Pandemic Cost Cuts Are Permanent: BA Will Not Re-Open Elemis Spas In Lounges

Qatar Airways is the largest owner of British Airways’ parent company, yet Qatar’s CEO says BA has become a ‘2 out of 10’ low cost carrier.

That image is solidified with news that the airline will not re-open Elemis spas in its premium cabin lounges.

When the BA spas closed around the world, I always assumed that they would reopen again. S

..British Airways has confirmed that it will not reopen its Elemis spas. This includes the spas in the Heathrow lounges (T5 South, Arrivals, T5B and T3) and the spa in New York JFK.


British Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow

British Airways lounges are weak as it is. Even the ‘first class only’ Concorde Room is merely a less-crowded lounge with not very good food, and run down private ‘cabanas’ that are tough to secure use of unless you reserve them months in advance, and then hope the person making the reservation actually writes it down in the book.

Eliminating spa services is another way that BA is no longer a premium carrier – even if it took a global pandemic for most to realize it.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. I avoid BA like the plague. Only good use of Avios is booking short-haul flights on partners. Blech.

  2. It’s interesting how fast they went down the tubes. I think the first time I flew Club was around 2008. I felt like a movie star. The last time I flew was 10 years later and I brought my own snacks onto the plane so I could avoid the food.

  3. I’m with @Greg. I’d take Do&Co over a spa that I never used anyway.

    As for the F lounge at LHR. The in-app ordering they had in place prior to the winter lockdown was fantastic. It actually felt more premium to me at that time than before the pandemic. All isn’t lost with BA yet.

  4. booked in BA LHR-SEA on 787-10 new business class. Let’s see how that works out. first time in a seat with a door.

  5. Eh, idk, I get that the spas were flashy and gave a high end aura, but I wonder what the customer research actually said about it. I can’t imagine the core business traveler segment was using them much. Maybe they use the space for something more timely – e.g. expanded private workstations, etc.

  6. The truth is that no-one ever got an appointment. I never, ever had a treatment over literally decades. You can pre-book in First Class if you want, but if you are not in First you have virtually no chance.

    My wife prefers ‘paid for’ airport spas. She likes the benefit of being able to get a treatment during some lounge down-time and has no issue paying for it – invariably it is cheaper than West London pricing anyway.

  7. Flying BA on intra-Europe segments is no less miserable an experience for the flight time than taking a bus trip of the same duration of time. Actually, the bus seats may actually even be way more comfortable than the BA Club Europe seats. And that’s business class on BA. 😮

  8. I liked the cabanas on a long layover for a nap, but the spa was meh. Also, Greg is right. With Do& Co, the food went from last to excellent.

  9. Good spa experiences over the years but you need 3-5 hours layover to even have a shot at one usually. Very meh.

  10. BA has a very good safety record,its Club World is excellent with quality food and the cabin crew is very efficient and polite which is what a passenger needs,as opposed to the servile attitude you will find in some airlines….
    And in no way is BA 2 in 10 as Qatar is saying…

  11. Love how everyone is quick to jump all over BA. They are still one of the best. I am disappointed about the Spa but really who needs it?

    Things are changing we just need to accept it. It’s a killer pandemic and we all are feeling it, I still prefer and will always fly in Club over World Traveller. And BA is one of the more comfortable in my opinion.

    If you don’t like the food on Club then why spend the money to bring your own food? Stupid comment. Bottom line if you don’t like BA choose another airline. Don’t trash it.

  12. If BA had decided to turn it into a paid facility, increased the range & quality of treatments and allowed proper pre-booking, it could have turned it into quite a big a selling point.

    The last time we did a ex-EU from Paris to Bali via Doha we were on a 4pm departure. We booked the Hilton Charles de Gaulle for the night before and treated ourselves to a late morning massage – we’d had a hectic few weeks and the massage got us into the perfect relaxed mood for our holiday. We said we’d do that more often… but not many airport hotels have a decent spa or offer a good massage.

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