Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

British Airways and American Airlines Chelsea Lounge - JFK Terminal 8

British Airways and American Airlines Chelsea Lounge - JFK Terminal 8

Old Dec 1, 22, 10:09 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA EXP, DL Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador (RIP SPG), Aeroplan 75K
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by salut0 View Post
This raises an interesting question ó itís a shared lounge so is the tipping expectation British or American? What was the tipping custom or expectation in JFK T7 in the past?
Iíd say that tipping the expectation as that was my experience at FFD. On my most recent trip two weeks ago, one of the staff mentioned to me that a well-known celeb did not tip and it didnít go unnoticed.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Well, that plus I suppose it's a fairly objective way to assess how "premium" AA/BA will be treating these lounges, at least in terms of the price points of the alcohol on offer. A bit harder to say on the food, at least until we get numerous reports of the quality/quantity, but that's still more objective. (Though to be fair, AA's Flagship First Dining had a very strong reputation for quality, and I assume it's effectively the same operation here, albeit on a larger scale.)
Iím curious what the liquor selection will be in Chelsea (and the two others for that matter).

The posted menus appear to have been cut back compared to the FFD menu from a couple of weeks back and the CCR in late October (at least in my opinion). Perhaps theyíre starting more basic given the uptick in volume and will then get more complex. Timing was always hit or miss at FFD.
ijgordon likes this.
ryanbriar is offline  
Old Dec 1, 22, 10:23 pm
  #32  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/HY- LT Globalist/BA-CCR/GGL/GfL
Posts: 11,614
I have read reports (cannot find now) that GGL are being turned away due to AA implementing ConciergeKey policies in respect of flight type. This limits CK access when not travelling F or international.
Hopefully just an error on first day!
Travelling there on 8th so hopefully all sorted!
Markie is offline  
Old Dec 1, 22, 10:31 pm
  #33  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere between 0 and 13,000 metres high
Programs: AF/KL Life Plat, BA GfL+CCR, Aclub Plat, Hilton Diam, Marriott Gold, blablablah, etc
Posts: 28,454
Originally Posted by ryanbriar View Post
Iíd say that tipping the expectation as that was my experience at FFD.
With regards to the second part of the question (on the t7 ccr), i absolutely donít have the impression tips were either expected or encouraged in the jfk ccr (in dozens and dozens of visits) and very rarely saw them given.

That said, your impressions that tips were expected and mine that they werenít are not necessarily incompatible in the sense that staff may well have been used to us customers tipping them regularly and European (including British) customers seldom doing so.

i dare say it would feel extremely counter intuitive to many (not all) uk/rest of Europe based customers to tip in a Ba lounge (it can feel weird/counter intuitive enough to do so even in us airline lounges!)

i can also say Iíve always had great service in the ccr (admittedly as a reasonably regular pax several staff members very kindly recognised each time) without ever tipping. I did bring presents for some staff members on my last visit as it felt like a genuine goodbye to people who had been nice to me and close ones many times.

Last edited by orbitmic; Dec 2, 22 at 5:37 am
orbitmic is offline  
Old Dec 1, 22, 10:53 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, BA Amex Prem, BA Amex Business, Amex Platinum, Coutts Silk, Hilton Diamond etc.
Posts: 2,955
Holy Moses am I supposed to be tipping in FFD??
They must be spitting in my food at DFW and MIA!
It's funny I always have a stack of dollars with me specifically for tipping at hotels, parking, restaurants etc. in the US but it just never occurred to me to be doing that in FFD for some reason.
I'll need to remember that for my first visit to the Chelsea..... eeek
crazy8534 is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 2:14 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London Stratford, E7
Programs: BAEC Gold! Thanks to FT
Posts: 3,220
Looks quite nice. I only had one experience of JFK CCR and that was on the BA178 . This was pre covid and the kitchen was closed so it was a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel with yoghurts and cheese. Bar was open and after I asked for some LPGS others followed suite which made grumpy barman more grumpy.

