Dec092015

Review: British Airways LHR T5 Galleries First Lounge

Our trip to London for Thanksgiving week provided two opportunities to visit the British Airways London Heathrow Terminal 5 Galleries First Lounge. My September and October trips around Europe included several visits to the British Airways T5 North Galleries Club lounge.

Just like when flying, there are several different lounge classes at London Heathrow and you need the proper status or ticket type to access these lounges. British Airways LHR lounges.

British Airways LHR T5 lounge chart

Concorde Room is for passengers holding First Class tickets. Not mentioned on this chart (info is on webpage linked above) is the Terminal 5 Arrivals lounge. Arrivals Lounge is not accessible unless flying First Class or Club World ticket on international long-haul or hold British Airways Gold membership. Arrivals lounge is not open to Oneworld Alliance Emerald members, unless you hold a Club World or First ticket.

British Airways Galleries First Lounge

British Airways Galleries First Lounge is located in Terminal 5A South. Our flight from LHR to Stockholm departed from a gate directly below the BA Galleries First Lounge. Access is limited to passengers holding a First Class ticket or Oneworld Emerald members, which is the status I have as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum member.

BA LHRT5-1

Newspaper wall in British Airways LHR T5 Galleries First Lounge

Breakfast in British Airways First Lounge

During my last trip to London Heathrow Terminal 5 in October as a newly upgraded AAdvantage Executive Platinum, I spent time in the Galleries Club lounge at Terminal 5A North. This lounge was always crowded during my several visits and finding a seat was challenging at times. I stopped by the Galleries First Lounge before boarding my flight to San Francisco. There were two things about the lounge I quickly noticed:

  1. The food items were the same as in both lounges. The drink looked the same to me. At least there was no difference in canned beers.
  2. Galleries First lounge had less than half the seating occupied compared to the heavily crowded Galleries Club lounge.

This trip we were in the Galleries First lounge on two different mornings for breakfast. Finding a breakfast table was a challenge both times. We ended up sharing a table with a solo diner on our second trip when we had only about 20 minutes to eat before boarding our flight to San Francisco.

Galleries First lounge offers a menu selection for cooked to order dining, in addition to the buffet. Ordered meals include items like boiled eggs with toasted soldiers. I had to do a web search to learn toasted soldiers are pieces of sliced toast. Also on the breakfast menu were porridge, eggs benedict, eggs and Scottish kippers (fish), a breakfast sandwich and fried eggs.

BA First food-1    BA First food-2

British Airways galleries breakfast buffet

BA alcohol    BA wine

There are several areas in the lounge with alcohol. Procuring alcohol is much easier than accessing food during the times we were in the lounge. Like most of the lounge guests, we were not drinking alcohol before 7am in the morning and spent our time in lines for breakfast foods, coffee, juice and water.

My main complaint about the BA lounges is there are no bottled beers offered and no beer taps. All beer is in cans and minimal selection with Heineken and London Pride being the premier beers available.

Plenty of cookies and potato chips around the lounge.

BA First-3    BA First lounge-4

BA First lounge-5   BA First Lounge-8

BA First lounge-6    BA First lounge-7

There is a kids room with TV, computers and games near the food tables.

BA First Kidz-1    BA First Kidz-2

Overall, British Airways Terminal 5A Galleries First lounge is a comfortable place to hang out while waiting for a flight. The space is far less crowded than the Galleries Club lounges. I find their beer selection lacking and the absence of any bottles of beer a disappointment. Wine and spirits drinkers will probably find the selection adequate for most desires.

London for Thanksgiving

  1. Trip Report Monterey MRY–London LHR AAdvantage 20K economy award: Horizon Air segment MRY-LAX
  2. AA LAX Flagship Lounge Monterey MRY–London LHR trip report
  3. Remembering London
  4. IHG Rewards Club made Thanksgiving in London affordable
  5. Bed time at InterContinental London Park Lane
  6. Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park
  7. Holiday Inn Bloomsbury
  8. Holiday Inn London Heathrow T-5
  9. British Airways handbag only fares
  10. British Airways London Heathrow T-5 Galleries First Class Lounge

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Uh, both alcohol and food are far far better in First than Galleries–two champagne options in F, no sparkling in Galleries, Premium spirits (including Johnnie Walker Blue if you like that sort of thing), much better wines… Food options are also much more varied, not only including the made to order.

  2. Josh UK – all I know about the alcohol is the beer selection is the same in both lounges. I did not compare wine and spirits between lounges. My evaluation of the food options was based on walking from British Airways Club lounge where I ate lunch to the First lounge where I saw the exact same selections at lunch one day. I did not see the lunch menu that visit.

    Wembleygal – menu options at breakfast were the ones I listed. I never saw a dining menu in First Class outside of breakfast hours.

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