Wise philosophers often say that expectation is the key to happiness. As someone who’s most accustomed to the airport “lounges” maintained in the United States, any lounge operated by a European, Asian or Gulf carrier often feels like a country club in comparison. Upon entering British Airways Galleries lounge, available to One World Sapphire and above flyers on any ticket, and anyone traveling in Club World or above, before our Club World London City flight we found ourselves very content. As you may have hoped this review does include 360 Virtual Reality photos, which you can move up, down, left, right as you please with a finger drag (mobile) or click and drag (desktop). I will say though, in a direct shootout, Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouses are miles ahead…

The Facilities

a sign on a wall

Our flight took place on December 15th, and holiday cheer was on full display at the Galleries lounge, which is adjacent to the right of the Galleries First lounge hidden to the left. There is a Concorde room at JFK for the elite amongst us, but it’s around a hallway and out of sight.

Sitting Area BA Galleries JFK #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

If you’re like us, upon entering a lounge, step one is find a quiet cozy space to set up camp, which you’ll find above. Step two, the bar, but we’ll get to that later…

a fountain with water running out of it

Much to my amusement, in the middle of the largest seating area within the lounge, there is a zen garden. Very peaceful, even with loud drunk guests in every corner. 

a room with a blackboard and chairs and a toy plane

And for a welcome change of scenery for those with children, there is a very quaint playroom just for children, which appeared to be empty. I love the planes on the wall and if alcohol was allowed in, I likely would have parked here. 

a group of black chairs in a room

The main space is split up into quiet a few sub sections, this section the “pub” seems to be comprised of old tires, also known as seats. Just kidding, they look comfy. Because I’m most interested in showing you the food and drinks, I’ll finish by saying that there is a substantial business center, a media area with a large tv, a spa featuring complimentary treatments for business class passengers and a pre flight dining area, which brings me to pre flight dining…

Food + DIning

a buffet line of food

If you’re flying in Club World or Club World London City, you’re entitled to a nice buffet spread featuring a variety of vegetarian and carnivorous options over three (or twenty) courses. No one’s keeping score. Some flights which feature a sleeper service, where you receive less substantial food on later flights strongly encourage participating, even if you’re not on one of these flights, you can still dine. I personally enjoyed opting to have substantial food before our flight and just tucking in for sleep…

More Galleries JFK Pre Flight Dining…. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

As you can see (in full 360), the buffet is substantial, there are nice spaces for groups, single travelers and quick eaters and the space is well appointed.

a plate of food on a table

We sampled the eggplant parmesan, the pork with onions and gravy and roast broccoli pictured above. All were perfectly acceptable. 

a plate of food on a table

For my second, third, fourth and…you get it course, I grabbed the insides of a chicken taco, minus the taco. The guacamole was very fresh, nice tomatillo sauce, the chicken was well spiced and it was a perfectly satisfying pre flight meal. 

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK Pre Flight Dining Area… #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Waiting on my meal delivery. You may have noticed that we brilliantly placed ourselves mere steps from both bar, in sight, and buffet, just around the corner. That’s professionalism.

a trays of sandwiches and scissors

Back in the main lounge area all guests (whether in business or not) have access to a selection of tea sandwiches, cookies and other essential basics.

a table with fruit and juice dispenser

Speaking of essential basics, there’s a nice fresh table featuring fresh juices, waters, fruits and other health conscious delights. Just remember to eat the banana before reaching your international destination, it’s a HUGE no no!

The Bar + Drinks

a row of bottles on a counter

The Galleries lounge features very upmarket alcohol selections including Bombay Sapphire, Johnnie Walker, Jameson, and many other spirits, alongside four excellent bottles of wine, prosecco, and champagne upon request…

BA Galleries JFK Bar #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

What’s your preference? As you can see here I was focused on the red wine and thoroughly enjoyed the pinot noir from Oregon and a red blend from Washington state. 

a group of wine bottles on a bar

You’ll find the Charles and Charles Cabernet and Syrah blend on the left and the Reata Pinot Noir to the far right. If you’re a more sparkly personality the bubbles can be found in the ice bucket. If you’re a picky and sparkly personality, you’ll have to request the champagne…

The Experience + Expert Tips…

As I mentioned there is a spa. If you’re looking for a nice fifteen minute massage, book it immediately as appointment books tend to fill up quickly and it would be a shame to miss out. The pre flight dining was a very nice way to unwind and help yourself to a wide variety of cheese, salads, main courses both hot and cold, desserts such as chocolate cake and sticky toffee pudding and so forth and I really recommend considering it. As far as seating goes, I don’t think there is a magically calm or quiet area, but rather some nice nooks in the corners of the room which are slightly more low key. Put it this way, those around us noticed when I decided to take the 360 snap pictured in the beginning of the review.

As Always, Get In Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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