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Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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This is our review of the British Airways Galleries Club business class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

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.

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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.)

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

and

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Directly in front of you is the Galleries Club reception whilst immediately to your left is the entrance to Galleries First:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

A feature bar anchors the space:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

At one end is a self-pour bar with beer, wine and spirits:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

On another wall is a Union branded coffee station:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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
  • Cereals

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:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Alcohol and refreshments are self-pour in this lounge:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The sparkling wine is this Prospero Brut NV from Spain (£7 in Tesco!):

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Showers

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.

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The showers themselves are nothing to write home about:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Elemis provides the toiletries:

Review: the British Airways Galleries Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  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

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 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.

Comments (51)

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

  • Delbert says:

    My wife and I tried the bacon and hash brown bap with brown sauce last weekend at T5 Galleries South. It was only once I’d consumed it that I realised it would have been better without the soggy hash brown. If we’re honest, we preferred the pre-lockdown bacon baps.

    Subsequently, we were hoping for an English breakfast on our 7.25am BA flight but the only option was a greasy croissant with ham (or veggie alternative), which was dire. At least the champagne managed to wash away the residue.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Breakfast selection sounds pretty dire as a vegetarian. Which would be the best option out of Qantas, Cathay or Centurion?

  • James Harper says:

    I don’t know whether it’s still happening but certainly from T3 reopening until the end of December, BA were turning away Finnair passengers from their lounge. Finnair usually tell their passengers to use the Cathay lounge but were recommending the No.1 lounge at check in as the Cathay one was closed.

    It didn’t bother me, I headed for the Centurion Lounge anyway 😉

  • Youllnever says:

    British Aiways still has not reinstated the buffet in the lounge and has chosen to retain its online ordering service.

    Typo on the Airways!

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

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