Don’t forget NY State Alcohol laws prohibit alcohol being served until 1030 on a Sunday so if on one of the early flights wanting a tipple in the lounge you will be sorely disappointed.
KeaneJohn is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 2:22 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 656
On the tipping front I'm sure I read that the Flagship Lounges are no tipping zones anyway.

Theres an article on it here:

https://onemileatatime.com/guides/ti...irport-lounge/

"Tipping in airport lounges is never expected

Let me state upfront that tipping is never expected in an airport lounge anywhere in the world. In other words, itís not like dining in a restaurant in the United States, where youíre a jerk if you (knowingly) donít tip, as servers arenít even being paid minimum wage before tips."

In the AS Lounge at LAX there were no tipping signs because in the member of staffs words they got paid well enough by their employer.
Cw novice is offline  
Old Dec 2, 22, 4:40 am
  #37  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 46,844
Originally Posted by Cw novice View Post

"Tipping in airport lounges is never expected

That's one blogger's opinion. Tipping at USA airport lounge bars is common.

This thread has a (closed) poll attached: Do you tip Centurion Lounge bartenders?
Markie, dcmike, ryanbriar and 1 others like this.

Last edited by mia; Dec 2, 22 at 5:00 am
mia is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 4:49 am
  #38  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 39,163
There is a difference in saying it is never expected, and that it is common though? They are not mutually incompatible statements.

Btw, I am not anti-tipping per se, and when I go to the US I recognise there is a different tipping culture there.
KARFA is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 5:12 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA EXP, DL Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador (RIP SPG), Aeroplan 75K
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
With regards to the second part of the question (on the t7 ccr), i absolutely donít have the impression tips were either expected or encouraged in the jfk ccr (in dozens and dozens of visits) and very rarely saw them take place.

That said, your impressionnť that tips were expected and mine that they werenít are not necessarily incompatible in the sense that staff may well have been used to us customers tipping them regularly and European (including British) customer seldom doing so.

i dare say it would feel extremely counter intuitive to many (not all) uk/rest of Europe based customers to tip in a Ba lounge (it can feel weird/counter intuitive enough to do so even in us airline lounges!)

i can also say Iíve always had great service in the ccr (admittedly as a reasonably regular pax several staff members very kindly recognised each time) without ever tipping. I did bring presents for some staff members on my last visit as it felt like a genuine goodbye to people who had been nice to me and close ones many times.
Totally agree on the T7 CCR front. Given that it is a new lounge, weíll see what happens.

As noted - the LAX AS club has those signs, which I think is good as it removes the ambiguity around the topic and situations where people just donít have cash on them.
orbitmic and RichieMc like this.
ryanbriar is offline  
Old Dec 2, 22, 5:45 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 757
Yeah tipping in ariport lounges seems weird to me. I definitely see tipping as being expected in Admirals Clubs where you pay for drinks anyway. But in, say, FFD where there is no bill, how and when do you even tip? Do you leave it on the table? What if you had 3 different servers? When I left for a 2 week trip mid November, I grabbed like $7 from the counter as I left. I think I actually spent maybe $4 on gum once. I still have the other $3 and never went near an ATM. So without a CC bill to add a tip to, I think for many people who don't have cash, tipping is difficult. In a non-airport setting, I am obviously happy to leave tips with the bill while in the US.

I was in FFD last week for a few hours and the service was weird and not terribly good. I wonder if they might just clock euro visitors and not bother making an effort because a tip is unlikely?
RichieMc is offline  
Old Dec 2, 22, 6:16 am
  #41  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA EXP, DL Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador (RIP SPG), Aeroplan 75K
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by RichieMc View Post
Yeah tipping in ariport lounges seems weird to me. I definitely see tipping as being expected in Admirals Clubs where you pay for drinks anyway. But in, say, FFD where there is no bill, how and when do you even tip? Do you leave it on the table? What if you had 3 different servers? When I left for a 2 week trip mid November, I grabbed like $7 from the counter as I left. I think I actually spent maybe $4 on gum once. I still have the other $3 and never went near an ATM. So without a CC bill to add a tip to, I think for many people who don't have cash, tipping is difficult. In a non-airport setting, I am obviously happy to leave tips with the bill while in the US.

