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BA pre-warning not to use the Dubai lounge

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  • sturgeon

    Despite my outbound flight not having departed yet I received a text from BA telling me effectively not to try to use their lounge at Dubai airport.

    “When you depart from Dubai, as the British Airways Lounge will be busy, we’d like to invite you to the Marhaba Lounge ahead of your flight. The lounge is located in Terminal 1, Concourse D on Mezzanine Level. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. Find out more https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=DXB”

    I’ve read reviews and the lounge sounds crap, often with no spare seats. I’m paying for business class with BA and expect to use their lounges when available, they do have one at the terminal. Can I insist I use their own lounge or another better than the one they’re diverting us to?

    Seriously regretting ever bothering to try and become loyal with various credit cards and bank accounts issuing Avios and vouchers. I’m barely looking forward to my flight in a 20 year old cabin with terribly exposed seating in a weird configuration, an airline so tight they blamed Covid for not being able to serve properly to high paying business class passengers, horrendously high taxes and now further news announced about the pathetically low earning rate for flights in the future. Oh, and the cheek to charge for choosing a seat on top of £1000’s paid already. I know Virgin aren’t always great but I wish they had more routes, they seem to actually value customers and delivering good service.

    dougzz99

    You mean BA can offer quite poor service? Wow, who knew. Loyalty is not a a real description for what is essentially an unknown incentive to fly with a particular airline. You’re enticed to buy a product or service, with the idea that you’ll get x in airline or hotel reward. The problem in the current situation is that the x is more unknown than ever. That 0.8p at Sainsbury’s may be looking a lot more appealing quite soon.

    JDB

    @sturgeon – you refer to ‘loyalty’ but the loyalty you describe of collecting Avios via bank accounts/credit cards isn’t loyalty to BA that would, for instance, offer the ability to select seats for free. If you were paying £1000s as you describe you would be getting status, but you are getting Avios seats. You surely knew the old CW configuration when you booked? As for the lounge in DXB, you have no particular rights.

    alig4th

    The One World lounge site says the BA lounge is only available for First Class and Emerald members. If you’re neither of those, you need to use the lounge you have access to

    Michael C

    You can always politely decline the invite and choose to go to the lounge you are allowed to access to based on your status and/or fare class.

    Quite! Someone has to be inside it in order for it to be busy, so it might as well be you.
    Plus, “you didn’t receive any such email”…

    NorthernLass

    It’s a start from BA. The next email might say, “We know your flight will be delayed/cancelled, your luggage won’t appear at the other end and we will robustly refuse to comply with any consumer legislation in respect of any of this…”

    alig4th

    You can always politely decline the invite and choose to go to the lounge you are allowed to access to based on your status and/or fare class.

    Quite! Someone has to be inside it in order for it to be busy, so it might as well be you.
    Plus, “you didn’t receive any such email”…

    Sorry, I edited this as you quoted my old draft.

    Lady London

    Doesn’t look like it’s obligatory. I’d go to the right lounge anyway.

    Marhaba lounge is rubbish. Up to you if you call the Exec Club now and ask politely what is behind this email as you don’t understand, is it essential that you avoid the normal BA Lounge or is it OK if you decide to try your luck on the day anyway. Listen carefully to what they say, ask if this is a policy decision going forward, which customers does it affect.

    Is your ticket changeable or is it practicable to choose another airline to fly with instead?

    Up to you if you listen to what they’ve got to say then express your misgivings as “the trouble is, the Marhaba is generally known as a very poor quality lounge” and “it feels like a downgrade in service offered by BA in an airport where the BA Lounge is desperately needed and the Marhaba doesn’t come up to that” and ask does BA have any way to issue a snack voucher instead, and are they compensating the withdrawal of previously acceptable lounge level with some avios.

    Frankly BA will only react to punishment not incentive. So unless droves of passengers cancel tickets and book elsewhere they will carry on. But I’d call them up just to run them through that anyway.

    Peter K

    @sturgeon – you refer to ‘loyalty’ but the loyalty you describe of collecting Avios via bank accounts/credit cards isn’t loyalty to BA that would, for instance, offer the ability to select seats for free. If you were paying £1000s as you describe you would be getting status, but you are getting Avios seats. You surely knew the old CW configuration when you booked? As for the lounge in DXB, you have no particular rights.

