Exclusive: New images of the British Airways ‘First Wing’ in T5

The new First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 is due to open in the next couple of months.

This should radically improve the journey through the terminal for British Airways Gold card holders and First Class passengers.

Situated behind the current First Class check in area, it offers an integrated check in and security screening area which feeds you DIRECTLY into the Galleries First lounges.

Here are a few new CGI images of how it will look.  You start off here (click to enlarge):

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5

… which looks similar to the new Gatwick premium check-in entrance.  You move on to the check-in desks:

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 2

… with the boarding pass scanner at the back.

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 3

Immediately beyond that is security screening.

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 4

You then turn left and walk down a corridor which brings you here:

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 5

…. where you emerge by one of the bars in the Galleries First lounge (the area to your right if you enter via the current entrance).

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 6

If you have a First Class ticket, you may want to head to The Concorde Room instead.  In which case, you need to walk through Galleries First, turn left and leave by the main entrance:

First Wing British Airways Terminal 5 7

….. and enter The Concorde Room that way.

It isn’t clear if the current door at South Security which takes you directly into The Concorde Room will remain or not.  It also, to be honest, isn’t clear if this is going to save much time for anyone flying from 5B or 5C, which is most long haul departures.  You would need to leave Galleries First, head down the escalator and make a long walk over to the transit train. The big winners may be Golds flying short haul.

All in all, it looks impressive and represents a genuine investment by British Airways in improving the terminal experience for premium passengers.  I look forward to giving it a try although I doubt it will be open by the time I fly to Asia in early April.

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Comments

  1. krys_k says:

    Any idea of actual opening date? I fly on 4th April.

    • Same departure date for me – not confident it will be open in time for the 4th.

      • I was at LHR T5 yesterday and checked in at the First area and asked when the new “Wing” would be open. The BA agent told me 4th of April!

    • I asked at the first checkin on Thursday and they said the opening had be confirmed as 6th April

  2. Chris Cannon says:

    Now all they need to do is repatriat the long haul flights they switched into T3 which was beyond annoying…

    • But CX lounge makes it worthwhile

    • Gibbooo says:

      CX first lounge. 10x better than Concorde.

      CX business lounge. 100x better than galleries

      I seek out flights from T3

  3. David says:

    Not wishing to start the 2-4-1 debate again, but will this be enough, having downgraded the short haul club product (seat pitch etc.), downgrading Avios bookings, and generally offering a poor product with poor customer service ?

    It looks impressive, but I’d rather fly in F if I have booked F on a 2-4-1, than worry about a 10 min walk through the terminal.

    • Alex W says:

      Fair enough, if your 241 redemption is your only BA flight. However I would have thought that 99% of readers will have several BA flights per year not in F.

      I hope the first wing will be open before our ex-EU to Oz from 26 April. After then I’ll be back to silver and unilkely to regain gold (ever!).

      • Barry cutters says:

        exactly.
        To be fair to BA , as rob says this is a genuine improvement.

        As a Gold card holder with 70odd flights a year out of Heathrow. i think this is an excellent improvement.
        Flying first to go on holiday i would arrive 3h early anyway and spend some time drinking champagne in the concord lounge.-
        But on my normal SH weekly flights to Basel, Amsterdam, etc. i arrive 1h before the flight. this will be a welcome change and give me 10 mins extra to enjoy a decent coffee and snack before my flight.

  4. Bill Tong says:

    O/T am flying BA in F to SA in May, from T3. What are the lounge options over there, and how do they compare to Galleries First and CCR in T5? Thanks

    • Kwisstan says:

      The Cathay Pacific first lounge is nice. All new and the dining experience is very good. Best food in this one.

      BA have a galleries first, that has the best alcoholic drinks.

      American Airlines has a very fast Internet connection. I visited all three last time I flew from T3 and enjoyed the Cathay lounge the best

      • Actually the last time I saw some people deciding to move from the F to the J section.

        I think in the future if not flying CX, I will dine in the F section then move to J. J gets busy when CX flights are leaving, but isn’t busy the rest of the day

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’m in the T3 No.1 Lounge via PP at present. Not too bad.

