Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

LHR T5 departure in First: What is your ideal pre-flight routine?

LHR T5 departure in First: What is your ideal pre-flight routine?

Old Jun 12, 19, 9:07 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 363
LHR T5 departure in First: What is your ideal pre-flight routine?

2 questions related to flying in first class out of Heathrow T5.

1) When you are flying first out of Heathrow, how many hours before your flight time do you prefer to arrive in order to take advantage of all the benefits you could enjoy from your first class ticket purchase?

Do you have a preferred arrival routine?

2) I have never flown First on British Airways from Heathrow T5. Since on this segment (LHR to Austin, TX) I will be returning from a vacation, I won't be on a stopwatch with deadlines to consider right before or after the flight.

How many hours before my flight would you suggest that I (a newbie to First) arrive to fully experience the chic benefits?
How would you advise that I flow it? (My time before the flight)

In this related but different topic, @ung1 said
Originally Posted by ung1 View Post
Thinking back to what I wrote, what I probably value most about F is not having to feel rushed or stressed at any point of the journey. Whether that is at check in, security, lounge, transfer, boarding, onboard service, disembarking etc.
That is exactly what I aim to achieve on this vacation.
MareLuce is offline  
Old Jun 12, 19, 11:55 pm
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,196
If departing from T5 (not connecting), I would aim to arrive about 45mins before departure giving a 10mins buffer versus conformance then head straight to the gate.
rossmacd is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:00 am
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ipswich
Programs: BA GGL, Royal Ambassador
Posts: 307
Likewise, i take advantage of First security to offer some assurance that I wont get delayed there.

As I live 10 mins away towards Virginia Water so aim to arrive just under an hour before my flight and head straight to the gate.
TeamStorm is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:07 am
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: BAEC GGL/CR; Hilton Diamond; Mucci des Puccis
Posts: 2,785
Leaving aside the frequent F flyer replies, you get CCR for a meal, drinks, and possibly an Elemis spa treatment if so inclined and can get one. You can do all that with time to spare in a couple of hours, so 2-3 hours before flight time is OK.

bisonrav is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:23 am
Ritz-Carlton Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: EDI, TYO, CGK
Programs: CX MPC Diamond, BAEC Gold
Posts: 1,791
I agree with bisonrav above, and sorry for the frequent flyer replies. 2-3 hours is good, though do be sure to add in time to get past security (which can be a pain on Monday/Tuesday mornings, even through First Wing). Moreover if youre going to do the spa, and get a shower, also put in a time buffer as the showers particularly get very busy at certain times (unless you reserve a cabana). The lounge itself I should mention is nothing special of its own, though Id say the Concorde dining is worth your time particularly if youre connecting to an EU bound flight.
clubeurope is online now  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:26 am
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ipswich
Posts: 7,454
I allow a decent slug of contingency as I live 100+ miles out so would plan for 2-3 hours. Most of the time this leaves ample time for all that's on offer. Occasionally it might mean I only have an hour, but even then that is enough for me.

That said, I have seen various reports on here of people who plan 5, 6 or even more hours in the CCR and love it. Each to their own.

A lot would depend on practical matters - what time of day is your flight, what other plans do you have? I wouldn't get up at 5 to spend 5 hours at T5, but if I had to check out of a hotel at noon and my flight was 19:00, then I might as well kill time in the CCR as somewhere else.
windowontheAside is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:32 am
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Surrey
Programs: BAEC - Silver
Posts: 511
Weve settled on 4 hours, we tend to do a couple of F trips each year so its always special rather than trudging a frequent path... That gives us time for a couple of drinks, then a shower and a spa treatment (booked in advance), possibly a wander round the shops (good sales on at the moment!), back to the CCR for lunch/dinner and a couple more drinks then head to the plane.
noFODplease and clubeurope like this.
TheFlyingCyclist is online now  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:39 am
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold, AA 1MM lifetime gold, Starwood gold, Marriott Gold Elite
Posts: 538
We try and get there 3-3.5 hrs before departure time. This allows for a leisurely drink and then meal in the CCR, a bit of relaxation on the terrace, allows for my wife to go shopping whilst I have a relaxing shower, then we meet back in CCR before taking the train to the B or C Gates.
Flyiboy likes this.
Jed is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:42 am
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Lewes, UK
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,159
Allow some time to walk to B or C gates via the tunnels and skip the transit.
LBP2 likes this.
pennineuk is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 2:18 am
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: coastal Croatia
Programs: BAEC gold, M&M FQTV
Posts: 1,931
agree with windowontheAside that it's not worth getting up early and that 2-3 hours is enough time to enjoy a glass or two of LPGS and a meal and a spa treatment and a shower if all that is your thing. definitely take advantage of the first wing for check-in and security. duty-free shopping isn't really something I partake of but T5 has a wide variety of outlets so you can allow time to window shop or shell out serious cash for some of the world's best known luxury brands.
eefor jfp is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 2:40 am
Join Date: Jun 2003
Programs: BA, IHG, 5C
Posts: 4,264
The AUS flight is at midday, assuming I'm looking at the right season. So basically the question is do you prefer an early breakfast at your accommodation, or a late-ish breakfast in the CCR - that comes down to price/quality/stomach-patience and also the travel-time.

