British Airways Lounge Access at Heathrow T5 [Update 2020] Review
British airways host Lounges at Heathrow airport Terminal 5 which consists of three Business Class Galleries lounges in total across two buildings. Most passengers only know of two lounges based in building A - T5, and not the best British airways lounge located in Building B. We cover in our article today how to access the BA Heathrow Terminal 5 lounges, can I pay to use the BA lounge & are they all open?
Can I pay to use the BA Business Class lounge's at Heathrow T5?
The eligibility of entry to any of the British airways lounges at Heathrow airport consists of passengers required to be flying on British Airways in Business class / First Class either in Long Haul Club World or Short Haul Club Europe. Passengers cannot pay cash to access any BA Lounge.
Can I access BA lounge if not flying BA?
Passengers not flying on any British Airways flights in Business or First Class or do not have a certain higher status with the Oneworld alliance will not be allowed access to any lounge run by BA or other OneWorld alliance at Heathrow. Passengers cannot pay cash to access any BA Lounge.
Eligibility is also granted to these lounges if a passenger is flying on any OneWorld alliance aircraft in Business Class or hold either British airways Silver / Gold executive club status.
Entry to any of BA lounge's throughout the world cannot be purchased like other lounges that you can either Pre buy your entry online or pay at the door to access.
Our Experience's of all the BA Business Class Lounges at Heathrow, Terminal 5
We cant stress enough that research, research & more research is so important in order to make your journey as painless as possible and along the way hopefully add a bit of luxury & relaxation before you start your BA flight.
That is what we done before flying out of Terminal 5 and boy are we glad we did our research as we discovered a real Gem in the rough. we are talking an oasis of calm and tranquillity with a touch of luxury in an otherwise extremely chaotic Heathrow terminal 5 in only one BA lounge out of three located at T5.
Our BA T5 Lounge Crawl Experience starts here...
Ten months ago we managed to bag Club World flights on the 787-9 booked on British airways in Business Class departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 to the Seychelles. Seychelles was up there on our "Bucket List" of destinations to visit in the world but what about lounge access at T5 - was the standard any good?
We had not flown out of London Heathrow Terminal 5 for many years now and always remembered our last experience of this terminal to be somewhat chaotic and extremely busy with passengers.
That's is why its known as one of the busiest Terminals in the world.
Also, our last journey departing from T5 on British Airways consisted of us flying BA Premium Economy so we did not experience the pleasure of complementary BA Business class lounge access back then as you do with Club World.
We started our research way back last year on all the lounges we could access at Heathrow ,Terminal 5 with our Business Class eligibility.
Our research discovered that we could gain entry to three lounges spanning across two buildings at T5 (North & South).
Where are the British Airways Lounge's in Heathrow T5?
Heathrow consists of many terminals but to find the British Airways Lounge in Heathrow T5 you need to pass through security then up the escalators in Building A, South. Then to locate the 2nd lounge travel to Building A, North. A third British Airways Lounge in T5 can be located in Building B, South.
With notes on the locations of all three British Airways Business Class lounges in our back pocket we started our lounge experiences in T5 Building A.
British Airways Business Class Galleries Lounge Terminal 5 Building A, North Review
This was the first BA lounge on our list to access. After fast track security we arrived in Building A at Heathrow Terminal 5.
To locate the BA Galleries Business Class Lounge in Terminal 5 North, Building A you need to walk past most of the shops towards the lifts or escalators. We used the escalator on this occasion with signage depicting the location of the BA Business class Galleries lounge, North.
Travelling up the escalator to the BA Galleries Business Class lounge we viewed the famous Black Horse statue as a light on the landing level & a large model of a British airways aircraft before entering the Galleries Lounge.
Arriving at the Check in area to the BA Galleries Business Class lounge, North we noticed two check in desks staffed by British airways personnel.
At this stage we noticed already many passengers queuing to access this lounge which should of acted as a warning sign to us already of what was to come!
