How To Access British Airways Lounges [Concorde, Galleries, Arrival]

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British Airways, the flagship carrier of the U.K., operates an airport lounge network of 0ver 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.

British Airways Concorde Lounge JFK
British Airways Concorde Room JFK. Image Credit: British Airways

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 2 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Your other option is by holding a Concorde Room card, which is an unpublished status level of the British Airways Executive Club loyalty program that is rumored to require around 5,000 Tier Points each year.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.

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.

British Airways First Class Lounge
Enjoy a fully stocked bar in a British Airways First Class Lounge. Image Credit: British Airways

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.

British Airways Club Lounge JFK
British Airways Club Lounge JFK. Image Credit: British Airways

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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a new welcome bonus offer of 60,000 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.

This is our favorite card for getting into 1,300 airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get ~$3,000+ in value from the card every year.

The Amex Platinum can get you up to $200 in Uber Cash annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December), up to $240 a year in digital entertainment credits, up to $300 a year on select Equinox members, and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage or seat selection fees). There's even a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, annually. With an annual fee of $695, you get more value in return. Terms Apply and enrollment may be required for select benefits. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a new welcome bonus of 75,000 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the card's benefits & perks. This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide. Terms apply and for rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,300+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, until 12/31/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.

Earn big with this card, earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card - Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Priority Pass Select Membership is included with the card and you'll get 10 free lounge visits every year once enrolled, all for an annual fee of $95. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the HIlton Surpass Card, click here.

Our Favorite Cards for Lounge Access

At Upgraded Points, our absolute favorite card to keep in our wallets when it comes to 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, Airspace 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, that 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.

Final Thoughts

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!

The information regarding The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

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.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a British Airways lounge?

That will depend on what class of airfare you’re flying with British Airways, or whether you have elite status in its Executive Club program.

Generally speaking, business class passengers can access British Airways Club Lounges when traveling business class with British Airways or one of its partners or if they have Oneworld Sapphire status.

First class lounges are reserved for those traveling first class with British Airways or one of its partners or those that have Oneworld Emerald status.

Finally, the exclusive Concorde Room is only accessible to British Airways first class passengers or those that hold a Concorde Room Card status within the Executive Club program.

Can you pay to use British Airways lounges?

You cannot purchase day passes or any sort of membership to access British Airways lounges. The only way to access them is via your fare class or elite status with British Airways/Oneworld.

Is the food free in British Airways lounges?

Yes, all of the food and beverages, including alcohol, are free in British Airways lounges.

Does British Airways Premium Economy have lounge access?

British Airways Premium Economy passengers do not receive lounge access unless they have British Airways Silver status and above or Oneworld Sapphire status and above.

How long can I stay in a British Airways lounge?

There is no specified time limit for how long you can stay in a British Airways lounge.

Which British Airways lounge is the best at London Heathrow?

Without question, the very best British Airways lounge at London Heathrow is the Concorde Room in Terminal 5. After that would be the 2 Galleries First lounges in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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