British Airways revamps flagship Concorde Room

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has revamped its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, taking inspiration from the very best of British Design.

The refurbishment to the airline’s exclusive lounge included re-upholstering iconic pieces of furniture, and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings.

The terrace, which is so popular with travellers thanks to its position overlooking the runway, features luxurious sofas and new elegant loungers.

Mobile phone chargers are also on hand for travellers to ensure their devices are fully charged before they fly.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “In recent years we’ve invested in our lounges, including new ones in Boston and Gatwick South Terminal and revamped spaces in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Belfast, Washington, Singapore and Dubai.

“We believe our customers will love the new look and feel of the Concorde Room, in particular the terrace that we have re-designed to create a private oasis in the middle of a bustling airport.”

Customers will still be able to dine before they fly in private booths with a full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and en-suite are available to book.

Next in the schedule for a revamp is British Airways’ lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements being made to the customer experience at check-in. Next year Aberdeen and Rome’s lounges will also be revamped, and Geneva will be expanded. Further investment is then planned in San Francisco, Johannesburg and Chicago and Heathrow’s other lounges will be refreshed over the next few years.

Earlier this year British Airways opened its exclusive First Wing at Heathrow T5, a new private check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers. Providing a dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

On board the airline’s First cabin, customers can also benefit from bespoke washbags designed by Liberty London exclusively for British Airways as well as regular updates to the in-flight menu and wine list.

The Concorde Room is exclusive to British Airways’ customers travelling in the airline’s First cabin.

Source: British Airways.

First is flying with British Airways

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Since The First Wing opened on April 5, the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5 has welcomed nearly 200,000* travellers through the dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

That’s around 1,800 customers a day transferring through The First Wing from check-in to the lounge. The smoothness and convenience of the innovation has resulted in great customer feedback and has also reduced the number of customers travelling through the normal security search areas, delivering a benefit for all fliers.

The airline is continuing to invest in other improvements to First, including a refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 to be unveiled in October 2017. The lounge, which is exclusively for First customers will receive an updated look and feel, as well as improvements to the terrace area.

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Additionally new Liberty London washbags will take to the skies at the end of July. The kits feature prints from Liberty’s vintage textile archive. The ladies’ version features an eye-catching print called ‘Indiana’ flower pattern in a range of blues, while the male washbag showcases a more understated black and grey paisley design called ‘Arundel’.

The gentlemen’s washbag features Refinery’s revitalising moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant stick and shave gel as well as a razor, brush and comb, toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs and pen. The ladies’ kit includes Aromatherapy Associates triple rose renewing moisturiser, hydrating hand lotion, renewing cleanser and deodorant stick, along with a lip balm, cotton wool pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush and pen.

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “We know that our First customers are used to the very best in life and have very exacting standards. They rightly expect every part of their journey with us to cater to their needs, so we’ve focused on areas that we know matter to them. First Wing enables them to maximise their time, whisking from kerb to lounge through the fast track security channel. And we’ve paid attention to the details that make a difference on board too, through elements such as the updated Liberty washbags and the ability to pre-order a preferred meal.

“From the feedback we’ve received from our First fliers, these changes are making a real difference to their experience, driving great customer reaction and there’s more to come with the revamped Concorde Room at Terminal 5, due to be unveiled this October.”

*: Actual volume of customers through First Wing between April 5 and July 24, 2017 is 199,200.

Source: British Airways.

Lufthansa is Europe’s best airline

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa has been voted the “Best Airline in Europe”. The award was given at the Paris Air Show on 20 June 2017 in Le Bourget. The market research institute Skytrax, which specializes in aviation, surveyed around 18 million passengers from over 160 countries worldwide.

In the survey, passengers from across the globe spoke in favour of the German premium carrier, thus acknowledging the services offered by Lufthansa. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “The service offered by our crews on board and on the ground as well as our investments over the past few years in the fitting of our cabins and lounges, in addition to the service and digitalization, have paid off. The Skytrax Award is evidence that Lufthansa passengers appreciate our quality. The combination of premium service and excellent facilities has impressed passengers worldwide and made us Europe’s number one. Our offer has never been better.” On receipt of the award, Carsten Spohr thanked the employees of Lufthansa in particular, who made this success possible with their excellent work.

