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My First AMS "Lounge" Experience Since Lockdown

My First AMS "Lounge" Experience Since Lockdown

Old Nov 15, 2022, 5:36 am
  #1  
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My First AMS "Lounge" Experience Since Lockdown

I had been aware that the BA lounge at AMS was closed during the lockdown, and that a decision had been made not to re-open the facility as a BA lounge. What I did not know until today was that BA passengers are now diverted to the Aspire Lounge, which is permanently at capacity. One waits in a queue for 20 minutes only to scan a QR code which may or may not thereafter send you an invite to return and squeeze in amongst the overbooked masses.

I don't mind BA closing our lounges if they take the time to create realistic and viable alternatives for their elite passengers. My experience today feels like a slap in the face. Do they simply not care about me or my years of loyalty? The race to the bottom continues.

Today, I've been treated like a "nobody" rather than as an 8-year Gold Card Holder. I can't be the only one who is reassessing my post-covid travel habits.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 5:59 am
  #2  
 
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BA cost cutting policy does not recognise elites or 8 years gold card holders. BA had a golden opportunity during covid to bring the whole flying experience as low as possible and they have succeeded. Now we have seen some things are getting back to normal for example the long haul catering but other things have changed permanently.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 6:03 am
  #3  
 
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I understand your frustration, but the reality is that no one is "elite" in the sense of them being superior, when earning status out of repeat custom one is aware that "benefits" change over time, some for the better, sadly others for worse. Lounge provision is one of those areas that is easy to cutback although I wish the savings were reinvested in other areas more transparently or at all. When one thinks of a passengers journey using an airline, the use of a lounge although important to some, is not exactly the be all and end all. It may give some users a sense of importance and exclusivity, but there are other comfortable options at an airport when one is unavailableespeocially when flying short haul.
With everyone needing to cut outlay I would rather they invested in providing staff to assist passengers at outstations than a Junior Common Room.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 6:24 am
  #4  
 
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The AMS situation is grim on all sorts of fronts, but the lounge is completely inadequate. I have no idea whether they are going to re-open BA, or some other new offering, but at the moment it's very unsatisfactory, especially given the importance of AMS as a business destination.

For me access to a decent lounge is a very significant (possibly the most significant) benefit of status. If that is eroded it will cause me to reconsider travel options and plans.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 6:30 am
  #5  
 
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I really hope someone at BA is looking at re-opening lounges at MAN, AMS and NCL. Would be such a positive move.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 6:41 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Never Stansted
I really hope someone at BA is looking at re-opening lounges at MAN, AMS and NCL. Would be such a positive move.
having read the reports here, and elsewhere online, about the state of the BA lounge offering in Amsterdam now I just cant bring myself to use the airport at all. Are used to be my favourite down route lounge the staff were absolutely amazing even if the food and drink offering was only average.

I now use London city to Rotterdam.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 7:09 am
  #7  
 
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It's too bad that they can't simply use the Star Alliance lounge next door as overflow. It's run by the same company (Swissport I think?) and the food options are identical (mediocre). The Star Alliance lounge closes earlier (9PM), but takes down their food buffet an hour and a half before closing (7:30PM). Last night, departing on the last SAS flight of the night at 9:40PM, I was the only patron left in the lounge between 7:30PM and 8:45PM.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 7:18 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by diburning
It's too bad that they can't simply use the Star Alliance lounge next door as overflow. It's run by the same company (Swissport I think?) and the food options are identical (mediocre). The Star Alliance lounge closes earlier (9PM), but takes down their food buffet an hour and a half before closing (7:30PM). Last night, departing on the last SAS flight of the night at 9:40PM, I was the only patron left in the lounge between 7:30PM and 8:45PM.
I am not sure which "Star Alliance" lounge you are referring, but there's none in this area that's Star Alliance. I believe you are confusing this with the Schengen side of the airport. But yes, I was the other day just at this Star Alliance lounge and it was such a pleasure over there (they have been closed during the pandemic and opened just about 2-3 months ago)
- beautiful interior deco
- food much better in my opinion compared to that of Aspire
- the staff were much more friendlier (I guess because they have less stress).
- not crowded (which was surprising to me).

