Virgin Atlantic unveiles its new London Gatwick Clubhouse

Virgin Atlantic has opened a new Clubhouse lounge in London Gatwick’s North Terminal.

London Air Travel » Lounges

Today, 25 January 2017, sees a significant reorganisation at London Gatwick. easyJet has consolidated its operations in the North Terminal. 

To accommodate this move, British Airways has moved from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic has moved from the South Terminal, its home at Gatwick since the airline first launched in 1984, to the North Terminal.

This move of course means new lounges for both BA and Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic has today opened its new Clubhouse in the North Terminal.  It is located on level 4 of the terminal, after security.

Lounge features include:

  • A marble bar offering complimentary drinks including bespoke cocktails from East London bar The White Lyan
  • A complimentary to order brunch menu featuring popular staples such as Eggs Benedict
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the airport’s apron
  • A woodland themed play area for younger travellers
  • A Clubhouse spa with a selection of complimentary treatments such as facials and paid for treatments such as wet shaves and massages.  The spa is open from 7.00am to 12:30pm

Here is the spa treatment menudining menu and cocktail menu.

First impressions are that the lounge looks bright, spacious and, at least when the weather’s good, the floor-to-ceiling window views should put passengers in the right frame of mind for a holiday.

Here are some official pictures released by Virgin Atlantic:

Passengers travelling in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin and Flying Club gold cardholders are eligible to access the lounge.

Virgin Atlantic flies from London Gatwick to Antigua, Barbados, Cancun, Grenada, Havana, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, St Lucia, Tobago and Varadero.

Virgin Atlantic’s Hong Kong Clubhouse is to close from Sunday 5 February 2017

Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse lounge in Hong Kong has closed.

London Air Travel » Lounges

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, Hong Kong
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, Hong Kong (Image Credit; Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has long been known for its small, but distinctive, portfolio of Clubhouse lounges around the world. That portfolio will be a little smaller shortly as its Clubhouse at Hong Kong International Airport is to close from Sunday 5 February 2017.

The reason for the closure is that the lease on the space occupied by the clubhouse has come up for renewal and Virgin Atlantic has decided not to renew the lease for reasons of cost.

Passengers travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin and Flying Club Gold members will be able to use the third party Plaza Premium lounge.

The Plaza Premium lounge is located near Gate 40 on Level 7, Departures level of Terminal 1. The lounge is open 24 hours a day. Facilities include showers, a bar, and a private resting area.
Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic’s Hong Kong Clubhouse is to close from Sunday 5 February 2017”

BA to open new lounges in Gatwick’s South Terminal on 25 January 2017

London Air Travel » Lounges

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

In January 2017 there will be a significant re-organisation at London Gatwick. easyJet will consolidate all of its operations in London Gatwick’s North Terminal. In order to faciliate this move both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will swap terminals. BA will move the from North to South terminal, and Virgin Atlantic vice versa.

BA’s lounges in the North Terminal have long been closed due to construction work with passengers being required to use the No 1 lounges as an interim measure.

Details of what BA lounge arrangements there will be in the South Terminal for business and first class passengers and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders have long been anticipated.

BA has now confirmed some initial information, short of releasing final images of the lounge, for both check-in and lounge facilities.

Check-in and security

  • There will be dedicated premium check- in area in Zone A of the terminal for Club Europe, Club World, First Class and Silver & Gold Executive Cardholders.  This will feature dedicated seating, power outlets and bespoke furnishing.
  • There will be a dedicated premium security facility on Level 3 of the South terminal.

Lounges

  • Capacity for 477 passengers, which BA say is 40% larger than the former North terminal lounge
  • A separate First Class lounge with upgraded seating, finishes and lighting. It is assumed that Gold cardholders will have access to this lounge as some recent BA lounge developments in Dubai and Singapore feature a “Concorde Bar” for passengers ticketed in First Class only
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the runway
  • A “beautifully curved” staircase overlooking the main lounge
  • Full kitchen facilities in both lounges giving an upgraded food & beverage offering. Details of menus are to confirmed
  • A ‘kidszone’ room for children
  • Shower facilities

We will post images of the lounges as soon as they are released.

It is also worth mentioning that prior to the formal switch of flights on 25 January 2017 some flights will move in advance on a trial basis.

Update 25 January 2017

Whilst the Terminal switch has taken place today, 25 January, the opening of the lounges has been delayed.  In the interim, passengers travelling in Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club card holders can use s temporary “Speedbird” lounge. Passengers travelling in First Class and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party No 1 lounges.

Update 7 February 2017

It is understood that both of the lounges have now undergone a “soft” opening. However, not all facilities and amenities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed. Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge. If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February

It is understood that the new lounges are now fully open and operational and therefore the temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

Cathay Pacific opens its new lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3

London Air Travel » Lounges

Cathay Pacific has today, Monday 28 November 2016, opened its new first and business class lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific opens its new lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3”

Qantas to open a new lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2017

London Air Travel » Lounges

Qantas Airways has just announced it is to open a new dedicated lounge for first and business class passengers flying on its daily services to Sydney and Melbourne from London Heathrow Terminal 3, which will open in 2017.

