Travelling in Covid times – LHR T5 BA First Wing and Galleries First Lounge

This is a report of my recent trip to Glasgow, flying British Airways from Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. I acquired BA Gold last year in November, and have flown BA only once since, from Terminal 3. Although very impressed by Cathay Pacific’s first class lounge, I wanted to give BA’s First Wing and lounge a try too.

Given the current circumstances, I decided it wasn’t a good idea to travel abroad in July, so booked myself a trip to Scotland instead.

Piccadilly line to Heathrow is operating as normal. T4 is temporarily suspended though, so no train is going there. A few Oneworld airlines, including Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways, have also moved to T5 from T3. It’s a disappointing move if permanent, as many people favour Cathay and Qantas’ lounges over those of BA.

Despite the consolidation, T5 is still very quiet on a Friday afternoon. I was already queuing for Club World desks, until I saw that the First Wing had already re-opened!

First Wing is a check-in facility specially reserved for First Class and Oneworld Sapphire passengers. There are only few passengers at the moment, but even fewer desks – a couple of agents are chatting, and when inquired they told me to look for other open desks, oh well…

The advantage of First Wing is direct access to the Galleries First Lounge after security. So you don’t need to walk through the massive ground of shops – except that I do want to as World Duty Free is doing great 3-for-2 sales! 😂

I didn’t take a lot of photos as lounge experience at the moment is definitely not representative. Social distancing is respected, and you must wear a mask when moving around inside.

No buffet and table service is provided instead. By scanning the QR code on your table, you can place an order and someone will bring it to your table.

Only four main courses are available.

I ordered the Moroccan meatballs and some salad, which are quite decent. The portion is on the smaller side, but you could obviously order more if you want.

Then briefly onto boarding: priority boarding / boarding groups are suspended at the moment for security reasons. Passengers are called to board by row number, from the rear to the front. Business Class passengers will board at the end.

Buy-on-board is not available, probably for the same reason. All passengers in economy class are given a bag of snacks and bottled water for free, which, I guess, is a positive development? Sanitary wipes are also provided.

Disembarkment is by row too. All passengers remain seated when the plane’s landed. And then we get off by rows of four, starting from the front.

Although it is indeed a very special experience, I hope travel can go back to normal soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Response

  1. 23 October 2020

    […] counters at the airport. At Heathrow, there is a dedicated check-in area – First Class Wing (my review here) available which is a special […]