Cold Chicago, Warm Planes – To Chicago with AA and BA
British Airways Galleries Lounge, Toronto Airport
- Let’s Play “Stacking Discounts!” (The Introduction)
- We’re going where the air is free (NX210 to LHR), BA Galleries Lounge AA Flagship Lounge
- AA87 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare T5
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One Time Exception – Millennium Park
- Back to O’Hare T3, American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- AA4253 Chicago O’Hare T3 to Toronto Pearson T3
- Toronto, Oh Toronto…
- The British Airways Galleries Lounge, Toronto
- BA098 Toronto Pearson T1 to London Heathrow T5
- Arrivals Lounge, Homeward Bound
- Warming up slowly…
Lounge stop – British Airways Galleries Lounge.
Disclosure: British Airways/Compass Handling kindly offered food at the pre-flight dining section. The following review is the author’s own opinions.
I was welcomed to the lounge, and my boarding pass scanned. I was wearing a T-Shirt, which got the lounge agent and myself chatting (I should add no one was behind me).
After a short discussion, I asked if there was any space in World Traveller Plus that night. Space was available on buy up (with a window to boot) for CAD$250. I took it as the rest of my row had checked in.
After thanking the lounge agent for the best BA lounge in North America, I was allowed in, and met the lounge manager who chatted to me for a while why I thought it was the best lounge in North America. He seemed very happy with my reasons (a relaxing atmosphere and some of the best BA staff in North America)… and also offered me Buffet voucher to “review” the facility.
The pre-flight dining area was shut for a while whilst they prepared it for the BA98 rush (with BA96 now gone), so I took a seat, was offered a glass of bubbles and sat down in a quiet relaxing environment… before dinner.
Soon enough, the pre-flight dining was open, with the lounge manager inviting those in who had vouchers – with a very deep eye to detail that night.
So onto the food – because at GhettoIFE, we love food.
Salads and starter items
The salad/starter items were of a good quality, fresh and no wilted leaves or anything off putting like that. Fresh and crunchy are good things here, and this was delivered in spades.
The hot items were self service too – again, a mix of chicken, fish, vegetarian to cover all tastes, with the food served hot – which in an environment like this is so important.
There was also a cook to order option – which that night was, Penang Beef Curry. Well it would have been rude of me if I didn’t have one.
And it was cooked to order… and tasted as good as it looked
To this… That’s what I call a curry
It was well spiced and had flavour – sometimes that can be a challenge.
As well as main item, there was also Apple Crumble, cheeses and a mousse dessert. Sadly, I didn’t partake of them – namely as the curry had filled me up.
The meal is what I’d describe as “satisfying”, and given its target customer base (those who are intending to sleep the moment the plane takes to the sky), this is a good thing as going to sleep on a happy stomach is important.
With dinner done and dusted, I retired back to the lounge area and got on with a bit of typing and image dumping onto the laptop.
The lounge began to fill up as the evening progressed – although the lounge never felt full. It was still a peaceful environment to relax in and work in.
WiFi was provided free of charge by Toronto Airport. Whilst the speed of the WiFi wasn’t going to break records, it did work “well enough” on both the laptop and the phones for basic uses like email, browsing.
Nibbles and such
Soon enough (and lets be honest, it felt way too soon to me), boarding was called for Flight 98 to London Heathrow.
I sadly took my leave of the lounge, and thanked the lounge team for their excellent service.
Overall : Yes, I maybe biased in my in my opinion that this is one of the best BA lounges outside the UK – but hear me out: If there a place where was great service, good food and a friendly lounge team on a trip that you have to make home or on the way to somewhere… wouldn’t you want to divert there if it wasn’t out of your way?
That’s how I view this lounge – a wonderful stop on the way home that makes allows me to spend my time in a useful way before getting on the plane for the hop to Heathrow.
Heading down to the gate, boarding was in full swing. Thankfully FastTrack was in use, and well patrolled.
A beep of my new boarding pass in World Traveller Plus and it was time to head down the jetway to my second British Airways 787 Dreamliner fight…
..lets hope a luggage loader doesn’t ram into the plane this time….
Disclosure: British Airways/Compass Handling kindly offered food at the pre-flight dining section. The review is the author’s own opinions.