British Airways Galleries First Lounge London-Heathrow – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 17 April 2013
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Champagne Bar, BA Galleries First Lounge in T3

Champagne Bar, BA Galleries First Lounge in T3

British Airways, in addition to its mammoth presence at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, also operates flights out of Terminal 3.  Indeed, Terminal 3 is the second busiest terminal at Heathrow, having handled 19.4 million passengers on 104,100 flights in 2011 compared to Terminal 5’s 26.3 million and 184,616 flights.

In addition to BA’s flights out of T3, other oneworld carriers, including BA’s joint-venture partner American Airlines, operate out of the terminal, as do several Star Alliance carriers and some non-aligned airlines.

The history of T3 itself is quite interesting. It opened in 1961 as the Oceanic Terminal and despite its number, was the second terminal to open at the airport (Terminal 2 was the first terminal, having opened as the Europa Building in 1955).

Newspaper and magazine selection

Newspaper and magazine selection

Once the new Terminal 2 reopens in 2014, Terminal 3 will be Heathrow’s home for oneworld carriers (including some British Airways flights, although the vast majority of BA’s operations will continue to be out of T5) as well as for Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul flights and some non-aligned airlines.

Terminal 3 has numerous airline lounges, including British Airways’ Galleries Club lounge for passengers flying in business class or who are Executive Club Gold and Silver members (or the oneworld equivalent) and the Galleries First lounge for those flying in first or who are Executive Club Gold (or equivalent) members.

On a recent trip, I stopped in the Galleries First lounge before my mid-morning flight to New York on American Airlines.


Coffee House selections

Coffee House selections

If you’re not a regular at Heathrow, you may not spot the lounges straight away.  Both BA lounges are in Lounge Area F, not far from the terminal’s other lounges, and are accessible by walking through the somewhat endless duty free shopping area.

If you go far enough, you’ll see a sign that says Airline Lounges.  Go down a rather plain corridor and you’ll find yourself in front of the BA lounges’ entrance.  The first-class lounge is to the left, and two staffers are stationed there, toll-booth style, to check credentials.

I apparently was the only first-class passenger they had seen in a while and was warmly greeted by the gentleman checking me in who also gave me the password for Wi-Fi without my having to ask.

Click here to continue to Page 2Gold Bar, Champagne Bar, Wine Gallery, and First Dining Room

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