Lufthansa also won the award of “Best Airline in Western Europe” as well as the award “Best First Class Lounge Dining”. Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines had been nominated for the award as “Best Airline in Western Europe”. Austrian Airlines won the “Best Airline Staff Service in Europe” award for its employees.

The survey was carried out by the market research institute Skytrax, which specializes in aviation. As part of this, the services on board as well as the airline services at the airports were rated. Skytrax has been carrying out the annual survey since 1999.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

British Airways takes a Liberty

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Top British brand Liberty London has created an exclusive range of washbags for customers flying in First with British Airways.

The sleek, slim and stylish washbags feature a contemporary look using a range of carefully chosen prints from Liberty London’s vast textiles archive, updated for today’s modern traveller.

The new Liberty London First washbags appear on board from January 7, 2017. Throughout the year further print designs will be added to the collection, giving British Airways customers the opportunity to enjoy even more of Liberty London’s iconic style.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “Liberty London is an iconic British brand so it’s fantastic to work in partnership with them to offer our customers flying in First the very best and most eye-catching washbags in the sky.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

“We’re sure that the washbag’s contemporary design, featuring some of Liberty London’s most beautiful prints, will make them highly sought after and a collector’s item in their own right.

“They perfectly compliment British Airway’s stylishly understated First cabin to enhance the travelling experience for our First customers.”

James Millar, Liberty London’s design director, said: “We are thrilled to partner with British Airways on this exciting project! We wanted to create a product with longevity that customers can enjoy time and time again, and that showcases Liberty London’s expertise with print and colour.”

The women’s washbag features ‘Christelle’, an eye-catching oriental inspired floral print, and comes complete with a convenient wristlet.

The men’s washbag features a black embossed textured exterior, with ‘Felix Raison’ paisley motif printed lining.

Prints for both the men and women’s Liberty London washbags were chosen to reflect British Airways’ own colour scheme and contain a range of carefully chosen skincare and well-being products provided by Aromatherapy Associates, respectively.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Initially the new Liberty London wash bags will be introduced on British Airways’ A380 Heathrow to Los Angeles red carpet route and then they will be offered to customers flying in First on the rest of the airline’s worldwide network.

Customers flying in First with British Airways can enjoy dedicated check-in desks and Fast Track access to a network of exclusive luxurious lounges around the world – including the prestigious Concorde Room in London’s Terminal 5 and New York’s Terminal 7 – to relax, dine and drink fine wines and champagnes before their flight.

Once on board they have their own private, spacious suite, with a fully flat bed, complete with mattress and a crisp white cotton duvet to sleep during their flight.

Or they can unwind watching thousands of hours of the latest movies and TV shows thanks to British Airways High Life Entertainment on widescreen TVs, and enjoy delicious five-star in-flight dinning served by attentive cabin crew at 35,000 feet.

For further information about flying in First with British Airways visit ba.com or call 0344 493 0787.

Source: British Airways.

Ten years of Lufthansa crews in national costume

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Ten years ago we heard it for the first time: Take-off for the Lufthansa crew in national costume. Since then, a total of 20 destinations have been flown to on four continents, with national costumes from three different fashion houses introduced to the passengers during this famous time of year for Bavaria. Two days before the beginning of the Munich Oktoberfest, Lufthansa passengers will once again get to experience Bavarian tradition up in the clouds. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, two crews will take-off in Angermaier costumes. Eleven flight stewardesses and two flight stewards will look after guests today on flights from Munich to Toronto and from Munich to Washington. Further destinations will include Shanghai and Hong Kong on 20 September, Denver on 2 October and Boston on 3 October.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Over the past ten years, both the design of the costumes as well as the names of the designers have changed on a regular basis. However, the Lufthansa colours of yellow, blue and white have always stayed the same.

