Review: British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London
After my brief visit to London, I enjoyed a lengthy visit to the British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge in Terminal 5 before my flight to Prague. I purposely arrived at the airport well in advance of my flight to take advantage of the lounge’s amenities.
This lounge is one of a handful of British Airways lounges in Terminal 5. After clearing Fast Track security, it appeared to be less busy than the British Airways Galleries North Club Lounge, located on the other end of the terminal.
Since I’d been to the North Lounge a few years ago, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to see how the South Lounge compares.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Access
After passing through security, a large screen gives you an idea of how busy each of the British Airways lounges is.
While the Club Lounge in the B gates area wasn’t busy at all, I didn’t feel like doing the walk to get there. Since the North Lounge was very busy, and I didn’t have access to the First Lounge, I decided to head to the South Lounge.
As the name would suggest, the British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge is located on the south end of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow. There are a number of signs throughout the concourse directing you to the lounge.
As you approach the southern end of the terminal, you’ll find another sign that directs you up a series of escalators or to some elevators.
The first level you reach is home to the British Airways First Lounge and the British Airways Concorde Room. Since I wasn’t flying in British Airways First Class this time, I could only walk by in envy of those who had access.
Another set of escalators brings you up to the top level of the terminal, where you’ll find the entrance to the Galleries South Club Lounge. In the landing at the top of the escalators, you’ll find a statue of a horse with a lampshade, as well as a model aircraft.
At the entrance, you can either scan your own boarding pass to confirm your access or visit a person in a cubicle.
I enjoyed access to the lounge as I was flying in Club Europe (i.e., business class). I had booked a ticket from London to Prague using British Airways Avios.
Passengers flying on a British Airways flight in First Class, Club World (international business class), or Club Europe (European business class) have access to this lounge. Anyone with British Airways Silver or Gold status can also enjoy access when travelling on a Oneworld flight.
Furthermore, passengers with Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status can also enjoy access when flying in any class of service. Passengers departing on a Oneworld-member flight in business class can also enjoy access to the British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge.
The lounge is open daily from 5am–10pm. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Seating
After scanning my boarding pass, I did a quick pass through the lounge to scope out the facilities. I was initially struck both by how large the lounge was, and by how busy it was.
There wasn’t a quiet area in the lounge, and it only got busier throughout my stay.
On the southernmost end of the lounge, there’s a large seating area with tarmac views. Most of the seats in this section are the same type of seats you’d find at most airport lounges, arranged in clusters of two or four.
In the middle of the lounge, you’ll find some high-top tables and tables with three chairs surrounding them. These are located near to the buffet area, and many people were dining here or using them to get some work done.
As you move north in the lounge, you’ll find a cluster of work stations. Next to these are some more comfortable lounge chairs, spaced with tables in between.
In the northeast corner of the lounge, there’s a quieter area with longer tables, benches, and armchairs. This part of the lounge was much less hectic than the other areas, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find a free seat.
In between the northeast seating area and the northern drinks and coffee station, there was a small, semi-enclosed TV room. In here were recliner chairs that mostly faced a TV quietly playing news.
On the other side of the TV room were some grey couches, which would be great for groups of four or more.
In the coffee station areas on the north and south ends of the lounge are clusters of coffee tables with two seats around each. I opted to sit in one of these as I enjoyed a cappuccino and got caught up on some emails.
Lastly, along the northern edge of the lounge were some stools along a slim table with a “view” of a wall. Of all the seating in the lounge, these appeared to be the least ideal, as they were always available.
If you’re in search of a specific type of seat, I’d recommend being ready to snag one as soon as it becomes available. The lounge had reached capacity by the time I left, and many passengers were swirling about looking for a comfortable place to stake their claim.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Dining
The main buffet area is located in the centre of the lounge, halfway between the northern and southern flanks. During my stay, the buffet was stocked with breakfast items.
I had a great experience with breakfast at the Galleries North Club Lounge a few years ago, so I was hoping that this breakfast experience would live up to those memories.
In the hot food area, there were elements of a full English breakfast available, including back bacon, sausages, baked beans, and fried eggs.
Close to here was a pile of pastries, including croissants and pain au chocolat. Next to the pastries were a number of breakfast cereals.
The cold buffet area featured some bowls of fresh fruit and yogurt.
Lastly, there were some fresh buns, cheese, and cold cuts located in another cold buffet.
I helped myself to some hot food, a smoothie, and a cappuccino. While it didn’t live up to my lofty expectations, it hit the spot, and I was pleased with my meal.
There are a few coffee and tea stations scattered throughout the lounge. The one in the middle of the lounge, close to the bar area, always seemed to have a line, but the stations at either end of the lounge were less busy.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Bar
Rather than having one centralized bar, there are a number of self-serve bar areas in every part of the lounge. Despite being still very much the morning, all bar areas were stocked with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
There are also a handful of water taps throughout the lounge, offering still and sparkling water.
In the centre of the lounge, close to the buffet, you’ll find an area stocked with what I assume are nicer wines. There are glass displays with wine bottles close to here, and I found it to be quite an inviting area.
In the other self-serve bar areas, you’ll find a selection of liquor, wine, beer, and soft drinks.
Should you wish to enjoy a glass of wine, I noticed a few people struggling with the bottles that were in racks. The bottles don’t need to be removed from the racks, but rather poured using the rack as a handle.
These self-serve bar areas are scattered throughout the lounge, so you’ll never be far away from a hot or cold drink.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Showers
The British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge shares shower access with the rest of the lounges in the area. The showers are located next to the entrance to the Concorde Room, so you’ll have to go down the escalators to use them.
You’ll need to reserve a shower room before you head down. At each seat and table, you’ll find a QR code, which you need to scan to bring up the menu.
When the lounge is busy, you’ll likely need to keep checking for availability. Indeed, when I first went to reserve a shower, there were none available.
Sure enough, a little while later I was able to secure a shower. The shower is reserved under your name for 10 minutes, so you can wrap up whatever you’re doing before heading down.
At the entrance, the attendant will confirm your name and give you the number of a shower room that’s available.
The shower rooms are relatively compact, but have everything you might expect: a shower, toilet, sink, hair dryer, towels, and amenities.
One feature that I found amusing was that I could choose from a few different music stations and adjust the volume, too.
Travel days usually mean a lot of hustle and bustle before getting to your flight. Having a shower right before I board is one of my favourite things to do, and I felt very refreshed and relaxed as I left the shower area to board my short flight to Prague.
British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge London – Other Facilities
I should note that there is a kids play area located next to the coffee station in the north arm of the lounge. It was always full of children, and the surrounding area was quite busy, so I didn’t quite feel comfortable snapping any pictures.
To access the lounge’s Wi-Fi, you’ll need to enter a passcode that changes every day. It’s displayed on screens throughout the lounge, and you can also ask the entry attendants or any other lounge staff if you’re having troubles locating it.
I spent a few hours in the British Airways Galleries South Club Lounge before my flight, and I found it to be a well-equipped, spacious lounge. It was particularly busy during my visit, which made it difficult to find a good seat, but I was still able to relax, eat, get some work done, and shower before my flight.
If you’re booking a British Airways flight from London with Avios, I’d highly recommend paying the extra points for a Club Europe ticket so you can enjoy access to the British Airways lounges. In my opinion, it’s well worth the extra cost in points, given that Terminal 5 is such a busy place otherwise.
Next time I visit Terminal 5, I hope to be departing in British Airways First Class, so I can get a taste of what the Concorde Room is all about.