Bits: British Airways re-opens T5 North lounge, BA lounge art sold for £2.2m, Luxembourg loses quarantine exemption

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News in brief:

British Airways re-opens Heathrow Terminal 5 North lounge

British Airways has announced, via its LinkedIn page (!), that it has re-opened the Galleries Club North lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5. It will be open from 5am until 2pm, after which you will have to go to the South lounge.

This is good news, because it means that traffic is picking up more quickly than the South lounges can cope with, especially with current social distancing measures in place. You can read more about the changes British Airways has made to its lounges, including the innovative food ordering system, in this article.

I’m not sure if the ‘secret’ Fast Track security lane at the North end of Terminal 5 is open (this is the Fast Track security lane which is totally separate to all of the others, virtually straight in front of you if you come out of the lifts from the tube or Heathrow Express).  If it is you should now be able to get from terminal entrance to the North lounge in under 5 minutes with hand baggage.

The current online food ordering and delivery service is a genuine improvement on what was offered before. You can see a sample menu here.

British Airways reopens Galleries North lounge

British Airways Heathrow lounge art sold for £2.2m

The British Airways lounge art saga has come to an end and it has raised a grand total of ….. £2.2 million.

Bridget Riley’s ‘Cool Edge’ piece accounts for the lion’s share of the revenue, reaching £1.875 million.  The remaining 16 items account for the remaining £326,875 and sold well in excess of their estimates.

These numbers include ‘buyers premium’, however, which goes to Sotheby’s.  The hammer price will have been lower.  British Airways also has to pay its own fee to Sotheby’s.  Whilst arguably it was sensible to sell ‘Cool Edge’, the sale of the other pieces look more politically motivated.  A set of eight Marc Quinn images, including the one below, fetched £7,500 including buyers premium.  BA will only receive around £4,500 at a guess which cannot even begin to cover the staff time involved or the cost and installation of eight pieces of replacement art.

H/T to London Air Travel.

Luxembourg removed from quarantine exemption

Just like Spain, Luxembourg has been demoted from the quarantine exemption list published by the UK Government. Anyone arriving from yesterday will now have to self-isolate for fourteen days.

This is what GOV.UK had to say:

“There has been a consistent increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases per 100,000 of the population in Luxembourg since the end of June, with over a tenfold increase in total cases over this time period.”

The FCO has also advised against all but essential travel to the country. This guidance applies to all nations of the UK.

Earn double Avios or Virgin miles at Esso petrol stations with a Tesco Express in August
Lounge news: Birmingham Aspire lounge to open, photos from the new Leeds Bradford Airport Yorkshire Lounge

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  1. I was in T5 yesterday and neither the North or South Fast Track lanes were open when I went through. Normal North Track was really busy, the sign showing how busy it was had 5 people on it. There were long queues just to scan your boarding pass.

  2. I was at T5 yesterday and was obviously there at a quieter time (around 11:30am) as it took around 20mins to drop bags and get through security. Didn’t realise Galleries North was open, Galleries South was relatively busy, although still easy to find an area for the family, however a third of the space in there was still fenced off.

  3. Gumshoe says:

    @Yuff – for a 1540 flight I don’t think it’ll be very busy and 3 hours would be overkill.

    All the reported queues tend to be in the morning as BA, in its infinite wisdom, seems to have scheduled the vast majority of its flights to depart before 1000.

  4. How are people’s experiences of quarantine? We got home on Thursday and my husband got a check in call on Friday. Number seemed to belong to a small charity so he wondered if they had been contracted to make the calls.
    Do we think they have data in front of them about where the mobile they are calling is?

    • Peter K says:

      Surely that is irrelevant as you’ll be keeping everyone safe by staying in quarantine as legally required?

      • No. You don’t even need to be at home, since you are allowed to go shopping if you don’t have people who can shop for you.

        • letBAgonesbe says:

          You are only allowed to go shopping for ESSENTIAL stuffs, if there is no other way to get hold of them.
          If you live in London, Sainsburys Chop Chop, Waitrose Rapid, Deliveroo and so on are available, so in all fairness, most people can get their essential shopping online.
          So, yes, you would need to be at home at all times, and you should only leave as a last resort for food shopping.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          [email protected] I like how you subtly try to encourage your readers to break the “law” lol
          Could we have a discussion (with list) just how many readers have broken the “law”
          i admit to breaking the law i used fraud to get extra Clubcard Points i said i had a cat when in-fact
          it was a lie lol

          • Chris Heyes says:

            even worse my dead cat (which i didn’t have) was reincarnated several times at both places of residential multiple errors of judgement of which i blame Rob lol
            (i have to blame someone why not Rob)
            Thanks Rob got loads of Clubcard points/ plus Avios lol

          • Lady London says:

            That’s tame stuff, @Chris Heyes.

            If you want to know what people are really doing you just have to listen carefully here. With an audience of 40,000 who would ruin any game by overuse things people want to keep on using will not appear very much and defo not on some thread listing them. You can learn much if you share judiciously and put in the time here and elsewhere.