This year’s anniversary costume was designed and tailored by the Munich national costume specialists Angermaier, which is outfitting the crews to match the largest public festival in the world for the third time in a row. The Oktoberfest dirndl for the flight stewardesses is dark blue with a silver-grey pinafore. The men wear knee-length lederhosen with a dark blue waistcoat in the same fabric as the dirndls.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

As in previous years, national costumes will be worn on flights to selected European destinations from Munich. At the beginning and the end of the Munich Oktoberfest, a crew from Lufthansa CityLine will swap their uniform for the dirndl. Destinations this year are Belgrade, Birmingham, Cluj, Nice, Olbia and Sylt.

For Lufthansa employees at passenger services at Munich airport, it has long been tradition to welcome passengers in national costume during Oktoberfest. In addition to the Lufthansa uniform, the women wear the Lufthansa dirndl in yellow and blue and the men wear blue suits in the style of the traditional costume. The Service employees in the Lufthansa First Class Lounges wear costumes in black and gold.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

The First Wing to land with British Airways

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ First and Gold Executive Club customers travelling from Heathrow will soon have access to a new ‘First Wing’, creating a dedicated walkway from check-in to the lounges in Terminal 5.

The First Wing, set to open in April, will be located next to the airlines First check-in area.  It will create an enhanced private check-in zone where customers will be guided to two new dedicated security lanes, designed to speed up the process of passing through the airport.

Once through security, customers will have dedicated access to British Airways’ Galleries First lounge and through to the airline’s flagship Concorde Room, where they can relax before their flight, making the journey seamless for those premium customers.

The First Wing, is part of an investment agreed with Heathrow Airport, designed to improve Fast Track entry in Terminal 5.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The new dedicated security lanes will also reduce the number of customers using the current North and South security, speeding up the journey for all customers, especially those travelling in Club World, through Terminal 5.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Heathrow Airport to deliver a new dedicated security entrance, direct from check-in to our lounges.

“Terminal 5 is our flagship home and The First Wing will significantly improve the airport experience for our premium customers.”

Mark Jennings, Heathrow Airports’ head of premium services and fast track, said “We are excited by the prospect of extending our Fast Track product in Terminal 5, which underpins our commitment to improving the experience of our premium passengers and supports our vision of providing the world’s best airport service.”

The First Wing will open in April 2017, when it will be assessable for the airline’s First customers, eligible Gold Executive Club customers and oneworld Emerald members.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways offers free upgrades to First

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ ever popular free upgrade to First promotion is back.

Customers who book a Club World (business class) seat for travel between September 7 and December 11, 2016 will have the opportunity to upgrade to First one-way for free.

Customers who would like to take up the offer can do so by contacting their travel agent, or calling the British Airways contact centre on 0344 493 0787.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “We always get a great reaction from customers to our upgrade to First promotions. For no additional cost, travellers receive all the extra benefits of First, from the bespoke lounges to the comfortable suites on-board and personalised service. It’s a really nice way for us to recognise our customers and give them something back as a thank-you for their booking and their loyalty.”

Customers booking can expect to be whisked through fast-track before making their way to the First lounge or Concorde Room (outbound from Heathrow Terminal 5). Once on-board the sophisticated cabin they can settle in to their suite with its 6ft 6inch bed, personal blinds and wardrobe and  experience a personalised service, complete with an a la carte menu, fine wines and champagne.

Customers flying on one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will experience the airline’s very latest First class, introduced in late 2015. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For more details on the upgrade promotion, customers can visit www.ba.com/upgrade.

For more details on First class, visit: http://www.ba.com/first.

Today the airline has also launched two of its biggest ever Avios and On Business promotions, enabling travellers to earn triple points, visit ba.com/onbusiness or ba.com/tripleavios for details.

Editor’s Note:

  • The offer is only available on published fares.
  • All routes with a First cabin are included, with the exception of Bermuda.
  • Terms and conditions apply. See ba.com/upgrade for full details.
  • Bookings must be made and flown between September 6 and December 11, 2016.

Source: British Airways.