Introduction: Home QSuite Home
Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
The Sad State of Transit at Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam
Hilton The Hague Family Suite
The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room
British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Airport
Qatar Airways 777 Old Business Class Brussels to Doha
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Hong Kong
We had arranged an airport transfer, and made it to Brussels Airport at around 1:45 PM. We first needed to run some of our items through tax-free, though unfortunately we had to deal with some condescending people at the tax refund counter. This isn’t a fault of Brussels Airport and rather is just a result of lower-class EU culture, since I’ve heard horror stories in multiple places across the EU from people of almost every race; the bottom line is that you need to keep your mouth shut and lay all your goods in front of the tax refund counter like a buffet.
Apart from the tragic state of what tax refund officers have become, Brussels Airport was quite pleasant otherwise, and we were checked in all the way back to Hong Kong (though they had a hiccup during check-in, as we were holding Hong Kong passports and the system indicated we were Chinese, and they needed to confirm that Hong Kong was indeed part of China – how ironic, given the situation here). I found the airport to be quite efficient, and the staff were also much friendlier than I’ve experienced at other European airports. We were also able to go through fast-track security, so we took advantage of that, and were through in less than 10 minutes.
Afterwards we headed towards the British Airways Galleries lounge, which was located by the B gates shortly after immigration. The lounge is located a level above the main terminal, so I found the curved stairs that headed up towards a variety of lounges.
On the way I even had a good view of our 777, which would be taking us to Doha, pulling into its gate.
Brussels Airlines’ beautiful The Loft lounge is also located in this area, though as part of oneworld, Qatar Airways uses the British Airways lounge. The British Airways lounge was located near the middle of the hallway (with The Loft on the very end), and is available to oneworld premium cabin fliers, Executive Club Gold and Silver members, oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members, Aer Lingus business class passengers, and Delta business class passengers.
I was promptly admitted into the lounge, and walked in to find a large airy room with a lot of natural light, which featured a variety of comfortable seating. There were armchairs, chairs surrounding desks, as well as a sofa on the side, where I ended up settling down.
While I normally complain about low tables, this wasn’t an issue here, as there was communal seating with “standard” height tables.
Near the end of the lounge was a business center equipped with some PCs.
While I liked the abundance of natural light, unfortunately the views of the tarmac were obstructed by an emergency exit balcony of sorts. In an ideal world this patio area would be open to plane-savvy passengers, though that was a little bit of wishful thinking…
Despite that, I quite liked the lounge. While I thought some of the seating was slightly worn and dated (and the finishes teetered on grandma-esque), I was a fan of the variety of seating and the airy feel provided by an abundance of natural light. This isn’t anywhere one of the best airline lounges out there, though for an outstation (and especially for a Galleries lounge – compared to the one that used to be at Munich Airport – thankfully, that one’s been closed since) I thought this was pretty good in comparison.
The food spread was quite limited, though there were a couple of hot food options. I’m as surprised as you are to report that the hot food options were delicious. The rice dish (I can’t quite remember what it was – a pilaf of sorts?) wasn’t anything worth coming to the airport early for, though it certainly was more flavourful than your average airline lounge dish.
There was some hard liquor available, though for my last few hours in Belgium I was more interested in the various beers on offer. Apart from Guinness, Stella Artois, Leffe and a couple of other local beers, there was also a fruit sour, which I was excited to try.
The fruit sour was refreshing, and although slightly Fanta-like, it was exactly what I needed after an infuriating tax refund process.
WiFi at the lounge was quite fast, and hassle-free. While not proactive by any means, all the people I interacted with at the lounge were friendly as well. As our departure time neared the lounge got slightly busier (I was the only person in the lounge for a while), though it never filled up to a point where it got uncomfortable.
While I was still working, boarding was called at 4:15 PM, a full hour before departure. I initially figured that they were just getting ready to board soon, though I wanted to get pictures onboard the Qatar Airways plane, as it would be my first time in their non-QSuites 777 configuration. As a result, I decided to leave the lounge and head towards the gate, passing a great view of a Ryanair 737, Corendon 737, Turkish Airlines A321 and Emirates 777 (which sported Emirates’ brand new interiors, including their famous new first class suite).
When I reached gate B29 at 4:20 PM, boarding was already underway. In fairness, I should’ve done my research, as Brussels Airport is notorious for boarding aircraft ahead of time.
Bottom Line: British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels
With the bad name normally attached to Galleries lounges, I was surprised by how nice this one was. While no flagship lounge, the Galleries lounge featured abundant natural light, good WiFi, good food and beverages, and a variety of seating, which is more than what you can ask for in a contract lounge. It was also of a decent size, which I appreciated.
I know that British Airways is revamping their lounges to go for more of an upmarket feel, though in my understanding they haven’t done that to this particular lounge yet – based on my experience at this lounge, they have bigger priorities (like their BALPA union strike – yikes!).
Have you been as impressed by a British Airways Galleries lounge before? Where is your favourite British Airways Galleries lounge?