I never much cared for the British Airways Galleries South Lounge at LHR in the past, but it proved to be an ideal venue to efficiently feed my family ahead of our late evening flight to Switzerland.
British Airways Galleries South Lounge Review (LHR)
Our flight to Basel was not until 8:05 pm and with uncertainty over traffic, we arrived at Heathrow around 6:45 pm. That did not give us a lot of time once we cleared security, but I was determined to get my kids fed since the flight would only offer a light salad onboard and would not arrive until 10:45 pm.
I no longer have oneworld status, but we were booked in business class and thus had access to the lounge, which is open daily from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm (not 24/7, like Google says).
The seating and other amenities I outlined in my original review have not changed, so I will focus on the food. In fact, the food has not changed much either, but we were able to enjoy a satisfying dinner before the flight, which helped to justify spending the extra points for business class.
The QR codes with a la carte ordering are gone: the buffet is back and frankly it too looks quite similar to the way it did before the pandemic (with the curry smells overwhelming all the other dishes and wafting through the lounge).
But we enjoyed a nice salad with beets and red cabbage, a pot pie, and some carrot ginger soup (the breaded fish was not great at all).
That was it: by the time we had gone through security, walked to the lounge, walked upstairs, and eaten, boarding had begun for our flight.
Augustine, who wants to take a more active role in this blog, has started documenting this travels as well…
So is this a leading lounge of the world? No way. But it worked well for my family on this trip.
My original review, first published on February 19, 2019, is below.
British Airways’ Galleries Lounge South in Heathrow Terminal 5 has one thing going for it. It’s certainly better than the gate area…
The Galleries lounge is the “base” lounge reserved for business class passengers or oneworld Sapphire members. Oneworld Emerald members can use the Galleries First lounge one floor below. British Airways Executive Club Silver Members also have access.
It’s easiest to follow the signs to the Galleries Lounge South then take the evaluator up. If you take the escalator, you’ll come to a Mezzanine level and will need to walk past the Elemis Spa and Concorde Room before taking another escalator up to the Galleries Lounge.
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Food
Let’s start with chow, since the lounge has plenty of food to keep your stomach full. Just past the entrance is a buffet with hot items like chili, meatballs, pasta, soup, and curry, a salad bar, sandwiches, and sweets.
I have visited this lounge many times over the years, but never had any food here. It’s not because I think the food is bad, I just have always chosen to eat onboard or came from a flight in which I just ate onboard. So your thoughts in the comments section below on the quality of the food would strengthen this review.
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Drinks
Drinks are free-flowing and self-service. Several bars are positioned around the lounge offering a wide assortment of wines and hard liquor. Maybe I missed it, but I did not see any beer.
Of course soft drinks, juices, and water are available as well. There are also several coffee stations with Union coffee around the lounge. I personally do not find the coffee machines all that great….stick to just “regular” coffee or “espresso” rather than a cappuccino or latte. Trust me…
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Flight Help
If you need help rebooking a flight or perhaps processing an upgrade, there is a service desk just to the left of the where you enter the lounge.
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Restrooms + Showers
Restrooms and showers are available, though expect a wait for the showers. The restrooms are private, which I like, but really feel like you are on a cheap cruise ship. They are also not well-maintained: there was paper towels and toilet paper on the floor when I went in. I did appreciate the Elemis soap.
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Business Center + Wi-Fi
In the far corner of the lounge is a little business center with computers and workplaces. On the other side of the lounge, closer to the center, is a copy machine / printer that can be accessed over the wi-fi network. Speaking of Wi-Fi, internet worked, albeit at slow (10Mbpsxc up / 2-3 down) speeds.
British Airways Galleries Lounge South Crowding
I complained about this lounge in a recent post because it was so crowded. The reason it doesn’t appear quite so crowded in my report is because I spent over an hour waiting for “breaks” in the crowd in order to take my pictures.
The fundamental problem of this lounge is the lack of seating with power ports. There is simply no excuse in 2019, when BA’s shorthaul aircraft still lack in-seat power, not to have sufficient power outlets for nearly every guest in the lounge.
So while at many airports I would just prefer to skip the lounge altogether, the gate areas in Heathrow are even worse. This lounge is better than fighting for power and seating outside the lounge.
I’m not being facetious when I say this lounge is to be avoided, but still represents a refuge over the rest of Terminal 5 at LHR. Overcrowding and lack of power outlets are a huge issue, but like the rest of London, this lounge finds a way to groan on.