- Lounge Review: British Airways Lounge San Francisco Lounge
- Flight Review: British Airways First Class – Airbus A380 San Francisco (SFO) to London (LHR)
- Lounge Review: British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow Terminal 5
- Hotel Review: Le Méridien Stuttgart, Germany
- Flight Review: British Airways First Class – Boeing 747 London (LHR) to San Francisco (SFO)
After my flight from San Francisco to London on a British Airways A380, I had a 5-hour layover in London-Heathrow before continuing on to Germany. As I was flying this time in First Class on a British Airways flight, I was eligible to visit British Airways’ Concorde Room in the main terminal area of Terminal 5.
After disembarking my inbound flight, which parked at C-Gates, I had to take the automated people mover to the main terminal for my connecting flight, regardless if I wanted to visit the lounge or not. Once in the main terminal area of Terminal 5, you have to go upstairs and clear security again. There is a Fast Track lane available for customers in Business and First Class. However, this wasn’t helpful in my case as it only gets you to the checkpoint faster. If they take forever to check the bags at the checkpoint, not even Fast Track can help you. Read more why it took so long to clear security here.
The British Airways Concorde Room (MAP) is located next to the security checkpoints at Terminal 5. Everyone eligible to use the Concorde Room can also use the Millionaires’ Door or take the regular route downstairs through all the retailers.
The Millionaires’ Door
To get to the Concorde Room, I used the so-called “Millionaires’ Door“. Once through security, don’t go down to the main terminal area, stay on the same level and walk all the way to the right and pass all the other security checkpoints. At the very end, you see an inconspicuous door without any markings. Right in front of the door is a small desk staffed with a British Airways agent. The only indicator is the directory panel to your left near the railing. This one actually points to the door and shows “Concorde Room”.
The Millionaires’ Door is a shortcut into the Concorde Room. Normally you have to go downstairs and walk past all the retail shops to take another escalator back up to the same level as the security checkpoint was on to get into the British Airways First Class Lounge or the Concorde Room. This makes it super easy if you are eligible to use the Concorde Room, to get there.
Who can use the Millionaires’ Door?
- Everyone flying in British Airways First Class
- Concorde Card Holders
Not even OneWorld Emerald passengers can use this lounge. They can either use the British Airways Galleries First or the Galleries Club South Lounge. The Galleries First Lounge is right on the other side of the Concorde Room. However, you can’t enter through the Millionaires’ Door. Remember there is a second Galleries Club Lounge on the north side of the terminal building.
If you are planning to visit the Concorde Room and are arriving at Terminal 5 without the need to clear security again, just follow the signs to Galleries First and Galleries Club South Lounges. If you take the escalator up you will find the Galleries First Lounge to your left and the entrance to the Concorde Room to your right.
Passengers who check-in at Terminal 5 at the British Airways First Check-In Counter, will also have a special hallway leading to the Concorde Room.
British Airways Concorde Room
About two years ago, British Airways renovated the Concorde Room to give it a more luxurious look and feel. This was my first time ever visiting the Concorde Room. When you first walk-in the lounge feels very luxurious. But as you wander around, it looked to me that the place was like pieced together. The furniture has an “antique” touch but they just don’t seem to fit together. The chairs and couches have all kinds of different shapes and colors, even some very odd colors. It looks more the furniture got picked up at a flea market and brought here. Even while they may be stylish “art-pieces”, it just doesn’t feel like it.
The lounge offers plenty of seating options throughout the space. Everything from just comfortable chairs, to dining tables and twin loungers on the terrace. There are even a few fireplaces throughout the lounge, which gives a warm and welcoming feeling. Most of the lounge life seems to revolve around the bar which has a great selection of drinks, spirits and whatever you might want.
But one of the most standard and needed amenities is scarce in the Concorde Room – power outlets. You can find a few of them in the lounge area, mostly at the stands between the chairs. But there are virtually none on the terrace which are easy to use. At least I couldn’t find any. Having a possibility to charge your devices is one of the most important features for travelers nowadays. That part got completely missing here.
The dining experience here is different to other lounges. There is a dedicated dining area opposite the bar area. A host at the front of the dining area will seat you in one of the cubicles-like dining tables. There is a great selection on the menu and you can build yourself a nice multi-course meal. The food is complemented by great wines and spirits. Service here was ok, even tho only ¼ of the tables actually had guests sitting there. My waiter was however very attentive once I had my order turned in and came by to check on me if I needed anything else. This dining area is the only “food source” in the lounge. Sometimes it’s nice if you can stock up on some snacks and just sit in one of the chairs and relax. Of course, there is always the option to walk over to the Galleries First Lounge.
If you don’t need your carry-on you can safely store it with the concierge at the luggage storage counter. This is a nice amenity as you don’t have to worry about your bags. As this lounge has such restrictive entry rules, I was not worried about leaving my bags alone at my chair to browse the lounge.
Shower and Massages
Passengers can use the shower facilities located next to the Elemis Spa. Customers flying in First or Business (Club World) and Executive Club Gold Members flying long haul through London Heathrow can request a complimentary 15-minute treatment. I highly recommend you to book online and in advance to get an appointment. Their appointments are usually all taken and it’s hard to find a walk-in space. There are multiple spa locations in LHR and one of them is located right between the Concorde Room and the Galleries First Lounge.
Optional you can also use the shower facilities which are located right next tot he Elemis Spa. I didn’t have an appointment and just walked up to the agent to actually see if a shower suite is available and to book an appointment. I didn’t even have to wait and she told me that I could go right ahead and gave me the number of the suite. There are quite a few shower suites there and it should be possible to get a suite if you have a little bit of time to spare. The shower suites are pretty good, I have been in worse than them. Each suite has also a toilet and a washbasin. Shampoo and towels are provided everything else you need is up to you. Each suite has an overhead shower, shower handle, and jets from which you can choose.
For more privacy, the Concorde Room has three private rooms which they call Cabanas. The Cabanas feature a comfortable day bed as well as a private bathroom including a shower. The shower facilities in the Cabana are nearly identical to the shower suites at the Elemis Spa. These private rooms can be booked in advance via an online form. Unfortunately, all cabanas were booked during my time period at the Concorde Room. Alternatively, you can try to book them at the Quintessentially Concierge desk inside the lounge but I highly recommend to make advanced reservations.
After I was done with dinner, I headed out to the terrace and settled down at one of the twin loungers. They are super comfortable and I had to be careful to not fall asleep and miss my flight. There is a waiter out there checking on the passengers if they need anything. However, she was not very proactive. I had to approach her to order a cup of cappuccino. She also took care of the chairs and cleaned the tables after passengers left for their flights. The terrace area was not very busy as well, as it was a Sunday night when I visited the Concorde Room.
The Board Room aka the Business Center
The Board Room is located near the Millionaires’ Door entrance to the lounge. Inside you find a conference table with four workstations and two all-in-one copy-printer machines. Besides that, there are two wall-mounted televisions and from the window, you get a view of the main terminal area.
The bathrooms of the British Airways Concorde Room are old and outdated and it seems they haven’t been part of the renovation. They could use some love as well, as there are stains in different places. All the bathrooms stalls are unisex but they are split between a couple of male and female “cabins” on either side of the hallway. But to be honest, I am usually not spending a lot of time in bathrooms. It’s great that the lounge itself has bathrooms and you don’t need to use the main terminal bathrooms, but other than that, I don’t really care about them a lot.
The British Airways Concorde Room is one of the most exclusive lounges to access, but unfortunately not one of the best. It’s hard to get in and therefor the lounge is less crowded than the Galleries Club or even the Galleries First Lounges.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.