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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 Dec 31, 21, 5:31 pm
  #241  
 
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Originally Posted by northeastflyer View Post
After my experiences the only reason I'll be using it is to get a quiet seat and a comfort break!
Had my first experience of this lounge yesterday and completely agree itís very sub par when compared to what we had previously. Felt like sitting in a CostaÖ or given the number of pints of Heineken being consumed at 8am, a weatherspoons?

In fact my whole NCL visit was distinctly underwhelming when I think of it. Long slow lines at checkin as only two staff were working. Then boarding was a cluster with no mention of priority for CE or shiny cards after queuing again for ages in the corridor. Used to be a great experience, what a shame itís been reduced to this.
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Old Dec 31, 21, 7:07 pm
  #242  
 
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Originally Posted by BA1321 View Post
Had my first experience of this lounge yesterday and completely agree itís very sub par when compared to what we had previously. Felt like sitting in a CostaÖ or given the number of pints of Heineken being consumed at 8am, a weatherspoons?

In fact my whole NCL visit was distinctly underwhelming when I think of it. Long slow lines at checkin as only two staff were working. Then boarding was a cluster with no mention of priority for CE or shiny cards after queuing again for ages in the corridor. Used to be a great experience, what a shame itís been reduced to this.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 1:03 am
  #243  
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Originally Posted by BA1321 View Post
Had my first experience of this lounge yesterday and completely agree itís very sub par when compared to what we had previously. Felt like sitting in a CostaÖ or given the number of pints of Heineken being consumed at 8am, a weatherspoons?

In fact my whole NCL visit was distinctly underwhelming when I think of it. Long slow lines at checkin as only two staff were working. Then boarding was a cluster with no mention of priority for CE or shiny cards after queuing again for ages in the corridor. Used to be a great experience, what a shame itís been reduced to this.
when you go in to the gate area you are usually separated out with priority groups sent to the part next to the window, and non priority to the larger area away from the window. the priority side is then boarded first. didn't that happen?
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Old Jan 1, 22, 3:23 am
  #244  
 
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Originally Posted by BA1321 View Post
Had my first experience of this lounge yesterday and completely agree itís very sub par when compared to what we had previously. Felt like sitting in a CostaÖ or given the number of pints of Heineken being consumed at 8am, a weatherspoons?

In fact my whole NCL visit was distinctly underwhelming when I think of it. Long slow lines at checkin as only two staff were working. Then boarding was a cluster with no mention of priority for CE or shiny cards after queuing again for ages in the corridor. Used to be a great experience, what a shame itís been reduced to this.
I don't know what time you got there, but when I've checked in at the airport, they have a priority line and (to the annoyance of pax in general queue) I'll go to the agent on the left immediately when they're free 😜

In the corridor at gate as KARFA mentioned, they do separate priority on the right side and normal pax on the left. As the gate is always? gate 3 (can't remember a time when it wasn't !) and opens t-30 min before you can start making your way there in the future.

Once, around three week ago the app loaded a different gate then changed it to the normal gate 3, must have been human error as gate 3 had the ground staff setting up and the screen outside displaying the flight
Potentially they started scanning using both lanes for normal pax after the main line of priority have scanned, but generally they do scan a lot of people before commencing boarding (now group 1 then group 2+3). They should be separated if boarding hasn't commenced

Only time I've not seen something similar to this rule is after a big chunk of boarding has started (around t-20 min I think) or once when there was a terrible delay

But I agree I am not a fan of Aspire and never have been. I go in for a coffee and a place to sit (when lounges were closed I did enjoy sitting around Burger King as it had the runway view)

Last edited by Jitesh1; Jan 1, 22 at 3:29 am
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Old Jan 1, 22, 3:43 am
  #245  
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If there is a long queue in the corridor area before the entrance to gate 3, then it's not necessarily obvious to a passenger arriving at the back of the queue that there is a priority lane at the top. If you continue walking as if going to gate 2 then it becomes obvious in the door area, left side for general boading, right side for groups 1 to 3, and it feeds through to the window area of the gate, which has only a bit of seating but feeds through to priority boarding of the aircraft.

