Transfering and showering in London…

Last week I flew British Airways first class via London (Dublin to Washington DC via London) after a fun St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Dublin.  And after “enjoying” Copper Face Jacks until 4am, the first thing I wanted to do after landing in London–both for my sake and my fellow passengers on the long haul segment–was to shower.

Unfortunately, connecting in London Heathrow is the travel equivalent of a triple root canal–even when connecting to intercontinental first class.

When we deplaned down the stairs “at” Terminal 1, everyone was herded into one of two buses, which, after a ~10 minute ride, brought us to a bus transfer terminal, where I needed to wait and board another bus to transfer over to BA’s Terminal 5.  There, I had to re-clear security (as opposed to connecting in, say, Munich, where you don’t need to re-clear security if you’re not entering the Schengen area) and only then was I able to briskly walk for 5-10 minutes to the BA lounge.

So deplaning to lounge took about an hour!

Contrast that to landing in Munich or Frankfurt, where Lufthansa will drive you directly to/from the lounge or first class terminal via private car transfer (usually Mercedes or Porsche)!

I'd rather get in the car than the bus! [@ FRA Airport]

I’d rather get in the car than the bus! [@ FRA Airport]

Then, when I got to the lounge, the shower experience is a night and day difference vs. Lufthansa (who is, arguably, their #1 competitor).

Here’s what Lufthansa’s shower rooms look like:



It’s sleek, spacious, and most importantly spotless.  I always feel totally comfortable showering in the Lufthansa lounges and really feel clean (as opposed to just “wet”) when I get out.  It’s a great “body re-set” to get ready for a long haul flight feeling fresh.

Here’s what BA’s shower rooms look like:



It’s tiny and the counter is eerily reminiscent of an economy class lavatory on board!

Is this a plane or a lounge?

Is this a plane or a lounge?

Worse, the shower itself was pretty gross, and I didn’t even want to be barefoot in the room.



It’s the difference between showering at the St. Regis hotel and a TA truck stop.  BA really needs to step up their shower game!

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  1. I’ve been to the BA arrivals lounge for a shower and it’s quite bad. If you enjoy a hot shower, expect to be in a sauna and start sweating after your shower! The entire room fills with steam and now you need a cold shower.

    • We Fly Free says:

      Sorry to hear the arrivals lounge is just as bad. To me, the entire BA First experience seems like it’s basically designed for passengers departing London… no need to transfer terminals, have to go through security anyway and you can just shower at home. If that represents the majority of their passengers, then so be it, but it makes them pretty non-competitive for connecting passengers.


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