Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Did you know there are baths in the British Airways Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals lounge?!

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Last Thursday I got back from a two day trip to New York with British Airways and American Airlines to see the brand new premium lounges they have opened at JFK Terminal 8.

Somehow, the group of journalists got talking about the British Airways Arrivals lounge at Heathrow (review here), at which point one of the BA PR team informed us they had four bath tubs available, in addition the 94 (!) shower suites.

This was a thrilling revelation. Calum Laming, Chief Customer Officer at British Airways, further hyped them up by describing them as ‘infinity edge’ baths, designed to overflow over the rim.

BA arrivals lounge T5 entrance

As I’m sure you know, I am a sucker for a novelty airport facility. In the last six weeks alone I have tried the sauna inside Finnair’s Platinum Wing lounge in Helsinki and enjoyed the only outdoor airside pool in Singapore.

With an eye to producing yet another award-winning piece of business travel journalism, I just had to try one for myself.

Trying the British Airways Arrivals lounge bath tubs

Whilst there are four baths, I don’t think many people know about them. Our intrepid group of writers took out three in one go, which I imagine is more use than they’ve had in months!

The baths are meant to be reserved for those arriving on First Class flights although it is worth asking irrespective to see if they are quiet. Gold Guest List cardholders are also guaranteed access.

Instead of turning right at the shower desk, you turn left. There are four large rooms, which British Airways has called ‘Cabanas’.

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

Each cabana is substantially larger than one of the shower suites – probably twice as large. That’s obviously a necessity given they need to be big enough for a bath.

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

They’re not the most stylish – they still feature that blue NHS lino flooring – but they are in much better condition than the showers, which are showing signs of wear and tear.

There were some potted orchids and a nice big round basin:

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

The retro hairdryer and stainless steel sharps container spoil the effect slightly ….

A range of amenities had been laid out, including a comb, dental kit, shower cap, shaving kit and Elemis hair conditioner.

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

Round the corner is the bath:

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

It is, frankly, massive. If it were any bigger I think Sea World would co-opt it as an orca pool.

The bath is filled via a waterfall from the metal fitting above:

Having a bath in British Airways Terminal 5 Heathrow Arrivals lounge

There is also a handheld shower head if you want to wash your hair.

Elemis shower gel and shampoo are provided. For a laugh, the BA PR team bought some bath bombs in New York for us to use. Frankly, I think they should offer a bath bomb menu as standard!

I enjoyed a 30 minute soak after my flight before heading back into the lounge for a bite to eat.

Conclusion

If you have the time, it is worth trying the baths at the British Airways Arrivals lounge at Heathrow, purely for the novelty factor.

Granted, business travellers and anyone in a rush will be keen to get on, but I can see myself enjoying the facilities at a weekend. Throw in a ‘BYO’ bath bomb or two and it’s even more fun!

The cabanas are reserved for people travelling in First or those who are Gold Guest List holders.

As reminder, the general access policy for the British Airways Arrivals lounge at Terminal 5 is:

  • British Airways customers arriving in First
  • British Airways customers arriving in Club World
  • American Airlines customers arriving in First
  • American Airlines customers arriving in business class
  • British Airways Gold cardholders arriving on any long haul BA flight
  • American Airlines Concierge Key cardholders arriving on a long haul AA flight

If you fall outside of these categories, you’re out of luck. Neither British Airways Silver members nor other oneworld flyers get access, and you won’t get access if you aren’t on a BA or AA flight, either. You can’t use the lounge if you’re on a short haul flight. You also need to arrive well before 2pm, when the lounge closes.

Guests are not permitted (in the lounge, not sure about in your bath) unless you are BA Gold Guest List, in which case feedback is generally that you can take up to five guests, albeit as long as they travel on British Airways flights.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Run your own business?

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 10,500 Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 Read our full review

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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

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

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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

Comments (71)

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

  • Numpty says:

    T5 Galleries north toilets are shocking. The paper towel holder was broken, with a piece of brown cardboard holding the towels in place, and written in biro ‘do not remove’. Sink plug missing, and black mould on silicone. Collection of dead flies in light fitting. BA luxury.

    • Gordon says:

      I agree, Defiantly not a luxury experience, But the lounges seem so overcrowded lately so the fixtures and fittings can only take so much abuse, But that’s no excuse for any lack of maintenance.

  • ADS says:

    “Our intrepid group of writers took out three (cabanas) in one go”

    how many journalists to a bath ?!

  • Joshua Critchley says:

    How clean are they? Do they really clean them after the prols have used them?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Yes. Not really any different to cleaning a hotel bathroom between guests. Eased further by the flooring mentioned.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes, they keep a special stronger disinfectant for use only when the person they’re cleaning the bathroom after, was only in Business Class

  • Tracey Bruce says:

    Hello People 🙂

    So today i was excited to try the bath tubs after my return flight from Nassau, I practically skipped to the lounge which is unusual for me following a long haul flight at the best of times let alone after spending 8hrs in an economy extra leg room seat lol.
    I managed to find the lounge every easily, checked in then asked the first member of staff i found where the cabana bath tubs were, i was pointed in the direction of a man sat at a desk under the heading hydrotherapy….. those words alone made me feel like i was about to wash away the last 8hrs.
    You can imagine my disappointment when i was told the cabanas were only for First Class and Premier passengers, but i have BA exec gold status i explained!……….. the look of disappointment on my face was obviously so bad the gentleman at the desk took pity on me and let me in anyway but he did repeat that i did not qualify.
    Have they changed the rules since HfP wrote the article?
    PS I did take a bathbomb and it was a wonderful way to spend the little spare time i had LOL

    • Rob says:

      We have amended the article to reflect this, which was not explained to us at any point.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.