Entry was swift with the scan of our boarding passes at check in, we ventured forward past the British airways separation panels obscuring the view of the main lounge entrance behind.
This is when the reality kicked in, this particular lounge is extremely busy probably due to we think it being the "Galleries Lounge" as the "Galleries" name is used for other British airways lounges throughout the world. Maybe people head for the Galleries lounge first out of the two located in Building A.
As you enter you can either turn left to a large seating zone with Windows surrounding the entire area. Immediately facing you as you enter a large magazine / newspaper rack with the toilets located behind.
To the right a self serve food & Drink area with a limited amount of cold & hot foods on offer, tea and coffee machines, refrigerators containing cold drinks and a counter top area containing water / wines on ice.
We grabbed a glass of water and looked further down to the right from the food & drink area and for as far as the eye could see we viewed lots of seating areas but extremely busy with most Seats already taken.
This is unusual for us to experience such a busy lounge and to be honest it did not appeal to us so for the first time in our lives we decided to leave rather sharpish.
In our personal opinion an airport lounge should be somewhere to relax, grab a bite to eat and maybe enjoy a glass of wine / Champagne before a long flight. Not a place to fight for personal space and have to virtually to sit right on top of other people whilst feeling lucky to find something to eat and drink.
This is the reason why we stayed all of five minutes in this lounge, so onto the next Business Class Lounge in Building A.
Let's hope the next lounge is much better, read on to find out...
British Airways Business Class Galleries Lounge Terminal 5 Building A, South Review
To locate the British airways Business Class Lounge building A, South you make your way through security and once in the main terminal head up the escalators.
Once at the top of the escalators look to the right handside and you will see the entrance to the BA lounge.
After our previous experience in the BA lounge in Building A, North we were expecting a much improved lounge and facilities from British Airways. With anticipation growing we checked in at reception and with greater expectations we walked through into the main lounge area.
Then suddenly as the main walkway opened up our greatest fears once again grew quickly into reality. This cannot be true, what we viewed before us was even worse than the Galleries Lounge in Building A, North we had just come from.
This main self serve food and drink area was busy, dirty with food scraps observed on the floor and rammed with people sitting on bench style seating right next door.
The entire lounge spans across one side of the terminal with Windows to most sides. It is large with numerous areas of seating. All seating areas looked very crowded with hardly any spare seats left. We decided to not bother with queuing for any food or drinks and made our way to the left side of the lounge to more seating areas.
One positive we noticed about this lounge was the facilities to take a shower with an assistant available to provide clean towels.
The main seating areas consist of comfortable armchairs, leather tub chairs and sofas. Round tables and side tables some with sidelamps.
There was another area to serve yourself coffee, teas and beverages with a selection of pastries, biscuits etc. One seating area was separated by a wall of wine bottles, very similar In design as the BA Business Class Galleries South Lounge at Gatwick airport - Review found here -
We made our way to the only available seating area consisting of armchairs and sofas next to the windows overlooking the runways. We literally had to walk to the end of the lounge to find seating space on a sofa for two people. That was an indication of how many people were actually in this lounge on a Wednesday afternoon and not during any school term holidays or peak season.
We observed during our visit what looked to be atleast 200 passengers in this lounge at that given time. Once seated with a cup of tea we were greeted by a friendly member of staff handing out free mini tubs of ice cream which was greatly accepted in the hot atmosphere. After our tea and ice cream we decided to make a retreat and find our last lounge located at Building B.
We hoped and prayed the last lounge would be the Saviour of the day and finally allow us some time to sit back and relax before our 10 hour flight. We made our way out of the lounge and asked directions from the Check in staff to the British airways lounge in building B.
British Airways Business Class Galleries Lounge Terminal 5 Building B, South Review
To locate this BA Lounge you have to take the transit one stop from building A to building B or you can walk less than 10 minutes in the underground walkway which spans between both buildings.