    This!

    I have to say my thoughts were exactly the same as JDB’s.

    Harry T

    The lounge will be busy. It’s a small lounge. BA is therefore choosing to offer this lounge to their best customers, aka people who pay for First, and BA Gold/OWE members. Collecting Avios from not flying OneWorld airlines or BA doesn’t meant you have been loyal to BA in a way that they care about. If you were loyal to BA, you would have free seat selection and access to this lounge.

    Ibblybibbly

    I’ve also had this text despite being Gold, so I will turn up and hope for the best as the Marhaba Lounge is the opposite of premium. I’m there in 2 weeks so will be interesting to hopefully hear some feedback from some Guinea pigs before then.

    Jenniekg

    We too have received this email – travelling on a 2-4-1 in WTP back on the 23rd November – BA0108 – both Gold – is this being targeted? Do we ignore?

    TGLoyalty

    Let’s be honest the BA lounge at DXB is crap too. Get there as late as possible and head straight to the plane.

    To dare is to do

    Let’s be honest the BA lounge at DXB is crap too. Get there as late as possible and head straight to the plane.

    This, the BA lounge is dire, honestly you’re missing nothing by not going. Or ignore email turn up but be prepared not to be let in.

    tp1404

    Let’s be honest the BA lounge at DXB is crap too. Get there as late as possible and head straight to the plane.

    I agree. Seen far better third party lounges at some other airports than the BA lounge at DXB.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    BA lounge IS dire.

    As a Gold, me and my gang were given access to the private room at the back on Saturday. This implies that other people were being allowed in to sit in the main area.

    It is simply far, far too small for an A380 route.

    Fraser

    Good to know I need to up my standards to your level, Rob 😂

    I was in the BA lounge 3 weeks ago for a 9am flight (ish?) and it started quiet so we could nab window seats, but then quickly filled up.

    QR code ordering was helpful, decent enough breakfast with fizz and coffee. Obviously not the Eggs Benedict and Krug style I am accustomed to 🤣 but perfectly good for BA.

    That said, it is small. Marhaba is a zoo, food and drink is “fine” per basic pay lounges, but if you are in Dubai you can afford to pay, so no wonder it is also mobbed.

    TGLoyalty

    If you have PP then I’m sure the Ahlan lounge is better but perhaps I’m mis remembering.

    “Little room at the back” an even more awful space to sit but atleast a little less busy.

    DXB was seriously one of the worst actual BA lounge outposts I have ever visited not that galleries in LHR are anything special.

    Gatwick so much better.

    sturgeon

    I’ve complained and they’re barely apologetic. Is their lounge really that bad, so not worth bothering? Is it the same quality as their Heathrow lounge but obviously smaller?

    Despite collecting a load of Avios and lining up companion and upgrade vouchers I’m only just starting to use them. Their sneaky, cost-cutting efforts left right and centre to their ‘premium’ customers is disgusting. Literally no effort whatsoever to make anyone feel special. At least Virgin try in this department.

    aseftel

    If you have PP then I’m sure the Ahlan lounge is better but perhaps I’m mis remembering.

    Ahlan hasn’t reopened post-covid.

    ATP

    Ahlan is open and is decent. Used the Business Ahlan (same as PP) for my Y ticket to Qatar on QR.Flight was approx 10pm and had quite a few tables available. Much preferred this to the BA Lounge – even compared to the F section at the back.

    lev441

    Ignore the text and head over to the BA lounge. I received the text message on my last flight home and went into the BA lounge anyway.

    JDB

    Ignore the text and head over to the BA lounge. I received the text message on my last flight home and went into the BA lounge anyway.

    Presumably now they have changed the entry requirements, BA will start to enforce them. Alternatively, if lots of people follow your ‘advice’ the uninvited who have gained entry will complain about the lounge being overcrowded.

    Richie

    The priority should be those with the most lifetime tier points, but that would need IT that functions.

    JDB

    The priority should be those with the most lifetime tier points, but that would need IT that functions.

    Even with good IT, probably quite difficult to operate as a policy. What’s funny is that most people previously said the DXB BA lounge was pretty rubbish, but now they have been told they may not be allowed in, they are up in arms as it’s ‘the’ lounge they want to visit.

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