This is the final part of my trip report to Riyadh. You can read part 2 here. Upon arrival back in London Heathrow I headed straight through passport control to baggage reclaim. Heathrow was not working well that morning and it was over an hour’s wait for my bag. When it did finally arrive, I headed out through customs to the arrivals lounge.
Arrivals Lounge Location
To locate the arrivals lounge; collect your bags, pass through customs and turn left looking for the orange lifts. From there you can either take the lift or the escalator up to the floor which is signposted for the BA arrivals lounge.
The BA arrivals lounge is a place you can go to get a shower, have breakfast and read the morning paper before your day begins. There is very limited access, however, and it’s only open in the mornings, closing at 2pm. To get in, you must have flown a long-haul flight in Club World, or First, or be an Exec Club Gold member. You cannot take a guest.
If you’re in Club Europe you won’t be getting in, only long-haul flights qualify, even for Gold members.
British Airways Arrivals Lounge Seating
Food & Drink
By the entrance, there is a free baggage store where you can leave all your luggage, but don’t forget that clean change of clothes for after your shower!
Once inside there is a large breakfast buffet with plenty of hot and cold options for you to choose from. If you’re lucky enough to have been travelling in First there is a small Concorde room off to the side where you can sit and get table service for breakfast. There’s a business service area where you can do some work with the usual facilities like printing. To the right, there is a wall stacked with the morning papers and TV screens above showing you different news channels and plenty of places to sit and relax.
British Airways Arrivals Lounge Catering
Down towards the end of the lounge, you will find the shower facilities. If you want to shower, simply check in with the receptionist who will assign you a shower. There are 94 showers in total, so you should never have trouble getting in. However, it is a bit of a rabbit warren. You’ll be assigned a colour and a number for your shower. I will admit that on a couple of occasions, it’s taken me a few minutes to find my allocated shower.
British Airways Arrivals Lounge Showers
Each shower cubicle is self-contained with a shower, sink, mirror and toilet. There is a bench to sit on and hooks to hang your clothes up. There is also a hatch contained within the door. It allows you to hang your shirt up inside the hatch, close the door and press a button, someone will open the hatch from the other side take your shirt away and iron it for you while you’re showering. There is also a control by the door that allows you to listen to the radio.
The shower itself is a pretty advanced piece of kit. It has multiple nozzles with pressure and temperature controls and even the ability to adjust the height of the whole unit. There’s full instructions on the wall on how to use it. You’re provided with towels so no need to take a damp towel home with you.
I always find taking a shower very refreshing after a long-haul flight. Then it’s nice to relax with a bit of breakfast before worrying about getting home or getting to the office.
British Airways Arrivals Lounge Shower Facilities
Using the arrivals lounge is a no-brainer if you have status or qualify based on your flown cabin. If you’re arriving in London early in the morning and won’t get access to your hotel until late afternoon, the arrivals lounge should tide you over until then. Being able to shower, get breakfast and then continue your day after a long flight is a nice proposition.