If you get to the lounge for breakfast at 9 you'll have a perfectly pleasurable morning before your flight, but if you prefer to breakfast elsewhere and then arrive at 10 you can have a calm pass through the airport & lounge and you won't have done yourself out of anything unmissable.
pauldb is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 2:53 am
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 41,718
My answer would be that you can do this comfortably and safely in just under an hour, 50 minutes or so, which is a a big win for the frequent traveller given the airport's size and reach. That allows for a quick coffee in CCR and to grab a newspaper before heading to the gates.

You can then build up from there. So do you want a quick bite such as the cheeseboard? Add 10 minutes. Maybe a salad and cheeseboard, plus a cocktail? In which case add a further 5 or 10 minutes. And so on. However if you find yourself heading past 3 hours you risk two issues: boredom seeping in - nothing much is happening really. And secondly at the end of the day you are just adding to potentially excess tiredness which may screw up your next day.

In terms of leaving the lounge area, all gates in T5C are within 15 minutes walk (the transits should be quicker for the C gates, for the B gates it's about the same. There is a guide to the Passageways in the Dashboard). BA keep gates open until 20 minute to arrival. So I would leave the lounge around 45 minutes or so, before departure, or perhaps a bit after that if the gate is in T5A. Add more
our_kid and MareLuce like this.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Jun 13, 19, 3:10 am
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: MAN
Programs: BA Silver, IHG Spire Ambassador
Posts: 297
We were on a connection so ended up with 3 hours in T5. For our first time in F, we thought that this was about right to experience everything without being rushed. Obviously, the frequent flyers will want to spend as little time as possible in the terminal and but for a holiday, you'll want to idle your way through security, find a spot in the lounge, visit the spa, sample plenty of the food & drinks menus etc. You'll need to leave the lounge at least 45 mins before departure so it's pretty easy to fill up an enjoyable 3 hours and not be bored.
MareLuce likes this.
Crofton138 is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 3:11 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London
Programs: Mucci. Nothing else matters.
Posts: 36,182
Originally Posted by MareLuce View Post
1) When you are flying first out of Heathrow, how many hours before your flight time do you prefer to arrive in order to take advantage of all the benefits you could enjoy from your first class ticket purchase?

Do you have a preferred arrival routine?
Usual plan: Arrive 4-5 hours ahead so that I actually have some room inside me for a meal and enough time before the flight so that I'm not boarding the aircraft too stuffed to eat anything on board (assuming a departure time that's conducive to eating on board), and then enjoy some rare relaxation time just reading and being waited upon. And possibly a spa treatment, if there are any suitable slots left when I arrive, leaving enough time for the saunter over to T5B and back if necessary to do that.

Usual reality: Get off the Tube at T5 about 90 minutes before departure, having just about enough time for a shower and a glass of bubbly before heading off to the gate.
henners, YacozA and MareLuce like this.
Globaliser is offline  
Old Jun 13, 19, 4:09 am
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,350
I see it as a day of my holiday. I flew to austin in 1st earlier this year

Overnight at the Sofitel.
Through 1st wing security at about 7am
Breakfast in CCR- glass of LPGS
Spa treatment at about 9 (very hard to book)
Maybe a quick lounge tour to try and find better magazines
9.30- 10.45 light drinking of LPGS
10.45 wander over to board (often walk through the tunnels)

On a later departure I also arrive early, similar routine, maybe a cabana nap or a bit of shopping browsing (never buy anything) and have been known to have breakfast lunch and dinner in the CCR as the only flight from LBA was early morning. On a later flight shower and change before boarding often.
MareLuce likes this.
Barnaby100 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: