15 August 2011

BA upgrades - and Gatwick lounge

As an update to my previous post about the merits of upgrading from BA's Euro Traveller class to Club Europe, I've now upgraded on a UK - Italy flight. This was my first opportunity to sample the hospitality of a dedicated British Airways lounge - and I was very impressed. The BA lounge at Gatwick is large and very lavish compared with standard airport lounges. It's large, with a TV area, a quiet business area, and lots of armchairs with views out over the airport. Children are - marvellously - confined to a kind of soundproof glass 'cage' and despite the number of summer travellers, it was quite peaceful.

The food was exceedingly generous. A large salad cart with a good choice of healthy options, cheeses, speciality bread rolls, soup of the day (tomato and red pepper) and sandwiches. As well as these filling fresh foodstuffs, there were also loads of pre-packaged items, from cake slices to cream crackers, from Kettle Chips to boiled sweets. Two self-service bars provided limitless alcohol - wines, spirits, mixers - as well as fruit juice, soft drinks and hot drinks.

It was a great way to fill up before a flight - on the short trip to Venice, it was a challenge to manage the onboard meal after feasting in the lounge.

Consequently I have now set my heart on getting BA Executive Club silver status (not that easy if you only fly within Europe) in order to gain access to this marvellous spot, and others like it, while travelling on my frequent standard-class flights. You get various other perks with silver status, including extra BA miles, but I think lounge access is probably the most useful benefit. I would advise those with similar inclinations to consider this quest towards the beginning of their membership year, however. I have only a few weeks left and 100 points still to accrue...

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