This is my review of the new British Airways lounge at Aberdeen Airport.
Aberdeen Airport has recently seen a redevelopment programme. As part of the work, British Airways has gained a brand new lounge which opened on Tuesday. I popped in to take a look.
Aberdeen Airport also has a high quality independent lounge called Northern Lights, which can be accessed via Priority Pass, Lounge Club or for cash. I also visited the Northern Lights lounge and will review that later.
But which is best? British Airways or Northern Lights? Our review of Northern Lights is here if you want to compare.
The new British Airways Galleries lounge in Aberdeen
“I’ve had two customers come in today who went in the new BA lounge and didn’t like it, so they came here” said the receptionist at the Northern Lights lounge where I started my lounge safari.
That wasn’t a great sign, but I can see why. These people were clearly hungry.
But first things first …..
The Northern Lights and British Airways lounges are both on the first floor of Aberdeen Airport’s departure lounge. There is also a small Eastern Airways lounge at gate level.
The BA lounge can be accessed by anyone with a Club Europe ticket or with Gold, Silver or oneworld equivalent status.
It is effectively two rectangular areas side by side. One half has windows running the full length of the lounge overlooking the runway.
There are 15 or so stools by the windows. This is where I sat with my laptop. There are TWO power sockets per stool – you won’t go short here!
Click on any picture to enlarge slightly:
This area, which is obviously very bright due to the windows, also has around 30 solo armchairs. Each chair has a side table between it and the adjacent chair, and all of these side tables have UK, European and USB sockets. It is impressive.
The loos are inside the lounge. For those who care about these things, the gents has no urinals, only cubicles. The flush is sensor operated which means waving your hand in front of a digital display depending on the size of flush you need.
There is also a decent and smartly arranged selection of magazines. Newspapers are in the bar area.
In the other side of the lounge is a smart looking granite-topped bar. There are stools here but no sockets (EDIT: apparently there are sockets and I didn’t bend down far enough. What I thought was a handbag holder in the picture is apparently a plug.)
This area also contains a dining area with tables and wooden chairs.
The bar area is darker – much of the light from the windows in the other half of the lounge does not reach. I’m not sure how it will look on a dark Scottish Winter evening. Cloudless sunny days like the one I had yesterday are presumably scarce in Aberdeen.
There is a wide selection of drink:
As you can see, there was also an ice bucket with three bottles of Castelnau champagne in it. I’m not sure if this is an ‘opening offer’ or if BA intends this to be a permanent feature – you rarely see self pour champagne in Galleries lounges except for Galleries First.
Staff were also coming around to offer champagne refills, which is definitely not usual for BA!
The food … oh dear. Why are British Airways regional lounges so bad at food? The lunch options available at Northern Lights next door were substantial. Excellent mini-burgers, a curry, pasta, soup, and big lemon cake.
The only thing that BA could rustle up was the usual sandwich selection (these were very fresh, I should add), some bits of cheese and vegetable soup. No wonder people were walking out and heading over to Northern Lights for something substantial. This is becoming a pattern now – I do the same in Amsterdam, going into the Aspire lounge for the decent food before popping into the BA lounge next door for the newspapers.
What I did enjoy in both lounges was watching the runway action. You’re not in Heathrow anymore, Toto. Almost all of the aircraft flying in and out were turboprops, with brands such as West Atlantic which meant nothing to me. There were also Eastern Airways, Loganair, Wideroe and Flybe flights and various helicopters coming and going.
Most people don’t have a choice of which lounge they visit, so comparisons are often moot. However ….
If you can get into the British Airways Galleries lounge at Aberdeen, you will find a fresh, modern and generously sized (given the number of flights) space. It is a perfectly pleasant place to spend an hour or so, unless you crave food.
If you can get into the Northern Lights lounge – which accepts Priority Pass and the Amex Gold credit card Lounge Club cards, amongst others – you will find yourself in one of the nicest airport-run lounges in the UK.
If you can get into both, I would recommend Northern Lights. My review of the Northern Lights louge at Aberdeen Airport is here. British Airways has done a good job with the new Aberdeen lounge but it was up against stiff competition and fell short.
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