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The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

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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:

The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

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.

The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

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.

The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

At the end of the security area is the corridor that leads to the Galleries First lounge.

The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

As you walk around the corner you find yourself right inside the lounge.

The new British Airways First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5 reviewed

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.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (60)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • barnaby100 says:

    Not an improvement for those connecting in who currently use the white door.

    And no changes to the disgusting CCR toilets. But hey the grubby sofas are being changed.

  • Dave R says:

    My daugter and I used the FW yesterday on our way to BOS. I have to agree that it is a big improvement. The 2 min walk through the F Lounge is a small price to pay. Also had an outstanding crew on the flight so feeling quite positive about BA.

  • Kathy H says:

    The “million dollar door” at South security was still operational on Friday 7th April.

  • Ruth4325 says:

    OT slightly. I tweeted the live Twitter feed they did of this opening asking if there was any truth to the rumours about downgrading 241 pax. I was interested as I’m planning to book a round trip former d the OH to Boston next year in F with a 241. Of course they said no and that they had a very strict but fair process for downgrades. When I asked if they could let me know the detail of the process, they replied to say there is “no specific process”. Clear as mud!?

    • Barry cutters says:

      We need to be realistic about this and put it in some kind of context .

      A handful of people have been downgraded. Hundreds of these vouchers are used every week.
      Its not happening to everyone.

      • the real harry1 says:

        yep

        there might even be rogue ‘down-graders’ ie BA officers @ gate thinking they’re doing BA finances a favour

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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