          • I got fed up after waiting 10 months for cash back for the insurance policy for my OH who actually exists! But I think everything I’ve seen on here fall into the category of breaching terms and conditions, rather than actual fraud.

          • Lashious says:

            @ladylondon, if only we had a dm button, I’d dm you 😉 I don’t know the little cute loops but I sure do want them 🙂

      • No, it’s a perfectly relevant question to ask if personal location data is being exposed in the process.

        Successive governments’ track records on data protection are hardly encouraging, and if they are subcontracting the contact process as the OP suggests then that’d be an additional concern, the fact is that data are misused, it’s not a trivial matter.

        • StillintheSun says:

          Can we also have a running tally as to the number of fines actually given out with every quarantine article. A quick skim of news sites suggests one might actually been given out!

        • Lady London says:

          TBH Im not happy with the level of personal info being asked for. They want to know your associates and there:s nothing on the form guaranteeing confidentiality noe guaranteeing that the data wont be shared or processed for anything else. I put soneone abroad on the form but resent having their data added / linked to mine anyway.

          Has anyone noticed the UK car hire form introduced by thr govt a few years back also asks for your NI number? what data are they linking? (you can phone to get tge code to avoid this).

          Other governments like the French gave guarantees that data would not be kept and re-used.

          With the UK government’s history on bungling incompetence n protecting citizens’ data and so many initiatuves apparently being used as data grabs, or hoovering up medical data of patients without specific consent in the UK to sell to the pharmaceutical industry(a recent thing theyve snuck in), would you trust the UK with any of your data?

          • Really? This is a genuine concern – or just a general moan (i do agree the gov bungle things BTW)? I bet you own either an apple or android device, in which case these companies already know so much more.

      • He was sitting in our kitchen. I read today that numbers are rising in Cornwall so in a week or so I wonder if all who visited there will be quarantined too? My daughter has moved out to her Grandparents’ house for 2 weeks as following the rules would have us in separate parts of the house and constantly cleaning the kitchen.

      • Also, you’d have to be really thick to go to work, for example, and potentially get caught out by your employer for breaking quarantine rules. It’s only two weeks anyway, which shouldn’t be a big deal if you can work from home

    • letBAgonesbe says:

      I believe 1 out of 5 people are called on their phone to check if they are following the rules.
      I came back from Spain, I did not get a call, but my friend did.
      He was due to go on another holiday on the Isle of Wight, but in the end he decided not to go and lost around a £1000.
      He was playing with the idea of going anyway and just say that his eye sights needs to be checked, but in the end he did the right thing.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Same experience here – landed from Spain on Tuesday, call received Wednesday morning. No contact since. I also wonder how much the government have invested in the technology to comprehensively track people identified as needing to quarantine.

      If we’d have had the same trip, but returned a couple of days earlier we wouldn’t be subject to quarantine at all, which is frustrating. I do think the government should have been a bit more lenient with people returning within a couple of days of the quarantine change as we had no chance to change our trip to avoid quarantine.

    • It’s VERY difficult and time-consuming to get the legal authority to track someone’s mobile phone; I doubt any government department would have the resources to do it.
      I live in one of the “local lockdown” areas so I would be perfectly free to go on holiday but not to sit in my mum’s garden at the moment!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They probably have some of the data from your form but I very much doubt they have any data on where your mobile is when you pick up. They are relying on people following the rules and telling the truth when they get a call.

      • Lady London says:

        They can get it though. Request just needs to be made through the established channels that are in use constantly. For a while at a large telecom company in the UK I sat near a printer that was continuously printing out these requests all day.

        That’s why criminals use burner phones and worth remembering that many phones these days can be tracked even if switched off in some cases. For security if you neef it dont just switch off take the battery out as well

  5. Rupert says:

    @Anna. Who needs legal authority? There is a whole tech industry around geo locations services. Your consent is in T&C’s. So for example a third party company can agree with Google to access your location. It does this by triangulating your mobile phone using the Wi-fi network. Your phone is always trying to connect to a Wi-fi network. The pin point is within 3 metres or so. The long/lat can be imposed on google maps, and street view will provide a picture of the location, almost anywhere in the world. This tactic is used by software companies tracking illegal software usage.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      But all the data is meant to be anonymous according to these T&C’s

      I have no problem with someone knowing User 1 is using their app on an iPhone in my approximate location but I do have an issue with them knowing my name and any other personally identifiable data.

  6. Rupert says:

    Have a look at the BA ap privacy policy for example. Combined with personal data, location data, it is also possible to share this data, and I quote from BA –

    Third parties, such as the police and regulatory authorities, to protect our rights, property, or the safety of our customers, staff and assets.

    Always remember a smartphone is a tracking device. Your digital fingerprint is everywhere. 🤔

    • They won’t share it without a RIPA authorization though, and these require a lot of jumping through hoops.

  7. Rupert says:

    RIPA only covers public bodies.

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