Now official, with pictures – ‘The First Wing’ comes to Terminal 5 in April

Some good news from British Airways for a change.  Yesterday, the company officially announced the new First Class, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald access route at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Click to enlarge the images.

The First Wing Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways

‘The First Wing’ is being built in the area behind the current First Class check in area.  It will create a dedicated walkway from check-in to the lounges.

The First Wing Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways

This will include a larger private check-in area and two dedicated security lanes.

Once you have passed through security, you will have immediate access to the Galleries First lounge or The Concorde Room without having to weave your way past Harrods, down the escalators, past all the shops and back up the escalators …..

The First Wing Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways

It isn’t entirely clear what will change to make way for this.  There was talk of the Galleries First business centre and champagne bar disappearing but that is definitely not certain.

The First Wing is due to open in April 2017.

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  1. It’s almost worth attaining Gold just to avoid walking past all the shops.

    Left LHR via T3 last week. I don’t think the staff like me when I tell everyone to follow me through a short cut via the booze and perfumes that gets me out within less than 60 seconds, instead of following their forced traffic flow route via all the over priced junk they sell there.

    • I don’t think the staff remotely care. And I hope by “everyone” you just mean the people you’re travelling with – a stranger beckoning people to follow them into the store would be a bit creepy!

    • Now, if you could find me a route to avoid the tat at Edinburgh, I’d be very impressed.

  2. Great news, now if only they could do up the lounges and improved the food.

  3. I am flying out of T5 in First on 1 June 17 so it will definitely be delayed!

  4. Chris jones says:

    Raffles I’ve seen other drawing that show a single shop in the wing section. A M&S shop for you first class Bring on Board!

  5. Whilst I’m sure it will be nice it wasn’t much of a hardship turning right after security.
    We have a flight in April so it would be nice if it was finished on time, which would be a First 😉

  6. Typical BA. Cover up the bad news from Sunday with a speculative story offering jam tomorrow…….but it will be M&S jam…….

    What next a new seat in Club……in 2025?

  7. andset1191 says:

    I don’t think anyone official has ever mentioned the champagne bar and business centre in Galleries First being the entrance point.

    Instead it would be at the Gold Bar, which is the far right side of the lounge as you walk in (where there’s a TV on the wall and a corridor coming out of).

    • That would be OK – it would be a shame to lose the business centre and champagne bar as they tend to be the quietest parts of the lounge and handy if busy elsewhere!

  8. Some good BA news for once. Hope it’s finished on time as I’m off to BOS in F next April.

  9. O/T Raffles one for Aniko?

    Here’s your excuse to use the 150 points offer on giftcards @ Tesco possibly for the last time – combine with your 2 point Amex Diamond Club card also possibly for the last time? Argos are running 3 for the price of 2 on Toys starting tomorrow for a week – in itself a great deal but when you add in the Tesco/ Amex points, a killer deal. £50 Argos cards in Tesco = 150 Tesco points = 360 MR points plus in my case 100 Amex MR points = total 460 Avios.

    Call that £4.60 so if you buy (say) 3 toys @ £33.33, you’ll pay £66.66 and effectively get a 38% discount.

  10. I’m not sure 2 dedicated security lanes is enough.

    The 2 existing T5 Fastrack lanes that end of the terminal always seem busy and slow, so a bit disappointing they didn’t take the opportunity to improve that by increasing number of lanes. It’s not impossible to get right: a quick trip to CPH or even LGW would give designers plenty of ideas to re-engineer process to make a genuinely FAST track.

    • One for Lord Mandelson, and one for everybody else presumably :-)

      • They do always seem slow, but you’ll have the golds and Firsts going through the two new lanes, so that should reduce the people coming through the two existing lanes – so maybe it will get better!

    • Very much agree with LGW, I was pleasantly surprised when I recently passed through.

  11. I’m wondering how this is going to affect my first experience of flying first class in March from Heathrow. My wife and I are going to Chicago for our 40th birthdays and I hope the building works won’t be too disruptive

    • Presumably those with an F ticket would still be able to take the existing shortcut to the concorde room?

  12. We’re flying May so chances are it will be delayed to June…

  13. Can’t come soon enough. Next if BA would upgrade the cabanas in the concorde lounge to the same standard as the Cathay Wing First lounge in HKG, and match the quality of the food too, I would be impressed.

  14. Congratulations BA for finally providing a facility that Virgin has offered its BUSINESS CLASS passengers for years.

    At least BA match Virgin in offering their highest spending customers a limo service and an on-demand bistro menu in addition to the main meal.

