Priority Pass and similar schemes which enable you to buy into club lounges do not work in Terminal 5. Terminal 5 deals exclusively with British Airways flights, and the only way you can gain access to the club lounges in London Heathrow Terminal 5 is by buying or upgrading your ticket to Club Europe, Club World or First Class or being a silver or gold tier member of the British Airways airmile club. First class tickets (or gold tier membership with a Concorde room card or gold tier and flying long-haul) will whisk you into the Narnia that is the Concorde Club Lounge, complete with crackling fireplaces and elitist service. If you are traveling within Europe, the only lounge you can access with your ticket (or as a silver tier member) are the British Airways Galleries Club Lounges. This review is of the Galleries North Lounge. You can instead choose the Galleries South Lounge.
My latest trip through this lounge was around 11:00 am. My general thoughts were that it was larger and busier than I remembered. If you walk down to the end and turn left, or as I prefer, head right out through the double doors and out into the more airy outer atrium, you can find a quieter space with room to breathe. I have to say, when compared to the No.1 lounge in the North Terminal at Gatwick, this lounge doesn’t impress. I like the design – large and airy with excellent views of planes on two sides and plenty of sitting areas, but it’s always full and so very busy that I find it as stressful as sitting in the standard waiting areas. Add to this, the staff seem overrun, and all the available tables still tend to need clearing – this visit, I sat for 10 minutes before giving up and clearing my own table of my predecessor’s drinks, plates, and crumbs. Very McDonald’s?!
The breakfast food offering is extensive, with loads of pastries, cereals, fruit, yogurt. It is replenished regularly but on a self-service layout which limits the hygiene on a winter’s day when everyone seems to be coughing with a cold. I prefer sealed foods in this kind of environment, and the only sealed food that I could find on this visit was Kettle chips. There are two main help yourself bars (people were helping themselves to wines and spirits at 11:00 am – they clearly have more stressful lives than me), with every liqueur you could think of plus snacky nut things and mini cans of coke, sprite, etc. Also on offer are Newspapers in a variety of languages. From the UK, they have every paper except the Telegraph, plus some business skewed magazines.
Is the Club lounge worth paying extra for? For me, no. Is Club Europe worth paying for? Read our thoughts here.
I don’t feel the club lounge is worth paying for in Heathrow Terminal 5. I do absolutely recommend club lounges to de-stress, but I honestly found this lounge as stressful as not having it. The food is OK, but my salad was nicer on the flight itself, and because I am equally happy with a sealed sandwich, I don’t make proper use of the free bar or the food offerings. So for this luxury traveler, the lounge really doesn’t offer value. Next time I’m in terminal 5, I shall find the nicest restaurant and park myself there instead.
British Airways features in our top Business Class Airlines and we compare British Airways Club World vs. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class including the Galleries Lounges vs. Virgin’s Clubhouses.