As part of its £4.5 billion investment to benefit its customers, British Airways is set to revamp lounges across its network, starting with the opening of a new lounge in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.
The lounge follows a new design concept for the airline featuring the best of British and European design.
Spread over 460 square metres, the space can comfortably host nearly 140 customers. It also features a number of zones that create separate spaces for customers to work or relax in ahead of their flight.
The centrepiece of the lounge is a granite topped feature bar, with bespoke lighting and comfortable low seating. During peak times the bar will be hosted by a mixologist enabling customers to relax as their drink is made to order. In quieter periods, the design of the bar allows customers to help themselves from the wide range of beverages on offer.
The lounge also features high windows that allows natural light to flow in and provides fantastic views across the runway. The windows will feature smart electronic blinds that are programmed with sensors to react to light and heat throughout the day, ensuring that the lounge is always a comfortable environment for customers to relax in.
Sarah Klatt-Walsh, British Airways’ head of product, said: “Lounges are an important element of the journey for our customers and we’re investing in their future as part of our current £4.5 billion spend program.
“The lounges need to cater to the varying needs of our customers. The same traveller may be flying with us one day for business and need the space and technology to work and be travelling the next week on holiday when they will want to relax with a drink and some food ahead of their flight. The new design lounges will deliver zones that work for our customers with a new look and feel we think they’ll love.”
The lounge features marble tables, textured wall décor and artwork from the airline’s collection, the majority of which is by English artist Patrick Caulfield and includes a number of pieces from his series of 22 screen prints from 1973 titled ‘Some Poems of Jules Laforgue’.
Customers will also have access to power and USB points throughout the lounge to recharge their personal electronic devices, as well as wireless printing.
The next lounges to be unveiled with the new look will be at New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements being made there to the customer experience at check-in. The airline will also be opening a new lounge in Aberdeen later this year and further investments are then planned in Geneva, San Francisco, Johannesburg and Chicago.
British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for customers over the next five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600 million specifically in Club World, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding – plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access.