There’s gotta be a oneworld way – To Heathrow Airport and British Airways Galleries South Lounge
In this epic:
- OTAs: I really hate them…
- To Heathrow, BA Galleries South
- BA485 Heathrow to Madrid
- The Spanish Solution? Run dear fellow…
- IB6275 Madrid to Chicago
- Radisson O’Hare
- Evening Photographic Test: Apple iPhone 7
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Lunch with RenesPoints
- Back to O’Hare
- AA710 Chicago to Dublin
- When Irish eyes are waking up
- BA4465 – Dublin to London City Airport
- Adventures home
- One World?
With an idiot o’clock departure, and me trusting National Express less and less (it comes with exposure), I got home from work the day before, went to sleep, and then finished packing.
Lets just say I haven’t had a decent sleep pattern for some time.
By 12:45 I was out of the flat and in a Uber heading towards the coach station.
The driver drove like the wind thankfully, and we made the coach station in good time. So gooder time that the coach hadn’t arrived.
Digbeth coach station… how I normally see the place.
Eventually, the coach pulled in, and once again – it was time to board the 210 to Heathrow Airport.
The coach itself – not to bad in terms of leg room and seating.
The seat – not too bad. Does recline.
I’ve had worse leg room. Trust me.
I’m going to be honest – I got a doze in as the coach sped along the motorway. Along local routes… I had no chance at all as my body couldn’t switch off.
Eventually, the coach driver made it to Heathrow, and into the tunnel underneath one of the runways. We dropped off the Terminal 2 and 3 passengers, then headed to Terminal 5, where I needed to exit.
Heathrow Central Bus station
Terminal 5 in the distance.
Ah. The joy of Heathrow at 4:10 in the morning. Actually, there’s little joy in the place any time of the morning – when you’re bleary eyed, exhausted and not knowing if and when you’re going.
And with the only thing open at that time is Costa Coffee in arrivals, you do what everyone else does – get a Medium Coffee and settle in until check in decides to open. So that’s what I did.
After laughing at the signs promoting Heathrow as a Skytrax winner, I headed up to the departures level to await check-in opening, and plugged into to a convenient power socket.
So, there are no better airport terminals in the world at all. Places like Singapore Changi, Hong Kong International and Seoul Incheon don’t exist. Got it.
It’s all so quiet… shh.. shh…
Club World Check-in.
The lights gently increased as 5am approached, and the check-in queues grew. I promptly gave up, and headed to the Club World Check in queue.
Well, I’ve still got Sapphire status. Might as well use it.
Check in was handled without any major issues, with my bags tagged through to Chicago O’Hare. However, the agent couldn’t change my seat assignment on the Iberia flight as they were still struggling with FLY.
FLY is British Airways new management system that’s a more than a little slow – and hard to do anything with codeshares with.
I was through security in minutes and headed to the lounge. I also double checked the gate which hadn’t been announced at that point.
However, I had a feeling I knew what the gate would be… and lo and behold. Guess the gate… Yes, it’s my favourite gate in the world – A10. The bussing gate.
I would deal with that in due time. For now, I wanted breakfast. And that meant heading to the Galleries South Lounge.
British Airways Galleries South.
I headed to the lounge and was welcomed in. Rather than head straight for the food, I headed for an agent who decided they wanted a fight with FLY… and won by changing my seat assignment (that I couldn’t do with Iberia).
It took the poor agent the best part of 15 minutes to do it… but it is possible. However, if it takes on person up to 15 minutes to fix a seat reservation, that indicates the issue is with the system and training rather than with the poor front-line agents.
That done, it was time to explore this lounge.
The lounge is a big lounge, with various different sorts of seating around (along with lots of adverts for Samsung… no, they didn’t blow up amazingly).
Food options were typical fare – bacon rolls, omelettes rolls, toast… the usual club lounge fare (one reason to be gold again I suspect – better breakfast options)
Lounge – note the classic posters
Including this one. Yes, we still miss you fast plane.
My office – note the non-exploding Samsung Charging point… along with a loose MicroUSB connector.
Galleries Seating options – lot denser than the lounge below…
Whilst I was exploring I was spotted by none other than Tim of Points to be Made who was in the lounge at the same time as me.
Hello Points to be Made… and muggins.
After catching up with the world, we both discovered we were going to be late for our flights if were not careful.
So much so – our flights were departing at the same sort of time. Tim had a gate… I.. had A10.
I thanked Tim and headed to my date with destiny. A10.
I’ve written about A10 and why it is an utter shambles to have this is a comparatively new terminal, and how poorly it represents the passenger experience.
By the time I had got to the gate, boarding for the first bus had been called. I was blipped through, and headed on the bus.
Amazingly – they didn’t try and cram half an aircraft’s worth of people aboard. Either the ground staff were asleep, or the plane would be slightly loaded.
You’ll find out the answer to that shortly.
A short drive around the terminals, in some tunnels and eventually to hard point, the bus reached the waiting Airbus A321 that would take me onto Madrid.
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