Heathrow T5 (BA Galleries South Lounge in August 2021)

This is my first flight in nearly a year, a domestic flight from London Heathrow T5 to Glasgow Airport. I don’t like taking domestic flights for environmental reasons, but the rail network didn’t give me many options on this one in terms of the price. Things are going to have to change to improve capacity, customer service and pricing if people are going to be tempted away from their cars and from airlines.

I’ve always liked this “welcome to our home” messaging from British Airways at T5. I was able to use premium security several hours before my flight as I like to arrive early at airports in case of a disaster en route. I then meandered around a rather quiet airport to the T5 Galleries South lounge.

There’s a new scanner at the entrance to the lounge check-in to avoid needing to go to a staff member. Anyway, it rejected my boarding pass and the kind and patient lady overseeing it mentioned “they’re new and don’t work very well”, but it was soon over-ridden when I used the more traditional staff member at a desk set-up. The lounge felt quite quiet and there’s no self-service offered still, everything is ordered on-line by customers and it’s brought to the table. Staff in the lounge were all personable and kind, it’s a friendly and peaceful place at the moment.

Having quite a lot of time to get things done I was able to work my way through the menu, this is the Sticky Ginger and Tamari Chicken. I’ve never heard of Tamari, but a quite Google search tells me that it’s a Japanese version of soy sauce. This was really pleasant, tender chicken with a rich sauce and fluffy rice. And some green stuff. Incidentally, on another point, there are power points available so that my devices could charge up throughout the afternoon.

The beer choice was Heineken, which is a completely pointless drink as far as I’m concerned. BA have reverted to having a whole range of wine, but absolutely no beer of even average quality. I hope that the Brewdog tie-up can be brought back soon to rectify this little omission. I’m sure that normality will resume soon enough in this regard.

The beef chilli with sour cream and rice, again all very nice.

I had a quick vodka and Coke, because the Pineapple Ciroc sounded very lovely. And it was, I’m a fan of that now.

Photos of part of the lounge.

My dessert of carrot loaf, or whatever it was called. It’s like a stodgy carrot cake.

At this point a lounge manager walked around politely telling everyone that as it was quiet, they were closing the Galleries South lounge down for the day. She added that customers could go and use the First Class lounge instead, somewhere that I haven’t been for over five years.

I had finished for the day with food, but there was a different menu on the on-line ordering system in the better lounge, so I felt the need to have a little try of the Barbacoa beef tortilla. This was a step-up in terms of the food quality, very tender beef and the sour cream complemented it well. Quite messy to eat though, but an innovative little dish. Other options I could have gone for were the red wine & mushroom pie and the Caribbean spiced chicken.

The infamous (well, on Flyertalk anyway) lounge horse lamp…..

Then the walk to my flight began, through a very empty Heathrow T5. The whole experience is somewhat different to what it was two years ago, but I think it’s all nicer now for customers, although that’s partly just because it’s quieter. Anyway, all very lovely, and a pleasant way to spend a few hours before the flight.