British Airways has announced that its first class lounge at London Gatwick will close from 3pm each day from Monday 13 April 2015.
The lounge is one of two provided by BA at London Gatwick. The other being a Terraces lounge for Silver Executive Club cardholders and passengers travelling on flexible UK domestic tickets, and in Club Europe and Club World.
Patronage of the lounge has declined over a number of years. BA moved routes such as Dallas Fort Worth and Houston to London Heathrow many years ago. American Airlines withdrew from the airport after the 2008 Open Skies treaty removed restrictions on what routes BA and American could operate from London Heathrow.
Whilst the published rationale is that the last flight with a first class cabin departs from Gatwick shortly after 3pm (BA2233 to Bermuda) this moves seems driven by cost-cutting. Although it may not be the intention, coupled with other recent announcements such as removing seat selection on hand baggage only fares, this will be seen as part of a narrative of removing benefits from its frequent flyers.
It also seems a precursor to BA moving to operating a single lounge when it moves to the South Terminal in November 2016.