Thursday, August 18, 2016

British Airways First Class LHR Terminal 3 Lounge

I was excited to check out the new Heathrow Terminal 5. I read great things about the new terminal and was excited to dine in the Concorde Room, reserved for British Airways passengers only (unlike first class lounges that can be accessed by oneworld top level flyers).  The shopping looked great with seemingly every Scotch on the market available.  I ran (literally) through Terminal 5 last year after a flight delay and I was excited to explore the blur.
Best View from T3 BA Lounge
My flight from JNB landed early and I had about 5 hours to kill before boarding my flight to Denver. This was ample time for lounging, shopping, a few meals, and plane spotting. One problem, I couldn’t enter Terminal 5. My flight to Denver was departing Terminal 3 and those passengers can’t go anywhere except Terminal 3.  I was crushed.  Terminal 3 is the decrepit reject terminal that needs to be bulldozed. There is no dedicated first class space either. 

I took the shuttle van away from my dreams to meet my fate (disappointed there was no first class passenger car ala Lufthansa). A quick trip through security and I found the BA lounge.  I grabbed a shower (renovations needed) and scoped out the best window seat in the lounge so I’d have something to look at for four hours.
A Better Lounge View at DFW
The dining room has the views of the field in the lounge. I didn’t feel guilty planning to occupy a table for 4 hours because the lounge was sparsely populated in the morning. The service was poor. I had to grab my own beverages and it took over 10 minutes to get a waiter’s attention and place an order.  The food was OK when it arrived.  I just needed something to munch on as I watched planes land in the distance.

There were about 10 different whiskeys at the self-serve bar (Lufthansa has over 80 and they were poured and delivered for you). Blue Label and Glenfiddich 18 were available, so not bad.  Still the ground experience left much to be desired. Sadly it felt more like a US carrier than a European carrier.
I Like Airplanes
Terminal 3 shopping was limited and pedestrian. Only mass market brands were visible and the prices seemed exorbitant after coming from South Africa with the best priced alcohol on earth.  After a very long walk to the gate, I was ready to get in my seat and get home.

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