I’m SUCH A Hypocrite!

a coffee machine in a restaurant

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For the Holiday season British Airways has quietly relaxed the guesting rules at its lounges in the UK but it doesn’t appear to have told too many people about it.

Some BAEC members were lucky enough to get an email letting them know about the temporary changes but most people (if they don’t read FlyerTalk) probably have no idea.

Under normal conditions British Airways Executive Club Gold members can bring one guest into the First or Business Class lounges while Gold “Guest List” members can bring in two guests in to a departure lounge of their choosing (except for the Concorde Room).

a business card with a gold ribbon

However, through 13 January 2018, these are the new guesting rules per BA:

  • Gold Guest List Members can guest up to 5 other flyers into the First or Business Class lounges as long as all passengers are flying on the same record locator.
  • Gold Members can guest up to 5 other flyers into the Business Class lounges only as long as all passengers are flying on the same record locator.

What I didn’t realise (until I flew out of London over the holidays) is that oneworld Emerald card holders can take advantage of these temporary rules too.

I have American Airlines Executive Platinum status (I have no status with British Airways whatsoever) and I was allowed to guest Joanna AND mini-Joanna into the Galleries Club lounge (Business Class lounge) at Heathrow T5

On top of that, the agent on the door confirmed that I could have guested in 3 more passengers had they all been flying on the same record locator as me.

This actually worked out very well for us as I was expecting to have to use my Priority Pass membership and settle for the Aspire Lounge at T5 (which I don’t really like) and the British Airways Galleries Club lounge is better than the Aspire Lounge in every possible way.

a bar with a counter and chairs in a room with a large windowThe Aspire Lounge at London Heathrow T5

But this does make me an incredible hypocrite.

I’m completely against airlines allowing yet more passengers into the already often-crowded lounges so, under normal circumstances, I would have probably typed a piece condemning the whole idea.

As it was I took full advantage of the new rules and tweeted a thank you to BA!

On this occasion the Galleries Club lounge wasn’t noticeably any busier than it has been on most of my previous visits (it wasn’t hard finding 3 seats together) so perhaps the rules haven’t made all that big of a difference…or perhaps we were just lucky.

a room with chairs and tablesBritish Airways Galleries Club Lounge (B Gates) Heathrow T5

To be fair, had the lounge agent told me that the temporary rules only applied to BAEC members I wouldn’t have minded at all…but I still feel a little guilty for taking advantage of a rule I fundamentally disagree with.

How do you guys feel about this temporary rule change? Has anyone noticed the lounges being unseasonably crowded recently or has it been business as usual?