Bits: BA San Francisco lounge closure, Virgin Atlantic launching Tel Aviv?

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News in brief:

British Airways lounge in San Francisco to close next week

British Airways has announced that its lounge in San Francisco will close on 2nd January ahead of some construction work.

It isn’t entirely clear what is happening or when the lounge will reopen.  ba.com talks of “working to bring you a brand new British Airways lounge in San Francisco”.

A few years ago there were plans, eventually shelved on cost grounds, to add a new floor to the lounge.  It isn’t clear if this is back on the agenda or if we will simply see some new furniture.  The latter would do nothing to solve the chronic overcrowding seen when A380 departures are scheduled.

BA will be sending passengers to the China Airlines Dynasty Lounge during the closure.  This is situated in International Terminal A on the second floor.

You don’t need to go there, however.  Cathay Pacific and JAL have their own lounges in San Francisco – albeit JAL is only open for three hours per day – and you are welcome to use those by virtue of their oneworld alliance membership.  Many regular BA San Francisco passengers were already choosing to use the Cathay Pacific lounge due to BA overcrowding.

Virgin Atlantic to launch Tel Aviv?

Reports in some Israeli newspapers in recent days, eg here, have suggested that Virgin Atlantic is planning to launch flights to Tel Aviv in September.

The only logic quoted is that Shai Weiss, the new CEO, is Israeli.  However, there are a couple of other potential reasons:

the Dubai flight terminates at the end of the March, freeing up a pair of landing slots which would presumably work OK for an overnight Tel Aviv flight (EDIT: apparently these slots are being used for the additional Boston flight)

alternatively, a day flight could presumably be fitted around existing North America services (it would be a 12-hour round trip)

the arrival of the A350 fleet from mid 2019 will give Virgin Atlantic extra capacity, especially when coupled with the four ex-Air Berlin A330 planes leased in 2018

If this is true, it would be an interesting strategic move for Virgin which has been focusing very heavily on North America for growth in recent years.

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Comments

  1. Rob you’d be lucky to get into the CX longe on BA metal. BA check in staff now encourage people not to visit it. I have tried three times in the last three months and on arrival at the CX lounge, despite it being empty, we were turned away on the basis that QF x 2 (day depenedent) and CX later in the evening use the lounge.

    The 380 is currently operating a reduced scheduled into SFO for the winter months in any event. My last two flights have been on the 77W. At least BA have picked a quieter time of year to close the lounge. I guess the big question is how long it will be closed for.

  2. How much will the TLV tickets cost, and will it be LHR?

  3. Will,

    Twice in 2018 I have used the CX lounge. Once when flying BA and once when flying JL.

    It might depend what time you visit in relation to the CX flight, however.

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