Best of BA (at LHR): A Review of British Airways’ Galleries Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
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To The Point
This was the last on my list of Galleries Lounges in Heathrow, so I already had my expectations, but this was actually better than I’d thought. Pros: Great layout, plenty of food and drink and it wasn’t too busy. Cons: Pretty poor Wi-Fi, no slots available for a spa treatment.
Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is British Airways’ global hub and handles the majority of the airline’s flights. Due to capacity and scheduling factors, though, there is also a mixture of short- and long-haul flights which operate out of Terminal 3.
The chosen destinations are Accra (ACC), Barcelona (BCN), Bilbao (BIO), Budapest (BUD), Cape Town (CPT), Crete (CHQ), Denver (DEN), Gibraltar (GIB), Helsinki (HEL), Las Vegas (LAS), Lisbon (LIS), Luxembourg (LUX), Lyon (LYS), Marseille (MRS), Miami (MIA), Nairobi (NBO), Phoenix (PHX), Prague (PRG), Pula (PUY), Vancouver (YVR) and Vienna (VIE).
This meant another British Airways Galleries lounge to review. As I’d never been to it before, I was intrigued to know if it would be any different to the Galleries lounges in T5.
As with the Galleries North, Galleries South and Galleries B gates lounges in Terminal 5, access is granted if you are traveling in first class or business class on British Airways or any other Oneworld member airline, if you’re a Oneworld Sapphire (British Airways Silver) elite member or higher, traveling in any class on a British Airways or Oneworld airline.
The lounge is open from 5am until 10:30pm.
Directions to lounges were clearly advertised from the entrance of the main departure hall of the terminal. The BA Galleries lounge was in Zone F, just a short walk from the main shopping and food area.
The space was split into three main areas: the Galleries First lounge, Galleries business-class Lounge and the Elemis Spa.
There was also a separate shower area where you can book yourself a slot. I’ve never had to wait for a shower before, so you probably won’t even need to book.
The cloakroom and luggage storage was just to the right as I walked in the lounge.
Once I had my boarding pass scanned at reception, I made my way down a short corridor, past the customer services desk and into the main part of the lounge. The British Airways staff at the reception desk were in great spirits and more than happy to answer the various questions I had about the lounge. In general, I found the lounge was in pretty good condition, especially in comparison to its sister lounges over in Terminal 5. Most importantly, the food service and dining area were spotless!
The first area I came to was the main buffet and dining area. I liked that this was completely separate to the main seating and relaxation areas — it has a more of a proper dining-area feel to it than some of the other Galleries lounges.
On one side of the next section of the lounge, there was a pretty big business area with plenty of computers as well as printing and scanning.
The other side was my favourite part of the lounge: a bar-style seating area facing right onto the tarmac and one of Heathrow’s runways. Coincidentally, it was also where the Union Hand-Roasted Coffee station was, and if you’ve read my other BA Lounge reviews, you’ll know this coffee is better than you’ll find in most lounges!
The last area was the main seating and relaxation area. There were lots of comfy armchairs, tables and sofas. The main self-service bar and drinks area were also here.
Charging outlets were readily available throughout the lounge, including ports for UK, US and European plugs, as well as USBs.
On leaving the lounge, there was a friendly “Cheerio!” and directions to my gate — a nice little touch.
There was a wide variety of reading material available to suit most tastes. The TV screens were a little redundant, as there was nothing displayed on either of them.
The washrooms were in British Airways’ usual lounge style — individual rooms with shaving power outlets and plenty of space. There was also a regular bathroom for men.
Spa treatments were available for those eligible, and the rather particular eligibility list was on display at the desk. If spa treatments are your thing and you’re traveling in First, I recommend booking this in advance, as finding an available slot before your departure is notoriously difficult.
Wi-Fi speeds in this lounge were average if not pretty poor, hovering at around 3 Mbps for downloads and just under 1 Mbps for uploads.
Food and Beverage
I’ve become quite accustomed to the food in BA’s Galleries lounges and, to be honest, I do quite like it. It’s proper hearty, filling, tasty food. The selection is pretty much exactly the same across the company’s four business-class lounges in Heathrow, and, as usual, Terminal 3’s version didn’t let me down. There was something for everyone: chilli meatballs, chicken cassoulet, veg, sandwiches, quiche, pastries, the list goes on. The food looked fresh and smelled great when I was walking past.
The drinks selection was also far from disappointing. Whatever your tipple, you should probably be able to find it here. Beer drinkers might feel a little hard done by, as there was only one lager and pale ale, but that’s more of an observation rather than a complaint.
I think this might be my favourite BA Galleries Lounge. The only problem is, it’s in Terminal 3, where there is some serious competition from other Oneworld lounges. It’s definitely a great space to spend time in before a flight, and it certainly feels less worn and crowded and more like a business-class lounge than its Terminal 5 cousins, but would this be my choice of lounge when traveling through Terminal 3? Almost definitely not.
All photos by the author.
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