Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport
Last Visit: 20 March 2022 approx. 2pm to 2:30pm
This is my review of British Airways Galleries South Lounge at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.
Galleries South is the original Business Class Lounge, with BA having opened a Galleries North in recent times.
Business Class passengers or Silver Members of British Airways can access the lounge – as well as Sapphire or Emerald members of OneWorld – and of course Gold Members if you don’t fancy the First Lounge.
The lounge is open daily between 05:00 and 22:00.
How to Get There
Well this is the tricky bit!
Assuming you’ve come out of Security, take the nearest escalator down to Departures.
From there, walk to the South end of the Terminal, heading towards Gates A18 to A23.
After you’ve passed Louis Vuitton (on the left) and Burberry (on the right) you’ll see some escalators – just behind the Fortnum & Mason champagne bar.
Head up those those escalators and when you get to the top you’ll need to go right, and to up to another level.
When you’re at the top of the level you’ll see an entrance like the picture below.
I did warn you it wasn’t the easiest to find! I will take more pictures next time of how to get there and update!
As you enter the lounge you have two ‘sides’, left and right.
Generally, I send to sit on the ‘right’ hand side as I tend to find more seating available.
On the left hand side you have some dining seating, BA customer services, views over the Southern runway, a central wine and champagne bar, some help-yourself drinks stations, and a children’s play area.
On the right hand side you have some more dining areas, a lounge/theatre, some high-stools, some views over the terminal, and more self-service coffee and drinks stations.
I’d visited the North Galleries Lounge prior, and it was absolutely rammed to the extent I couldn’t find a seat.
On the two times I visited the South Galleries Lounge it was equally as busy – 9am on a Wednesday and 2pm on a Sunday, however I was able to find a seat. Quite why this was, I am not sure – but generally speaking, I prefer the First Lounge, as it is a lot quieter.
Food and Drink
What is happening post-Covid in the BA lounges seems to be a little bit of a mystery! Prior to Covid19, all food was self-service in the Galleries Lounges.
Attending at 9:30 on a Wednesday, breakfast was part QR-code ordered and part self-service. All the cooked items were QR-coded and delivered to you – there were self-service pastries and fruit for the rest.
As I always say, I don’t ‘do’ breakfast, but it seems to me the items on the menu are fair – but not quite as extensive as the Galleries First – but that’s to be expected.
Lunch & Dinner
I wasn’t quite sure what was happening with the food today. My prior visits to the Galleries lounges have had food ordered via a QR Code, however today was a paper menu and a served station.
One thing I did learn from my visit between North and South on this day was that the food menu is the same! Seemingly, lunch and dinner is the same menu – I guess because unless you do the crazy trips/layovers I do, you’re unlikely to be having both!
The food menu had similar items to Galleries First (ie the Garlic and Pepper Chicken), and I was pretty impressed at the range of food available.
Drinks are back to the ‘old way’ pre-Covid.
There are self-serve fridges stocked with soft drinks.
There is self-serve soft and beers/wines/spirits on other self-serve stations, along with pretzels and nuts.
Alternatively there are self-serve coffee stations, which have jars of biscuits.
I actually think the selection of food and drinks is very good. Certainly the drinks are excellent. The only thing I would like to see differently is perhaps some self-service snacks post-breakfast!
As always, the BA lounge wifi was strong and stable, that’s of course once you’ve found the cards placed around the room!
Showers for Galleries South are actually shared with the ‘BA wing’, which means that they are the same as the access to the First Lounge.
These are now booked via QR code. On Wednesday at 9:30 there was a shower free, at 13:40 on a Sunday there wasn’t! I don’t get the impression First Lounge bookings trump Business Lounge either!
Unlike for example, those at Miami – the BA showers feel a bit clinical and hospital like. Not quite ‘luxury’ standard, no no Dyson hairdryer to be found!
This is a huge lounge, and it can be VERY busy – particularly early in the morning when the flights to the US leave. However there seems to be more chance of getting a seat in this Lounge than the North Lounge at busy times!
The only drawback is that it’s a bit of a pain to get to – and it does get so busy! However, compared to the North Lounge (which felt over-crowded) this lounge felt ‘very busy’ – but definitely not overcrowded.
Other than that, I think the self-service drinks are actually excellent – and the food for a Business Class lounge is also pretty good!