“The Concorde Bar” – the new BA lounge concept for First Class ticket holders

British Airways opened its refurbished airport lounge in Singapore recently.  As well as giving it a makeover with the ‘Galleries’ concept, the space was increased by over 40%.  This was driven by the introduction of daily A380 services to Singapore from December.

What is most noticeable about the lounge, however, is that it contains the first ‘Concorde Bar’.  This is a new concept which BA intends to roll out – the next one is due to open in Dubai.  As the name suggests, this is really just a separate room with additional seating and a dedicated attendant to fetch drinks – it will not offer separate dining.

British Airways lounge Singapore

‘The Concorde Bar’ will ONLY be available to ticketed First Class passengers.  It will NOT be accessible by British Airways Gold card holders.

To quote from the BA press release:

“The Concorde Bar Singapore is the first Concorde Bar to open anywhere in the world. An exclusive haven for First customers and their eligible guests only, the design is strikingly different in style from the main Galleries lounge with black timber, Nero marble and champagne metal finishes.

The Concorde Bar offers a variety of seating options including communal bar seating, more private sofa corners and dining booths. Customers can enjoy digital panoramic views of the Singapore skyline which will enable them to connect to the time of day outside when travelling through time zones.”

British Airways lounge Singapore 2

As far as passengers in Singapore – and soon Dubai – are concerned, this is an improvement on the old situation where there was no private space for First Class passengers.

As the previous lounges were ‘one class’, Gold card holders are not losing out from this development.  Very few British Airways outstations have dedicated First Class lounge facilities.

Concorde Bar Singapore

What will be interesting is whether “The Concorde Bar” appears in Gatwick South next year.   Next November, all of the BA services at Gatwick are moving from the North Terminal to the South Terminal.  This should be good news in terms of investment in new facilities.  However, it is still unclear whether a separate ‘Galleries First’ lounge will be built for Gold card holders.

It is possible that a “Concorde Bar” will be built instead, exclusively for ticketed First Class passengers out of Gatwick.  This would leave British Airways Gold card holders without their own lounge and would represent another small downgrade in benefits.

(NB.  All of the photographs in this article are of the main lounge and NOT of “The Concorde Bar”)

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Comments

  1. Is there any indication yet of when the Dubai concorde bar is due to open?

  2. I’m lucky enough to fly first once every two years, and I’m always struck by the number of people in the Concorde lounge. I think this is a good thing to differentiate between first and gold members, it makes it more special!

    • As in its not very busy?
      I love the Concorde lounge, especially the balcony which always seems very quiet and we tend to use that with our children.
      I’d be very happy when the Dubai lounge opens as the current lounge isn’t very big.

  3. Oh, how the Gold Card holders are not going to like this!

  4. Slightly OT…leaving Hong Kong in BA F tomorrow night, what is the best lounge for dinner / drinks before a late night flight departure please?

    • Firstly, check what gate your flight departs from as it can be a long trek to the gates, also HKIA doesn’t offer fast track security. The Wing First Class lounge is just after security and includes a dining room that is operated with staff/chefs from the Peninsula hotel. The food is good, a la carte and buffet options. The actual Wing First class lounge is a champagne bar and i tend to walk into the business section for a seat and the view (and they sometimes have part of the business class seating roped off for first). After that i head down to the lounge nearest my gate – i have only visited the CX lounges (didn’t seem worthwhile trying the other one world lounges).

    • also, as its a late night departure, you could try and get the use of a cabana (google what the CX ones look like, shows how badly wrong BA got theirs).

    • I concur about CX’s The Wing at HKG. Used it twice last week, including before my BA HKG-LHR flight and enjoyed dinner in the Peninsular-operated dining area called The Haven. Excellent food and service. Reasonable length walk to the BA departure gate.

      • travelling through HKG in CX/BA biz, can I use any of these fine dining establishments?

        maybe a better query is, what are the best oneworld lounge options in HKG for biz class? (and do any allow the cabana to be booked?)

