Sign Of Recovery? British Airways Reopens Top Tier Lounges

British Airways is reopening its Concorde Room lounges in London and New York. The move indicates that sufficient demand to make the facilities available is returning, and thus passengers are returning to the air. The Concorde Room is British Airways’ top-tier lounge for its most valued customers.

British Airways, Concorde Room, Lounge
British Airways has reopened its Concorde Room Lounges in London and New York. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

When COVID-19 brought the aviation industry to a halt, it wasn’t just airlines and their flight networks that suffered. Airports were also hit by a lack of passengers, leading to shops and airport lounges makes the difficult decision to close. For example, at the height of the pandemic, Boots was one of the only outlets open at London Stansted Airport.

Reopening the Concorde Room

Today, British Airways revealed that it is reopening its Concorde Room lounges at London Heathrow Airport and New York’s John F Kennedy Airport. Both airports used to sit on either end of the airline’s only major Concorde route.

As mentioned, these lounges are the top tier when it comes to the airline’s offering. Only passengers such as the airline’s real top frequent fliers (known as gold guest list) and those flying in First are eligible to use the lounges with few exceptions.

British Airways, Concorde Nose, Concorde Room
The lounge got a new addition over the summer. Photo: British Airways

In return, those eligible to use the lounges receive top products in the lounges, including fine dining paired with excellent drinks. British Airways has even partnered with a mixologist to mark the occasion to create seven new cocktails, including two exclusively for the lounge. The cocktails won’t be the lounge’s only new addition. In London, the airline worked to move a nosecone from Concorde into the lounge. It has previously been housed at the airline’s Waterside HQ.

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Commenting on the move, Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, stated,

“As we start to gradually welcome back customers, we want to ensure that they have the best experience possible with British Airways. We are looking at every element of the customer experience… Our teams will continue to innovate, and we look forward to sharing more exciting developments with our customers over the coming months.”

Good news for BA?

The fact that British Airways is reopening these lounges is a good thing. Not only does it show that passengers are returning to the airline, but it also shows that a significant number of premium passengers are returning. In the case of London, this is unsurprising. Except for a handful of red list countries, fully vaccinated brits can travel anywhere in the world without needing to quarantine on return.

British Airways, Concorde Room, Lounge
The lounge also features repurposed seats taken from a Concorde. Photo: British Airways

Opening the lounge in New York is more surprising, as travel is only open in one direction for most. This is despite London to New York being British Airways’ flagship route in a pre-pandemic year. US travelers can travel to the UK without restriction and quarantine free if vaccinated. The same cannot be said for Brits, many of whom remain locked out of the United States despite being fully vaccinated, due to an early pandemic travel ban that is still in place.

What do you make of British Airways’ decision to reopen the Concorde Room? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!