This is our review of the British Airways Galleries Club business class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3.
It has been a while since we reviewed the oneworld lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3, not least because the terminal itself has been closed for a significant portion of the past two years. The last time we reviewed the British Airways Galleries Club lounge in Terminal 3 was in 2015.
With airlines now finally returning to Terminal 3 and virtually all the oneworld lounges re-opened (the American Airlines Admirals Club remains a notable exception) we thought it was worth another look.
I booked myself on one of BA’s flights from Terminal 3 and spent my morning on a tour of the oneworld lounges. I had the following options:
- British Airways Galleries Club lounge (this review)
- British Airways Galleries First lounge
- Qantas London Lounge
- Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge
- Cathay Pacific First Class lounge
This is the first review, with the remaining four to follow over the next week.
How to access the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow T3
You do not need to be flying British Airways to access the Galleries Club lounge, although you can find the list of BA T3 flights here. The only requirement is that you are flying a oneworld carrier (such as Finnair, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Qantas), either on a business class ticket or with the relevant elite status.
That means anyone with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald (ie. British Airways Executive Club Silver or Gold) can access the lounge, even if you are flying on a hand-baggage-only economy ticket.
I got in on the back of my British Airways Gold status and an economy flight ticket to Gibraltar.
How to find the Galleries Club lounge
Terminal 3 uses an alphabetic labelling system for the nine lounges that are now available. Both the Galleries Club and Galleries First lounges are designated as ‘Lounge F’ when you exit security.
(Just to be confusing, the No1 Lounge is also considered as ‘Lounge F’ for signage purposes as it is adjacent to the BA lounges.)
Lounge F is situated between the main terminal concourse and shops and gates 13-22. It is just round the corner from the Qantas and Cathay lounges as well as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (review here).
Inside the British Airways lounge at Heathrow T3
Once you have found Lounge F you walk all the way down a hospital corridor:
Directly in front of you is the Galleries Club reception whilst immediately to your left is the entrance to Galleries First:
Once your boarding pass has been scanned you enter a wide corridor that connects the reception area with the toilets, the lounge proper and a customer help desk. Several armchairs punctuate the space, although I’m not sure how much use these get given you are effectively sitting in a corridor:
You then enter the lounge proper. The footprint of the lounge is a large, rectangular space with windows along the left edge. It is very easy to get a sense of the space as soon as you walk in, because you can see all the way to the back via a central passage way.
Anyone who has been to a BA lounge in Terminal 5 will instantly recognise the identical furniture and design style.
The lounge has been divided into three smaller ‘rooms’. First up is a dining area with long refectory-style tables:
This part of the lounge gets the least natural light due to the bar on the left and the fact that it backs on to the First lounge.
The second section features more casual seating, with a bar and bar stools along the window:
As you can see, the lounge is incredibly bright on a sunny January morning. It is quite possibly BA’s sunniest lounge at Heathrow. On the other side of the passageway is a business area, again with bar stools along the walls and two tables where larger groups can sit:
There are lots of plug sockets in this part of the lounge, as you can see, although it does feel a little underutilised.
The third and final third of the lounge features further casual seating:
A feature bar anchors the space:
At one end is a self-pour bar with beer, wine and spirits:
On another wall is a Union branded coffee station:
This was my favourite part of the lounge – it felt cosier than the two previous sections and I imagine it is much quieter too, with fewer people choosing to walk all the way to the end.
Food and drink at the Galleries Club lounge Heathrow T3
Food, as you will have seen from the photos, was notably absent from the lounge. British Airways still has not reinstated the buffet in the lounge and has chosen to retain its online ordering service.
In my opinion, this is an upgrade. To access the menu you scan the QR code on your table and enter your table number.
Don’t expect to be wowed – BA has never been known for the food in its lounges (Concorde room and First Class Dining excepted). The food is similar, if not identical, to the food you can expect at Terminal 5. That means, for breakfast, you have a choice of:
- Bacon and hash brown roll
For the rest of the day, you can expect:
- Afternoon tea (some sandwiches and a slice of cake)
- Sri Lankan chicken and potato curry
- Mixed bean tagine
- Pasta Bolognese
- Plus some soup and salads
I didn’t eat in the Galleries Club lounge, although I did have the bacon and hash brown roll in the Galleries First lounge (review to follow). The roll seems to have grown in size since I last had it:
Alcohol and refreshments are self-pour in this lounge:
The sparkling wine is this Prospero Brut NV from Spain (£7 in Tesco!):
Showers are shared between the Galleries Club and First lounges. You can pre-book a slot via the same menu you use to order food.
To access them you need to walk back outside the reception area. An attendant will assign you a shower.
The showers themselves are nothing to write home about:
Elemis provides the toiletries:
It all feels a bit industrial and prison-like. The sharps container really sets the scene. The toilets and showers have always been the weakest link at BA’s Heathrow lounges and it’s no different here.
Should you use the BA Galleries Club lounge in Terminal 3?
British Airways operates four Galleries Club lounges at Heathrow – two in the main T5 building, one in the T5B satellite terminal and this one, in T3. Of the four, my favourite is the T5B satellite lounge but this lounge comes in a close second.
Space-wise, the lounge is large and the windows along one side flood the space with light, even on a winter morning. It is much brighter than the lounges in T5A and I really value that.
In fact, the space itself works better than the Galleries First lounge next door, which is more of a rabbit warren.
You can do better, however. Anyone with access to the Galleries Club lounge (ie. anyone flying a oneworld airline in business or with the relevant status) can also use the vastly superior Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge or the Qantas London Lounge, which is exactly what I did.
Keep reading HfP next week for further reviews as my Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge safari continues.
Travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3? Here are your lounge options ….
Heathrow’s Terminal 3 has one of the highest concentration of premium lounges of any terminal in the world.
Our overview of the best airline lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 is here, or you can read individual reviews of all the lounges here:
- American Express Centurion lounge review
- American Airlines Admirals Club lounge review (oneworld)
- American Airlines First Class lounge review (oneworld)
- British Airways Galleries First lounge review (oneworld)
- British Airways Galleries Club (business class) lounge review (oneworld)
- Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge review (oneworld)
- Cathay Pacific First Class lounge review (oneworld)
- Club Aspire lounge review
- Emirates lounge review
- No1 Lounge review
- Qantas London Lounge review (oneworld)
- Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse review
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey 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.