        (also, anyone know of similar biz lounge option in CGK?)

        thanks!

        • For business class lounge I would recommend CX lounge The Bridge. (Apparently Qantas Lounge at HK is also very good, but I have not personally visited yet.)

          Gorgeous space with nice decor and tarmac view. I find this lounge less crowded and has many seating options.

          There is no table service, neither does this lounge have the Cathay signature noodle bar, but the food offering are excellent with good quality.

          Cabana is only available at The Wing first class section, but it does have shower facilities.

          • Thanks YL!

            Can I just check, can I access showers in The Bridge? Also, do I have access to The Wing (non-First Class) ?

          • Yes, you can use the showers in The Bridge, and can also access The Wing business class section.
            The Wing is kind of between Gate 1 and Gate 4, and the CX flight to LHR, often departing from Gate 1 or Gate 2, so it is quite convieint if your flight is departing near those gates.

      • Thank you for this

    • I totally agree with the posters above, the Wing F is probably the best lounge in HKIA, and if you have time, definitely try the cabanas . it was the first time in years where I could fully strech my 1.85m into a bathtub! :)

      • Brilliant, will do! Although we do have 75 minute massages scheduled at the IC HK shortly before our 4pm checkout :-)

    • I would suggest that you make your way to The Pier, First Class Lounge. It has recently opened after a major overhaul and is quite fantastic.
      I had The Wing at the top of my favourite OneWorld lounges in the world, I think that The Pier just pips it now. to be fair, i haven’t had any dinner in the dining room, but the space (of which there are lots of different areas) is just great.

    • Lady London says:

      Singapore Airlines lounge.

    • Head to the PIER for an ala carte meal. Simply fabulous!
      Miles better than the food on board BA F
      Worth the extra 10 mnutes walk to near Gate 66.

  5. The press release says there will be “dining booths” – is that not separate dining?

  6. Slightly off topic but what are people’s views of taking a toddler in first and / or club? Both from a perspective of if you’ve done it yourself and if you’ve been on a flight with toddlers in those cabins?

    • Pat Butcher says:

      Put in cargo hold.

    • Don’t do it. Have had a long haul overnight BA flight with (not mine) toddlers and it was a nightmare. Screamed and unsettled most of the time. Felt heart sorry for the parents. However, not what I paid for and felt very cheesed off as it was our first CW flight. Got loads of ex gratia airmiles when I complained it was not the experience zI was expecting.On the other hand, other flights, you would never have known they were there. I would be REALLY miffed if there were toddlers on my hard earned First trip (coming up soon). Can you guarantee a comotose state?

      • I know parents who have given their children medicine, to sleep, before flying! Rightly or wrongly!

        • I don’t have children, but I do know of a doctor who has advised some parents to give their child a piriton prior to flying, to induce some drowsiness.

    • I think it’s luck of the draw. If BA compensate you for a poor experience due to crying babies, what more can they do. Most people,who have had babies, know what it’s like when they are playing up and will have the utmost sympathy, although it’s not pleasant if you are trying to sleep.
      If you earned your ticket in F, enjoy it don’t worry about other people! Ps just don’t book the same flight as me 😉

      • There’s a difference between being sympathetic and thinking it’s a reasonable for the child to be there in the first place though.

        That being said, the idea that those in first class are too good to be near toddlers and they should be dumped on those in economy stinks of elitism to me!

        • My kids are doing F next Easter when my youngest will just have turned 5. I would not have done it earlier. Frankly, I didn’t want the mental grief of trying to keep them quiet to avoid annoying other passengers.

          4 is fine, actually – a four year old can work the IFE perfectly well and therefore will be quiet for the whole flight watching TV!

