After arriving on my flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow, I had plenty of time to kill. I followed the signs for transit passengers into Terminal 5. I already had a few hours layover scheduled in London before my flight to Oslo. My flight had been delayed a further four hours, so I headed for the British Airways North Galleries Club Lounge for a long wait. I had been to the South Galleries Club Lounge on a previous trip through London Heathrow, so this time I wanted to try something different. I had access thanks to flying in business class.
The British Airways North Galleries Club Lounge wasn’t nearly as nice as the south lounge. It had far less space, and the food stations were more crammed together.
This crowding wasn’t helped by the ongoing fog chaos at Heathrow. Flights were being delayed or cancelled left and right, which led to more people waiting around in the lounges. At least my flight was only delayed, not cancelled.
When I arrived in the lounge, there was plenty of hot food out. Much of it was centered around baked potatoes, though there was also pasta.
However, I wasn’t hungry yet, and I needed a shower, so I headed for the shower rooms instead. The shower rooms were not fancy at all. They resembled a hospital bathroom, but they got the most important aspect right. There was nice water pressure & temperature, with fun jets that sprayed water on you. I felt like I was in a car wash.
I got out of the shower & went back to the food. Unfortunately, they were putting most of the hot food away. This was around 3pm. It was replaced by some sandwiches and baked goods, so there was still food available, but not a hot meal. I wasn’t in the lounge at dinner time, so I don’t know if hot food made its way back out later.
There were other snacks including cookies, crisps, and fruit.
If you were thirsty, British Airways had you covered. There were several coffee machines, as well as a couple of large, self-service bars. A nice wine selection was also available. There was also an entire station devoted just to bottled water, sparkling and still.
Somehow, despite being packed, there were still plenty of open seats in the lounge.
There were lots of different seating types, from couches to counters to individual chairs, but there was a lack of outlets. This lack of outlets led to the business center being one of the busiest I have seen.
There was also a kids play area.
I found a chair in a somewhat quiet area, and settled in for a while to watch some videos on my phone. With my flight delayed for four hours, I expected that I would be there for a while. However, this would not end up being the case. I had been getting notifications from Tripit Pro that the flight had gradually been pushed out to four hours late while I was in the air. In the lounge, I began to get more notifications that were bringing the flight back closer to the original departure time. Eventually, when the flight was at just a half hour delay, I left the lounge. This is why you keep checking departure times, and don’t show up late even if you think there is going to be a big delay.
However, it turned out to be a cruel trick. The preboarding process began, only to then stop. It turned out that there was no cabin crew for the flight, so substitutes had to be recruited. Our delay increased by 15 minute increments every 15 minutes, so there was no time to go back to the British Airways North Galleries Club Lounge.
Instead, we all had to keep waiting at the gate. We finally ended up departing nearly 4 hours late, just like the original delay time when I had arrived in London. Throughout the day I had received 21 updates about the departure time on my phone. The sole positive to this is that I should be able to claim EU compensation due to the delay caused by lack of crew. I just wish that I had been able to stay in the lounge while we waited to finally depart.
The British Airways North Galleries Club Lounge isn’t a bad lounge, but I didn’t find it to be nearly as nice as the South Galleries lounge at London Heathrow. It has all the things you’d expect to find in a lounge, but it’s much more cramped. If you’re picking between the two, I found the latter to be better.
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