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-   -   Bad news - BA's NCL lounge reportedly to close permanently (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/2024726-bad-news-bas-ncl-lounge-reportedly-close-permanently.html)

navylad Sep 10, 20 1:29 am


Originally Posted by alex67500 (Post 32664177)
The difference with LBA is Leeds isn't that long a train ride from London. It will be even shorter come HS2 if they branch off to that line. NCL is much further so the time saved by flying is much bigger for now.

Places like SXB lost all their Paris flights when the TGV came along, and AF now codeshare with rail to get people to connect long-haul via CDG (I don't know if you collect XPs though). If and when HS2 starts, I'd be surprised if MAN still gets many flights. Of course it would be even easier if HS2 extended to LHR and LGW via Thameslink but that may yet happen.

phase 2 HS2 to Manchester and Leeds doesn’t open until 2033 (which will no doubt move right). I’d hope flying will have recovered by then, and the rumoured move for IAG to provide more P2P flights from MAN by then. Given the faff or getting from Euston to LHR or indeed LGW, I suspect the demand will not go down that much for connecting pax in any case, and given the current train takes 2hrs6mins from actual city to city, those that fly to London do so for reasons other than the time in most instances I’d suggest.

I do think it is a mistake not to open the MAN lounge sooner than 21Q2 though, there are flights, it would encourage J travel and profitability and help the recovery. It could be operated at reduced hours and is large enough that social distancing isn’t an issue. I know many who have switched to the train because of the current experience including lack of lounge.

Brighterside Sep 10, 20 2:06 am


Originally Posted by gw76 (Post 32663786)
Are they regular users of the lounge?

I was referring to Rob0895's remark about the relationship between BA and Newcastle and I was thinking about the possibility of a reduction or heaven forbid a cessation of NCL-LHR services. Yes some BA staff are entitled to lounge use through their BAEC membership (even on any standby travel subject to availability). Some management on BA duty travel and some Newcastle Airport staff use it before travelling on their holidays (even when they aren't travelling BA!) but the latter numbers are extremely small.

The_Editor Sep 10, 20 2:29 am

What a shame! I only used it once or twice, but definitely felt its lack when I flew the route last month.

layz Sep 10, 20 3:09 am


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32661150)
I hope those based in the North East and other regular users send in complaints to BA about this. I appreciate that BA is losing millions of pounds every day, and things will perforce have to change, but if BA cuts off their own legs they are asking not to be able to walk again.

I did send in a complaint yesterday and already have received a reply. I also mentioned that KLM are up to three flights daily at Newcastle and so combined with the lack of the lounge makes BA less appealing for connections.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

I'm sorry to hear of your concerns regarding our lounge at Newcastle airport and the frequency of flights.

Please see the link below showing that our lounge in Newcastle is only temporarily closed and no final decision has been made on this yet.

https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=NCL

We're working hard to ensure we have the correct measures in place to open our lounges while keeping both passengers and staff safe.

The extraordinary nature of coronavirus, and the rapidly changing situation across the world, has meant we’ve cancelled an unprecedented number of flights. Safety is at the heart of everything we do, and we continue to liaise closely with global health authorities and government agencies on behalf of our customers. This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates. As with our lounges, no final decision has been made on future schedules at this time.

We do appreciate that you have a choice of airline, and hope you’ll choose us again in the future.

Thank you for getting in touch with us about this. If there are any other issues I can help with, please use the blue link below to contact me.
Has anyone else received a reply?

corporate-wage-slave Sep 10, 20 3:20 am


Originally Posted by layz (Post 32665062)
Has anyone else received a reply?

Not yet (though my email has one extra jump before getting to Customer Relations). But it's interesting about "no final decision" when the BaxterStorey staff are definitely in consultation for redundancy. Swissport and the airport management have also not been informed but the latter certainly expected it to happen. BA don't have good stakeholder management reputation at the best of times, and NCL are making noises to BA about it. I can't see the point in closing NCL while apparently committing to MAN and ABZ. But it could be explained via leases or contracts due for renewal and/or refurbishment costs. In the latter case, the lounge has been so well looked after by the staff that I'm sure we could all live with the current furniture for several more years, there isn't anything wrong with it. There was a mysterious internal audit done of the lounge back in February.

