The reopening comes as the UK Government relaxes rules for US and EU travellers, allowing them to be exempt from quarantine if they are fully vaccinated
British Airways will reopen the Galleries Club Lounge at its home in Terminal 7 at New York/JFK, after a 16-month closure due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The opening of the facility marks the next step in the airline’s phased lounge reopening plan and will be available to customers travelling in First, Club World and eligible card holders.
Customers will now also be able to utilise the carrier’s new app, ‘Your Menu’ to order food directly from their mobile devices after scanning a QR code, allowing travellers to order to any seat in the lounge.
Tom Stevens, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “After the news about the change in entry requirements for US customers into the UK, we expect to host more customers who need to travel and so we have decided that it is the right time to open our flagship lounge in New York. We are looking forward to welcoming some of our American customers back to London from next week and bringing Britons who reside in the US home for much-needed family time.”
As well as the lounge reopening, British Airways announced that it is adding extra seats from US cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as well as European destinations including Berlin, Geneva and Hamburg, after it saw a 95% surge in bookings following the loosening of government restrictions.
From August 16, flights between London and New York/JFK will increase to 21 per week while Los Angeles and Chicago will increase to ten each week. August 23 will see flights to Seattle from the airline’s hub at London/Heathrow increase to seven per week with Los Angeles increasing further to 14. The airline plans to continue to add to its UK-US schedule throughout September.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ chairman and CEO said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming new visitors from the US and EU to the UK, many of which will be reuniting with their family members for the first time in many months. This move will also help boost the British economy and the hospitality sector, which like aviation, has been crippled by the effects of the pandemic.”