      O/T I did a web chat with Virgin Atlantic today to see if any upgrades were available on the LHR-DXB this evening I was booked on (there were no PE tickets available in the week when I booked but showed today when i did a dummy booking). They said yes, can upgrade for £212 outbound. I said do it. A few mins later she comes back and says that ticket is gone, she could offer me another seat in PE for £352!!! I said no, so she said ask at the airport. Got to LHR 3 hours before flight and asked for any upgrades, she said no complementary ones but would I be interested in miles/cash. I said cash, so it came up as £226 to PE or £1050 to Upper. Took the £226. That also means I hit Silver now after this outbound flight . First time I’ve held a status in all my flying over the past 10 years.

  5. Would connecting passengers benefit from this?

    • Only if you go airside when connecting – not a bad plan sometimes when going longhaul to domestic due to long passport queues at flight connections; not worth it the other way round though where the connection is very quick.

      • Or flying on different BA pnrs! :-(

        • Haha indeed so – thankfully rarely have checked luggage so can see how quick/slow the passport queue looks in flight connections – wish they had an eGate lane there too!

      • After flying in long haul and waiting in the transfer queue for 40 mins, i do always wonder if i would be better going out and then back in. The queue never looks too bad, then you realise lots of people in the queue are non EU nationals and we have all been lumped into the same queue.

        • Yep, that’s the major factor for sure – there used to be a Fast Track lane but BA stopped paying for it. I wish they would separate out EU and non-EU pax to help speed this up but sadly UK Border don’t seem interested in making things more efficient. Unless it’s a very short queue it is often as good to go straight out – it also brings you out closer in the terminal to the new Gold lane so might be a quicker route if aiming to end up in the Flounge (depends how long you have until your connecting flight or if it’s going from the South end of the terminal which does happen on occasion!)

          • Richard says:

            which fast track lane is that ? i’ve been using the fast track for T5 transfers about 8x year for the past five years. I used it two weeks ago. There are never queues there, but once you go upstairs there are queues at “fastrack” security since they top up the queue with regular passengers should the queue get too short.
            I think UK connections does not have a fast track though but intl -> intl has a fast track lane.

          • They used to have a fast track queue for Intl -> UK connections – it was down the LHS of the BA desk where they scan your BP. After that you went up the escalator to the ‘fast track’ security queue as normal, although this was almost always slower than the other queues due to the number of people funnelled into it.

            I can’t remember when it stopped – it was definitely over 3y ago. The current setup all depends on the mix or EU/non-EU citizens as they almost always only have one officer from UK Border, thus if badly timed you can wait well over 30 min (as happened to me previously), or be through in a couple of minutes.

            Intl -> Intl has no UK Border element therefore is just straight up to security.

          • IanMacK says:

            I transfer from incoming international to UK domestic route at least once per month.
            The fast-track immigration route disappeared a couple of years ago – although the ‘lane’ still exists.
            What has caused the major problem in the last 4-5 weeks is the combination of the EU & non-EU passport Q.
            Quite bluntly it is a nightmare – and usually with only about half the desks manned.
            But it depends on the time of day when your arrive – I have already scooted up to that end, seen the length of the immigration control Q and nipped back down, through the auto passport gates, upstairs and through security – much quicker. The new F Gold route will make it even easier.

            BTW I totally agree with every comment regarding the standard of catering in CCR – used to get a very nice rib-eye or meat dish, now some of the dishes are inedible – I just ask for the BA burger (from F lounge !). Also need to shoot the chef who came up with the BA version of eggs benedict !!!

          • Agree – UK Border seem to just not bother staffing that at all apart from a single agent. More often than not I end up going via ePassport gates and up and around. The new entrance should hopefully make it quicker.

  6. It might be a genuine investment but in reality it’s simply re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It will be nice to get to loung with a bit less hassle but the real need for investment is in the air and on board.
    This does nothing about cramped or crap world or 8 abreast business class and it’s lack of direct aisle access and rubbish catering.
    It also does not address the overall F experience which is pretty dire with pretty ropey food, no flowers and hugely inconsistent crew.
    BA will trumpet this but let’s be honest it’s a sticking plaster.

    • mark2 says:

      No flowers in F!
      Can my wife bring an arrangement or shall we cancel?

