- British Airways First Class, Austin – London Heathrow
- British Airways Club Europe: London Heathrow – Paris Orly
- Park Hyatt Vendome
- British Airways 212 Orly West Lounge and Club Europe Paris-Orly – London Heathrow
After clearing transit passport control and security, I had a 3 hour connection, and no gate was posted yet for my flight. I decided to head to the British Airways first class lounge on the south side of the airport.
Heading to the lounge means going down an escalator, walking through the shops, and back up an escalator.
I flew first class on the way to Paris, and could have used the Concorde Room if I had the time.
For the return I was flying business class (which I was more excited to try, in a way, as it’s been a few years since I had flown BA business). A Club World passenger would normally have access to the business class lounge, but as a oneworld emerald member (American Airlines Executive Platinum) I had first class lounge access.
oneworld is different from Star Alliance with lounge access. Mid-tier elites in oneworld get business class lounge access, and top tier elites get first class lounge access. That’s why as an American Airlines Executive Platinum I can use the Qantas first class lounge in Sydney (and elsewhere), Cathay Pacific’s first class side of the Wing and the Pier in Hong Kong, and other first class lounges.
But British Airways treats their lounges somewhat differently. They have business class, first class, and Concorde Room. The Concorde Room is their ‘real’ first class lounge which is open only to BA’s first class passengers (and a select few elites). Business class passengers use the business lounge. So the first class lounge is really a ‘top tier elite lounge’.
Whereas I consider the Concorde Room a very poor first class lounge, I think that the Galleries First lounge is quite good then for what it is. There’s good food and drink, plenty of comfortable seating, and overall it’s reasonably stylish.
Although the ‘business’ area is fairly sterile.
The style of the restroom was similar to that of the Concorde Room, and it was clean.
Although it was showing its wear:
The food options are self service and plentiful, though nothing was extraordinarily good at least at breakfast time while I was there.
Perhaps what I like best about the lounge is the terrace area, the “outdoors” portion of the lounge (that is still inside the airport) which is very similar to the terrace attached to the Concorde Room — the primary difference is you don’t have wait staff that will come by to take orders for cooked to order (not very good) food.
I hung out on a couch out on the terrace until British Airways posted a gate for the Austin flight. I caught up on work, knowing I would be without internet for the next 10 hours or so. Then I made my way to the satellite concourse.