British Airways' lounge roadmap for 2020 will include refurbishments and upgrades for its flagship London Heathrow T5 lounges along with Chicago's O’Hare Airport, Edinburgh and Berlin.
We know you're eager for the details, so here's everything we have so far...
London Heathrow T5
BA's lounge refresh will sweep through its home at Heathrow Terminal, but leave the older Terminal 3 lounges untouched.
T3 still hosts around a dozen BA flights to Europe as well as some flights to Cape Town, Vancouver and the USA, although savvy travellers make a beeline for the superior lounges of fellow Oneworld member airlines Cathay Pacific and Qantas.
Given that the T5 Concorde Room received a facelift in November 2017, the candidates for this year's multi-million pound make-over are:
- The Galleries First Lounge (available to Oneworld first class passengers and Oneworld Emerald-grade frequent flyers – BA's own first class and top-tier frequent flyers head to The Concorde Room)
- The Galleries North and Galleries South Club Lounges, and Terminal 5B's satellite Galleries Club Lounge (available to Oneworld business class passengers and Oneworld Sapphire-grade frequent flyers)
- The Arrivals Lounge (available to BA's first and business class passengers stepping of a long-range flight, as well as British Airways Executive Club Gold members)
However, British Airways hasn't revealed which of these lounges are getting the glam, with a spokesman for the airline saying only that "more details on this will follow in due course."
Visitors to the gussied-up lounges can expect what BA has previously described as a "light and airy" design based on the airline's Lounge Futures template and drawing from the same shared DNA as new-look lounges in Aberdeen, Geneva, Johannesburg, Milan, New York JFK, Rome and San Francisco.
There's no timeline for what we'd expect will be a rolling revamp – but given the likely size of the job, and that the other lounges on BA's to-do list are all set to open in the first half of this year, we'd expect the Heathrow T5 lounges to be a H2 proposition.
The past 12 months saw BA beavering away at upgrades to its New York and San Francisco lounges: now it's time for Chicago to take centre stage.
Both the British Airways first and business class lounges at Chicago O’Hare Airport will be remodelled in time for a northern Spring opening (if all goes according to schedule, this should mean a ribbon-cutting by mid-June).
BA promises the Chicago lounges will sport
- "a personal and more interactive welcome in new-look reception areas"
- "a lighter and more relaxing atmosphere for customers with new décor, flooring and furnishings"
- "more charging ports, built into new marble tables, as well as specially crafted chairs to help customers to relax"
- and while the first lounge won't gain a proper dining room, both lounges will have "redesigned serving stations which will continue to offer customers a wide range of local and international cuisines"
British Airways runs two daily flights on the nine-hour London-Chicago route, but its lounges at O'Hare Terminal 5 are also shared by sibling Aer Lingus and selected Oneworld partners such as Cathay Pacific (Qantas, which begins direct Brisbane-Chicago flights from April 2020, will join American Airlines, Iberia and JAL in departing from O'Hare Terminal 3).
Also due for a tidy-up is the Scottish capital's downtrodden lounge, with "new furniture and carpeting, as well as a more interactive welcome experience" again borrowing from BA's new-look lounge playbook.
"There will also be enhanced levels of comfort with bespoke armchairs while reconfigured working and dining areas will give customers more room to work or eat," the airline says, resulting in "a fresh, brighter look" set to open Spring 2020.
BA's 2020 lounge roadmap will also take in Berlin's Tegal Airport: yes, that's Tegel, not the long-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport which is now slated to open in October 2020.
While the time-worn Tegel will shut down in November 2020, British Airways is promising "new furnishings, carpet and décor" will be in place "by early Spring".
It's not known if British Airways will build an all-new lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport or if BA and its Oneworld chums will end up sharing a third-party or even Oneworld-branded lounge.