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British Airways permanently closes all Elemis lounge spas

April 27, 2021
3 min read
British Airways permanently closes all Elemis lounge spas
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British Airways is doing away with the Elemis spas in its lounges for good. Though the in-lounge spas have been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline has decided that they will not reopen.

The airline quietly made the decision last week, which was first reported by Turning Left for Less.

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British Airways provided the following statement with regard to the decision to permanently close the spas:

"We're proud to work with Elemis, a brand our customers love, and we continue to provide their products on board our flights. Our Elemis lounge travel spas have remained closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we have decided that they will not be reopening. Over the coming months, we will be reviewing new propositions to support our customers' health and wellbeing pre-flight."

British Airways had Elemis spa locations at London Heathrow (Terminal 5A South; Terminal 5B; Terminal 5 Arrivals; Terminal 3 departures) and at New York Kennedy (Terminal 7).

Related: Hidden gem: A review of Heathrow Terminal 5's Galleries B Gates lounge

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Since the opening of the spas, eligible passengers (those traveling on a first or business-class ticket or Gold members traveling long-haul) were permitted a complimentary 15-minute spa at the Heathrow locations. At the JFK location, only those traveling on a British Airways-operated flight were entitled to the free 15-minute massage.

There were often complaints of overcrowding in the Elemis spas. It was difficult to find an appointment, as passengers are granted access to treatments on a first-come, first-served basis, allowing passengers to book their treatments from 28 days until 48 hours before departure.

Ultimately, this is a downgrade from British Airways. Although the spas have been closed since the start of the pandemic, they were something that frequent premium cabin travelers and elite members could take advantage of before a flight. It's worth noting, however, that BA has said that showers will remain open.

Meanwhile, the airline's biggest competitor in the U.K. Virgin Atlantic offers a spa of its own in its Heathrow Clubhouse location. There, passengers can select from a small range of complimentary offerings before selecting to purchase a treatment from a wider range of options. The Clubhouse has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Unlike the British Airways Elemis spa locations, the Clubhouse spa operates on a different model. If BA had decided to expand the offering at the Elemis locations to more than just 15-minute complimentary massages, it could have been a different story. Instead, the airline has decided to forgo bringing the spas back in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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