The Final Verdict
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Spoiler alert: The Concorde Room is better…

You’ve gotta adore any place on the ground or in the sky where someone brings you not only a glass of $120 a bottle champagne with a smile, but one that’s actually delicious. For their premier lounge offering out of home turn at London Heathrow, British Airways is striving for excellence, and they’re getting closer with their updated Concorde First Class Lounge. Here’s what things are like inside…

Update: in response to covid-19, British Aiways is temporarily using the Galleries First Terrace as the make shift Concorde Room. We’ll update this resource when things change, but here’s what to expect there for the interim.

For starters – guests now arrive via the industry standard “First Wing”. This fast track check in and security offering is legitimately exciting, generally clocking five minutes from terminal entrance to lounge. Once inside, the most immediately noticeable change is the quirky lamps. While there’s nothing wrong with quintessential British refinement, it’s fun to see more playful touches.

Any guests first move should be to secure mobile phone chargers, from the lounge desk. This is one of the few “tech” related improvements to the space, but offering mobile charging from any point in the lounge is invaluable.

The inside of the Concorde Room offers cozy living room style nooks, the bar, and a la carte dining room – but enthusiasts tend to favor the open air patio. Is it the fanciest and most stylish first class lounge? No. But it’s great, even if it’s a bit hodge-podge on the decor.

With waiter service on the up and up, why not? Though this author fancies himself an A-lister at heart, no one else does. But if I were an A-lister flying out of London, I’d walk directly out to the Concorde Room’s patio doors, make a sharp right – and snag the very last cabana on the far side.

The new(er) setup, with truly ‘cabana like’ curtains offers nicely segmented and privatized spaces. For the far cabana, there’s no reason for anyone to walk that way. A Beckham could be sitting there, and I doubt anyone would catch on. Well, until they left the lounge of course.

And if I’m a solo traveler, I’m walking straight upon entering the patio, and scoring one of the deep sleep worthy loungers. Just make sure to set an alarm. Champagne and comfy chairs have a unique ability to interfere with flights.

Those couches though, right? Personally, I think they’re neat. After consulting those with degrees and careers on the subject, the consensus is there is no consensus. They are statement pieces, loved or hated – and there’s no correct answer. Only the one in your mind. It beats beige though?

But – what about food and beverage? Remarkably, British Airways still serves Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle, Johnny Walker Blue and other celebrated wines and spirits in the lounge. In my opinion, Grand Siecle is a champagne which truly lives up to the price point. Compared to prior menus, current food seems more focused on lighter, nutrient rich meals.

Although “free” food is always great, I’ve given a pass to many of the stodgier dishes of visits past. The roast chicken, seared halloumi and desserts were very palatable – for airport food. One must – espresso martini. You’ll thank me.

A first class lounge is about refining, personalizing and adding luxury to a standard business class experience. With no first class terminal or state of the art lounge in sight, this is a very welcome improvement. I felt extremely well looked after, I enjoyed my food and there was always a seat. I’d love to see brand new showers, guaranteed spa appointments and a few other elite marks – but this is truly an airport experience to relish. I’ll be back.

What are your thoughts on the British Airways Concorde Room?

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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6 Comments

  1. The trolling on this site is ruining it

    Looks like you two know each other – sort your differences somewhere else. Otherwise shut the comments capability

  2. What’s new here? Did they remodel or something? I came through in January and again in March, I’d be curious if something had changed.

    Those sofas! I know opinions are mixed, but to me they look like an 80s garage sale! And I wish they had more power points. I was hoping you’d say they did

  3. I’ve been to the Concorde lounge a few times now. While the food has improved, the drinks have always been good. The decor is luxurious (apart from the washrooms and cabana rooms) My main complaint however is the lack of staff. For a truly luxurious welcome as well as service throughout, there were just not enough staff there. This lead to a not very personal service overall. It’s the lack of attention to detail that sets a service apart from others. Compared to other first class ground products, this leaves me wanting. 70/100 from me.

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