The new First Wing at Heathrow T5 opened on Tuesday and thanks to a reader we were able to publish the first pictures just an hour after it opened.
On Wednesday I did a press flight from Gatwick to Heathrow and got to experience the First Wing first hand.
First of all the First check in area hasn’t changed apart from the screening blocking it from the main terminal:
However as you turn right, you can see the entrance to the new security area.
This whole area used to accomodate staff offices and meeting rooms that have now been moved to the other end of the terminal.
There are two lanes, one metal detector and one full body scanner. We weren’t allowed to take any photos and the press pack also didn’t include any. The area where you can sort your tray and put your shoes back on looks impressive. This is one of the photos our reader sent us. As you can see you can sit down to put your shoes back on and your tray goes inside an opening in the middle.
At the end of the security area is the corridor that leads to the Galleries First lounge.
As you walk around the corner you find yourself right inside the lounge.
Full credit to British Airways here. This is a massive improvement to the hassle of going to one end of the airport to check in and then running a third of the way down the other end to go through security just to head down an escalator, turn around, walk back through the terminal to the far end and then take the escalator up again to reach the Galleries First lounge!
Note that if you are ticketed in First Class, the ‘secret door’ at South Security into The Concorde Room is about to permanently close if it has not already done so. First Class ticket holders will need to use the First Wing, exit the Galleries First lounge and walk down the corridor to The Concorde Room.
PS. Rob tells me, from his visit on Tuesday with his family, that you can still check in at the First Wing if you are flying Club and have a Gold card but your party is too large to use the Galleries First lounge. You just turn around afterwards and walk down to South Security as you previously did.