The Concorde Room: A Look Inside British Airways’ Most Exclusive Lounge
Photos by Paul Thompson
Tucked into the corner of the upper level of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, sits a spacious and dark-wooded lounge for the most elite passengers of one of the world’s most respected and longest-serving airlines.
Named for the retired supersonic aircraft, The Concorde Room is a beautiful lounge, inspired by the finest five-star boutique hotels. Upon entry, the door says “By Invitation Only,” so you immediately feel special right from the get go.
The attendant at the desk asks to see your boarding pass, like any other lounge, and then you’re offered a tour. I chose to guide myself through the lounge, and took my time noticing the decor and amenities, eventually landing on a large chair beneath a sizable portrait of actor Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
Shortly after I sat, I noticed the food and beverage menu, from which I ordered a traditional English Breakfast — which included a poached egg, two kinds of sausage, a slice of grilled ham, grilled tomato and baked beans. I washed it down with a couple of mimosas. It was all delicious. A more traditional dining area seats small groups at booths with high wooden walls, but being alone, I opted to sit in a more unique area.
The room has spectacular views of the T5 ramp, where many of British Airways’ planes park. Both of Heathrow’s runways are visible as well, along with the highly diverse menu of international aircraft that come and go. During my visit, we were waiting to fly on BA’s brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, from London to Austin, Texas in First Class.
The Concorde Room includes a full bar, as well as a concierge who can help arrange accommodations or shows in London’s Theater District. Guests can also take advantage of a spa, where a chair massage waits. Of course, I did that as well. Private “Cabana” rooms are available upon reservation, and feature seating areas, showers and TVs.
There is even a meeting room, where the chairs surrounding the table are actual seats from the Concorde aircraft. Of course I took the opportunity to sit in these historic seats, knowing world leaders, captains of industry, athletes and rock stars have all flown the Concorde.
In case you haven't heard of the Concorde… to put it simply, it was a plane that entered service in 1976, and flew at twice the speed of sound, between places like New York or Washington DC to London or Paris. It was a true technological marvel. All the while, passengers experience the utmost in service and cuisine, which one would expect at the round trip price of $12,000. Only twenty Concordes were built, including the prototypes.
Throughout the Concorde Room, if you pay attention, there are hints of the heritage of its namesake. Half walls, upholstery and menus are emblazoned with a repeating pattern, which also features the Concorde. Being only one of two airlines that flew the Concorde throughout its entire active service life, British Airways has a lot to be proud of. Although it has been twelve years since its final flight, it is still highly beloved between airline employees, travelers and aviation geeks alike.
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