Over the next couple of days I will be writing some pieces on the new Heathrow Terminal 2. I finally had the chance to try it out last week.
My timing was rubbish. I was flying to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus moved to Terminal 2 on July 9th. Due to construction delays, their brand new Gold Circle lounge was not ready by then.
It finally opened last Thursday afternoon. I was in Terminal 2 on Thursday morning!
A lot of British Airways Gold and Silver cardholders do not know that they can access Aer Lingus lounges.
There was some talk that this arrangement may stop with the move to Terminal 2. Reports on Flyertalk since Thursday afternoon show that BA elite members are still being allowed access.
This arrangement has a complex history. For a number of years BA did not fly to Dublin. Instead, they had a codeshare arrangement with Aer Lingus. As part of this deal, Aer Lingus let British Airways elite members use their lounge in Terminal 1 when flying Aer Lingus.
When BA bought BMI, it inherited BMI’s Dublin services and kept them going. The Aer Lingus codeshares remained. British Airways is also a codeshare partner with Aer Lingus on some other routes such as Shannon where BA does not fly.
For Aer Lingus, letting BA elite members use their lounges is sensible marketing. For such a short flight, lounge access is disproportionately important. I doubt I would use Aer Lingus without lounge access if the alternative was a BA flight from Terminal 1 (soon Terminal 5) with the lounge.
Note that you do NOT need to be on a BA codeshare ticket to use the Aer Lingus lounge in Terminal 2. Any Aer Lingus ticket is acceptable.
Annoyingly, I cannot find any photographs of the new Terminal 2 lounge so far. The Aer Lingus website does have this to say about it:
Our new lounge is now open and centrally located within the main departures area. Guests can enjoy a bigger, brighter lounge. It will be purpose built with lots of natural daylight, floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the southern runway.
Lounge highlights include:
- A warm open reception area with a backdrop of white oak walls.
- High specification male, female and mobility impaired accessible toilets and showers.
- Buffet style selection of dry foods and selection of beverages.
- Quiet meeting rooms and working zone with full complement of ICT services.
- Open plan seating selected for comfort and style.
- Separate quiet rest area for up to 30 persons, which includes specially selected chaise lounge style seating.
- Palate of finishes and colours inspired by the Irish landscape, all continuing the theme of the Dublin Aer Lingus flagship lounge.
- A special feature of the new T2 Heathrow Lounge is the 5m high external glass wall offering relaxing views to the airfield.
If any Head for Points readers are in there over the next couple of weeks, please take a couple of pictures on your phone and email them to me!
I won’t review my Aer Lingus flight as it was a) very short and b) exactly what you would expect from a one-class flight. The buy-on-board catering menu was quite impressive – you need to think whether BA should ditch its ‘free pack of biscuits’ approach for proper, paid, food. It doesn’t, in reality, make a lot of difference on a hop to Dublin though.