British Airways is known for many things, but fantastic, design forward lounges aren’t often one of them. Old world tradition and style is great, but when it clashes with modern amenities travelers find themselves frustrated, especially when batteries run low.
The airline has been toting major customer investment for the last two years, and last year Rome Fiumicino was one of the first outposts to see what money can buy. In this case, it’s bought a whole lot. The new (2018) British Airways lounge in Rome is a huge step in the right direction, and downright comfy…
Upstairs in Terminal 3 amongst the shops and across from the Plaza Premium Lounge, you’ll find a well sign posted British Airways lounge. I honestly wasn’t prepared for how nice it was, especially by typical short haul standards. I say this, because I had heard good things from readers, and was still impressed. Upon entry I found a well stocked bar, a la carte hot and cold food and most importantly a series of areas befitting most short haul traveler needs. Actually, most importantly, there were power ports everywhere.
Virtually every seat in the British Airways Rome Fiumicino Lounge offers two USB ports and a UK/Euro plug. This is an instant step up which every traveler can get behind. What I enjoyed most about the lounge though, was the diversity of its offerings, the separation of spaces and the logical flow in which they were offered. The floor to ceilings runway and tarmac views weren’t bad either.
First, you’ll find the bar and food areas. The beverages, including Fernet and a variety of speciality liquors offer a cocktail makers dream. Of course, there’s Italian wine and Prosecco too. Food options included pasta with tuna and olives, as well as quinoa salad and nice caprese ingredients like fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. It might not win master chef, but it was beyond acceptable. Dining tables are close by and create a nice flow of “find nourishment, eat at a table, then go find comfy seat”.
The British Airways Fiumicino lounge has a few big selling points. First, the runway views really are amazing. Just walk through the lounge as far as you can go, until you hit glass. When you hit said glass, stop, otherwise your head and or nose may hurt. The space is divided beautifully with wood paneling, creating an a la carte boardroom of sorts, as well as oversized chairs to relax. I’d say the lounge fits over 100 easily, but you’d hardly ever find more than 30-50 people in there.
Wifi was fast and sizable TV’s were well located for anyone wanting to catch up on the depressing state of world affairs. I can only imagine that during a big sporting contest, an open flowing bar could create quite a nice atmosphere.
There’s one big drawback of the lounge, but it’s not actually that big of a deal. There are no toilets or showers directly in the British Airways Fiumicino (FCO) lounge. They’re just across the hall past the Plaza Premium lounge. The lounge host never made me re present a boarding pass or anything, so it was really just a matter of a few extra steps and nothing more. After enjoying an Aperol Spritz, the short walk was probably a good thing.
Terminal 3 at Rome Fiumicino is light and airy and this new and improved lounge really fits that flow. Once you leave the lounge boarding gates and estimated walking times are present all over the place, so it’s easy to figure out how long to leave it. Using FlightRadar24 I was able to track the incoming aircraft so managed to enjoy a few extra minutes in the lounge, and this was a space where that’s a really nice thing to do. In a nutshell: this is a huge step in the right direction and I had an extremely pleasant time.