British Airways is one of the few foreign airlines that maintain a pretty strong presence of outport lounges in the United States. They are a member of the oneworld alliance, and can theoretically send passengers to American Airlines lounges. However, they offer their own lounges in many US destinations, and British Airways announced today that they will be refurbishing a number of these lounges.
In this latest project, British Airways is spending $110 million to renovate lounges in the US. This includes a $65 million investment to improve customer experience at New York JFK Terminal 7. Lounges in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle will also be developed in the next five years. There are of course lounges that are not the list, like the one in Philadelphia or the one in Washington DC, though I’d argue those are the lounges that are in better shape.
British Airways has been aggressively expanding service to the US, the most recently adding destinations like Oakland, Ft. Lauderdale, and New Orleans; by the end of 2017, they will be serving 25 airports in the US.
I am particularly excited about the renovations in New York, since the Galleries and First Class lounges at JFK are starting to look a bit tired. The airline will apparently be changing up the experience, all the way from check-in to security, and from the lounges to boarding gates. However, I also have to wonder whether the lounges will remain open, at least in some capacity, during the renovation. New York is an important market for British Airways, and other airlines like Cathay Pacific and Qantas also currently use that lounge.
British Airways’ lounges aren’t the best out there, and their refreshment options can be pretty limited. But depending on the flight and your class of service, they can ben more desirable than partner lounges, like American’s Admirals Clubs. For example, British Airways offer “sleeper services” on certain flights from the US to London, where you can have a full meal in the lounge, and go right to sleep once you are onboard. Unless you are in a Flagship location, the food offerings at Admirals Club can be rather abysmal.
Are you excited about British Airways’s lounge renovations?