    Oh wait ….

    • I’m pretty sure the Virgin premium lane in LHR takes you out of security the regular way (via the shops). Without a serious remodel it would be impossible to make security pop out near the lounge in T3.

      • No it doesn’t. You still have a long walk from Upper Class security via duty free and all the other shops to get to the lounge.

        • I’d say for hassle factor the regular T3 fast track (the one BA and other airlines use) is better as it doesn’t force you through the duty free shop and in T3 terms seems the shortest route possible to the lounge.

          Of course, once you get there the VS lounge wins by far, but I do quite like the Galleries First in T3 but miss the time when T3 had no BA longhaul (was it 2013?) as it was so quiet in that period.

  15. About time. Couldn’t they just allow Golds to use the Millionaire’s door and save a whole lot of construction work? It would be nice to the see the fast track security lanes to be a bit more of a premium experience too. Too often regular security lanes are faster but no one tells you.

  16. O/T – Curve Tweeting re Amex “Discussions are ongoing, although we don’t have any updates at the moment and are unlikely to for a while.”

    • not sure I will be up with the larks for the 1000 Curve freebies – I simply can’t see the point of Curve for somebody in my situation

      first – I actually like having a wallet with a few credit cards in it, not just 1
      second – I don’t need to pay commission to get cash at ATM either UK or at our place abroad
      third – yes I pay too much 3% on foreign credit card transactions but with BMI MBNA DC card (2 points £1) I didn’t exactly care – so I’ll just finally get prodded into getting Halifax Clarity now that card goes phut
      fourth – Curve don’t offer any other particular advantages for me, not sure why it works well for anybody else but hey!

  17. barnaby100 says:

    Hopefully new toilets for the CCR as they are disgusting. I spend my life in schools/colleges and almost every one has nicer loos than the CCR.

    • Huge +1 on this. I honestly think the CW toilets on the A380 are nicer than the ones in the CCR. Absolute disgrace for a lounge of that type…

  18. O/T I asked a few days ago about a lounge in San Diego airport, and Raffles said the Delta one was only for Delta passengers (thanks for the heads up). So I thought I would try the Airspace one, using my Amex Platinum worked fine, they have a dedicated desk for platinum card holders within the lounge just swiped it and show your boarding pass. The lounge itself is very bright and airy, and looks out over the airport. On checking into the lounge you are issued with a card for $10pp for premium goods. Standard drinks and nibbles are complementary on top of that. The wifi is of good standard. I would estimate about 80 seats and it’s 9am here and there are only about 10 people in here. All in all I like it. Hope this helps anyone else passing though San Diego.

  19. BA’s Zone R in T1 got it right – why not just bring the concept across to T5 (along with 30min check in for domestics)?

    • Yes, those were the days!

      • So having downgraded their offering since the T1 days, BA will now claim to be making cast improvements for premium customers? I struggle to understand how they thought they could “get away with it” when T5 first opened, not having a proper First wing as they now seem to call it.

  20. I would like to travel First Class before I die.

    Raffles, what is the least Avios-cost BA First redemption? I may have to add, excluding the US.

    • william merrett says:

      Take a look at LHR-DME (moscow). An off peak return in First is 68,000 avios and £55 (as its reward flight saver zone unlike any other First cabin)

      That was my first ever first redemption, used a BA 241 ticket with it. Think it’s technically the best value redemption you may ever make.

    • william merrett says:

      Also worth considering one way from Hong Kong to LHR as there are strict rules on surcharges which can be applied one way out of Hong Kong. A first ticket on BA off peak is 102,000 +£29.70.

      You could also fly Cathay from HKG (better first product, on board Krug from memory) but I think it is about 120,000 avios one way as it won’t qualify for off peak pricing. Tax should be the same.

      • you might be able to get cheap/ affordable First in a short European segment of a long haul flight that lands somewhere in Europe before proceeding to end destination

        • not that no First in my life has ever kept me up at night! I did plenty of transatlantic Business and don’t exactly miss it, good though mostly BA was at the time.

          I wouldn’t ever even pay for Club Europe for my 2-3 hr flight, big waste of money when it’s about 6x standard fare to get what exactly? Lounge, fast track & a wee bitty better food, seats are the same but yep who likes a neighbour? I agree about that

  21. Chris Cannon says:

    No such luck at T3 I’m guessing? Flying First for wifey’s 50th birthday to LAS next Feb..


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