Currently, Qantas does not have its own lounge at London Heathrow and eligible passengers have to make use of the British Airways Galleries Club and First lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

The lounge will occupy two levels of the airport terminal with capacity for 230 passengers. The new lounge is expected to be modelled on recent Qantas lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore. Construction will commence later this year.

Features of the new lounge will include:

• Australian chef Neil Perry’s Rockpool menu and dining experience;
• Full-service bar with Rockpool cocktails;
• Full bathroom facilities including showers;
• Business facilities; and
• Children’s zone.

Eligible members of Oneworld alliance frequent flyer programmes will also have access to the lounge and with Cathay Pacific also refurbishing its lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3, Oneworld passengers will have a good choice of lounge facilities at London Heathrow.

This is also a welcome investment by Qantas in London. Qantas has previously reduced its daily services from London Heathrow from four to two daily. It also ended its partnership with British Airways in favour a partnership with Emirates with all services to Sydney and Melbourne routed via Dubai as a consequence. There have been question marks over its long term commitment to London which can be allayed by the news of this investment.

Whilst the lounge design and menus will have a strong Australian flavour, Qantas do promise a British twist. In any event, a touch of Australia will no doubt be welcome in a wet and grey day at London Heathrow!
Continue reading “Qantas to open a new lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2017”

British Airways’ London Gatwick lounges have now closed

London Air Travel » Lounges

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways’ Galleries Club and First lounges in the North Terminal of London Gatwick airport have now closed permanently.

This move is to allow the redevelopment of the North Terminal which will see easyJet consolidate its London Gatwick operations in the North Terminal and British Airways move to the South Terminal in November 2016.

In the interim, BA passengers will have access to the third party the No 1 lounge which is located on the 3rd floor of the terminal.

BA has assured that a new lounge complex will be built in the South terminal which it is to move into in November of this year.

BA has not released any information on the new lounges, other than to say it will be an improvement on the existing lounges with full kitchen facilities, views of the runway and there will be a dedicated area for First Class passengers and Gold Executive Club cardholders.

Cathay Pacific to close its London Heathrow lounges for refurbishment

London Air Travel » Lounges

Cathay Pacific Brushwing Sign
Cathay Pacific Brushwing Sign (Image Credit: Cathay Pacific)

Cathay Pacific is to close its First & Business Class lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3 for refurbishment and extension from Thursday 26 November 2015.

The lounges will be refurbished and extended and are expected to reopen on an as yet unspecified date in June 2016.

The new enlarged lounges are expected to follow the design concept recently introduced at Cathay Pacific’s The Pier lounge in Hong Kong and other airports such as Tokyo Haneda.  This is the creation of Ilse Crawford’s Studioilse design agency.

In the interim, passengers travelling in First and Business Class on Cathay Pacific services from London Heathrow and Silver, Gold and Diamond members of the Marco Polo frequent flyer programme will be invited to use partner airline lounges when checking in at the airport. 

Cathay Pacific has not specified which lounges these are but they are likely to include the American Airlines and British Airways Galleries Club and First Class lounges (subject to possible capacity constraints).

The opening of the new Cathay Pacific lounge complex in June 2016 will be widely anticipated. We expect the new lounges will be a very strong contender for one of the most well-appointed lounges at London Heathrow.

BA Gatwick lounges to close permanently in January 2016

London Air Travel » Lounges

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways’ Galleries Club and First lounges in the North Terminal of London Gatwick airport are to close permanently in January 2016.

This move is to allow the redevelopment of the North Terminal which will see easyJet consolidate its London Gatwick operations in the North Terminal and British Airways move to the South Terminal in November 2016.

In the interim, BA passengers will have access to the No 1 lounge.  However details are scant as to what specific lounge amenities will be available on a complimentary basis to BA Club and First passengers.

BA has assured that a new lounge complex will be built in the South terminal. However, again, details are scant as to the format of the lounges and specifically whether there will be a dedicated First lounge for First Class passengers and Executive Club Gold cardholders, as is present in the North terminal.

BA opens new lounge at Singapore & premieres its “Concorde Bar”

London Air Travel » Lounges

British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport
British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has opened its new lounge at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport.

Designed by British design studio Graven the lounge features digital panoramic views of the Singapore skyline reflecting the time of the day outside.

Customers travelling in First Class will be provided with a passcode on entry to the lounge to access a dedicated “Concorde Bar”.

Continuing a trend of new BA lounges outside of London reflecting their local cities, the main lounge includes artwork from Singapore and British artists, including Simon Wee and Dr Brendan Neiland.

The main lounge seats 185 passengers. The Concorde Bar seats 41 passengers. 88% of seats have access to power for electronic devices as well as USB ports, and there is high-speed WiFi throughout.

The Concorde Bar features black Nero marble surfaces, European oak flooring and bespoke furnishings. Seating options including communal bar seating, private sofa corners and dining booths.
Continue reading “BA opens new lounge at Singapore & premieres its “Concorde Bar””

Cathay Pacific re-opens The Pier First Class lounge in Hong Kong

London Air Travel » Lounges

Cathay Pacific has long been known for its highly regarded portfolio of lounges at its hub at Hong Kong International airport.

These lounges comprise The Bridge, The Pier, The Wing, The Cabin and The Arrival.

The airline has today reopened the first class lounge at The Pier.

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific re-opens The Pier First Class lounge in Hong Kong”