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

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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.


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.


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Comments (71)

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  • Paul says:

    So no Club Europe entry? Just long hall?

  • Catalan says:

    That flooring looks awful!

    • Andrew. says:

      But very functional and effective.

      That’s why you’ll find it it in every nursing or care home (I’ve been in far too many) and hospital site.

      • riku says:

        And they have hard plastic seats on the NYC subway because they are functional and effective but that doesn’t mean you’d want them in an airline lounge.
        If you compare showers in T3 CX lounge, T3 Qantas lounge, LH arrivals lounge in FRA, CX lounges in HKG, they are not using nursing/care home style fittings but something I’d quite like to have in my own home.

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          The taps in the shower in the CX First Class lounge in Hong Kong were just what we wanted for our new house. But when we found they were £750 a piece, we restricted them to our own bathroom!

      • Sam says:

        But this is an airport first class lounge not a hospital nor nursing home. There is also something called floor tile which is equally functional and effective if not more expansive which BA clearly do not want to invest.

  • Andrew S says:

    Last time (Sept 2022), I returned into LHRT5 on BA Business ex USA, I was denied use of a cabana and was told it was only for First Class arriving passengers so could only use a shower!

    • Mark says:

      Yes, that’s what Rhys said in the review, unless you have Concorde Room access (i.e. a Concorde Room Card, presumably). Has long been the case (since T5 opened at least) – I’ve used them once or twice arriving back in First, but TBH I’m just as happy using the showers.

  • Frances Morris says:

    interesting – so if you have enough time – I often land at LHR and have a few ours before my flight to Edinburgh.. can I use this and then come back through security?
    The BA lounge in T5 is horrifically busy recently!

    • Rhys says:

      Is it worth the hassle of going through security…?

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Possibly if you have access to the first wing, definitely not if you don’t. Even regular fast track has been awful recently.

        But also note the comments that they may restrict access to First passengers (which would mean you could use the first wing security as well!) plus there’s also the possibility that they’ll be full on the day.

    • Chris L says:

      B gates lounge might be an easier option to avoid crowds

  • Baracus says:

    Totally agree these are one of the highlights of the BA Arrivals lounge and when I have had a long connect to MAN I have “landed” myself deliberately to take advantage of this and a full English. I notice someone has also mentioned Thai do a similar thing at BKK, not tried those, but I can wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the airside CX version in HKG which I have used several times and are much classier than the BA Cabanas.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    A bit OT but as I use it as a sort of arrivals lounge and not everyone will be aware I thought I’d mention it.

    Since HfP mentioned the landside pubs in T5 (The Globe, near south security) and T3 (not been since the name changed so can’t remember what it’s called) give £15 credit on LoungeKey and PriorityPass (but NOT the Amex version😱). I sometimes use the pub in T5 as an arrivals lounge of sorts when I’m arriving on short haul and can’t use the proper arrivals lounge.

    There’s benches set up by the ‘window’ with sockets and USB (type-A) underneath and it’s a good place to set up your laptop and do some work if I need to do something after landing.

    If you want the visit to be entirely free then just note the prices first. As a decent meal and a drink will take you over £15, but it’s still good value. But they’re happy enough if you come in and just order a tea. After all they’re getting something from PriorityPass for this, probably not £15 but enough.

    I’ve always been asked for a boarding pass so I assume it’s the same day boarding pass so you’d not be able to use it if you are staying in the Sofitel and want a cheap meal the night before you travel, but I’ll double check that one.

    Don’t use it if your card doesn’t give free lounge access unless the cost per visit is under £15 (I’m not aware of any), also don’t add any guests unless you get free guests. If you’re with others and you’re the only cardholder you still get £15 off the total bill, so if there’s two of you wanting a pint before going through security that’s fine.

  • BA-Flyer says:

    I’ve known about these baths for many years. The staff hate you using them and will try to put you off doing so. (I presume this is because they take longer to clean afterwards). I’ve been told they are out of order (all of them), closed for maintenance or simply all reserved by other passengers.
    They take between 30 – 40 minutes to fill, but I’ve had longer waits before because the staff took ages to come and find me to say it was ready. (Sometimes you get an electronic buzzer but not always).
    If you really want to take a bath at an airport, try The Wing at HKG and get a proper luxury experience. The ones at T5 simply aren’t worth it.

    • Rhys says:

      They really don’t take that long to fill, unless you’re filling it to the very brim!

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        It might be one of their ways to discourage their use or it might be getting cleaned.

    • His Holyness says:

      Yes, staff will lie, my experience too.

  • Andy says:

    The OH and I used one of these a few years ago. As someone mentioned earlier we were actively discouraged from using one. But I persisted, when asked if my wife wanted one filling as well I replied that we would both be using the bath together. (As we always do at home). The look on her face was a picture.

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