FIRST REVIEW: We visit the new British Airways lounge in Geneva

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This is our review of the new British Airways lounge at Geneva Airport.

British Airways reopened its lounge at Geneva Airport last Friday.

Having failed to see the new-look lounges in Johannesburg or San Francisco yet (not unreasonable to be fair) or Rome or Milan (admittedly closer to home), I popped over to Switzerland yesterday to take a look.  HFP paid all of its own costs.

The lounge is a big success, I’m pleased to report.  BA can’t do anything about the location, tucked upstairs in a slightly rundown part of the terminal, but all of the Geneva lounges are in the same boat.

It started well when I discovered that Geneva now has the new bag scanners in place which means that your electronics and liquids can stay inside.  Life will be a lot easier when these are fully rolled out across all major airports.

I have used quite a few PR pictures in this review.  This is because it was dark when I was in the lounge, so the lighting was not ideal.  All of the PR photographs are fully accurate representations of what you will find.

To quote BA:

“The lounge has been carefully curated to give guests a warm welcome and offer a place to relax or work prior to their travels. The space, which has been extended to 327 square metres, is carefully laid out to offer designated areas that are designed to meet different customer needs.”

It is a big space.  And here is the best bit, for anyone who has been in the atmosphere-free new New York JFK lounges:

“Zoned areas in the lounge will enable guests to choose what area they would like to relax in depending on their mood, with a music system and bespoke playlist.”

It is worth noting that the Geneva lounge, with its limited capacity, is broken up into four distinct zones, whilst the huge new New York JFK business lounge is virtually one cavernous open space.  Luckily BA will be switching terminals at JFK in 2022.

There are two reception desks as you enter the lounge, only one of which was manned when I arrived:

New British Airways lounge in Geneva Airport

Off to your left as you enter is the new craft beer room:

New British Airways lounge at Geneva Airport

This features Brewdog on tap, which will certainly appeal to a lot of people:

British Airways lounge Geneva

It is currently serving Punk IPA and Indie Pale Ale.

The handful of newspapers by the entrance do not exactly give off a classy image:

British Airways Geneva lounge

…. but there is a wider selection tucked away at the other end of the lounge.  There are virtually no magazines however.

Here is a view looking down the lounge, with my back to the craft beer area:

British Airways Geneva lounge

I’ll mention at this point that wi-fi is blindingly quick, especially for uploads.  What the lounge misses is somewhere ideal for working.  The only ‘proper’ chairs with a table are in the eating area above, which have no plug access.  There is nowhere where you can sit at a ‘proper’ chair and place your laptop in front of you on a desk or flat surface whilst having it plugged in.  I ended up sitting on a stool which wasn’t great for my back.

Sockets are not in short supply, I’m pleased to say, except in the dining area above.  There is a good mix of Swiss, UK and USB sockets.  Virtually every seat in the lounge has all three sockets available.  Well done BA!

Here is the bar and buffet area, in the centre of the lounge:

British Airways Geneva Lounge

For some reason BA included a photo of the bar in the London Gatwick lounge in their press release (it was marked as such) which some other websites have mistakenly used.  The bar is not as flash as that, but does look good.

There is a good range of wines and spirits on the bar.  There is also a ‘gin and tonic mixing area’ where you can help yourself to a selection of gins (including Swiss brand 1616 which was new to me), Fever-Tree, ice and lemon.

Prosecco is also available.

The food is good.  The sandwich selection was not up my street (chicken curry or hummus and salad) but there was also mushroom soup, a hot chicken dish and a hot pasta dish in the early evening.  There was also a cheese selection, a decent range of salad and bread and two cakes (chocolate and apple).  It is as impressive as you will ever see in a British Airways European lounge.

Here is the salad, sandwiches and cheese:

British Airways Geneva lounge

Head down to the second coffee machine at the far end of the lounge and you will be rewarded by a few jars of sweets as well:

British Airways Geneva Lounge

Here are another couple of general PR shots:

British Airways Geneva lounge

and

British Airways lounge Geneva Airport

Is the new British Airways Geneva lounge worth a visit?

Absolutely.  British Airways has done a great job here, and if you have BA or oneworld status it is well worth ensuring that you fly on BA in order to squeeze in a visit.

If BA could pick up the pace of short-haul lounge refurbishments beyond the current 1-2 per year then it would have a compelling network very quickly.  The current design scheme works well and deserves to be rolled out more fully.

PS.  Whilst Geneva is not overrun with tourist attractions, it makes an attractive and low cost day trip.

Switzerland isn’t cheap, of course, but I don’t know any other airport which gives visitors a free train ticket to get them into the city.  There is a ‘no charge’ vending machine in the baggage hall next to the exit.  The train back is only CHF 3 and is very quick.  You could easily spend a day in Geneva, including a modest lunch in a prix fixe restaurant, and spend under £50 including transfers – the costs only start to ratchet up if you need a hotel.  You don’t even need to bother getting any local currency (I didn’t).

Finish off your day with an hour in the new BA lounge and you’ve got yourself a good day trip!  The lounge is open from 6am to 9.30pm.

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Comments

  1. Scallder says:

    I really wish BA would add cider in their lounges. Was asking for some at Heathrow and they said they didn’t stock it at all. Not exactly niche these days…

  2. SheafPete says:

    What are the plane spotting opportunities like? I can see windows but it appears they overlook buildings.

  3. Visited on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised.

  4. William says:

    If travelling with a checked luggage (ski holidays…) how long before the flight can you head to the airport? Given the number of flights BA operates daily from Geneva, I’d hope we could check bags at anytime and head to the lounge way before the flight (flying back in the afternoon and looking for a place to stay and work for 3/4 hours before the flight).
    ps: within a month I’ll visit both Linate and Rome lounges (I’ve been at the new one in Fiumicino twice already), should you need some pics… 🙂

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