I’ve read it’s been called “The Millionaire’s Door” and Mom and I got to walk through that door after we passed through fast track security at London Heathrow Terminal 5. We were greeted at that door by a British Airways staff member who looked at our boarding passes and said “Welcome”. I opened the nondescript door and entered the British Airways Concorde Room at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The Concorde Room is a separate first class lounge in the British Airways Galleries Lounges. Mom and I were flying BA First (class) home to Philadelphia from London on the Avios award ticket and with that came access to the Concorde Room. Mom already liked the separate check in area for First with the big chairs and the quick fast pass security. She had no idea what to expect with the British Airways Concorde Room and that was the fun part.
Champagne Welcome to the BA Concorde Room
We were warmly greeted as we entered the Concorde Room to check in. I noticed the chandeliers, the smaller footprint and the many servers walking around with drinks and champagne. It’s a smaller lounge just for First Class passengers so it didn’t feel crowded. I inquired about the gate for Philadelphia because it is usually C gates (a bit of a hike involving the train and many escalators) or the remote gates from the main terminal which is a bus ride to the stairs. Both options would be a bit much for Mom, who was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery (a fun fact she omitted when I booked the trip) and pretty much was done in by the walking in Paris and London already. Mom’s name was added to the wheelchair assist list and we were told that a staff member would find us when it was time to go to the gate.
I mentioned it was not only Mom’s first trip to London and flying First class but her visit to the Galleries lounge and specifically the Concorde Room. Standing behind the reception desk was the Concorde Room Manager, Danny, who welcomed us and asked if we would like to start with a glass of champagne (Mom quickly said yes as I may have created a slight champagne addiction after our Moet & Chandon tour in Epernay). He walked us around the lounge to show us the features and we settled on a couch inside the lounge (there is an open terrace area outside the lounge with terminal and plane views).
Once seated, our champagne arrived with snacks and Danny told us about the Concorde Room and the various food/drink options. He was fawning over Mom who was enjoying every minute. I wonder how many folks in the Concorde Room take it for granted vs. Mom who was in awe and appreciative at each turn.
British Airways Concorde Room – Seating Options
Of course, I pick the couch without outlet access, which is why it was empty. The other seats and couches were full and folks were charging devices aplenty so I was definitely outed as the newbie in the lounge. There are many seating options inside and outside the Concorde Room – chairs, couches, high top dining, seats at the bar, intimate booths and if you felt like it the entire First Galleries lounge across the hall. Since the lounge is exclusively for British Airways First Class travelers, it wasn’t crowded during our visit. The furniture isn’t special and could do with a bit of a refresh, that said, it was comfortable.
Concierge & Concorde Room Cabanas
There is a concierge desk to help with any arrangement you may need in your destination city (restaurant, tickets, tours, car service, etc.). They will also sort out cabana usage if you want to catch a bit of sleep before your flight. The cabanas were in used during my visit so I wasn’t able to see inside. The bathrooms do not have Elemis toiletries but are the same blah bathrooms in all of the lounges (my least favorite bathrooms, the public restrooms are nicer) – they definitely could do with some upgrades and updates.
British Airways Concorde Room – Food/Drink
Champagne – check! At our seats, a lounge menu was available to place our order with a server. If we wanted sit down service with a more extensive menu we could move to the high top tables or request a booth in the Concorde Room. If none of this appealed to us (no worries it all appealed to Mom), we could walk out of the Concorde Room and across the hall to the First Galleries on the same floor (I would run over there to get bananas which I could have asked for in the Concorde Room but I’m picky so wanted to see my options). The First Galleries has a buffet, self-service food and drink options similar to the Business Class Galleries lounge on the floor above.
Mom ordered a club sandwich and I took a chance on the burger (it was fine, nothing special in my opinion but I’m a burger snob who likes Pat LaFrieda meats). Mom also ordered another glass of champagne while I moved to my normal beverage of choice, still water. We ordered dessert before Mom’s Elemis spa appointment.
Elemis Spa at T5 BA Galleries – First Class Reservation
When you are flying First with British Airways you can reserve a spa appointment in advance (up to 28 days ahead). Normally, spa appointments (15 minutes each) are first come, first served as we experienced the Elemis Spa at JFK Terminal 7 BA Lounge. Requesting an appointment is a bit clunky in my opinion (when will it be in the BA app?) as a U.S. passenger, I had to send a message from the online website tool and wait for a reply regarding my time request. I wasn’t able to request two appointments (Mom and Me) they said so I sent back a time window for a facial for Mom. Mom loved her facial but I was quite surprised when she returned without eyebrows! Apparently, I was unaware that Mom draws her eyebrows on now but at 74 she didn’t care that her eyebrows were gone for the flight home – I found it hilarious.
The Concorde Room Terrace
The outside terrace (patio) of the Concorde Room was quiet and was slightly crowded. I think those who like to plane spot enjoy the view of the planes on the tarmac. You can also look down on the main floor of the terminal to people watch.
The Concorde Room Bar
The bar seats were full during our visit. A few were engaged in conversation and cocktails while others just sat there. The televisions are off to the side so not a distraction at the bar. Servers are roaming throughout the Concorde Room and Terrace to serve you from the bar so no need to worry about not finding a seat.
Wheelchair Assist to Heathrow’s T5 C Gates
The driver came to get mom for her lift to the C gates for the flight but told me I would need to walk separate as she didn’t have space in her cart (seats 6). I was glad to take the walk before the long flight home but had to laugh when Mom drove by me on the ground floor and I waved and she didn’t see me (she was still in her champagne and Concorde Room high). Of course, I was at the gate first. Mom said the ride to the C gate was interesting behind the scenes at the airport with scenes of elevators and ramps. They drove her right to the gate sign for priority boarding. Mom was able to walk onto the plane although it was a long walk from gate to plane – she also welcomed the short walk before the flight. I was very impressed with how the wheelchair assist was handled at Heathrow – I’m not sure if this was because we were flying First or is the same for all requests.
British Airways Concorde Room – Overall Impression
Since the British Airways Concorde Room is only for those flying in First, it wasn’t as crowded as other lounges during my visit. It has nice features which could do with a bit of posh upgrading when compared to other airline offerings but it was the staff and attentive servers (thanks Danny and team!) that are the defining factor of the Concorde Room. I may not be a millionaire but Mom felt like a rock star that day from start to finish with the British Airways Concorde Room treatment. I often take for granted that lounge access is a nice perk included with my ticket/status. To see the lounge experience through Mom’s eyes was pretty special….what will she think of the First Class flight home? Stay tuned for that review!