  7. Hahaha pretty much the responses I was expecting and having never had a baby until recently I would have felt the same. But at the same time I don’t feel like I should avoid using my hard earned avios for a long haul flight at the front end of the plane just because we’ve decided to over populate the country a tad more! 😉 I’ve never tried First and although I’m eager to do so, I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking him in it for fear of spoiling other’s experience but i don’t see Club as being a problem. Having said that, should / would I feel differently if I shelled out £10k pp on first tickets for us all rather than using Avios (purely hypothetical of course)??

    However, the trip I’m planning is not until early 2017 and I have no idea what he would be like by then (could turn out to be the devil incarnate if he hits the terrible 2’s) and I may regret booking it but then again I cant afford to not book early due to reward seat availability…

    • cheekychappie says:

      Cabin class shouldn’t influence whether you think toddlers are OK to travel or not. As it happens, well brought up, better class people are generally more understanding than plebs – but there are plenty of plebs in business and first (and vice versa, nice, classy people in economy).

      Provided you have put a bit of thought into what might interest/ distract/ amuse the kids during the flight, nobody human can rightfully complain if the toddler cries a bit loudly at times, that’s life.

      Personally, having travelled a lot with 3 very young kids on long haul, I have complete & utter contempt for those sour, cross, mean people who think a bit of a cry from the baby has ruined their flight and let you know with frowns and mutterings. OTOH the extremely nice people who sympathise and might even on occasion offer to help out a bit, are perfectly wonderful human beings :)

      • And I’m not impressed by parents who think that I should look kindly on their screeching sprog or be charmed that the little anklebiter is running wild whilst the “responsible’ adult is necking the champers. There are few noises more grating than a greeting child – yes it happens but it’s up to the accompanying adult to do their utmost to mitigate the impact on other passengers.

    • Make sure you book just before he makes 2! Just warn us all which flight you are on so we can avoid! Joking! Bit of calpol will really help, as he’s sure to be teething and in pain too, so you won’t be drugging him, not really!

    • Simple answer : If people don’t want to be disturbed by children, fly private jet. Flying first class is open to children and therefore don’t be embarassed or put off from booking. My children have flown 5 CW and 1 F flight over the past 3 years. The F was an overnight flight ATL-LHR and my youngest had only just turned 3. No problems at all, she slept most the way. People on FT often comment it’s the drunken or snoring adults who are more annoying.

      • I walked through CW cabin the other day on an A380 flight… The plane is so quiet, but the cabin was rather noisy because of the snoring sound from multiple passengers…

  8. Not sure if there is going to be a Concorde Lounge at Gatwick, but word is that BA is going to be taking over the space currently occupied by the Number 1 Lounge. Number 1 is set to move to a larger space on the ground floor

  9. Peter Taysum says:

    Presumably if you get the Concord room card, you get in…?

    • Yes you do. As do BA Premier cardholders.

      • Rob, can you clarify what you mean by this… Are you referring to the BAPP?

        • Haha not quite that easy, I’m afraid! He’s meaning BAEC Premier members – it’s the extreme top tier and by invitation only based on the BA board deciding to award it, as I understand it! It’s the level above Gold Guest List and Concorde Room card.

  10. Just to add my tuppence to the baby/toddler in premium cabins debate.
    On a flight in F recently, my toddler was disturbed in his sleep by a loud snorer in the cabin?
    So who should be kicked out of F?

  11. Just back from Singapore and have to say that the new BA lounge is way too small based on the 2 daily flights leaving close together and the number of biz / first passengers that it has to accommodate. The Concorde Bar is accessed via a key pad and after just 2 days the code was very easy to work out based on finger prints over the numbers…. there was a bit of tail gating going on from a few passengers who tried to sneak in to grab a seat and people hovering to see what the code was. There was no policing of people going in or checking boarding passes. Concorde bar is not fantastic and no cosy seats to enjoy a drink. The bar was pretty much empty as all pax were in main lounge eating. The seats in the main lounge are mainly sit up and beg high back chairs which after 30 mins give you a bad back. Sadly for me this was another BA lounge that may look pretty but is just not big enough or up to scratch in terms of F&B offering or overall quality.