On Monday night Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, invited us round to his lounge – the Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals Lounge, that is – for Christmas drinks.
He made a number of announcements, including BA’s first Avios-only long haul flight (to Dubai) and the launch of three BA Cityflyer routes from Stansted.
That wasn’t all, however.
Sean confirmed the rumoured new lounge in Miami, due to open in the first half of 2025.
Miami is a strong winter sun route for BA. Over the winter months, it often sends two laden A380s there every day, each of which can take up to 111 business class and first class passengers.
Whilst there is already a good American Airlines Flagship Lounge at the airport, it may not be big enough to cater to the sheer volume of premium passengers – especially when you factor in elite members in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus.
What is arguably more intriguing is that the lounge will feature a “brand-new design concept”. Before Covid, British Airways was in the process of refurbishing some of its lounges with a new-ish concept anchored around a central bar and featuring brass accents and rich burgundy velvet (see above).
BA’s most recent new lounges, in collaboration with American Airlines at New York JFK Terminal 8, also deviated from its existing design language.
I spoke to Calum Laming, Chief Customer Officer at BA, who is in the final stages of signing off the design for the Miami lounge. He told me it was an excellent space with windows on three sides, but that construction would take some time because it had not previously been a lounge and needed comprehensive rebuilding. He wouldn’t tell me anything else!
A lease agreement spotted by the South Florida Business Journal points to a ~13,000 square foot (1,200 sqm) facility on the fourth floor of Concourse E. Miami-Dade County estimates that construction costs will be $16 million and that it will receive over $13 million in rent and other fees over the course of the ten-year agreement.
Monthly rent would be just over $140,000 whilst BA would also pay the county 18% of its gross revenues from liquor sales and 10% from the sale of other amenities.
At 1,200 sqm, the new lounge is roughly the size of the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow T3, which can accommodate around 230 passengers.
More details about the lounge are due to be released in 2024, when we will hopefully see some renders and get a taste for what we can expect.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2024)
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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
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.
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.