A couple of months ago, British Airways opened the ‘First Dining Room’ inside its existing lounge complex at Heathrow Terminal 3.
It wasn’t called the ‘Concorde Room’ because Gold Guest List members were banned, despite apparently serving the same ‘Concorde Room’ food menu as Terminal 5.
(The Concorde Room, for those who don’t know, is the lounge in Terminal 5 which is exclusively for the use of passengers travelling in First Class or those holding Gold Guest List or Premier status with British Airways.)
Any regular HfP reader will know that there are some excellent lounges in Terminal 3 which can be used by BA elite members or anyone flying in Business or First.
You have the Qantas lounge (and, from 2025, a separate Qantas First Class lounge) and the Cathay Pacific Business and First Class lounges. These are well ahead of the BA offerings, and BA is charged a fee – rumoured to be over £100 – whenever a BA traveller uses them.
Gold Guest List members were banned
Until very recently, British Airways had no flights from Terminal 3 with First Class.
This has now changed, but there are only 16 BA First Class seats flying out of Terminal 3 per day (eight to Bermuda, eight to Bahrain).
BA decided to block off part of the existing First lounge, give it a coat of paint and relaunch it is as the ‘First Dining Room’.
Intriguingly, only the following people were allowed access:
- anyone flying in First Class on a oneworld flight, plus a guest
- British Airways Premier cardholders (click to learn how to become Premier) flying in any class
British Airways Gold Guest List members, who have Concorde Room access in Terminal 5, were NOT allowed to access this area.
Who turned up? Virtually no-one, perhaps unsurprisingly. After all, even if BA sold all 16 First Class seats to Bermuda and Bahrain – which is unlikely – few passengers were likely to end up here. They would go to the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge or skip the lounge entirely.
Premier members would add a few more people, but not many. You may get the odd straggler flying in First Class on another oneworld carrier, although that would be surprising.
In all the reports I have read of visits here, the lounge was either entirely empty or had only one or two other guests apart from the person reporting back.
Gold Guest List now appear to get access
According to multiple reports on Flyertalk in the last couple of days, Gold Guest List members of British Airways Executive Club are now being allowed in.
This would, of course, mean that the lounge is now effectively a ‘Concorde Room’ and we could call it that, especially given the cloned menu.
For clarity, this change of policy isn’t published anywhere so you can’t complain if you don’t get in! You may want to give it a try though. Even if it isn’t on the level of the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge, it is substantially quieter and this may mean more to you.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.