At NCL, since the pandemic started, they try not to hold people in seating area of gate 3, but basically feed people straight on to the aircraft. So the gate only opens about 30 minutes to departure, the gate number is then updated on the pasenger information displays, and groups 1 to 3 board straight away. If you arrive later on, say 20 minutes to departure you will see the big queue. Regular travellers are likely to be groups 1 to 3, plus those in the Aspire lounge have a head start, geographically, once the gate number is announced. As ever it's not necessarily a bad idea to hang back a bit and board towards the end of the boarding process, say 10 minutes to departure.

If there are delays during the last period before boarding it gets more problematic, but even if the flight is late into NCL then the gate information updates and boarding is still last moment.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 5:49 am
  #246  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
As ever it's not necessarily a bad idea to hang back a bit and board towards the end of the boarding process, say 10 minutes to departure.
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Yep, agreed here. The only thing that makes me go early is I like to keep my overhead luggage fairly close and I don't take CE which seems to not fill as quickly as the front part of Y
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Old Jan 1, 22, 6:16 am
  #247  
 
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I've use Newcastle a few times now, and apart from when leaving the old BA lounge (RIP) where the first queue you came across was priority, I didn't know they still had a priority queue (aside from once you've been scanned in and go over to the window). I'll have to remember for next time that I can walk past the queue .
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Old Jan 1, 22, 3:36 pm
  #248  
 
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I guess Mrs T and I were fairly lucky (first flights post-Covid last month, BA1335 6 Dec, BA1334 8 Dec):

- Aspire lounge was fairly quiet, reasonable nibbles and a glass of innocuous red
- 'guessed' Gate 3 and got there early on. Waited on the window side for about 10-15 minutes before boarding
- GF great (and quiet!) on the way back

Was so glad to be back in the air, and had a lovely time at Windsor Castle
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Old Jan 1, 22, 6:52 pm
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When Mrs. Geordie405 and I checked in on the 31st there were at least 3 agents working, two of whom were dealing with those of us in the Priority queue. We just had to do a document check and show our VeriFLY status before heading to security. It was pretty efficient considering it was New Yearís Eve - although the normal queue was very busy.

We were first in the queue at Gate 3 and took up position at the right hand door. Others ďin the knowĒ queued behind us, with those eligible for priority boarding lining up in the direction of the old BA lounge but the queue for regular boarding did stretch all the way back down the corridor.

Gate staff didnít show up until probably T-20 but it didnít matter as the plane had been on stand for some time and we boarded immediately. As others have said the normal protocol is that those in Group 1 (at least) would wait by the window and board first.
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Old Mar 11, 22, 5:19 am
  #250  
 
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Very rowdy in the Aspire Lounge today. Two policemen were just here to check on things. Very different vibe from the old BA lounge. I suspect it will get a big quieter when the Easyjet flight to Tenerife boards — glad I'm not on it!
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Old Mar 11, 22, 5:31 am
  #251  
 
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I've commented on this lounge previously. I used it again briefly recently. It's nothing compared to the old BA lounge, which was always my favourite part of my trips. Enjoy things while you can I say!!
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Old Mar 11, 22, 5:38 am
  #252  
 
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Now that silence has descended over the lounge, I prefer it to the terminal with its awful acoustics and its loud piped music.
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Old Apr 28, 22, 6:31 am
  #253  
 
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Today, I was escorted into the Aspire Plus section which is a noticeable improvement. The separate bar is stocked but not open.
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Old Apr 28, 22, 7:20 am
  #254  
 
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
Today, I was escorted into the Aspire Plus section which is a noticeable improvement. The separate bar is stocked but not open.
Are you saying that BA passengers use that part of the lounge now?
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Old Apr 28, 22, 7:27 am
  #255  
 
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Looks like it — I recognised other people from the priority check-in queue. No idea if it's a temporary overflow thing although I imagine they'll remain this busy or more so over the summer season.
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