London Heathrow Airport Lounges

London Heathrow (LHR) is one of the world’s busiest international airports and has many airline lounges and also some independent third party lounges. This guide overviews every single Heathrow airport lounge available to passengers…

London Heathrow has 4 terminals in operation:

  • Terminal 2 (known as the Queen’s Terminal, opened in 2014) houses Star Alliance airlines plus Aer Lingus.
  • Terminal 3 is mainly used by Oneworld airlines plus Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.
  • Terminal 4 is utilised by Skyteam carriers.
  • Terminal 5 is used by “home” carrier British Airways.
  • Note that Terminal 1 is closed as of 30 June 2015.

LHR Terminal 5 Lounges

British Airways Lounges: British Airways operates from T5 and has the world’s largest airline lounge complex at the terminal covering some 15,000m² in total and seating up to 2,500 passengers. The lounges are open from 0530 until the last BA departure.

BA Galleries Club Lounges – There are 3 business class Galleries Club Lounges at Terminal 5. South Galleries (seats 830) and North Galleries (seats 440) are both on the upper level of the main T5A building. There is also a Galleries lounge (seats 370) at the satellite T5B .

Access is given to Club or First passengers, Gold and Silver BA Executive Club members plus equivalent Oneworld elites. Facilities include designer furniture and sofas, a 20 seat cinema, free WiFi and a comprehensive food and drink selection. The Elemis Spa (at South Galleries) offers complimentary 15 minute treatments and also has 20 shower suites; there is a smaller Elemis Spa area at Satellite B.

BA Galleries First Lounge –  Available for First Class travellers and BA Gold members/Oneworld Emeralds at the south concourse of T5. The lounge seats 542 and has a wine gallery and champagne bar, coffee house, refectory and deli. There is a dedicated working space and a terrace/viewing area.

BA Concorde Room – For First customers (plus BA Premier members) there is the elegant Concorde Room (seats 156), named after the old supersonic aircraft. It has intimate fine-dining, Concorde bar, concierge desk, business suite, terrace area plus 3 private cabanas – hotel-style rooms with en-suite facilities. BA Gold members who fly 5,000 tier points per year get a special Concorde Room card which also gives them access. Located at T5 South concourse.

ba concord room london heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room LHR T5 – Photo credit: richardmoross/flickr

BA Galleries Arrivals Lounge – For arriving passengers (Club, First and long-haul travelling Gold card members) there is the Galleries Arrivals Lounge (seats 156). Facilities include 94 showers, free 15 minute Elemis Spa treatments, valet suit pressing service and breakfast facilities. Open 0500-1400.

Aspire Lounge and Spa T5 – Due to open in summer 2015, this will be the first independent third party lounge to open at Terminal 5. Run as a joint venture between Swissport and Collinson Group (Priority Pass) the lounge will feature a modern design with bar, comfortable seating, business area and spa facilities. Located near Gate 18. Access to Priority Pass holders and paying guests.

Heathrow By Invitation – Heathrow has opened up its VIP Windsor Suite at Terminal 5 to paying passengers. Costing £1,800 (including VAT) it offers groups of up to 6 people a private lounge facility, a dedicated security and passport control area and a limousine transfer to/from the aircraft – regardless of terminal. Light snacks and drinks are available in the lounge and à la carte dining is offered at extra charge. Meetings are possible with non-flyers and despite the cost you effectively bypass the main terminal and other travellers. Open to business and first class passengers only.

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Easyjet vs Ryanair

Easyjet and Ryanair are 2 of Europe’s biggest budget airlines which carry over 145 million passengers per year between them. In terms of statistics let’s take a look at Easyjet vs Ryanair – how they compare against each other head-to-head…

Background

Easyjet (U2) was established in 1995 and is headquartered at London Luton, UK. Easyjet plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: EZJ)

Ryanair (FR) was established in 1985 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Ryanair Ltd is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ: RYA) plus additional listings in London (LSE: RYA) and in the US (NASDAQ:RYAAY).

Airports

Easyjet has 26 bases, serving 135 airports and 755 routes. Its main base is at London Gatwick (LGW).

Ryanair has 70 bases, serving 186 airports and 1,600 routes. Its main base is at London Stansted (STN).

Flights

Easyjet makes 440,000 flight sectors per year – an average of 1,205 flights per day. The average sector length is 691 miles.

Ryanair makes 525,000 flight sectors per year – an average of 1,438 flights per day. The average sector length is 788 miles.

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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Lounges and Showers

Below is a listing of Amsterdam Schiphol airport lounges and shower facilities – with full details on how to access them.

Airline Lounges at Amsterdam Schiphol

KLM Crown Lounges – KLM has 2 large flagship lounges at Schiphol with a total combined area of 6,000m2. Lounge 52 (Intercontinental, non-Schengen) – on upper floor near F pier – and Lounge 25 (Schengen) – on upper floor near D pier. Facilities include drinks/snacks, business area,  seating and rest areas, showers. Open daily 0445 until last KLM departure.

How To Access Amsterdam KLM Crown Lounges:
• Air France/KLM/Delta/Skyteam business and first class passengers. Note, any arrival passengers technically need a 'same-day' ticket.
• Flying Blue Platinum/Gold and SkyTeam Elite Plus on Skyteam operated flight (+1 guest); Flying Blue Silver on payment of a fee (no guests).
• Delta SkyClub member on Skyteam flight.
• Air France-KLM Petroleum Club on overnight transfer only for Skyteam flight on designated oil route.
• Other airlines business/first class/elite passengers: Aer Lingus/Air Serbia/Cityjet/Etihad/Georgian Airways/LOT Polish Airlines/Ukraine International
• Interestingly, LOT Polish is the only Star Alliance airline using the KLM lounge - so Star Alliance Gold members flying LOT get access.

Skyteam airlines operating from Schiphol are Aeroflot/Air Europa/Alitalia/China Airlines/China Southern/Czech Airlines/Delta Air Lines/Garuda/Kenya Airways/Korean Air/TAROM

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How To Take a Private Jet Charter

Private jets can offer some great advantages over standard scheduled airlines – you can fly in privacy and comfort and set your own flight route and schedule.

The simplest way to fly in a business jet is to undertake a private jet charter – literally renting an aircraft for a set date, time and route.

Ad-hoc jet charters are certainly the best option for very light users of private jet aircraft, say 10 hours or 2-3 short return flights per year. Those requiring a greater amount of hours also have the choice of block hour jet cards and fractional aircraft ownership.

There are 2 basic ways of arranging a private jet charter:

1. Using an air charter operator – this is a licensed operator which has an aircraft fleet stationed at a home base or at multiple bases. They can vary from large operators with wide fleets to smaller operators with perhaps 1 or 2 aircraft.

2. Using an air charter broker – these are companies (or individuals) who act as an agent between the aircraft operator and the customer. They charge a commission on the charter but will have access to wholesale prices – so charter rates should be more or less equivalent to what an operator charges. The largest broking companies have a wealth of experience and global networks of aircraft available.

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