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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 Sep 17, 20, 10:32 am
  #106  
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Originally Posted by TyneTraveller View Post
I agree that the East Coast Mainline services are generally far faster and superior to those on the Western side, which perhaps is not ideal for BA's NCL schedule however, stopping taking all but the longest domestic flights basically isolates the vast majority of Northern English, Border Regions, and Southern Scottish travellers who wish to connect onto anywhere else in the world. It is often simply not practical, or cost effective to add an additional 7 hours onto an transatlantic journey from Edinburgh by way of example, and have to handball baggage across London to boot.

Also, I must say that sounds fantastic service from the MME staff but lounge footfall must surely have been minimal in those days comparably to that of NCL. Whilst I can imagine that that level of personal service does exist, it may perhaps not always be practical to do so in a busier environment for a total of six visits per year. The vast majority of custom would be given that treatment if it was being delivered on that basis. That's certainly not meaning to sound as if sub standard service is acceptable mind
I was actually thinking that the cut off point for domestic would be NCL so EDI and GLA would retain services.

As for MME, at the time BD operated five rotations a day mostly with a 734 and it was always busy. Factor in the relative ease of Diamond Club gold and the lounge was always busy enough.
lhrpete is offline  
Old Sep 17, 20, 10:42 am
  #107  
 
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Although point-to-point from the centre of each city, the train is competitive, if you are connecting at LHR it is far more convenient to fly from NCL. That's especially true if you have luggage. Every additional connection - either Piccadilly from King's Cross, or Circle then Heathrow Express - adds waiting/connection times plus the additional uncertainty of delays compounds.

HS2 itself will only benefit Newcastle substantively once the Leeds leg opens, and as others have noted there isn't a huge time saving for London itself - but along with Crossrail it will make taking the train from NCL to LHR much more convenient (via Old Oak Common). Personally I wish they'd pursued the idea of a HS2 spur to LHR (and onward to e.g. LGW and Ashford), and through-ticketing for airlines. I guess it remains to be seen whether BA (or whoever) feel that there remains sufficient connecting traffic to continue running a regular service once HS2 Phase 2 opens.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 11:33 am
  #108  
 
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I had a reply from BA this morning:

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our Management team made the difficult decision to temporarily close the British Airways lounge at Newcastle International Airport. However, they're regularly reviewing our entire operation given the everchanging circumstances. We've looked into your query in relation to the permanent closure of the lounge and although we have no confirmed date for when this is set to reopen, we also have no closure date.
Doesn't really add much more to what others have said.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 12:01 pm
  #109  
 
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...but still worth posting for our info you’ll agree
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Old Sep 19, 20, 9:18 am
  #110  
 
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This is the response I got from BA, at least it's another notch to hopefully raise a flag higher up the food chain...

Originally Posted by BA
Thanks for contacting us regarding our lounge and staff at Newcastle International Airport. After reading your email, I can see our lounge staff are a great asset to us as they provide additional services, such as helping with ticketing issues. As a frequent flyer I appreciate your concern.

We've had no communication regarding the lounge staff (who are employed by Baxter Story) being made redundant. Any updates regarding our lounges are posted on ba.com, and this is regularly updated with any changes.

I've passed your feedback on because we've had no communication or updates about this. I really hope the staff aren't going to be made redundant, and I'm sorry I can't provide more information at this point. Please be assured, if a permanent lounge closure happens, I'll do my best to inform you.
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Old Sep 21, 20, 8:54 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I received a couple of updates in the last few days following my message to BA via the online form - it seems to have gone to a different team (i.e. Executive Club itself) first, with this received yesterday:

Thank you for having written to The Club about your request to reopen the Newcastle Executive Club lounge.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the time it has taken us to reply to you - we're currently experiencing an incredibly high demand for our help, from members all around the world. We know that this is not the service you would usually expect from us.

I have sent your email to our Customer Relations department, who will reply to you as soon they can.

They appreciate your patience, as they will spend time looking into your comments before responding to you.

If you need to follow-up your complaint please contact Customer Relations directly, as your complaint is now held in a separate system - their contact details are available on ba.com via this link:

http://www.britishairways.com/contact

Please feel free to let us know if we can help you with anything else.

