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British Airways now using the No 1 Traveller lounge at Gatwick North – feedback?

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(EDIT:  BA has confirmed that the terminal switch is delayed with a new target date of 25th January 2017)

In early January, the British Airways lounge complex at Gatwick closed.  This is part of the preparation for the terminal switch which is due to take place in November, with easyJet moving everything to the North terminal and BA moving to Gatwick South.

My thoughts on the Gatwick North lounges have been published here.  I found the British Airways lounges to be pretty awful (see my comments here) and the No 1 Traveller lounge (review) and its sister My Lounge (review) facilities to be pretty good.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick bar 1

When it was announced that BA would be ‘moving in’ with No 1 Traveller for 11 months, I thought it would be an improvement!

The feedback so far on Flyertalk has been mixed, to put it mildly.  I am a little surprised by this.  It seems to come down to the following:

At peak times, the No 1 lounge is now overcrowded.  There are some reports of long waits for food (although, to be honest, not so many that it seems to be a major problem).

British Airways has decided not to issue vouchers for free champagne to First Class and Gold Card ticket holders who would otherwise have been able to get it in the old Galleries First lounge.  No 1 charges £8 per glass.  This is a fair point, although I was surprised that missing champagne had inflamed so many people.

I get a feeling that some of the bad feedback is from people who had never visited the old BA lounge and so were unaware of what was on offer before.  Last time I checked, the BA Gatwick lounge did not have a table football table, for example, unlike No 1.  The No 1 lounge buffet is also substantially better than anything BA offered.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick North

What we can say is that I wouldn’t bother turning up at the No 1 lounge at peak times clutching your Priority Pass card, as your chance of getting in is low.  You can pay £5 in advance to guarantee entrance with a Priority Pass via this website.

Whilst this has not been announced, it seems that BA and No 1 may be taking over the old Delta lounge which is two floors beneath the No 1 lounge, next to the Aspire lounge.  This may be run as a separate facility for BA Gold and First Class ticket holders, although they will struggle to get it up to much of a standard in the time available.

There are also rumours that the move to the South Terminal will be delayed until next Spring, which may account for the Delta lounge conversion.

If you have been in the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick as a BA passenger in the last 2-3 weeks – and I haven’t – do let us know your thoughts via the comments below.

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Comments (119)

  • harry says:

    Had a rather brilliant boss once – Martin – still going strong & very senior – he used to love his BA Champagne in the morning with the excuse of us flying somewhere for a meeting or conference.

    Very convivial sort of chap, sort of made you join in, which wasn’t hard. We all tended to sit together – in economy as it happens – no Business for flights under 4 hrs lol

    Nice, ebullient mini speeches with our partners over lunch & dinner, we all got along pretty nice.

    Good wee lubricant.

  • Chris Jones says:

    What’s the aspire lounge in north terminal like? Is it also busy?

  • harry says:

    It must simply be completely over-run & not coping. No1 in T3 which I use is a very pleasant experience in virtually all respects – staff, unlimited quick drinks, good service, clean toilets, quiet, welcoming atmosphere etc.

    So No1 GTW North probably has issues which are easy to remedy – it is surprising they have not addressed these. And that BA have not forced No1 to address these.

    Clean toilets is simple, just pay the cleaners to service them more frequently.

    Quick bar service is again down to number of bar keeps rostered – plus a bit of flexibility such as bringing in self-serve house red/ white & a beer such as Sol would quickly ease the queues.

    etc

  • General Mayhem says:

    Echo Leo’s comments above – as a fully paid up member of the ‘sleazy jet mob’ things have become pretty dire recently.

    When flying from gatwick north usual routine was a bacon roll and breakfast plus maybe a pre flight drink in no 1 lounge then wander to gate.

    Then the posh neighbours from upstairs got themselves evicted and moved in without so much as a by your leave – complaining about the food drink service and sanitation and number of oiks taking up ‘their seats and tables’

    So last week I could not even get into the lounge (on my priority pass card’.

    So the sooner you find a lounge more suited the better, and us oiks can get back to swilling our beer and munch bacon rolls in peace.

  • Guesswho2000 says:

    I’m sitting in there now, seems ok on first inspection, though I never had a huge problem with the old lounge upstairs! No problem getting in (2x flying J, one silver one bronze), much to the apparent annoyance of those in the queue being turned away at the entrance Priority pass or pay to enter customers, I assume). They were telling them about the ability to reserve online, which doesn’t seem to apply to BA cardholders.

  • MadMike says:

    My other half and I visited the lounge for a stop-over flying from Edinburgh to Trinidad in First on a 241 last month. Queued at BA desk to be given our entry vouchers and told the BA customer service person (or whatever she was called) that I wasn’t too happy that travelling First we were now using the lounge that I could access with my Priority Pass flying Ryanair and that I had never before when travelling Club, let alone First, been expected to pay for a glass of bubbly.
    Customer service lady said all passengers had been notified (as if that makes it OK!). I said we hadn’t. She said it should have been on MMB. I said show me where, she looked, agreed there was nothing and she then took some pictures of my screen to send to IT.
    Customer service lady offered me 10,000 Avios (partly for this and partly for other issues on the flight down from EDI). Needless to say 3 weeks later nothing has shown up in my account!
    When we got into lounge it took about 10 minutes for me and other half to find a pair of seats so we could actually sit together! And yes there were queues at the bar for drinks and queues for the loo.
    Awful is the only way I can describe the experience – certainly not the “world-class experience for our customers” mentioned in a YouFirst email I received a few days later regarding the matter.
    On the return leg we didn’t bother trying to repeat the experience but instead headed straight for the aspire lounge with our Priority passes. Much better and no queues for the loo!
    Definitely put me off BA First for a very long time.

    • harry says:

      I can see the bubbly thing really annoys some people – and so very easy to rectify for BA.

      You can’t blame No1 – they are just the service provider. All the fault lies with BA.

      How easy would it be to negotiate a price with No1 for Champagne and give First/ Business (say) 2 vouchers?

      Answer: I could run up the vouchers in 5 minutes on my PC, I could agree a price with No1 in 10.

      If I were a BA manager.

      If I actually cared about delivering excellent service.

      Nobody there actually seems to bloody care about retaining high end users.

  • Reasonable Point says:

    It doesn’t sound as though the No1 Gatwick North lounge can cope with the volume of visitors at peak times, which is a pity as this is reflecting badly on what is actually a good product.

    As for the champagne situation, the last time I was in the BA Galleries lounge in the north terminal, (December last year), the champagne was actually not very good at all. I would even go as far as to say undrinkable, and that unfortunately that has been the case with every one of my last few visits to that lounge. Ever hopeful of an improvement, I will always ask for a glass and take a sip just to see if they’re still serving up the same stuff. Needless to say there hasn’t been any improvement, and it ends up sitting there on the table while I drink something else.

    On that basis, I would at least rather have the option to pay a small amount to have a glass of champagne that is actually worthy of being called champagne, or just have something else altogether.

    However, hopefully when BA have finished the new Galleries lounge in the south terminal they will at least make sure that there is some decent champagne available!

  • Marina says:

    I’m due to be in there next Saturday from about midday for a flight at 15.30 . What is classed as peak time ? Three of us travelling together, one is an 80 year old with walking stick and has special assistance booked ~ what’s the chance of us getting her a seat, and being able to sit with her ? Shame as we took her in LGW BA lounge 2 years ago and it was perfectly ok for a seat, cup of tea and toast.