OneWorld Welcome: American Airlines Flagship Lounge & British Airways Galleries First Lounge Terminal 3 London Heathrow

Filed Under: American, British Airways

We left the Hilton at around 10AM for our 12:35PM departure. We took the walkway to terminal four and then took the Heathrow Express to terminal three from there. We lucked out on the timing of the Heathrow Express, as it left a minute after we got to the station.

Once at terminal three we visited American’s Flagship check-in area, which can be accessed directly from outside.

Terminal three exterior

The facility was really basic with just a couple of counters, though there was no queue so we were issued our boarding passes within a few minutes. As is always the case when departing London for the US, we were asked asinine security questions.

Flagship check-in exterior

From there we proceeded to Fast Track security, where the queue was only a few minutes long. Once airside we proceeded to the Flagship Lounge, which is located in the “H” block of lounges.

Terminal three airside

American lounge

The Flagship Lounge is located inside the Admirals Club entrance. While the lounge is a good size it’s always a bit on the crowded side, so does lack the privacy you get in many other first class lounges. That being said it does have a decent buffet spread and is at least modern and in good condition.

Flagship Lounge seating

Flagship Lounge seating

Flagship Lounge seating

Flagship Lounge seating

Flagship Lounge workstations

The lounge also does boast decent tarmac views, mostly of American and Air Canada planes, given that they seem to take up most of that portion of the concourse.

View from the Flagship Lounge

The lounge has a decent continental breakfast spread as you’d find in a hotel club lounge, plus a few hot dishes.

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

However, given that the lounge was on the full side we instead decided to spend the rest of our time before departure in the British Airways Galleries First lounge, which we could access on account of our Executive Platinum (OneWorld Emerald) status. The lounge is just a two minute walk away. While the lounge is definitely not as nice as The Concorde Room (though I’m not really a fan of that lounge either), I do still find it to be nicer than the Flagship Lounge. On top of that, there are several options available at Heathrow for those traveling without status or in coach, thanks to a credit card with lounge access.

It features plenty of seating, a champagne bar, coffee bar, workstations, and a buffet and dining area.

Galleries First seating

Galleries First seating

Galleries First coffee bar

Galleries First bar

Galleries First bar

Galleries First bar

Galleries First champagne bar

Galleries First workstations

View from the lounge

The buffet is located near the dining area, and features a slightly better spread than the Flagship Lounge, with a variety of hot and cold options.








I don’t know if I just have really bad luck or what, but I find the service in British Airways’ Heathrow lounges to be nothing short of comically horrific. My last visit to The Concorde Room was possibly my most disappointing lounge visit ever, while this one wasn’t much better.

We sat down in the dining area and never saw a server appear. I eventually positioned myself outside the kitchen door hoping to get the attention of a server. Eventually one walked by and I asked if they had iced coffee. She said “of course not.” Of course not — really? I guess they don’t have coffee and they don’t have ice cubes…

They had a small a la carte menu I wanted to order something off of, but again, no server appeared, so I again had to stand by the kitchen to wait till a server rushed by. When I ordered something it wasn’t even acknowledged, though it was thrown at our table 15 minutes later without a word. I mean, the dragons that staff these British Airways lounges truly leave me speechless.

Galleries First dining

At around 11:45AM we headed to our departure gate, which was about a 10 minute walk away. We made it there shortly before noon, right as boarding was starting.

Walkway to gate

Our 777 to New York

Our 777 to New York

  1. @Lucky: I think you have bad luck. I’ve never had phenomenal service, but it’s always just incompetent and fumbling, rather than rude and dismissive. I, too, dislike the Concorde Room, but I actually do like the T5 Galleries First lounge a lot. It’s very airy and has a decent enough kitchen. It’s just a lounge, after all, not a 5-star restaurant and anything beats any US-based lounge any day of the week.

    For the record, you should have gone to the Cathay First lounge in T3. It’s my favorite for food and ambience, in that it’s always empty in the hours I visit.

  2. @ A. S. — Surprisingly enough still haven’t checked out Cathay lounge — next time!

