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.
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’.
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.
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:
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.
Round the corner is the bath:
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:
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
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:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios 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.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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.