This is our review of the Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.
The Plaza Premium lounge is one of the last lounges to reopen in Terminal 5 – the Club Aspire lounge (recent review here) has been open for several months now, and the British Airways lounges are increasingly returning to normal operations.
As I found myself flying through Terminal 5 with my family I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the four of us into the BA lounges on the back of my Executive Club Silver status. Luckily, both my dad and I hold the Amex Business Platinum Cards which offer access to Plaza Premium lounges, so this was our best option.
Note that Priority Pass is not accepted at Plaza Premium lounges.
It was my first time in the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 5. Whilst I’ve been to the Terminal 2 lounge a lot (I reviewed Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 2 here) I haven’t made it to this one before.
The Plaza Premium at T5 is located by Gate A7 on the left hand side of the building. It is, effectively, underneath the British Airways North Lounge.
According to the Plaza Premium website it is currently open from 6am until 5:30pm.
Inside the Plaza Premium Heathrow T5 departure lounge
The biggest difference to the Terminal 2 lounge is an abundance of natural light. Whilst the Plaza Premium in T2 is buried in the middle of the building this lounge is on a corner and is exceptionally bright and airy.
It also means the lounge is in an L shape. The first part, as you can see, is filled with these hexagonal booths and some armchairs:
Turn the corner and you’ll find you’re greeted by a setup more appropriate for dining, with tables and chairs in sets of two:
Either side of the bar are two large island-tables with bar stools. Here is the bar:
Finally, in the quietest part of the lounge are these individual booths, which seem a bit claustrophobic to me:
A lot of the seating feels like it has been designed for individuals or those travelling in pairs. There were no real spots four of us could go so we chose to perch on one of the large islands.
Plaza Premium Heathrow T5 food
The food is on the inside of the L. We were there at lunchtime and there were a range of hot and cold items, including sandwiches and wraps (looking a little forlorn here given how few are left!):
Hot dishes included penne pasta with pomodoro sauce; chickpea, sweet potato and pepper tagine; and sticky ginger and tamari chicken.
You also had a tuna salad and pea, bean and mint salad to choose from, as well as a crumble dessert.
I wasn’t blown away by the choice – it felt on par with the British Airways lounge offering, even though in my experience Plaza Premium lounges tend to have a better selection of food.
When it comes to drinks, hot and cold soft drinks are available self-serve whilst alcohol is available from the bar. Basic spirits and beers and wines are free, but you have to pay for champagne or sparkling wine.
Is the Plaza Premium in T5 better than the BA lounges?
All things considered, the Plaza Premium lounge is fairly small and works well with a limited footprint.
If you hold both British Airways Executive Club Silver status and an American Express Platinum Card you may be wondering which is better. (Most people, of course, don’t have a choice and will hold one or the other, but not both.)
In many ways they are quite similar due to their location. Plaza Premium is, fundamentally, a smaller, less crowded version of the BA North Lounge upstairs: they both have lots of natural light and runway views.
There are two key differences between the lounges, however. The first is that the Plaza Premium is significantly quieter. Anyone who has been to the lounges in the Terminal 5A (the main terminal building) knows that they can be extremely busy. Plaza Premium doesn’t have this problem – in comparison, it is the definition of zen! In that regard, the Plaza Premium lounge is far superior.
On the other hand, you can get some sort of sparkling wine for free in the British Airways Galleries Club lounges (champagne has recently been removed and was only ever on request anyway) – something you would have to pay for in Plaza Premium.
How to book
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2024)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network. Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.