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”

Virgin Atlantic opens new Los Angeles Clubhouse

London Air Travel » Lounges

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Los Angeles
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Los Angeles (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has long been known for its distinctive, if relatively few in number, Clubhouse lounges. The flagship being of course its London Heathrow Clubhouse, with other Clubhouses in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Washington.

One notable absentee has been Los Angeles, in spite of it being one of Virgin Atlantic’s most important routes after New York.

Today, 28 April 2015, Virgin Atlantic has opened a new Clubhouse at Terminal 2. The lounge has been designed by Slade Architecture who also worked on the airline’s Newark and JFK clubhouses.

The 4,000 sq ft triangular shaped Los Angeles clubhouse offers views of the airport’s apron and Hollywood Hills. The colour palette is relatively toned down compared to other Virgin lounges, with extensive use of white. It is clearly inspired by the Californian outdoor lifestyle and climate.

The lounge is lined by a sculpted Corian and copper Flow Wall that features a copper lined bar. Lounge furniture includes Swan chairs by Arne Jacobsen, Walter Knoll Turtle chairs, classic Eames chairs, and a custom fabricated surfboard inspired counter by the windows that is sculpted from layers of bamboo.

At the apex of the lounge is a pre-flight dining area offering dishes from Hinoki & The Bird. The walls are lined with bamboo and the space features a video insulation by artist Diana Reichenbach.
Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic opens new Los Angeles Clubhouse”

London Heathrow Terminal 5 to gain first paid-for-access lounge

London Air Travel » Lounges

London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: British Airways)
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: British Airways)

Ever since London Heathrow Terminal 5 opened seven years ago, a frequent criticism of the terminal has been the absence of a paid-for-access lounge for those who do not have access to BA’s Galleries lounge complex by virtue of frequent flyer status or travel class.

This summer Terminal 5 will gain its own paid-for-access lounge as an “Aspire” lounge is to open in Terminal 5 near Gate 18.

The exact opening date and pricing are yet to be revealed. Though, Aspire do offer annual lounge passes for £259.99 which may work well for some.

We’re not sure why it has taken so long for a lounge to open but this will be a welcome development for many. The standard of third party lounges has improved markedly over the past few years and it should compare favourable to BA’s Galleries Club lounges.

The one point to note is that many BA long-haul flights do depart from the Terminal 5B and 5C satellite terminals and there won’t be paid-for lounge facilities in these satellite terminals.

Update: The opening date of the lounge is Tuesday 4 August 2015 and the cost of lounge access is from £34.99.

BA Singapore lounge is closed for refurbishment

London Air Travel » Lounges

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore
Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore (Image Credit: British Airways)

The BA lounge in Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport is currently closed for refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by late summer of this year.

In the interim, eligible passengers (eg those travelling in Club World business class, First Class, and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders) will be able to use the highly regarded Qantas Singapore lounge.

There was a time when BA and Qantas jointly operated a business and first class lounges in Singapore, but for reasons we do not know, the two airlines decided to move to separate lounges.

For completeness, we should add that, under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, passengers eligible to use the BA lounge are also eligible to use the Qantas lounge in any event!

BA’s inaugural A380 flight to Washington & new lounge

London Air Travel » Lounges

British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways completed its inaugural Airbus A380 flight from London Heathrow to Washington today, 2 October 2014, as flight BA217 arrived in Washington Dulles airport early this afternoon.

The launch of A380 services also coincides with the opening of a new “Galleries” lounge for business and first class passengers in Washington.

The lounge features a private dining area for First Class customers, pre-flight dining for Club World passengers, a bar with views of the airfield and shower suites.

Washington is the 2nd US city to be served by BA’s A380. San Francisco will be the next US city. BA also flies the A380 to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg. The A380 will also fly to Singapore from the end of October 2014.

The inaugural British Airways' A380 arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, USA on 2 October 2014 (Image Credit: British Airways)
The inaugural British Airways’ A380 arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, USA on 2 October 2014 (Image Credit: British Airways)
Seating at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
Seating at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
Pre-flight dining at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
Pre-flight dining at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
Pre-flight dining at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles (Image Credit: British Airways)
Pre-flight dining at British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles (Image Credit: British Airways)

BaxterStorey takes on British Airways catering contract for UK lounges; some passengers disappointed

London Air Travel » Lounges

When London Heathrow Terminal 5 opened a little over five years ago (the opening was a day many will never forget!), much was made by BA of the introduction of its “Galleries” lounge concept. At Heathrow, this comprises the “flagship” Concorde Room for first class passengers and Concorde Room cardholders, a Galleries First lounge for BA Executive Club Gold cardholders, three Galleries Club lounges and a Galleries Arrivals lounge for arriving passengers. The lounges were designed by what was then known as Davies & Baron. The lounges feature bespoke Osborne & Little patterns, bold statements such as horse lamps as well as more subtle art and design statements.

Continue reading “BaxterStorey takes on British Airways catering contract for UK lounges; some passengers disappointed”