      • The removal of flowers was a symbol of how poorly the so called first product is viewed within BA. Many airlines dress their cabins with flowers some even the suite, but BA took the away along with calling you by name, providing anything edible or not having sanitary conditions that would shame a football stadium toilet.
        It’s not first class, it’s not worth the money they charge and getting you into the loung via some yellow brick road is not going to improve the product one jot. Do take your daisies and perhaps more importantly some disenfectent wipes.

    • Barry cutters says:

      OK club world is not as good as the ME3 carriers . I get that. – So probably you have a point for going east.
      But for me i need the following.
      -Frequent flights to major business hubs in Europe- Work
      -Frequent flights to major US cities -Work
      -Reasonably priced flights to European citys for weekend breaks -Personall
      -reasonably priced flights to Caribbean and European beach holidays. -Personal
      -a decent loyalty scheme that i can fly business/first on my 2 long haul holidays a year for the same cost as economy, and get the odd redemption to europe for holidays breaks weddings etc.

      Im 6ft 3. I much prefer Club world to virgins offering. American airlines is better if you get a 773, or other new flat bed type, but they also have much worse on the 757s etc. Delta and united i cant comment on, apart from they wont be able to match the short haul offering so its a no from me.
      CW is 8 across but its not comparable due to layout. i manage to have a great night sleep on return flights from US and on overnights from SA. and before anyone says its because ba have a monopoly, we need to also remember the subsidies/low fuel cost that the american/ME3 airlines have had over the years.

      Generally BA flights are on time and they look after you well when things go wrong.
      -Specifically talking about ash cloud situation, and a few weather related delays from personal experience

      I realize that the 241 issue is a hot topic; and would agree with BA that redemption seats should be first to be downgraded. (obviously a flex full fare passenger paying £5000 should have priority over someone who paid 50k points and £500) but only if the situation has arisen because of change of plane , cancellations etc. I don’t agree that they should be aggressive over selling as in ANONS case last week.And anyone who is downgraded should obviously be fairly compensated .

      Overall BA are not perfect. They have annoyed a lot of people with their reduction in seat space and BOB.
      I prefer the BOB in economy short haul . and to be fair anyone who flew BA only to get a free £6 g&t and a packet of 5 crisps needs their head looking at.

      it offers a reasonable product, more direct flights than anyone else. and has the best loyalty scheme out there.

      • Barry cutters says:

        And no i do not work for BA.

      • I wish you well with BA long haul. Frankly it’s now anyone but BA for me on long haul premium. AA are far superior across the pond. TAM offer an excellent product to South America while CX and ME 3 plus s bit of QF JL cover the rest of the world.
        BA used to look after you but in the event of another ash cloud do make sure you have insurance!

      • Hang on a minute. Please don’t accuse some of us of being idiots. Just because YOU like BoB doesn’t mean everyone who doesn’t like it needs their “head looking at.”

        For example I would get a couple of G&Ts and a sandwich coming back from berlin for work however with BoB I can’t expense that.

  7. Phil G says:

    Pity the planes are so dirty and uncomfortable. On our only flight in First (as it was only 5000 more miles than club to get to Dubai) we thought the service was worse than Club – we never got any food and very limited drinks. Qatar/Emirates/Etihad business offering is far superior to BA’s first class

  8. Looks nice enough, but rather than spending money on this I would have preferred if they hadn’t cut services such as checking through bags!

    First area unfortunately opposite end from HEX arrival at T5, however if a long wait before domestic I still prefer Flounge given hot food all day and this will at least avoid having to double back on yourself when going through South security.

    Don’t see it make much difference for T5B or T5C, I would normally still start the journey in T5A in the Flounge so at least a more direct entry route before you head off to the other gates. Remember that Elemis Spa in T5A can book treatments I’m T5B – often much quieter there.

  9. Much needed and BA should be applauded for this.

    If they just got the CCR serving nice food then they’d st least have the lounge bit sorted.

  10. Ryan Lewis says:

    How will this work for Gold cards holders who are checking in with more than one other person on the same booking If you can only take one guest into the lounge?

  11. barnaby100 says:

    What about the loos? I don’t care about the CCR changing or the entrance as I fly down from LBA and only go in the CCR to drink LPGS but the toilets are disgusting, I have had excrement and blood smeared loos more than once, no loo roll is common and they are currently worse in design and finish than most secondary schools.