    @ sendaiben — “Who packed your bags?” “Have your bags after left your possession?”

  3. I love the UK, make no mistake. So let’s be clear on that point first. I’ve been to London and most major UK cities many times, and to the rural areas as well. Have a ton of friends there. However, I generally find the service in the UK hospitality industry to be well below par, and sometimes truly abysmal. Unless, of course, you are staying at the Lanesbourough or similar 5-star hotel, or dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant.I’ve noticed the same service deficiency at the various BA lounges in both T3 and T5. Just goes with the territory I guess.

  4. I guess you really are a lot younger than I tend to think šŸ™‚
    Those “asinine security questions” started in the good ole USA. Each and EVERY flight check-in.

  5. Not really impressed with The Flag Ship Lounge can just imagine what The Admirals Club looks like…..

  6. Sorry you had another bad lounge experience. But let’s face it, the service culture in the UK sucks, period.

  7. I also think Lucky may be a little un-Lucky… when I was in the Concorde Room in February, the service was excellent, I was sitting on the terrace and literally every 5 min someone came up to me and asked if I needed anything, offered to give me recommendations from the menu etc… the refilled my drinks pretty much instantly.
    Or maybe I was lucky? Dunno…

  8. lucky,
    in Brazil, those questions are asked by American companies when you are boarding a flight to the US. Those questions are asked twice: when you are checking in and when you are boarding. If you are flying a Brazilian company to the US, you only get these questions once.
    If you are flying to anywhere else in the world, you don’t get any questions.

  9. Ben, I’ve traveling to the UK, probably before you were born; service is not their “cup of tea”.

  10. Personally I think it’s sadly more a London thing and in particular the subcontracting of lounge catering that BA do – I always find the staff at the outstations far friendlier. Mind you in the US I don’t always find service/attitude in NYC as good as smaller places, so it’s perhaps not unique to the UK! šŸ™‚

  11. You may be experiencing Euro malaise since the unemployment rate in Europe in double digits……..I have to think that economic pain has to effect the attitudes of those left standing………I am curious whether others have felt that across the continent recently?

  12. Chou must have bad luck. My experience in the Concorde lounge was that they were not proactive but certainly polite and polished.

  13. Whoopsi meant you not Chou. Same comment for galleries first(not proactive but polite and polished). Based on three Concorde lounge visits and 5 galleries first visits.

  14. “Who packed your bags?” and “Have your bags left your possession?” aren’t particularly asinine questions. I think the primary purpose is to have pre-packaged evidence against you if it turns out there’s something naughty in your bag, whether it’s a security risk or a smuggling thing.

    If you want a stupid question check out the US visa waiver form: “C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?”

  15. Speaking as someone who hasn’t been to either the Concorde Lounge or the Galleries First Lounges, from what I’ve seen from here and other TR, the experiences there seem to be hit-or-miss (unlike, say, the LH FC terminal in Frankfurt or TG’s FC lounge in Bangkok, which are usually hits).

  16. @ wwk5d — Neither are especially nice, though I’d say the American lounge has a slight edge.

  17. I’m traveling DUB-LHR-JFK on BA/AA tomorrow in econ šŸ™ With US Airways Gold (OW Sapphire) can I access the Cathay Business Lounge or do I have to use the AA Admirals or BA Galleries?

  18. Ben, being a champagne connoisseur like yourself, do you recall the champagnes offered in The Galleries? It looks like the have a nice bar of them, but no closeups of what they are. I found your review of the Cathay lounge and it appears to have Veuve and Piper Heidsieck, with something else I couldn’t read. Would love to have the Perrier in the Concorde lounge, but on AA108/109 next week in F from the mistaken wide-open plane AA blessed us with when adding the route :).

  19. Ben, I stopped by twice the past week and both days they had Taittinger ’06 Brut Millesime and ’06 Prestige Rose. Good stuff! It was also nice to have some Johnny Walker Blue as well. The only other place I’ve had that is the LH FCT.

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