Review: the British Airways lounge at Rome Fiumicino Airport
Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.
This is our review of the new British Airways lounge at Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Before covid, British Airways was in the process of refurbishing a number of its lounges including Geneva (review), Aberdeen (review), Johannesburg (review) and San Francisco. Whilst progress has stalled since – the only new lounges unveiled recently were the joint lounges with American Airlines at New York JFK – BA’s Rome lounge got in early and re-opened in 2018.
As with the other recent lounge refurbishments, it features the new design format which is a departure from the Galleries lounges at Heathrow. Anyone who has been to one of the other lounges will immediately recognise the new style. Personally, I think it looks smart and attractive, although as I note below it isn’t perfect.
Where is the British Airways lounge in Rome Fiumicino?
British Airways operates from Terminal 3 at Rome Fiumicino Airport. Whilst Terminals 1 and 3 are practically next door, I’m not sure if they are accessible airside. All non-Schengen flights depart from Terminal 3, as well as some domestic and Schengen flights.
The British Airways lounge is in the non-Schengen departure area, towards the E Gates. It is fairly easy to find once you exit security and passport control and is well sign posted. After Duty Free, simple take one of the escalators up to the 2nd floor:
Then, do a U-turn and you should see both the British Airways and the Plaza Premium lounges in front of you:
Inside the British Airways Rome lounge
At 460 square meters, the British Airways Rome lounge sounds bigger than it actually is. There is space for 140 customers, although it’s probably quite a squeeze when at full capacity.
In reality, it is a good size for the multiple daily A319 / A320 / A321 single aisle services that operate here and the lounge was busy (but not packed) just before our flight home.
It is broadly divided into three distinct areas. First up is the dining area with a central bar as soon as you walk in:
Around the bar you’ll find a number of restaurant-style tables:
…. plus some bar-style seating along the right-hand wall. The buffet is on the far side – more on that later.
This part of the lounge is fairly self-contained and doesn’t contain much natural light. As a result, it was one of the least popular areas and only got busier when the rest of the lounge was nearing capacity.
From the dining area you then enter a more casual area in a long rectangular space:
As you can see, this features a number of armchairs in the centre plus outward facing booths along the edges:
Large floor-to-ceiling windows at one end mean this is a pleasantly bright space.
The third zone is adjacent to this area but divided by wooden slats:
One side features a six person marble boardroom table / co-working space, with bar seating around the edges. There is also a printer and a copious number of sockets for charging devices, so this area is clearly designed for business travellers.
Next door, you have a smaller casual area featuring the same armchairs as the previous space. However, this is much cosier as it is smaller and features windows on two sides:
The design and materials are generally high quality with real wooden fixtures and marble tables between the armchairs. Each table also has a lamp and UK, EU and USB-style sockets:
The only thing that doesn’t work as well is the fabric upholstery on the armchairs. These are harder to clean than leather chairs, leaving some of them a bit stained despite the relatively new feel of the rest of the lounge.
Apart from that, I thought the lounge looked great and benefited from the large windows. I initially arrived when it was still dark and enjoyed my last Roman sunrise as I waited for my flight to depart, with plenty of take-offs and landings to watch.
When it comes to other facilities, it’s important to note that there are no toilets inside the lounge. You need to exit and use the general terminal facilities.
Food and drink at the British Airways lounge in Rome
Whilst the hard product in the lounge is good, the food and drink options are less impressive, at least for breakfast.
At the bar, you have a number of self-pour spirits including Johnnie Walker Red Label and Smirnoff vodka:
Whilst wine is also available, prosecco is only on request. As far as I know, champagne is not provided.
When it comes to hot and soft drinks, you’ll find a number of coffee machines and fridges around the lounge where you can help yourself.
So far so good! The food is a little meagre, however. You basically have a wide choice of pastries:
Plus two cereals and a choice of ham or cheese:
Two types of yoghurt are also available.
If you want something hot, your only choice (via the ‘Your Menu’ QR ordering system also used at Heathrow) is a full hot breakfast. This features scrambled eggs, baked beans, two slices of toast, a slightly soggy hashbrown, tomato, chicken sausage and bacon:
Who knows why it’s a chicken sausage rather than a pork sausage, given that it comes with bacon? If you want just a few items, you can also build your own breakfast from the options above.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh here. You do at least get a hot choice even if (beyond the assortment of pastries) the buffet looks a bit sparse.
Overall, I was very happy to spend just over an hour in the British Airways Rome lounge. Design-wise it is smart, with warm wood fittings and a range of comfortable seating. I enjoyed looking out the window watching the planes take-off as the sun rose.
You won’t run out of charge thanks to the extensive selection of sockets at virtually every turn. You are able to charge multiple devices at once from virtually any seat in the lounge except the dining area.
The food options are a bit more limited. With just one hot option available it’s a shame they don’t also offer bacon or sausage baps for breakfast, as this would be easy to arrange. Fortunately, you can drown your sorrows with the decent selection of self-pour drinks!
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.