a large room with many people sitting and plants

Review: British Airways North Galleries Lounge, Terminal 5 (LHR)

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Review Overview

A decent place to kill some time, but I can't give it too much credit since it's not a great hub lounge


Yesterday I flew from London to Barcelona with British Airways, during of which I checked out a new lounge at Heathrow Airport. I realised I haven’t actually reviewed any of Heathrow Airport’s British Airways lounges, albeit having been twice. It is because none of the lounges are (literally) anything to write home about, though I thought it was time to review them anyway.

Here’s a review of British Airways’ North Galleries lounge, featured right by the North Security hall by Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and accessible to all Oneworld premium passengers and elite status holders.

British Airways Galleries Lounges Heathrow T5 Access and Opening Hours

The Galleries lounges are open daily from 5 AM to 10:30 PM. Access is open to the following members:

  • Club World or Club Europe passengers (First passengers can use the Concorde Room)
  • Other Oneworld passengers (this will typically just include Iberia business class passengers, since all other Oneworld airlines fly out of Terminal 3)
  • Executive Club Gold or Silver members, plus one guest
  • Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire members, plus one guest

British Airways North Galleries Lounges Location

The British Airways North Galleries lounge is accessible just outside of the exit from the security hall, on the same level.

a glass doors leading to a building
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Entrance

I scanned my boarding pass at a digital kiosk and was promptly let in. Oh, did I mention that British Airways’ boarding passes at Heathrow feel like they’ve been printed at a secondary school?

British Airways North Galleries Lounge Seating and Atmosphere

I was travelling during one of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5’s strike days. My expectation was that there’d be reduced traffic since everyone would be rushing to catch their flight, though that wasn’t the case. The lounge was packed, not so much that you couldn’t get a seat, though enough so that it didn’t feel less crowded than the terminal.

a large room with people sitting at tables and a bar
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5

The lounge itself is a long room with a few partitions, and features a healthy variety of seating, ranging from different types of armchairs to bar seating. I enjoyed that a decent amount of seating had access to tables appropriately sized for working, including the bar tables and the few round tables surrounded by armchairs.

a group of people in a building a group of people sitting in chairs in a lounge area a group of people sitting at a bar
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Seating

There’s also an area that is exposed to the rest of the terminal, which I preferred, since there were some exciting tarmac views.

a large room with many people sitting and plants
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Seating

I definitely most enjoyed the direct runway views over 09L, where I was able to see the morning rush of arrivals (many of which were arriving widebodies from transatlantic flights) land into Heathrow Airport.

a plane taking off from an airport a large white airplane taking off
Runway Views from British Airways North Galleries Lounge

a plane taking off from a runway
When you realise the arrivals lounge premium passengers on this Virgin Atlantic A350 are headed to is better than the departures lounge you’re in

There are definitely more exciting lounge spaces out there – I’d definitely rate this “below average” for a hub lounge, though I did like the amount of natural light. British Airways’ two other lounges in the terminal have very similar seating layouts.

British Airways North Galleries Lounge Food and Beverages Selection

Breakfast was served during my time at the lounge, and I’m happy to report that the spread itself was fairly high quality. It featured a full English spread, cereal, porridge, and yoghurt with fruit, all of which tasted fresh (the food was on the hot side, the fruit was fresh, the hash browns and tater tots were crispy, the eggs were well done, etc.).

a buffet line with bowls of fruit a trays of food on a table a display case with bottles and glasses a pot of food on a table
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Food Selection

While there wasn’t any barista coffee, the coffee machines were also of a higher quality than you’d typically find, and I enjoyed an espresso before my (not very early) morning flight.

a coffee machine with white cups and plates
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Coffee

British Airways also seems to know their culture well, as there was plenty of prosecco and wine – there were even liquor stations dotted throughout the lounge (I mean this as a genuine positive, not a “tongue in cheek” compliment). The prosecco area was even Bottega branded, with all the bottles featuring from there. I’ve never seen as many people day drinking in a lounge at 9 AM in the morning as I did here.

a row of bottles in a row
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Prosecco

This is a far cry from some other offerings even at Heathrow Airport – there’s no a la carte dining, a cooked-to-order food or drinks bar, barista coffee, or any investment beyond the bare minimum. However, I’d at least say that the food and drinks were well executed – the spread food was good, and the coffee from the machine was definitely above average.

British Airways North Galleries Lounge Play Area

In terms of other facilities at the lounge, there’s a play area for kids at the far end of the lounge.

a room with a wall mural of cars and chairs
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Play Area

British Airways North Galleries Lounge Shower

I wasn’t in need of a shower before a short flight to Barcelona, though still decided to quickly checkout a shower room. British Airways’ shower rooms are sterile as ever, though they’re functional, and feature Elemis toiletries. One was readily available when I asked, though I did have to book the room using a QR code, as opposed to just informing the shower attendant.

a bathroom with a shower and a sink a couple of blue bottles with white text on them
British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5 Shower Room

To be fair, I’d take immediate access to a hospital-like shower room over a nicer shower room that I’d need to wait an hour to access.

British Airways North Galleries Lounge WiFi

WiFi was available, and was definitely of usable quality, measuring 27.50 Mbps down and 3.38 Mbps up. I spent my time at the lounge catching up on some work before my flight to Barcelona.

Conclusion: British Airways North Galleries Lounge Heathrow T5

This is one of British Airways’ three Galleries lounges at Heathrow Airport T5, and is no exception to the lounges’ overall “middling” grade. There’s nothing here to differentiate British Airways’ ground experience from if you were departing from an outstation. However, I did think that what they did offer was well executed, from a solid food selection, to workable seating, to an easily accessible shower room.

British Airways’ lounge offerings pale in comparison to some of their Oneworld partners’ offerings at Terminal 3, including the Cathay Pacific and Qantas lounges. British Airways’ main competitor, Virgin Atlantic, also features an exponentially better lounge offering at Heathrow Airport. That being said, I think they can get away with it, given the massive share of demand they can already capture out of Heathrow Airport. An investment in the premium cabin ground experience wouldn’t necessarily draw a significant number of passengers to British Airways, so they’ve chosen not to make that investment – I respect that.

If you find yourself departing out of Heathrow T5 and have British Airways lounge access, I’d probably use the Galleries lounge by the B gates, especially if I’m flying out of there or the Satellite (C) concourse.

Read more from this trip:

What do you think of British Airways’ lounges at Heathrow Airport?

1 comment

  1. This lounge never made sense to me. As you said, the other Galleries lounge in the terminal is significantly better (and has the exact same access requirements). However this lounge is always packed to the gills because it’s easier to find, and the uninformed mindlessly walk in. This is a lounge for suckers.

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