right as normal, but I only realised after I'd queued all the way down the corridor with everyone else. Is this still the setup? At least you can then sit down in the gate area. Thanks.




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Old May 30, 21, 10:10 am
  #163  
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Yes, you can still sit in the corridor between gate 2 and 3, which was the corridor in front of the former lounge, people have been doing that for years, some nicking BA's wifi bandwidth in the process. The double queue at the gate 3 entrance tends not to be there since there is now usually only one person doing the gate scan, so having 2 queues in doesn't really work, but joining the only queue is going to take 30 seconds of your life and the aircraft won't be leaving any sooner. Alternatively you can just watch the queue from the corridor and board when most people are already down the airbridge. They do broadcast an airport wide tannoy about three quarters of the way through boarding.

[Idle curiosity time, thougn I'll find out soon enough, I guess they shift the aircraft around the other side of the pier for the Faro services, after landing at NCL from LHR]
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Old May 30, 21, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
[Idle curiosity time, thougn I'll find out soon enough, I guess they shift the aircraft around the other side of the pier for the Faro services, after landing at NCL from LHR]
Is there any reason why they couldn't board an international service from gate 3? I get that when they come back it will be international so can't use gate 3.
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Old May 30, 21, 10:29 am
  #165  
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Originally Posted by S_W_S View Post
Is there any reason why they couldn't board an international service from gate 3? I get that when they come back it will be international so can't use gate 3.
There may be some HMRC rule or something, I don't know, beyond the general SOP at NCL. I vaguely recall an easyJet service outbound to Schengen going from that side of the pier, presumably the inbound being the Belfast service. But I will find out soon enough.
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