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Why you should now be wary about visiting the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 5

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Regular readers will know that I am very fond of the new Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.   See my article here for example.

Even though I have British Airways status, I still pop in here if travelling through Terminal 5 on my own because it is less crowded than the BA Galleries and the food is better.  The only thing that is poor is the newspaper and magazine selection.

The reason the lounge has always been quiet – the record number of guests ever spotted by myself or any HfP reader was 20 – is that it did not accept Priority Pass or Lounge Club cards.  Look at the second photo below for an example of how busy it used to be.

Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 overcrowding

The only way to get in is:

for cash (you can book direct here) or

by flashing an American Express Platinum Card or

by flashing a DragonPass lounge access card

Since DragonPass cards have historically been rare in the UK, they were not responsible for a lot of business.  That all changed a couple of weeks ago when NatWest / RBS Black switched from Priority Pass to DragonPass for its lounge access partnerI wrote about that here.

Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5

The big problem is that the covering letter sent out to NatWest and RBS account holders with their DragonPass specifically mentioned Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 access.   It says:

“Unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide – this includes our flagship Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 which replaces the Aspire lounge currently available in this location”

Since then, according to many Head for Points reader reports, the place has become a bit of a scrum.  The ultimate insult came from a reader who said it was ‘nearly as bad as the Club Aspire lounge’ at the other end of Terminal 5.

So, be warned.  It looks I may end up back in Galleries First after all.

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Comments (53)

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

  • Roger says:

    OT – but Lounge

    T4 Lounge – Plaza Premium vs Sky Team on Priority Pass.
    Which one should I go for, travelling with family and two PP cards.

    I have visited both in the past, Sky Team was quiet, but Plaza Premium was buzzing with lots of “better” food. Also as an aside, do both of them offer Free Showers?

    • Kevin says:

      I will be travelling via T4 next week too and would be nice to know which one is better for me to head off.

      • Rob says:

        Plaza Premium is classier, SkyTeam is a lot bigger. I would do PP if it were me.

  • Judge says:

    Ah, that explains it. Was in there on Wednesday and had never seen it so busy, so was very surprised. Still better than Galleries Club upstairs though, so I stayed put.

  • Yuff says:

    So does that mean club aspire won’t be as busy as all the dragon pass visitors are now in Plaza Premium????

  • Brian S says:

    I thought it would only be a matter of time before this lounge ended up with wider exposure.

    Previously I questioned how they made it pay as it appeared to have such little footfall.

  • Michael C says:

    More OT lounge: Barcelona this week in the non-Schengen lounge 0900-1000h. Not a single seat, the only hot food was toast, and the three types of cold meat were all pork.
    Oh, and only one copy of each newspaper for the entire lounge, each attached to a large wooden stick, so no pinching!

  • Paul says:

    “May end up back in galleries first” ……… god it must be bad to inflict that on anyone!

    • Chris H says:

      How would you rate the Galleries First against the Concord Lounge? I don’t know which one to use when we go to Japan.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        I’d take CCR if you can get a nice spot out on the terrace (or if you want a restaurant-style breakfast). If you’re taking the First Wing then you’ll get a look through GF as you emerge anyway.

      • mark2 says:

        We spent.four hours in Concorde Lounge yesterday. Excellent food and enjoyed Pinot noir rom Oregon. On plane Pinot Gris from Oregon, English Champagne type wine and dessert wine from NZ. Almost new plane and superb crew.

  • Michael says:

    I can concur. Was there a week ago, queue was 5 deep at both check-in stations. Not helped by one of the staff being incapable of operating her laptop, but it was a good indicator of what was to come past the entry. Not one of the single seat booths were available, only seating remaining was the high chairs at the big communal tables (didn’t bother me as I actually like these seats, good power point access and can spread out a little).

    Walking back from the food area to the high table I was a bit confused when a mobile phone charging cable was unleashed onto the floor. Appears a women had plugged in a black 5 metre charging cable from the high tables to her seating position not realising that someone may be walking through a packed lounge. Having not spotted it, I strode through it waist high like I was finishing first place in the London marathon. She seemed genuinely unimpressed I would do such a thing.

    To sum up, it is definitely worse now with the greater access opportunities, but I still do like the food and the bright space. Bar tenders however are not so great.

    • ankomonkey says:

      “…I strode through it waist high like I was finishing first place in the London marathon.”

      This raised a smile. You should have done this too even if you had seen it beforehand, maybe with a bit of a celebration.

    • Mark says:

      Try to get the phone to smash on the floor- it may help her think in the future!

  • Waribai says:

    Went in there back in March instead of heading to Galleries. Must admit, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Maybe because it was the start of the Easter hols it was actually rather busy!

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