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This review covers our experience at the British Airways First Class Lounge in Houston George Bush International IAH, which we spent some time in on our way back from Cancun earlier this month. I was surprised BA even had a First lounge at Houston, but it didn’t really impress.
Summary – 4 / 10
Pros: Quiet and private, shows live sport (but that may be a con for you), champagne and decent drinks selection, lovely and helpful staff
Cons: No showers or spa, very poor food selection, self-service, small, no work spaces
Eligibility: Passengers flying in BA First, or for BA Gold/Oneworld Emerald members flying with Oneworld.
Location: George Bush International Houston Airport IAH Terminal D after security, alongside the Business Lounge
Opening Hours: 13:00 – 20:30 (although it will stay open for a delay)
Services: Self-service bar, self-service snacks, wifi, luggage storage.
Upon entering we were greeted by a very friendly and professional member of BA staff, who is looking after the lounge. The same lady regularly updated the lounge on when boarding would be starting, so that we didn’t have to leave and then wait at the gate. I really appreciated this!
Turning the corner, you realise how small the lounge is. It’s tiny! The whole lounge is in an L-shape with a main food and drink area with work table, then a ‘corridor’ of chairs that finishes with a smaller drinks offering.
Bar and Drinks
All drinks are self-service, so no sitting at the bar and trying to get banter out of bartenders! The drinks selection was pretty good, with a selection of red and white wines, many different types of beer (I had the Elissa IPA and it was excellent), Port and Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee champagne. The wines on offer retail at about £20 a bottle which isn’t too shabby. The spirits provided are extensive standard named-brands such as: Bacardi, Pimms, Campari, Jose Cuervo, Tia Maria, Kahlua, Drambuie, Cointreau, Southern Comfort, Martell, Woodford Reserve, Glenlivet 15, Jameson, Johnny Walker Black Label, Martini, Tanqueray No.10, Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose.
For prime dinner time (we were there 7:30pm – 8:45pm) the food selection was pretty awful. It was just an array of beige-based snacks! It was really strange. Again, all food was self-service and on offer was: crisps, nuts, flatbread, baked potato, cheese and crackers, biscuits, sandwiches and some dips. Oh! And some token fruit! It was the most random selection of brown food ever and really let the lounge down. They should use the same space to provide a couple of tasty, more nutritionally complete options.
Showers & Spa
We had already been travelling for 7 hours at this point and I really wanted a shower to freshen up. But was disappointed to find out there were none available, let alone a spa! I do appreciate that BA may not have the footfall to justify showers, but it made the stay less comfortable none-the-less.
There weren’t really any facilities. Just a big table in the middle, which was probably the best, but not great option, to work at, or a couple of small 2-person tables. All other armchairs were the same. There were a number of large TVs playing sport, which entertained some guests. They were not so loud that I was distracted by them at all. Other than that, there was just some magazines.
The BA First Lounge at Houston is pretty basic. The experience was fine and the drinks selection was good. Had it have been a Business Lounge I would have given it a better score, but for First, it was largely underwhelming. If heading to Houston, don’t bother allowing any extra time to experience the lounge, but at least you will have somewhere quiet to chill before your flight.