Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Guesting strangers in to the BA Exec Lounges

  • Jerseyboy 12 posts

    I might be unpopular in commenting on this but I’m somewhat frustrated by the increasing trend I see on various social media platforms BAEC members offering to guest complete strangers into the BA lounges. With the lounges already overflowing due to Covid extensions, together with a further extension to the Double Tier points promotion aren’t the lounges full enough already? Yes guesting a known friend who you know is in the airport fine, but openly advertising a guesting service to complete strangers?? – And the irony I have seen on the BAEC Gold Facebook page is the same individual who was ranting about the overcrowding in the lounges a couple of weeks ago advertising that he would be at the airport next week and was happy to guest complete strangers in. I know there isn’t much BA can do about it, but you would have though some common sense by the BAEC membership would prevail.

    The real Swiss Tony 739 posts

    The obvious solution is to dictate that the passengers must be on the same flight. Would remove 90% of this nonsense and would only inconvenience a very small minority of card holders, who if they were really that bothered about seeing someone at the airport can spend time in Pret.

    But you can’t please all the people all of the time. As for someone backing both horses like that – what a kn0b…

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,391 posts

    And the irony I have seen on the BAEC Gold Facebook page is the same individual who was ranting about the overcrowding in the lounges a couple of weeks ago advertising that he would be at the airport next week and was happy to guest complete strangers in.

    But it’s not his guests that are the problem. It’s only a problem when other people do it!

    There are people like that on the BA flyer talk board as well. Complaining about lounges being busy but also wanting someone to help them guest additional passengers in.

    VS had a rule that the guest should be on the same flight so it’s not an unusual concept.

    The real Swiss Tony 739 posts

    VS had a rule that the guest should be on the same flight so it’s not an unusual concept.

    I *think* that back in the 90’s BA had the same rule.

    SamG 1,736 posts

    I think Star Alliance Gold limits guests to travelling on the same flight in most if not all circumstances.

    There aren’t many circumstances where you’d need to guest someone in travelling on a different flight so doesn’t seem like an unreasonable change to make and one that wouldn’t impact most people bringing in legitimate guests

    iamlost 109 posts

    The BA T5 lounge situation is really bad, and something has to give. I fly Thu/Fri PM most weeks and it’s so crowded now I can’t depend on being able to work comfortably from the lounge. I can’t be the only one booking fewer BA flights because of this, so it must be having a (small) revenue impact. My suggestions:

    1. It’s time to stop the double TP BAH promo if they can’t cope with the additional demand this has created

    2. They need to invest in the rest of their infrastructure to catch up with the densification of J cabins on new and refurbished planes (J check-in and priority security queues in T5 are also a mess)

    3. Figure out a way to allow travel back from B / C buildings by train to better utilise the unused capacity in the T5B lounge and maybe even build a new lounge space in T5C – case in point, so many people go to Al Mourjan Garden even if they’re flying closer to the old Al Mourjan, because it’s so easy to move around DOH

    I suggest they don’t mess with guesting rules (new restrictions are likely to annoy high-fare business passengers most) nor with eligibility rules (removing lounge access from silver benefits would be a death knell for chasing status).

    LittleNick 155 posts

    1. It’s time to stop the double TP BAH promo if they can’t cope with the additional demand this has created

    If it’s that bad, which I’m sure you’re right, I just do find it bizarre they extended this until next year. I shouldn’t complain as I benefitted, perhaps they could also increase the TP requirement for Silver to 750TP (50% of Gold)?

    I could very well be wrong but aren’t Priority security and Heathrow T5 infrastructure all controlled and managed by Heathrow airport so BA are probably quite limited what they can do to change this to allow a two way train from 5C back to 5A? Doesn’t the train going back deposit you into arrivals security/immigration?

    Agreed they shouldn’t mess with the guesting rules, You might need to guest someone else on the same route but not perhaps necessarily the same flight as you as has happened to me. Possibly also if travelling with a work colleague but off to different location also need to guest them in

    AJA 1,158 posts

    How many passengers are actually guested into the lounges by Silver and Gold members? Let alone complete strangers? I’m not sure changing the rules to prevent guesting would actually make that much difference. And I wonder how many passengers are Gold or silver members flying economy or WTP?

    BA plainly thinks that the BAH double TP offer is working to their benefit otherwise it would have ended already. In fact they’ve widened it to include USA departures so that suggests that the business class passenger numbers are still skewed toward leisure passengers rather than traditional business customers. And in reality I think most people taking advantage of the double TP offer are actually travelling in Club or higher anyway to maximise the number of TP they earn. They would still be eligible for lounge access by virtue of the ticket itself.

    As for increasing the number of TPs to achieve Silver I think that would probably be counter-productive. It’s bad enough that they’ve recently changed the Avios earning such that it makes very little difference between Blue and Gold as to the number of Avios you earn from flying. They would have to improve the actual lounge offering to justify doing that. The idea of a loyalty scheme is to entice people to continue spending with the airline. If you make it too difficult to achieve status then why fly BA?

    executiveclubber 361 posts

    Someone asked me at Heathrow once and I was taken by surprise (it was a very heaving Galleries North lounge) but on hindsight I don’t know why I said no. I just felt like I was being scammed. At JFK yesterday I’d love to have had the self-confidence to ask to be guested into those stunning T4 lounges. But not the self-confidence of the pax who boarded steaming drunk and crying and were chased down the cabin and offboarded…

    SteveJ 1,017 posts

    Someone asked me at Heathrow once and I was taken by surprise (it was a very heaving Galleries North lounge) but on hindsight I don’t know why I said no. I just felt like I was being scammed. At JFK yesterday I’d love to have had the self-confidence to ask to be guested into those stunning T4 lounges. But not the self-confidence of the pax who boarded steaming drunk and crying and were chased down the cabin and offboarded…

    Surely if one of your ‘guests’ ends up steaming drunk and causing a scene in the lounge that could somehow come back and bite you? I agree with saying no just on that premise that you shouldn’t take responsibility for the actions of a random.

    TooPoorToBeHere 265 posts

    I was in (both) last Friday in the middle of the day and they were an absolute zoo. I was pretty shocked.

    B lounge was shown on the board as empty. I was thinking, as I retreated from the melee, that if the departure boards could indicate “will depart from B gates” (or C gates) a bit earlier, then maybe more people would migrate to the B lounge.

    executiveclubber 361 posts

    Someone asked me at Heathrow once and I was taken by surprise (it was a very heaving Galleries North lounge) but on hindsight I don’t know why I said no. I just felt like I was being scammed. At JFK yesterday I’d love to have had the self-confidence to ask to be guested into those stunning T4 lounges. But not the self-confidence of the pax who boarded steaming drunk and crying and were chased down the cabin and offboarded…

    Surely if one of your ‘guests’ ends up steaming drunk and causing a scene in the lounge that could somehow come back and bite you? I agree with saying no just on that premise that you shouldn’t take responsibility for the actions of a random.

    Yes you’re right, prob not worth the risk!

    ClubSmed 204 posts

    On the return back from holidays that I take with friends, although we all fly on the same flights back from our holiday destination to London, we take separate flights from there as they live in Edinburgh and us in Glasgow.
    We Guest our friends into the lounge at Heathrow as we have status and they do not. If we were restricted to being on the same flight then we would not be able to do this, even though we had been travelling together.
    The current system also allowed me to offer to help guest a full family into the lounge at Glasgow on Sunday. There were 2 adults and a ~6 year old child but only one of the adults had status. Of course, if the guesting rules were relaxed a bit more around families then this current work around would not be needed…

    memesweeper 1,331 posts

    1. It’s time to stop the double TP BAH promo if they can’t cope with the additional demand this has created

    2. They need to invest in the rest of their infrastructure to catch up with the densification of J cabins on new and refurbished planes (J check-in and priority security queues in T5 are also a mess)

    3. Figure out a way to allow travel back from B / C buildings by train to better utilise the unused capacity in the T5B lounge and maybe even build a new lounge space in T5C – case in point, so many people go to Al Mourjan Garden even if they’re flying closer to the old Al Mourjan, because it’s so easy to move around DOH

    I’d suggest “1” isn’t going to help. The problem isn’t people who fly infrequently scraping into Silver who otherwise wouldn’t. Nor is the odd “stranger” guest, incidentally, their numbers will be vanishingly small (and BA can analyse the BPs of “winners” of double tier points, and guests on other flights, and will know this better than us).

    And I don’t think it’s densification on long haul, surely that’s had minimal effect given BA has lost a lot of widebody seats over the last four years. The biggest issue (I think) is the moveable curtain in short haul. Many dozens of people can be in business on a BA short haul flight. Club Europe is — to my eyes — increasingly popular now, and BA is making so much money from it that there’s no way they are going to let little problems like inadequate numbers of check in counters, fast track x-rays or lounge seats get in the way of them selling as many club seats as possible.

    A reverse shuttle for B and C, then a lounge in C, would really help, but anything that requires that much infrastructure is going to take forever.

    If Galleries North was long haul only that would help prioritise the most important premium passengers. South could then actually be allowed to go to 100% sometimes, and start turning people away, ideally with a £10 voucher for food and beverage elsewhere (or a pass for a third party lounge).

    dougzz99 638 posts

    I don’t think they need a reverse shuttle, it’s not a hardship to use the tunnels.
    The problem is as said above an absence of early posting of the gate numbers.

    My Milan flight left today from the C gates, as did the Lisbon flight at a similar time. I had to smile at the number of Lisbon passengers being rejected at the Milan gate. The signage is so poor. The entrance to 53 is probably 25 metres from the 53 sign, and 6 metres from the 52 sign.

    Plenty of space in the first lounge 😏

    TooPoorToBeHere 265 posts

    Of course they’re never going to *do* early posting of gate numbers because all the retail is in the A building.

    Gagravarr 75 posts

    Of course they’re never going to *do* early posting of gate numbers because all the retail is in the A building.

    It’s not that – they don’t post the gate numbers until they have confirmed what plane is operating your flight and where it is parked!

    If you ask staff in the lounge, especially if you have status so they trust you to understand, they’ll often say something like “it’s showing as likely B32 but that isn’t confirmed” or “probably B gates but we’re having a lot of last-minute changes today”

    In the USA, they have tonnes of spare gates and send planes in pre-defined routes, so allocate gates + inbound aircraft days in advance. Except during disruption, that’s why they can tell you your gate way way in advance, and even let you track “your” plane on its previous journey. BA may swap the plan for your aircraft 2-3 times in the day, more during disruption, as they juggle late-running and early-arriving aircraft. Until they’ve nailed down what physical plane you’ll be on, and it is pretty close to a gate, they just don’t have a gate to announce!

    JDB 4,854 posts

    Of course they’re never going to *do* early posting of gate numbers because all the retail is in the A building.

    That’s such a ridiculous myth. Particularly for short haul, the gate is likely to change a number of times, so although one may show to BA and airport staff they don’t tell you as it’s meaningless until the aircraft is actually on stand. If you have been to the B gates, have you not noticed the shops and food/drink outlets there?

    TooPoorToBeHere 265 posts

    That’s such a ridiculous myth. Particularly for short haul, the gate is likely to change a number of times, so although one may show to BA and airport staff they don’t tell you as it’s meaningless until the aircraft is actually on stand. If you have been to the B gates, have you not noticed the shops and food/drink outlets there?

    Indeed, there is even (a little bit of) retail at the C gates.

    The great majority of the retail is at A, and the rent is maximised by keeping the plebs milling around A in a state of intoxicated profligacy, so that is what HAL and BA are going to do.

    The real Swiss Tony 739 posts

    OK but there’s no need for any longhaul/wide body flights to go from the A gates at all. Yes there’s A10 but there are bus gates at the B pier as well (and I assume C). It’s years since I’ve seen a widebody parked up at the A gates.

    So BA could start by sending selective long haul passengers with lounge access over to the B gates. Even the impact of just ensuring the A380 pax – each of which probably accounts for 100 bodies in the club lounge – over to the B lounge should help. They could be advised at check in, push notification on the app and also at the A gate lounge reception.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.