British Airways reopened its famed Concorde Lounges in both New York and London today. After 16 months of closures, the creme de la creme of the airlines’ luxury lounge offerings are back, but with a new groove and some new booze too.
From mixology partnerships with the world’s “best” bartender to new sleeping pods, there’s lots worth exploring in these newly rejuvenated spaces, so here’s what to look out for, as you make your back into travel.
Apparently there’s some surprise and delight for British Airways Bronze members too.
British Airways Reopens Concorde Lounges
Airlines have been stuck between a rock and a hard place for well over a year now. Open all the lounges for just a handful of daily customers, with massive staffing costs, or keep them closed, risking loyal customers feeling marginalized by not getting the “full” experience their ticket would generally provide.
British Airways did its best to iterate during the challenging times, with a lovely Concorde Terrace at Heathrow Terminal 5, but for those who know the airport best, it wasn’t quite the same as the full on Concorde Room.
Now, the Concorde Room is back, not just at Heathrow, but New York JFK too. Full table service is already back in these spaces. QR codes will continue to be used in the First and Galleries lounges.
New Cocktails From Mr. Lyan
To toast the long awaited occasion, British Airways engaged Mr. Lyan, the world famous bartender of the former Dandelyan bar in London, which earned the World’s Best Bar Award just a couple years ago. Two signature, world exclusive cocktails – the ‘Barton’ and ‘Lawford’ were created by Mr. Lyan for the new spaces.
Not usually in the Concorde Room? Fear not, the cocktails will be available in both the Galleries and Galleries First lounges at Heathrow, too. The cocktails were inspired by ‘wind pollinated flavors’, giving them an aviation theme. Lyan has always been famous for experimenting with pollens in drinks.
FortyWinks Sleep Pods
British Airways lounge team, championed by Mark Murphy, formerly of Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse fame, came up with Forty Winks sleep pods, to create a new sleeping area in the First Lounge. These sleep pods provide a surprisingly peaceful setup to actually catch some… winks.
These pods are first come first serve, but there’s typically plenty of them, unlike the previous sleep rooms. In many ways they’re an improvement, and kind of remind me of the cool chairs in the Finnair lounge, which make you feel like you’re dreaming.
Bronze ‘Surprise And Delight’
British Airways is trying to tempt its casually frequent flyers to become more frequent flyers, as travel reopens. The airline says it will ‘surprise and delight’ select ‘Executive Club’ Bronze members each day with lounge access for the member plus one.
The members will be chosen based on how close they are to the next threshold and will get a taste of what the experience would be, if they managed to move up to Silver.
Elite status thresholds to reach British Airways Executive Club Bronze, Silver and Gold have been reduced, and the current British Airways Holidays promo offers double tier points (even for solo travel), which creates a nice double dip opportunity.