British Airways Now Has Its Own Gin

The British Airways Concorde Room is kind of a pit, at least as far as first class lounges in Europe or Asia go.

The lounge is supposed to be super-premium. oneworld top tier elite status alone doesn’t get you in. British Airways has a first class lounge, elites are relegated there. The Concorde Room is reserved for BA’s first class passengers and super-premium customers. So it should be nice, in the carrier’s home airport no less.

And yet… the service is poor, the food is bad, and some of the furnishings are threadbare. It’s even had a poor hygiene rating.

However they’ve finally done something interesting: the Concorde Room now has its own gin.

It has been blended for British Airways following extensive taste tests with First customers at the Concorde Room bar in London, by the award-winning Cambridge Distillery, the world’s first ‘gin tailor’. The main botanicals used in the exclusive herbaceous gin (aside from juniper) are basil, rosemary and thyme, which are all grown in the distillery gardens in Cambridge.

Credit: British Airways

The very first comment I saw about this suggested it could be a problem with the British Airways-American Airlines immunized joint venture, since their alliance is supposed to be gin neutral. I on the other hand wonder if drinking too much of this stuff is how it was possible that the head of British Airways’ parent company didn’t know that a third Heathrow runway would involve demolishing his office.

British Airways serves more than 3 million gin and tonics a year inflight. But for the Concorde Room only they have a special gin. When I first saw the release I thought, “Big deal, they have their own label on gin after all anyone can buy wine with a personalized label that doesn’t make it good.”

While I haven’t tried British Airways gin, I’ve had more than my share of gin over the years (starting with Cambridge Distillery which means — while we’ll have to wait to try it to be sure — it could be very very good as they produce some very high end gin that sells for up to to £2,000 per bottle (though I cannot imagine British Airways in the Age of Brexit would be shelling out close to that).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. BA-branded gin? Let me guess, they’ll lobby the government to artificially restrict the total supply of gin so they can corner the market. They’ll sell the gin for the same face price but start charging incidental fees for each sip you take, for adding tonic, for using a credit card to purchase it, for selecting your cocktail ingredients more than 24 hours in advance. There will be a lower “gin-only” price that doesn’t allow mixers to be added, but this won’t be clear at the time of purchase. The computer system you use to order the gin will constantly give error messages, requiring repeated calls to a severely under-trained group of Manchester-based back-office bartenders. Speaking of bartenders, there are two main types, the old surly ones without the hats and the 21-year old impoverished but smiley ones who must wear hats. Both are rubbish bartenders who make you mix your own G&T anyway. There will be a loyalty scheme: if you buy 100 bottles of gin, you earn the privilege of searching online for hours to find a free bottle but there is very little availability. And it will cost your entire points balance plus £500 in taxes and fees, basically saving you nothing. #toflytoservegin

    The company I’ve spent THOUSANDS of my own hard earned cash to gain GOLD status with and which is asset stripping BAEC benefits and worsening the flying experience has its own Gin now!? FFS I’m so impressed by this news I’m gonna reverse my “non more BA 2017” travel plans! Really? You couldn’t make this sh*t up!
    Talk about fiddling while Rome is burning !!!!!!!!!!

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