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British Airways to open new first class lounge at Singapore?

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Singapore, British Airways, First Class Lounge, Singapore Changi, oneworld emerald, Qantas Platinum

British Airways is tipped to open its own first class lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport, following the decision by Qantas to close the first class lounge shared by both airlines. 

The lounge would cater for first class passengers and Executive Club Gold card-holders on BA's London-Singapore-Sydney flights. 

It could also provide Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum members with an alternative to the Red Roo’s business lounge before hopping onto a Qantas flight from Singapore, due to the lounge access provisions for oneworld partner airlines.

BA is believed to be in discussion with Qantas and Changi Airport Group, which manages Singapore Changi Airport, about taking over one of the two Terminal 1 lounges currently shared with Qantas under the soon-to-be-dissolved Qantas-BA joint venture and convert this into a Galleries lounge.

Approached for comment, a spokesperson for British Airways told Australian Business Traveller "We're currently working on our plans for when our joint agreement with Qantas ends on March 31, 2013 and I have no details beyond this."

BA has pledged to maintain its daily London-Singapore-Sydney flight from April 2013 when Qantas shifts its hub for European flights to Dubai as part of the Qantas-Emirates alliance.

You read this first on Australian Business Traveller, and for more of the latest news follow @AusBT on Twitter.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

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1 on 25/9/12 by JBH

A sensible outcome for both QF & BA emerald OW pax.  I hope the new lounge appears along the lines of the BA T5 LHR first lounge, that would be very good.

1 on 25/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

Here, here! This is much welcome news. I hope with this change, catering at the new BA SIN lounge would also change. The current QF offering is sub-standard. Perhaps they'll offer up the lovely butter chicken they serve at LHR?

2 on 25/9/12 by Peter

Will BA Business passengers continue to use the joint Qantas/BA business lounge?

3 on 25/9/12 by Josh

Your article makes a blanket statement that a BA First Lounge would allow access for QF Platinum Frequent Flyers under the current oneworld arrangements. However, it fails to show any depth of research. What about Qantas's Platinum passengers flying on Jestar? As Jetstar isn't a member of oneworld, Qantas Platinum flyers will no longer have access when flying on Jetstar. (The only reason they do currently is because the lounge is jointly operated by BA and QF.) And what happens if Qantas follows through with its realignment of timetabling out of Singapore? If the lounge is purely a BA lounge, there's no reason it would be open to accommodate any QF departures outside of those falling around the BA schedule. So more loss again. Although your article notes that Platinums flying on a Qantas flight from Singapore will have access, surely it would be appropriate for a little more reasearch. Also acknowledging flagged timetable changes for Qantas flights ex-Singapore, as well as all Platinums flying on Jetstar, meaning Qantas's premium frequent flyers will still have a major loss with the closing of the co-branded lounge would have added depth to the article.

1 on 25/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

@ Josh

With reference to your point about flying Jetstar; Isn't it a moot point? Since JQ/3K/VF are not part of OW, access to the lounge on the basis of OW Emerald status (QF Platinum) is not allowed.

With regards to the realignment of QF SIN timetables; You are absolutely right. But the fact is we don't know what's going to happen on that front.

However I'm sure you'll have access to the EK lounges at SIN (assuming their opening hours match up to the QF realigned timetable).

1 on 25/9/12 by JBH

Josh, see your point re: Jestar, however access to either of the QF lounges as a QF Plat flying 3K/VF/JQ was limited anyway. Of the av total daily departures (32) on JQ/VF/JQ ex SIN 19 flights depart before the lounges open at 3pm leaving only 40% of 3K/VF/JQ flights eligible for lounge access - I hope QF re-align some flights for morning arrival in SIN, that would help connections onto Jetstar services and the business lounge at least would open too.

1 on 25/9/12 by Josh

@ JBH

You make a valid point. However, that stil leaves nearly half (40%) of flights that would otherwise allow Qantas Platinums travelling on Jetstar to access. Take away a premium lounge and there's another reason in favour of Qantas Platinum passengers travelling on oneworld carriers to destinations that Jetstar also services. At least then those passengers would have access to what apparently will be the BA First Lounge. In other words, there's less of an incentive to fly Jetstar out of Singapore when a top level Qantas flyer. Finally, a realignment of flights into and out of Singapore, as has been publicised, to allow morning Qantas activity will have no benefit for the same top tier flyers as the BA First Lounge is most unlikely to be open prior to the existing time of late afternoon. I see no benefit to this announcement (or lack thereor as it seems) by QF. And ultimately, why the total change of mind by QF in less than three weeks when Joyce categorically said, in response to a question from ABT, that the Singapore renovations would continue as planned. Should we no longer believe anything Qantas says?

2 on 25/9/12 by Josh

@ TheRealBabush

Please see the sentence in parentheses in my original post. As it stands, Qantas Platinums do have access to the First Lounge in Singapore, because it's a joint lounge. When QF withdraws, it will (apparently) be purely a BA lounge, meaning the chances of QF Platinums flying JQ getting access being as likely as QF announcing new routes. I would argue, therefore, it is not a moot point.

1 on 25/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

@Josh

JQ metal = Not OW = No access to BA First Lounge

Ergo: Moot Point

Could that not get any clearer?

1 on 25/9/12 by Josh

@ TheRealBabush

I'm not sure we're on the same wavelength. As it stands, QF Platinums travelling on Jetstar have access to the First Lounge in Singapore. If QF does withdraw from the Singapore First Lounge then Platinum passengers travelling on JQ will no longer have access. Therefore, it's a change, for the worse.

As my original post said: "What about Qantas's Platinum passengers flying on Jestar? As Jetstar isn't a member of oneworld, Qantas Platinum flyers will no longer have access when flying on Jetstar". The emphasis being on "no longer".

Your post said: "With reference to your point about flying Jetstar; Isn't it a moot point? Since JQ/3K/VF are not part of OW, access to the lounge on the basis of OW Emerald status (QF Platinum) is not allowed." Oneworld Emeralds travelling Jetstar have never had access to the BA/QF First Lounge, unless their Emerald status was by virtue of Qantas Platinum.

I have never argued Jetstar passengers would have access to the BA First Lounge; in fact, I've argued the opposite (ie. as your saying).

1 on 25/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

@Josh

Yes I believe we have been on different wavelength. But I see your point now.

It is a pity that QF has in effect downgraded its presence in SIN, which may chip away at the benefits that Platinum members obtain.

Question is, to what extent can they chip away to the point that a pax like yourself might chose not to fly QF/OW once they've achieved Gold so that they may rack up points towards higher status on Star Alliance/Sky Team?

2 on 26/9/12 by David

Hi Josh, the reason we only reported as far as we did is because that's what this story is about – it's the best information we have on the state of play for BA's lounge.

Apart from the JQ point which others have picked up on, the other things you suggest are what-if's, such as Qantas rescheduling SIN flights. Nobody knows the details of this and at AusBT we avoid playing the what-if game – we'd rather report facts (and well-sourced info, such as this story) instead of trying to build a story on layers of speculation.

1 on 26/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

@ David

If you may indulge me on the matter of possible resceduling of SIN flights. I'm uncertain as to the current situation with landing slots at Changi. Are those fixed like at LHR?

The ability to change slot times would be a factor for any possible changes to QF SIN schedules wouldn't it?

1 on 26/9/12 by David

I don't know the nature of Changi slots but Qantas has said they will be 're-timing' their Singapore flights, so that's a cert, what's not known of course would be the new landing and departure times.

 

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