I hope they resolve this swiftly for you.
This afternoon I received the following from a Customer Relations Executive:

An update from British Airways

Thanks for getting in touch.

With the current situation that we are experiencing with Covid 19, the difficult decision to temporarily close the British Airways Lounge at Newcastle Airport was made. At present we haven't received any information to suggest that this is a permanent situation. We continuously review the operation, and the services we're able to offer, however we do not have a date when this will be able to re-open. Please accept my apologies.

We appreciate the time you've taken the time to express your concern, and as with any large organisation, it can sometimes take time for us to fix problems and make changes. We will continue to listen to our passengers feedback, to help us improve our service in the future.

If there's anything else I can help with, please let me know by using the blue link below.
So very similar to what others have received, but hopefully every little helps!
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Old Sep 21, 20, 10:08 am
  #112  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Exactly what I received too, hopefully all the smile will count for something!
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Old Sep 22, 20, 4:59 am
  #113  
 
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On Twitter someone has sent a picture taken of the lounge from the window. It looks all ready to go with all the spirits set up. It just shows how quickly the situation was changing in March, the lounge was probably tidied ready for the next day and never reopened.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 5:04 am
  #114  
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Originally Posted by SaveECRewards View Post
On Twitter someone has sent a picture taken of the lounge from the window. It looks all ready to go with all the spirits set up. It just shows how quickly the situation was changing in March, the lounge was probably tidied ready for the next day and never reopened.
Yes, the BS staff, now being made redundant, did spend a few hours immediately after the closedown tidying up the lounge, and for example they left the fridge doors open, because if the fridge is turned off there can be a bad build up of pathogens in a sealed container. They knew the lounge was going to shut for a while, but none of us at that point would realise just how long this was going to endure.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 6:12 am
  #115  
 
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The last few times I've flown through the lights have been off, I noticed them on and a few people sat inside today which I found very strange.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 8:40 am
  #116  
 
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Surely anyone inside would have been staff and not customers though? Also note, most of the LED lighting panels are still off, which they are not when the lounge was in operation.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 8:50 am
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrpete View Post

I wouldn't be surprised if BA drop NCL completely and I think it's time people stopped anything but the longest domestic flights in any event since train services are pretty good.
Hey, if only HS2 passed through LHR instead of passing within 12 miles of the airport (and serving stations not served by Crossrail)...
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Old Sep 22, 20, 9:13 am
  #118  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes, the BS staff, now being made redundant, did spend a few hours immediately after the closedown tidying up the lounge, and for example they left the fridge doors open, because if the fridge is turned off there can be a bad build up of pathogens in a sealed container. They knew the lounge was going to shut for a while, but none of us at that point would realise just how long this was going to endure.
With the current announcements from the UK government I fear worse times ahead for the UK aviation (and hospitality) industry.

I never expected January would be my last visit to this lounge.

As I doubt the airport will have much use for the space the lounge occupies while things are quiet maybe BA can come to a deal to allow them to mothball the facility for a vastly reduced rent, so when things pick up there's still a lounge to reopen. If BA has to pay rent for a space it's not using you can see how tempting it will be to close it.
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Old Sep 23, 20, 1:19 am
  #119  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Very sad news.

This was my first ever BA lounge experience, having splashed out on J flights to the Far East a few years ago for our honeymoon, so I’ll always hold fond memories.

Over the years as my career required frequent international travel, usually to not so glamorous destinations, this was my last chance to experience my native North East hospitality before heading off for a few weeks, and it never disappointed.

I flew out of NCL last week and used the Aspire lounge which just wasn’t the same!
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Old Oct 2, 20, 4:24 am
  #120  
 
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I'm guessing no further news?

With BA now at last offering a stable 2-3 per day service to NCL, you'd hope there would be more sense in opening it - if only for a couple of hours prior to departures.

With KL/AF offering access to the (admittedly inferior) Aspire lounge, and BA offering no alternative, it's a pretty poor show and likely to cost them in the long run.
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Last edited by TraumaDoc; Oct 2, 20 at 4:33 am
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