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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)

corporate-wage-slave Sep 8, 20 1:27 pm

Bad news - BA's NCL lounge reportedly to close permanently
 
I am probably the bearer of bad news.

I heard last week, and had a second confirmation today, that BA's wonderful lounge in NCL is to be closed permanently. I understand the staff employed there have been cosulted, as in consulted about being made redundant. I don't know if the intention is to use the lacklustre Aspire lounge next door instead, or for NCL simply to have no lounge facility at all. I guess the other option is a Toronto option, where Aspire takes over the BA space, but I very much doubt that is the intention. NCL was building a new lounge, owned by the airport itself, but that too has been shelved. So the future is uncertain, but it would be a future without a BA branded lounge in NCL from here on.

If this is confirmed, and I fear it will be, then it will be terrible for the wonderful staff at the lounge, who have made it a home from home for me and many others. In many ways it was the perfect lounge, in terms of location, space, staff service and the "welcome to BA" that starts when you enter the door.

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.

The small ray of good news is that EDI is aiming now to reopen in the next month or two. The other lounges (MAN, ABZ, LGW, GLA) are not under threat as such, but since they are unlikely to open until Q2 2021 there are likely to be redundancies in view of the long closure. BHD and JER are independently operated but I don't know about their plans.

navylad Sep 8, 20 1:31 pm


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32661150)
. BHD and JER are independently operated but I don't know about their plans.

JER has been open for the last 5 1/2 weeks and continue to be used. There is plans for a new lounge with the new terminal, but the new terminal (or rather extension) is facing opposition from some who donít want the current crumbling arrivals terminal to go.

florens Sep 8, 20 1:37 pm

ItĎs really going downhill. What the heck.

Thoughts with the affected staff.

S_W_S Sep 8, 20 1:52 pm

That's such a shame, I only visited once in March but it was a nice lounge (if a little dated). Perfectly located for boarding too.

My best wishes to the staff. With Covid19 just becoming a concern I didn't see much of them in March, but you could they were proud of the lounge.

Genius1 Sep 8, 20 1:52 pm

Sad news if confirmed. One of the last bastions of the Terraces era.

I suspect BA will come to an arrangement with a third party operator, as they did with BHD and JER when BA stopped operating the lounges there.

To take a trip down memory lane, see my review of the lounge in 2017: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...es-lounge.html

cheshirepete Sep 8, 20 1:57 pm


Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave (Post 32661150)
The other lounges (MAN, ABZ, LGW, GLA) are not under threat as such, but since they are unlikely to open until Q2 2021 there are likely to be redundancies in view of the long closure.

Such a shame what you report about the MAN Lounge. So not till after March next year. Perhaps MAG will reopen Premiair before then....

KeaneJohn Sep 8, 20 2:09 pm

This is one of my favourite regional lounges, mainly due to the warm and welcoming staff.

Virtually all my visits have been after a very good night out in Newcastle. The warming soup, some bubbles, some cheese, port and sandwiches is the perfect hangover cure.

I can sort of understand BAs rational re costs but at some stage they will need a ... moment to realise that a shiny piece of plastic will be of no use apart from selecting seats at the time of booking won’t cut the mustard and it won’t be acceptable for the *where available to be rolled out when previous perks were offered but aren’t any longer.

rockflyertalk Sep 8, 20 2:14 pm

What a shame for a regional hub. That canít be the news you and many others in that neck will want to hear CWS.

BA didnít really need an excuse to watch their costs before, but boy...they have the perfect excuse now. I hope itís not all short term damage or gains (half full/half empty) with no long term plans to ensure the heritage and prestige for such a well known brand.

These times are going to make or break many businesses.

My thoughts are with the staff affected.

NWIFlyer Sep 8, 20 2:16 pm

Having never visited the NCL lounge personally I know only of it by reputation. From experience of another regional lounge at GLA several times last year I fully emphasise with the view that the staff are friendlier and more personable than can be found elsewhere in the network.

BA is not going to succeed in winning customers back by reducing the proposition for status and business class customers - this seems incredibly short sighted, and ultimately will damage the brand ever further. A rethink via customer pressure is definitely needed - let’s face it, what happens at Newcastle may well end being a model for other outstations otherwise.

Ldnn1 Sep 8, 20 2:18 pm

Is NCL itself at risk of losing BA service altogether?

BAeuro Sep 8, 20 2:18 pm

This is very sad news and my thoughts go out to all those in Newcastle.

Personally, I canít see BA operating many lounges themselves going forward. It is much easier to outsource and pay for a third-party lounge than run your own. Itís an easy way to cut some costs and reduce the headcount. I think the only places that will see a BA lounge will be London/New York and 1 or 2 others.

Itís disappointing and worrying to hear that EDI/ABZ etc wonít open till Q2 2021. I wonder what the plans will be for Milan/Rome/Geneva. If they stay closed for that long one would expect an alternative to be put in place.

florens Sep 8, 20 2:26 pm


Originally Posted by BAeuro (Post 32661262)
This is very sad news and my thoughts go out to all those in Newcastle.

Personally, I canít see BA operating many lounges themselves going forward. It is much easier to outsource and pay for a third-party lounge than run your own. Itís an easy way to cut some costs and reduce the headcount. I think the only places that will see a BA lounge will be London/New York and 1 or 2 others.

Itís disappointing and worrying to hear that EDI/ABZ etc wonít open till Q2 2021. I wonder what the plans will be for Milan/Rome/Geneva. If they stay closed for that long one would expect an alternative to be put in place.

Given that BA is nearly halving flights to GVA from 79 weekly flights to just 45, I am also curious to know what will happen to the lounge proposition. Time will tell.

drmish1 Sep 8, 20 2:29 pm

Very disappointing news.

KARFA Sep 8, 20 2:35 pm

I am sorry to hear this cws. I have enjoyed that lounge before and was planning to do so a bit more frequently in future for obvious reasons. I agree that it seems a short sighted move.

I am also sorry for the staff there. I hope they are able to find alternative work as soon as possible.

IAMORGAN Sep 8, 20 2:35 pm

This is a real shame. Thank you for sharing CWS.

I do think this is the tip of the iceberg. If business travel doesnít come back, which I doubt it will ever to 2019 levels, then I expect weíll all be digitally connected as a globe but perhaps less physically connected. Just as Concorde was never replaced, I wonder whether BA will serve arteries and run lounges at really key cities and there to be less provision (due to lower demand and frequencies) in other places. Itíll be interesting to see whether BAís focus shifts a bit towards leisure & away from business.


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