    I wouldn’t eat in a restaurant that had loos like the CCR.

  12. Barry cutters says:

    Off topic.

    Im looking for a holiday to Barbados.
    Club flights available for my dates.

    Just a bit stuck on hotels.
    Is the GAP a good area to stay?

    Looking for a small boutique hotel, not a big chain.
    Needs to have a pool and be close to the beach.

    Can anyone help with a suggestion. Iv found one called the yellowbird.
    -Great location and reviews and was in trip advisers top 25 small hotels in Caribbean .

    • Coconut Court Hastings. Stayed there many times and has ‘own’ beach plus easy walk to Hilton and Gap for night life.

      • Barry cutters says:

        Thanks both will add to the list to check.

        was thinking of staying in the st Laurence gap area.
        – is that would you would recommend for a ‘youngish’ couple in early 30s??

        • the real harry1 says:

          depends if you’re him & her or him & him :)

          • roberto says:

            Check out little arches too.. its a little bit more upmarket than the coconut court ( where i am booked for this october ) but there is not as much nearby.

            Both places on great beaches athough the seagrapes at the CC is just about my favorite bar on the island.

    • Jamie P says:

      Stayed in the Mango Bay Hotel near Holetown. Small boutique feel, couldn’t recommend it enough

    • David P says:

      It depends if nightlife is important to you or not. If it is then St Lawrence Gap is a good base to explore the clubs on the south coast. If it isn’t so important then I’d look at somewhere on the West coast. There are plenty of small independent hotels between Bridgetown and Holetown, all on the beachfront. Even up towards Speightstown there are some small boutique type places but not as many because of the distance from the airport.

  13. Planned to open 4th April.

    There will be an ‘arcade’ of shops between security and the lounge, but not filled upon opening.

  14. Noggins says:

    We were in the Concorde room yesterday. And I have never seen such tatty, worn and stained furniture other than in a junk shop. It was seriously awful!
    (Furthermore, service in F was not a patch on the ME airlines biz class service. Hardware was good)

    • The dining service in Concorde Lounge is odd, random waiters serve you, they always seem to be busy doing something else, not sure what. Compares badly to the CX First lounges in HKIA where they try their best to spoil you. My last flight 2 flights in F, the service was all over the place, 2 crew members to start with then one disappears for most of the flight leaving one crew member trying to serve a full cabin. Various things missed or forgotten from start to finish, then the ice cream for desert was a solitary scoop of ice – used to get better at school. On and on both flights they tried to give me a medium sleep suit when i wanted large – then got told they are trying to use up the mediums, so a deliberate mistake!

    • My last CCR visit was last August. It was packed by 1pm and most of the sofas were occupied by people using it as a bed…maybe it is just me, but I was a bit shocked to see a scene like that.

  15. Lady London says:

    I wonder what negotiations BA has done with BAA over this.

    The rest of us who are not currently Gold and not booked in First Class still get forced to go through a route of so-called luxury shops but actually mass market brands, in order to reach our flight. Does BA now get a premium for funnelling their most likely wealthiest set of customers past a set of shops that will have paid extra to be in this new corridor on the way to the First Class Lounge?

  16. Jason Brandt Lewis says:

    SO IN OTHER WORDS, British Airways finally caught up to Virgin Atlantic’s “Upper Wing” entrance . . . .

    • I think it is better than that. I found the ‘Wing’, when arriving by train, to be a major faff, not least the almost unmarked lift to get to it. It is a different story if you are driven to the car entrance I admit.

      • The virgin one is far easier from the tube or HEx than the new BA one… but only if you know the ‘secret’ short cut! There’s a door near the HEx exit that takes you straight up to the far end of the Virgin check-in area, where it’s a very short walk to the ‘private’ lift, a much shorter journey than the concourse length at at T5. Admittedly this is of no use to the majority of clueless passengers, but I’d have thought better of HFPers 😉

  17. RussellH says:

    OT – but still BA. More bad service

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/mar/05/heathrow-ba-flights-cancelled-weather-claim

    The difference between BA in the main article and Singapore Airlines behaviour at the end of the article is a real eye opener.

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