But many thanks, D, for posting your reply.

Vinotraveller Sep 10, 20 3:27 am


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32665071)
But it's interesting about "no final decision" when the BaxterStorey staff are definitely in consultation for redundancy.

I suspect that this is just a case of them covering themselves against claims the consultation has been pre-judged. Or possible they do plan to open the lounge next year, but just want to get rid of all the staff before the furlough scheme ends, on the basis they'll employ new staff when the lounge reopens. Sadly this is a very common occurrence at present, and I suspect we'll see even more of it over the next few months.

GumshoeW12 Sep 10, 20 3:29 am


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32665071)
But it's interesting about "no final decision" when the BaxterStorey staff are definitely in consultation for redundancy.

If the statutory consultation with staff is still ongoing, they’d be on very dodgy ground legally if they confirmed it at this stage!

Tobias-UK Sep 10, 20 3:36 am


Originally Posted by GumshoeW12 (Post 32665089)
If the statutory consultation with staff is still ongoing, they’d be on very dodgy ground legally if they confirmed it at this stage!

Not necessarily, the decision to close a facility and the consultation process are not always mutually exclusive.

decowie1903 Sep 10, 20 3:37 am

Did they not do similar with ABZ when it was being refurbished? (Sack existing staff and then advertise when new lounge reopened?).

Akoz Sep 10, 20 3:57 am


Originally Posted by decowie1903 (Post 32665097)
Did they not do similar with ABZ when it was being refurbished? (Sack existing staff and then advertise when new lounge reopened?).

I think so.

crazyanglaisy Sep 10, 20 4:29 am

Great lounge. It'll be such a shame if many or all the BA outstation lounges close and we get shipped off to the pay per use option instead. I've just sent in my note of disappointment to the GGL email address.

Confus Sep 10, 20 7:40 am


Originally Posted by DYKWIA (Post 32664959)
HS2 may knock 30 minutes off that, but you still end up at Euston.

No you don’t: you end up at Old Oak Common, with a fast and frequent service (effectively a shuttle) to the heathrow terminals. Add in a stop at Manchester airport and it’s a given that it will replace the few flights that remain.

As for regional lounges, we would do well to remember the economics involved. Stations with other oneworld flights in the same terminal will be a revenue stream to BA, which may (or may not) tip the balance in favour of keeping a lounge. That’s MAN and EDI hopefully sorted. The latter is also a different category entirely given the huge volume of flights. ABZ will (in my opinion) be saved by the petrochem industries - flights may be smaller in number and load but there are times it’s a high-yield route... plus JER saved by the tax exiles and a very supportive airport authority.

By that logic, my ‘danger’ list would be GLA.

Jambon87 Sep 10, 20 8:29 am

At this time, I think putting “logic” and “BA” in the same sentence when it comes to cuts would be foolhardy.

They will swing the axe regardless of how it affects passengers. I would expect that all domestic lounges are under threat apart from those at LHR (potentially even one of those, in the long term)

EDIT : Operationally I am not sure what the cost of running a lounge is, but in terms of the bottom line, I am sure closing them would have a significant cost saving.

corporate-wage-slave Sep 10, 20 10:23 am

My reply from BA was not a copy / paste of layz's response, but it amounted to the same thing: the NCL lounge is temporarily closed, and there hasn't been a decision on permanent closure.

Prospero Sep 10, 20 10:29 am


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32665892)
My reply from BA was not a copy / paste of layz's response, but it amounted to the same thing: the NCL lounge is temporarily closed, and there hasn't been a decision on permanent closure.

If staff have entered or are about to enter a process of consultation then this is about as much information as you can possibly get.


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