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As has been the case with most airport lounge networks around the world, British Airways has been operating a skeleton lounge network since the pandemic first took hold. Recent weeks have seen the airline opening a number of its Business Class lounges at London Heathrow and now BA is ready to take things further by reopening the lounges it dedicates to First Class travelers.
The Concorde Rooms Reopen
Tomorrow, 1 September 2021, British Airways will reopen the Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Concorde Room at New York JFK.
Both lounges have been closed for over 16 months and as BA’s press release points out, their reopening comes just a month after the airline reopened its “flagship lounge” at JFK Terminal 7.
Interestingly, BA opened its New York Galleries lounge shortly after the UK announced that fully vaccinated travelers flying to England from the United States would not have to self-isolate or quarantine upon arrival. This time, however, the airline is announcing the opening of its Concorde Rooms just days after the EU has suggested that its member states place restrictions on travelers visiting from the US.
Somewhat famously, the UK is no longer part of the EU so there’s no reason we should expect it to pay any attention to anything that the EU’s reccommends, but it will be interesting to watch what BA’s reaction will be if multiple EU counties put travel bans in place (on visitors from the US) and the airline sees passenger numbers drop sharply because fewer people are flying to Europe through London.
British Airways Has A New Cocktail Menu
To coincide with the reopening of the Concorde Rooms, British Airways says that it will be introducing a new cocktail menu. Concorde Room guests will find seven cocktails on the new menu two of which have been created especially for BA. The two bespoke cocktails are called “the Barton” and the “Lawford” in honor of Lynne Barton, the first female British Airways pilot, and Bill Lawford, the first ever British Airways pilot in 1919.
British Airways says that the new cocktail menu has been designed “with a focus on the best of British seasonal ingredients that specifically embrace ‘in-flight’ and wind pollinated flavours” (no, I have no idea what “wind pollinated flavours” are either).
Note: While the new cocktail menu has been designed for the Concorde Rooms, the Barton and the Lawford will also be available in the Galleries Club lounges and the First lounge at Heathrow T5.
Some Bronze Card Holders Will Be Getting Lounge Access
Throughout September and October, British Airways will be “surprising” a number of its Bronze Card holders (on a daily basis) with lounge access for them + 1 guest as the airline attempts to give them a taste of what it’s like to have Silver elite status.
The Bronze Card holders that will be receiving this treatment will all be “close to the threshold” of Silver status (if you’re miles away you’re not going to be targeted for lounge access) so BA is clearly trying to tempt people into booking more trips just to get that lounge “hit” one more time.
Note: If you’re one of the lucky targeted Bronze Card holders, enjoy the lounge experience but please don’t be tempted to part with more cash just to get higher elite status if you’re not sure that you’re going to have an opportunity to enjoy that status in the coming year – you’ll be throwing money away and that’s not what the miles and points hobby is meant to be about – be smarter than that.
British Airways will reopen its London and New York Concorde Room lounges tomorrow and alongside the reopening, it will also introduce a new cocktail menu which will include two cocktails designed especially for the airline. Also, throughout September and October, British Airways will be inviting select Bronze Card holders to enjoy lounge access before they fly out on their trip as it attempts to give people a taste of Silver elite status. The airline hasn’t given precise details of what criteria it will be using to select the lucky Bronze elite members, but we know that only Bronze Card holders that are “close” to earning Silver status will be targeted.
All images courtesy of British Airways