British Airways, the flagship carrier of the U.K., operates an airport lounge network of over 60 lounges in 30 airports worldwide. British Airways lounges are primarily located throughout the U.K., EU, and the U.S., and offer an enhanced airport lounge experience to the airline’s premium customers.
There a multiple tiers of British Airways lounges, including Concorde Room, Galleries First, Galleries Club, and Arrival Lounges. Let’s take a look at what each tier of British Airways lounge has to offer, and how you can access them.
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways Concorde Rooms are in a league of their own. So much so that Concorde Rooms aren’t technically a part of British Airways standard first class lounges (Galleries First) and there are only 2 of them in the world — 1 at London Heathrow and the other at New York’s JFK.
Travelers visiting the Concorde Room have access to amenities like a dedicated dining room that is more akin to restaurant dining than typical airport lounge dining and complimentary beverages like Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Champagne.
How Do You Access the British Airways Concorde Room?
Since the British Airways Concorde Rooms are by far the nicest of all British Airways lounges, access to them is also the most restrictive.
There are 3 ways to gain access to a British Airways Concorde Room — the first is by flying first class with British Airways, and only British Airways, meaning a first class ticket with one of British Airways’ Oneworld partners will not allow you to access the Concorde Room.
Your other option is by holding a Concorde Room card, which is an unpublished status level of the British Airways Executive Club loyalty program that is rumored to require around 5,000 Tier Points each year. For comparison’s sake, the top (public) status, Executive Club Gold, requires 1,500 Tier Points each year. So receiving a Concorde Room card requires a lot of flying with British Airways.
Finally, if you’re an Executive Club Gold Guest List member, you can access the Concorde lounges when flying any class of service on British Airways.
Hot Tip: For more options, check out our full list of British Airways lounges in the U.S.
British Airways Galleries First Lounge
Unsurprisingly, the British Airways Galleries First Lounges are British Airways’ first class, and best quality, lounges, behind only the Concorde Rooms. In Galleries First Lounges you’ll find premium food and beverage options, wine galleries, and/or Champagne bars.
How Do You Access a British Airways Galleries First Lounge?
Access to British Airways Galleries First Lounges are available to first class passengers traveling with British Airways, or one of its Oneworld partners, on the same day or connecting onwards after having arrived traveling first class. For instance, if you fly from New York to London in first class with British Airways or American Airlines, and then are traveling onward to Paris with British Airways in economy, you’re still eligible to use the Galleries First Lounge during your layover.
Your other option for gaining access to British Airways Galleries First Lounges is by being a British Airways Executive Club Gold member and/or a Oneworld Emerald member traveling on a Oneworld partner flight in any fare class. That’s right, if you have Oneworld Emerald status you can access British Airways first class lounges, and other partner first class lounges, even if you’re flying in economy.
British Airways Galleries Club Lounges
British Airways Galleries Club Lounges are the airline’s business class lounges, and while they’re certainly not as nice as British Airways’ first class lounges, they still offer a great experience to British Airways and Oneworld travelers alike with excellent food and beverage options and shower facilities.
How Do You Access a British Airways Galleries Club Lounge?
In order to access a British Airways Club Lounge, you must be traveling in business class with British Airways or one of its Oneworld partners. As with first class lounges, travelers on a layover who flew in business class, but are continuing on in economy, are still entitled to use the Club Lounge.
Those with British Airways Executive Club Silver status and/or Oneworld Sapphire status can also access British Airways Club Lounges, regardless of what fare class they are flying.
Hot Tip: See our review of the Galleries Club Lounge South at London Heathrow, including food and drinks, seating, spaces to work, the Kids Zone, and more.
British Airways Arrivals Lounges
British Airways Arrivals Lounges provide a great respite to travelers who’ve just completed a long-haul flight and are looking for a spot to decompress, freshen up, and grab a bite to eat before going on about their day. The offering of British Airways Arrivals Lounges is similar to what you would find in one of its Club Lounges with premium food and drink options, along with plenty of places to relax after your flight.
How Do You Access a British Airways Arrivals Lounge?
To access a British Airways Arrivals Lounge you must either be arriving on a British Airways or Oneworld long-haul flight in business or first class, or be a British Airways Executive Club Gold member arriving on a long-haul British Airways flight in any cabin.
Credit Card Options for Airport Lounge Access
If you’re looking for an easy way to get airport lounge access, there are quite a large number of travel rewards credit cards on the market that offer some sort of airport lounge access to cardmembers.
Unfortunately, none of those card options will give you access to British Airways lounges (including the British Airways Visa Signature® Card), but if you’re fine with lounge access of any kind, like Priority Pass access, you can access them just for holding a certain card — no matter what fare class you’re in. See these cards below:
Our Favorite Cards for Lounge Access
At Upgraded Points, our absolute favorite card for airport lounge access is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which includes access to not 1, but 6 different airport lounge networks including Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when flying with Delta. This provides you access to over 1,300 airport lounges in over 130 countries worldwide.
The Amex Platinum card isn’t just great when it comes to lounge access, though — you’ll also receive benefits like 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or at Amex Travel, a $200 annual airline fee credit, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and much more.
Looking for a business card? Consider the business version of the Amex Platinum card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers the same airport lounge access as the Amex Platinum card and many of the same elite travel benefits like hotel elite status and an annual airline fee credit.
Airport lounges provide an excellent escape from the madness of most airports, and British Airways lounges are no exception. A lounge is a fantastic way to relax a bit before your flight, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a cocktail while you prepare for your next adventure.
Ultimately, if you want to gain access to British Airways lounges, you need to fly in business or first class with British Airways, or one of its partners, or hold British Airways Executive Club or Oneworld status. While there is a bit more of a barrier here than some other lounge networks like Priority Pass, the added effort can certainly prove worthwhile once you’re relaxing in a first class lounge!
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.