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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)

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

  • Jonathan says:

    Does anyone know what’s going on Virgin’s arrival lounge, whether or not it can rival BA’s and I’m almost certain that it’s only for FC Gold, those in Upper, and Delta First/Business (I can’t remember off the top of my head what they call their seats)

    I think they might’ve closed it when Covid hit…

  • Greenpen says:

    The tap arrangement is not easy to understand. The first time I used it I couldn’t find the tap so tried to fill it using the shower. Half way through this process the shower head detached itself and sprayed the whole place before I managed to turn it off. So, look for the tap!

    They also make a slurping noise to remove the overflow water so the ambiance is not sybaritic.

  • pureshtuyot says:

    so to clarify, they check your eligibility again for the Cabano to check you’re in first and not just club once already granted access to the lounge?

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Did anyone in the BA PR team give any indication on when BA might actually invest in improving the lounge facilities ?

    The toilets / showers etc are awful. The rest could do with an extensive overhaul after 15 or so years of use.

  • His Holyness says:

    The bath’s are (to quote Mel B) foooked. They don’t fill to the rim because the plug isn’t watertight. Hence, they’re not infinity at all. Like BA, the usual great talk “Luxury Sale”, but no delivery.

  • namster says:

    The T5 arrivals lounge looks quite tired arriving back from JFK in Mid November pre 9am. I thought I would check it out was only 6 people and what I saw of the showers was a poor product, very much past its sell by date from the flooring and infrastructure. Not sure whether this is on BA’s roadmap

    • dubaiboy says:

      I hope you got 3 or 4 stiffeners from the bar to haste ye on the way to your destination!

      Might have been 9am London but it was late evening for you, maybe. Or somewhere, anyway.

  • Gordon says:

    Nice to see the Elemis toiletries are not bolted down

  • Tracey says:

    The baths in The Wing at Hong Kong are far nicer, the staff friendly. You can book as a couple and the staff will deliver champagne to you. (just remember to accept the champagne before immersing yourselves) They also have decent showers within the bathroom but not over the bath itself.

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

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