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Changes to British Airways Club World and Club Europe check-in at Heathrow Terminal 5

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British Airways has announced some (positive) changes to the Club World and Club Europe check-in process at Terminal 5.

From 9th November, check-in for Club passengers will move from Zones G/H to Zones A/B.

Bronze member of the Executive Club will also be able to use this area, as well as Silver members.

Changes to Club World and Club Europe check-in at Heathrow Terminal 5

BA promises that there will be more space in the new area. There are also two practical advantages:

  • it is directly opposite the T5 entrance from the tube, Elizabeth Line and Heathrow Express, saving you the long walk down to the south end of the terminal
  • North security is larger than South, and you also have the separate Fast Track area near the north end of T5 which is often ignored by passengers

If you are a Gold member travelling alone or with only one guest, you will find it easier to continue walking down to the south end to use the First Wing security and check-in area with direct access to the Galleries First lounge.

If you are a Gold with 2+ guests then you can’t access the Galleries First lounge. If you arrive by tube or train, you need to decide whether to use the new Zone A/B area directly in front of you or take the long stroll down to rhe First Wing to check-in and then double-back to South security.

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Comments (102)

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

  • Richie says:

    If they told us which gate we were leaving from it would help the frequent T5 users to plan our user experience, particularly short haul.

    • JDB says:

      @Richie – I’m sure you know that, operationally, BA isn’t going to be in a position to do that. It’s not quite like Swiss or Chinese train companies that can tell you the platform number weeks ahead, even at the biggest stations.

      • Richie says:

        Only when 100% confident of gates.

      • Bodkins says:

        Other airlines manage. BA could if it wanted to.

        • LittleNick says:

          Everyone would then complain when the gate changes last minute

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Well we would complain about that anyway and already do it if it was right most of the time that’s still better than a guess

  • Aliks says:

    Flying BA to India from LHR, with 2 of us in business, 2 in Premium Economy. I’d like to get us all into lounges if possible.

    I am gold so I can get into the 1st Lounge with one guest, can I then go downstairs and invite a different guest into the business lounge?

    • Qrfan says:

      Not unless you’re lucky. They scan the boarding card of your guest when you enter and record it. None of you got a card for one of the 3rd party lounges? Seems an odd plan frankly, that you’d rather split up your group then sit in a paid cafe together…

    • LittleNick says:

      As you’re the gold, are you travelling business or Prem. Econ? If you’re travelling in Prem then the you could all go in galleries business lounge

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        Makes no difference what cabin Aliks is in.

        As a Gold Aliks still only gets one guest.

        The other Club passenger can’t guest (unless they are Silver or Gold which we can presume they aren’t because their status isn’t mentioned) purely by being in club.

        • Lyn says:

          Surely @LittleNick is right here if Aliks is one of the two Premium passengers and could guest the other one into the Galleries lounge. The two club passengers would each have access via their own club tickets as well.

          • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

            Aliks is in club and gold so has access plus one guest based on status.

            One of his companions is flying club but with no status gets no guest rights. A club only ticket without status = no guest.

            But Aliks also has two companions in PE.

            There isn’t a way to get both of the PE people into a lounge.

          • LittleNick says:

            Exactly Lyn! You got my logic

    • SammyJ says:

      No, not in T5. Once you’ve guested someone into a lounge, you can only guest the same person into a different lounge. Unless they swapped boarding cards for the second guesting, which of course wouldn’t be the correct or permitted thing to do.

      • LittleNick says:

        @BA Flyer How do you know Aliks is in Business? Yes all of them couldn’t go to GF but they could all get into GC if Aliks was travelling Prem and not Club as he could guest in the other Prem traveller

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          Whatever cabin he’s in he can only guest ONE person in due to their gold status.

          I assumed because of the way the post was written. People normally say what cabin they are in before others.

          • Mike says:

            Yes, whatever cabin Aliks is in, their BA Gold status would allow one lounge guest only.

            But if Aliks is travelling PE, they would only *need* to guest one other passenger; the two Club passengers can get into the lounge on account of their Club tickets.

            You assume Aliks is travelling Club. And it’s a reasonable assumption. But until Aliks confirms what cabin they’re in, LittleNick’s logic is correct. All four of them could walk into the Galleries Club lounge instead of trying to split the group.

  • George K says:

    The North security channel (and associated fast track) have long since been my second favourite route into T5, (TFW being the first, obviously). The southern entrance always felt weird, having to go ‘north’ to get the escalator down and then walk ‘south’ again on the lower level to get to the transit station or Galleries South, which because of all that actually feels farther away from security south, than security north…

    • Londonsteve says:

      Is Galleries South or North better in your opinion? I usually use the North FT security followed by Galleries North which is always a zoo and feels about as relaxing as a McDonalds at a railway terminus.

      • Rob says:

        I prefer South. There’s something about the layout of North which just feels wrong.

        • ADS says:

          I think humans have evolved to face the sun

          There’s a reason why so many pagan religions worshipped the sun!

