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With more flights scheduled to operate in July, British Airways has decided to begin reopening its lounges at Heathrow Airport for elite members and Business/First Class passengers. Initially, this will be limited to the First lounge and the Arrivals lounge – but access will be granted to “all eligible lounge customers to use this lounge irrespective of the cabin they are flying in”.
The latest information on the BA website states:
“From 4 July, we’ll be opening our First lounge and Arrivals lounge at Heathrow, Terminal 5. We have introduced a number of measures to ensure the health, well-being and safety of you and our colleagues, including safe distance markers and sanitising stations throughout the lounge.
We’ve worked with our suppliers to provide a clean and safe environment for you and our colleagues from the preparation and delivery of food to cleaning the bathrooms, communal and seating areas. To minimise contact, we’ve launched a new service ‘Your Menu’ where you’ll be able to order your own food and drink and which (once it’s been submitted) will be brought directly to you. You will also receive a Welcome Card with a guide on how you can make your stay with us more comfortable.”
The Concorde Terrace in the First lounge will also be open, but will only be available to First Class passengers:
“We have a created a dedicated area within the First lounge that can be used if you are travelling in First, called the Concorde Terrace. It will be hosted by one of our colleagues, so please speak to them if you require any assistance”.
BA will be serving the following destinations by the end of July:
Domestic flights will resume between London and Belfast, Inverness, Jersey, Manchester, Newcastle and Newquay and the airline will move to double daily services to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Short haul international operations will include flights to Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
British Airways will also return to a small number of its normal long-haul routes by the end of July. Services will resume across the Americas including flights to Bermuda, Dallas, Miami, Seattle and Toronto. These join flights to San Francisco, which restarted in June along with destinations served throughout, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK) and Washington, with a very reduced schedule. The Caribbean will also see British Airways return from July to Barbados and Kingston. Joining Hong Kong and Singapore in the Far East, which again, the airline resumed limited flying to in June, will be services to Haneda in Japan.
The changes to how BA’s lounges will operate seem sensible, and if the airline really does manage to keep up the social distancing and cleaning standards mentioned in the FAQs, that would be great. It will be interesting to hear from travellers what the reality is like over the next few days and weeks.