The problem with the non-Schengen part of Schiphol is that there is very limited number of lounges serving the number of wide bodies. Even the KLM lounge can be a zoo with their real estate footprint.
I believe the only solution is that if Oneworld will build a lounge on this side.
StarAlliance will most probably not as after the morning bank of flights - the only Star Alliance airline that serves that part of the terminal is TK and occasionally EVA.

In my opinion the problem is the number of different lounge cards that are available - even when they stop accepting the PP pax, those that are already in there would have taken up the space. Of course the number of BA flights does not help. So yes, BA do need to do something, but I doubt that they would with current economic situation and every company is trying to cut cost.

Cheers!
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 7:44 am
  #9  
 
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Oh, yes, I did mistake the Aspire lounge mentioned upthread with the Aspire Lougne in the schengen area which is next to the Star Alliance lounge.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 7:59 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by nldogbert
I believe the only solution is that if Oneworld will build a lounge on this side.
I think our daily oneworld presence is a max of two AA widebodies per day, max two IB A320s, two AY A320s, one RJ A320, one CX A350, one QR 773 and umpteen BA A320s and Embraers. All the widebodies are gone by mid-afternoon, similar to *A. Given that the same set of customers would have access whether run by BA or oneworld, the question is why would it be attractive to the latter to run a lounge where the former have decided it doesn't make sense? BA themselves must be far over half the oneworld passenger count from here.

It doesn't seem a good sign for ongoing provision of lounges anywhere that the frequency of AMS-LON departures can't support one. Maybe this is merely a statement on the skew of AMS customers being short-haul rather than being long-haul customers who have paid a sufficient premium to support lounge access in the cost of the ticket [even if they're entering via status]. That mix is unlikely to change at AMS though, so I suspect the best that may be hoped for might be Aspire expanding into the space BA left to alleviate a little of the overcrowding.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 8:02 am
  #11  
 
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Not to denigrate the experience of the OP in any way but I have just arrived off the 2760 ex LGW and at local time of 1445 I walked straight into the Aspire lounge. There are about 40% empty seats including some ramp front good ones. Only complaint thus far is that the only hot food is soup. I can easily see how this could degenerate to an absolute zoo however.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 8:08 am
  #12  
 
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I find it ridiculous that BA have not come up with a different solution than the Aspire lounge. There are so many BA flights departing from AMS, also in comparison with other outstations, that I frankly do not get the choices being made (yes I get the whole cost cutting bit but still....). The Aspire lounge is not a realistic proposition.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 8:12 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by davidcamp6
With everyone needing to cut outlay I would rather they invested in providing staff to assist passengers at outstations than a Junior Common Room.
I am genuinely intrigued by this comment. What sort of assistance are you referring to? Are you thinking about things like permanent ticketing desks? I honestly can't remember the last time I needed to try to find someone at the airport to do anything beyond checking my luggage in on the occasions I am travelling with hold luggage. However, I do value and use lounges pretty much on every trip I make. It seems to me that having staff permanently available in case of disruption is not really viable these days. I know that BA's IT sucks, but in theory the App and telephone support have replaced the need to have extra staff at airports. Even at BA's home base!

As others have indicated, the direct removal of lounges or indirect removal (i.e. sending people to overcapacity lounges) will effectively see the end of my loyalty to BA.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 8:37 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by airmanofthequeen
Not to denigrate the experience of the OP in any way but I have just arrived off the 2760 ex LGW and at local time of 1445 I walked straight into the Aspire lounge. There are about 40% empty seats including some ramp front good ones. Only complaint thus far is that the only hot food is soup. I can easily see how this could degenerate to an absolute zoo however.
When it's not rammed it's a mediocre lounge, but has some nice views. More often than not however, certainly in the mornings when there are a few heavies departing, it's a total zoo.
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Old Nov 15, 2022, 8:48 am
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It's a contract lounge in an airport completely dominated by a different alliance. Expectations should therefore be quite minimal. What's KLM's lounge in Heathrow? Oh, yep, it's an Aspire lounge.

That's the new normal.
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