      • George K says:

        I think South has a better layout and is a bit bigger, but I only go there if North is out of bounds (for example, two weeks ago it was roped off for some reason). I like North’s terrace, actually!

        Galleries T5B is the king, of course…

        • Londonsteve says:

          Useful info, thank you George and Rob. I don’t think I’ve ever been to South, I don’t have access to FW and always arrive by tube. Time for a visit. North just feels consistently overrun and is starting to be less appealing than just staying in the main terminal for people watching while sipping a Pret coffee.

  • Jill Kinkell says:

    Used north side Fast track yesterday about 0730. No queue, straight in, didn’t set off alarms, tray sailed through. Into a fairly busy Galleries North in seconds.
    I’ve always used the north FT and it’s never been overly busy. The worst is coming off an international flight and through security again for a domestic connection. Such a scrum. I’ve never seen the fast track lane open for use. Bring on the super scanners where I don’t have to remove phone, iPad. Kindle. toiletries. Belt, watch coat , shoes/boots Thick jumper , rubbish out of pockets

    • JDB says:

      The new scanners aren’t quite the panacea people suggest. While they will save removing items from hand luggage, they are less reliable and also create more secondary checks so don’t, on average, end up being any faster. There’s the added risk that people bring even more hand luggage once the 100ml requirement is removed.

      The body scanners that should become the norm (as opposed to the arch) should be quicker overall, but are supposed to require absolutely everything out of pockets, belts off etc.

      • Qrfan says:

        Nobody who’s gone through la Guardia’s new terminal would agree with that assertion. Security is a breeze even when the airport is busy on a Friday night. Is it just London city that is struggling with this?

        • JDB says:

          The UK has considerably higher security standards than the US and certainly no TSA PreCheck. The manufacturers and data from those airports that have the new equipment confirm the overall time to pass though security is slightly greater. The mechanical reliability aspect is likely to improve over time, but the rest won’t change.

          • Mike says:

            I have no TSA Pre-Check and have found the experience with the new scanners at Dulles quite efficient. The scan takes marginally longer, but the time savings of not having to wait for everyone in front of you to take all their stuff out onto trays, plus not having to do it yourself, easily offset those additional 15 seconds or so it takes for your bag to come out the other end of the scanner.

      • Jill Kinkell says:

        @JDB you’ve just dashed my hopes of a smooth glide through security!

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        If you mean the ones that rotate around when you’ve got your hands splayed out or above your head then yes nothing can be left in pockets and jackets and belts still need removing.

        Footwear removal depends on their nature.

    • Harry T says:

      How does using a CT scanner induce more secondary screenings? This hasn’t been my practical experience and doesn’t gel with my understanding of the physics.

      • JDB says:

        @HarryT – There’s no reason why your personal experience or that of any other individual passenger would represent the average and while I have no idea of the physics, the expectation and in use experience is a rejection rate of about 6% vs 4% which doesn’t sound much, but where you have at LHR maybe 70k daily departing/transit pax, that’s quite a few extra checks, per lane, per hour. The machines simply pick up more anomalies.

        The body scanners in trials are supposed to be much quicker than arches and selective random or triggered searches, but are slowed down by passenger failure to follow instructions. In a certain cases, because the new equipment is larger, fewer lanes can be installed. You may have seen the complex building work in T3 that is having to be undertaken to fit the new kit.

        • Bodkins says:

          There is no reason why your comments should be given greater weight than HarryT’s, is there?

  • C says:

    Is the special assistance desk still at zone A after the club check in move?

    • Jack says:

      Special assistance is on Zone E and has been for some time now

      • C says:

        There was two areas. But when they did move?

        I remembered one of them is which is at desk A1 beside door A.

        • Jack says:

          Zone E is where all special assistance desks are now as they are located next to Wilson James who are also now in zone E . Last time I went through T5 a month ago I noticed it had changed over to E

  • PETER says:

    For those of us who use airport meet and greet the move to the north end means that we will now have to walk the length of the terminal. Can’t really understand why BA have done this and don’t see it as positive.

  • Gordon says:

    Re check in- CW check in at Gatwick South was empty an hour ago and the Lounge is quiet. Took the short cut avoiding “not duty free”
    Only issue is BA has a technical problem on their plane to MCO, so a part is coming from Heathrow! We will see.

    • Gordon says:

      2 hour delay so far!

    • Gordon says:

      BA2037 -We’re sorry for the delay today. Your estimated departure time is 13:30 local time. Check in for your flight will now close at 12:30 local time. If you need a drink or fancy a bite to eat, you can collect a complimentary voucher in the departure lounge to use at the airport.

      I’ve been lucky enough not to have a flight delay for years so Is the above something new!

  • Olivia says:

    It’s a very 1st world problem but the walk from the Tube entrance to T5 to the First Wing/Biz check in is one of those “ugh…….. all the way over there?” moments. Happy to see the change.

    Am I finding myself congratulating BA on having common sense (for my use case anyway)?

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