We decided to try out the transit on this occasion and once departed we took the elevators up to the first floor where we finally found our last BA Business class lounge of the day.
As we got to the top of the escalator we immediately noticed how quiet it was here. Where were all the other passengers gone we thought to ourselves?
It was so quiet in this lounge that the reception staff almost looked happy to see us.
Had we finally found our oasis of quiet and calm with a just a hint of luxury?
The British airways Business Class Lounge located at Building B is what as known as the "Quiet Lounge" to frequent travellers with BA.
As we entered the lounge we could literally count the amount of passengers on two hands. Everything looked clean, orderly with all food items well stocked.
Comfortable seating areas were readily available and the views over parked up planes such as the Iconic British Airways 747 Jumbo made our time extremely interesting here watching 747's taxing In and out. Unfortunatley, due to Coronavirus and cost cutting at BA, the 747 has now been retired, this would be the very last time we would ever see a British airways 747-400 ever again in service.
We walked up and down the food & drink area, hot & cold foods on offer such as Thai Green curry, meatballs in tomato sauce, potatoes, Indian starters, vegetables, chips and lots more. The cleanliness of the food areas were impeccable and we observed staff constantly cleaning and sweeping & replenishing food trays.
Grabbing a small plate of Thai curry & Indian Starters and a good cup of Union Roast coffee we explored the other seating areas.
Quickly spotting a relaxing space in the corner almost like a booth of two armchairs & side tables overlooking the runway, we finally got to sit down to relax.
Over to our right, we noticed a large separate drinks area with bottles of water / wines & a large selection of spirits on offer. We did notice that no Champagne was out on display unlike the Galleries lounge at Gatwick.
I asked a member of staff and was served two glasses of champagne, delivered to our seating area with a smile.
We really cannot say enough how pleasant this particular lounge is towards the other BA lounges in Building A.
We counted approximately 30 x passengers during our two hour stay here, it really is a secret lounge in our opinion.
Maybe BA passengers cannot be bothered to travel to a separate building to experience another lounge or simply at not aware of the quiet lounge. That's fine by us as this is our No.1 lounge of choice now out of Heathrow T5 and would prefer it to stay almost the secret lounge.
I headed out to explore other areas of the Building B, lounge and discovered a Business area consisting of PC's, printers and a large TV displaying World news.
Adjacent to the Business area another large seating area of sofas, armchairs and a very well stocked drinks area with a large stock of wines.
Even a separate area for kids to entertain themselves with game consoles, Televisions etc called the "Kids Zone". Designed to give parents and other passengers some peace & quiet.
Our Conclusions on the British Airways Business Class Lounge's at Heathrow Terminal 5
After enduring the pain of two overcrowded, dirty and unpleasant British airways Business Class lounges at Heathrow, Terminal 5 we finally found one lounge which served all our requirements.
All we ask for in a lounge is somewhere to sit in relative comfort and quiet. To relax and enjoy some nice Food and Drinks whilst awaiting our flight departure gate announcement.
Is this too much to ask of BA?
With Heathrow airport being BA's home hub we expected more from them to be honest. Maybe more staff and facilities in the other two lounges would make the experience better.
Maybe it's just the sheer amount of Business Class passengers flying out of Heathrow, T5 and two lounges being located in the same building leads to the oassenger overcrowding.
Building B, BA's Business Lounge in our opinion winds hands down of all the three lounges on offer in T5.
See our Review of our return journey in the Seychelles Business Class Lounge here - Mahe Airport Seychelles Business Lounge
In this lounge you can relax and take in all the wonderful views of the runway, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a good spirit or glass of Champagne or two before your flight.
Yes, Building B is not easy to find on foot, having to take the transit one stop maybe too much hassle for most passengers. But If you can be bothered to spend 5 minutes of your time to find a lounge which offers all you should receive before your flight we strongly recommend seeking out the British airways Business Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 5 located in Building B.