I was in FFD last week for a few hours and the service was weird and not terribly good. I wonder if they might just clock euro visitors and not bother making an effort because a tip is unlikely?
I leave it on the table or hand it to the main server on the way out.

I donít think that is the case regarding service. JFK FFD has almost always had touch-and-go service outside of a couple of servers. At times I felt like I was in no manís land during my last two visits ó server walking up to the booth next to me then turning around.

I think a big part of it is that there were often to servers for the entire room (divided up by zones) so when it filled up, they got slammed. Exacerbated during break times. I hope they ramped up hiring given the uptick in volume.

On the other hand, MIA FFD last week was phenomenal and a 180 from JFK. Extremely attentive and polished.
crazy8534 likes this.
ryanbriar is offline  
Old Dec 2, 22, 6:18 am
  #42  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere between 0 and 13,000 metres high
Programs: AF/KL Life Plat, BA GfL+CCR, Aclub Plat, Hilton Diam, Marriott Gold, blablablah, etc
Posts: 28,454
Let's put it that way, in terms of sheer numbers, BA F pax + GGL will account for a significantly larger part of the Chelsea usage than AA Flagship F/BusinessPlus + CK on eligible itineraries. Based on existing trends, a majority of those BA pax will come from the European side of the pond and will intuitively feel that a lounge is a place where you enjoy the complimentary service that you get.

It does not mean that nobody will tip, nor that tip will not be gratefully appreciated when offered, they may well be, but I'd be very surprised if they were taken for granted let alone a pre-requisite for good service.

Airports are always, by nature, places where people with different cultures, languages, habits, and if you want to call it that way expectations mix together. In this particular case, a joint lounge adds a further layer of complexity in that people will come to use it who are normally used to AA lounges and BA lounges, which, let's face it, are quite different in many ways and not just in terms of how likely people are to tip there. That will take a bit of adaptation and discovery from any of the visitors as well as any of the staff,but my sense is that if anything is expected, it will be that behaviours will vary. I hope some of it gets regulated in due course (by which I specifically mean loud speakerphone conversations - yikes!), but for the rest, I think staff will quickly learn that some visitors tend to offer tips and others don't and both are fine, just like they will quickly learn that some visitors have their sole meuniere with a glass of Ultra Brut or chardonnay whilst others have it with Diet Coke and both are fine too.

I just think people should do as they feel - be it in terms of tipping (tip, don't tip, only tip if you feel someone is giving you "above and beyond" service), drinking, eating, or moving between Chelsea and Soho or sticking to the former. Let's put it that way, I am quite certain that staff are as puzzled as we are as to what should be expected from this unusual experiment, and have equally no doubt that as long as visitors are polite, respectful, pleasant, and basically not obnoxious or rude, staff will serve them well and aim to make their Chelsea visit a great experience and one they want to repeat.
orbitmic is offline  
Old Dec 2, 22, 7:06 am
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, BA Amex Prem, BA Amex Business, Amex Platinum, Coutts Silk, Hilton Diamond etc.
Posts: 2,955
Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
.... not obnoxious .... staff will serve them well .....
Oh man, I'm completely screwed.....
orbitmic, wrp96 and LCSinTexas like this.
crazy8534 is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 7:29 am
  #44  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Programs: BA Gold for Life
Posts: 1,151
Thinking back I have not been consistent. In a BA lounge in the US I have not tipped but in an AA lounge I have tipped. With a captive audience in a lounge I do not think it should be necessary to tip.
Rubecula is online now  
Old Dec 2, 22, 8:08 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Programs: BA
Posts: 5
I was in the Chelsea lounge last night (GGL flying in C). I have to say that it was a very pleasant experience. There were a few teething ztroubles with speedy food service, and the information boards weren't displaying correct info, but generally a very comfortable ambience and not at all crowded. Oh, and the Krug was very nice
Arjaysee is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread