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British Airways Business ClassGalleries Loungs

Published: 03/11/2014 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2014 » November 2014 » Tried and Tested »

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TESTED BY Tom Otley

VERDICT This is a great addition to the Galleries lounge network, and the staff throughout were proud of the new facility. Pre-flight dining means you can maximize your sleep time on the short overnight flight back to the UK, meaning regulars on this route will welcome this new lounge feature. 

LOCATION Concourse B, on the Concourse Level

HOURS The lounge is open from 2:30 PM until 10:30 PM with Club World pre-flight dining from 4:00 PM onwards 

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The design combines “the very best in American, British and European design.” Connect to the free WiFi and wirelessly print from your device to the printer in the work area.

BACKGROUND British Airways had a lot to celebrate last month at Washington Dulles International.

The route saw the inaugural flight of the A380 into the airport and the carrier opened a new airside Galleries Lounge replacing one which had shut several months previously.

The Washington lounge is the latest in a line of BA lounges to be relaunched, following Newark, Cape Town, Edinburgh and Belfast City. According to Kate Thornton, BA’s head of products and services for BA, this lounge will be followed by “new ones in Amsterdam later this year and another in Dubai early in the new year.”

WHERE IS IT? Airside, after security by the B gates, close to where the BA flights to London depart. Take the train to Concourse B and go up to the Concourse Level, and the lounge is straight ahead on the left.

The lounge is open from 2:30 PM until 10:30 PM with Club World pre-flight dining from 4:00 PM onwards. Strangely, First passengers can dine in the Concorde Room earlier, beginning at 2:30 PM.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? At 10,000 square feet, the space can accommodate up to 200 guests. Thoughtful design touches and lots of natural light coming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows on one side, and views down to the airport retail level below on the other, make it feel open and elegant.

On arrival, the design is immediately evident, with the BA speedmarque placed against a glistening Giles Miller surface finish to the wall behind reception. There’s a space for storing your larger luggage items to one side of the elevator and then you walk into the lounge.

Immediately to your right is a sitting area and then the reception for the the Concorde Dining Room, which has an ample wine gallery behind and its own separate bar.  You can only go into the Concorde Dining if you are flying First or are a guest of someone flying First, so don’t try waving your Gold or Emerald card around. It won’t help.

As for the rest of the lounge, it’s a combined business and First experience so there are no other restrictions for gold or silver card holders. 

Keep walking and you get to the entrance to the Club World dining area which also doubles as a snack and drinks area for those not wanting a full meal, or who arrive before the pre-flight dining is open. The Club World pre-flight dining area has large windows, a good collection of food and several different seating areas.

I didn’t see the showers, but BA describes the shower suites as “equipped with the very latest in Raindance technology from Hansgrohe with a jet that feels like a lush shower of rain.”

Further along the corridor, there’s a work area with internet-linked PCs and printer, with plenty of plugs. There are also power points close to most of the seats in the lounge. Further along still, there is another drinks area, a second newspaper and magazine stand, and then a sitting area and the main bar.

We didn’t have long enough here to get really comfortable in the bar, and it needs plenty of people since it’s a considerable space and can seem a little empty without a congenial crowd.

It’s good to have a proper bar area, however. It’s something that BA lounges have lacked in the past, but when you have time to kill and fancy a drink it’s a nice change to sit at a real bar.

As you’d expect, the flights are called from the lounge, and it’s a short walk to the gate.

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