The British Airways Terraces Lounge, Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5
Back in the Groove
The British Airways Terraces Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5).
It seems that capacity at this lounge is getting more tightly controlled, with the airline limiting the number of customers it is admitting (and it is another sign that O’Hare Terminal 5 is desperately undersized for the passengers they are now serving).
Nonetheless, I was admitted in, noticing a few changes – with a First Class-dedicated dining area and new furniture installed inside the main lounge.
A380 pride of place.
First Class dining. Note the partition and the tables with linen. I guess that is what makes it “first class”.
That’s nice to see, with the lounge looking a little worn last time.
It doesn’t help that this lounge suffers on facing “inwards” to the airport, and the First Class section has long since been shut, with it feeling a little bit like a dungeon sometimes.
Time to explore the food offerings. In Club World and the General Lounge access, there is a buffet being offered. Catered dining appears to be for those beyond the rattan divider.
Food was divided in the lounge, with a hot help-your-self station in the dining room and some cold snacks in the main lounge.
Drinks remain controlled and served by staff in the lounge, rather than self-pour.
I headed into the dining room to see what there was – with Monday night being curry night offered, it seemed. That suited me, as there was a mixture of what America thinks is a Chicken Tikka Masala (Remind me to introduce them to some Birmingham chefs sometime who can teach what a Tikka Malasa is).
The rice was at least fluffy, whilst the mini samosas … were very mini.
That reminds me – I need to head down Soho Road or over to West Bromwich to get some reasonably sized samosas sometime.
It was a pleasant enough atmosphere to spend time in pre-flight – certainly, better than waiting in the main terminal area (and considering that for the winter season, BA was sending at least one A380 to Chicago), reasonably busy.
I took the time to do a few little bits of admin, but my mind was firmly in the “it’s time to home space” rather than the “excited to travel” one.
On time, boarding was called from the lounge, with the lounge staff encouraging people to take some snacks with them for the flight – I took the chance to fill the water canister up.
There was some escort to the lounge – with some of the lounge staff directing people to the gate area. And I just had a flashback to BMI in Manchester…
This evening, the aircraft would go from the M11 gate – this is an A380 capable gate at O’Hare, with two jetbridges to be used for boarding.
Boarding was managed by groups, with people still misunderstanding what group they are to board (it’s not hard.. Groups 1 to 6, and on your boarding pass). I was in Group 3 that night – so it was a matter of waiting a few minutes before being called forward.
G-XLEJ to provide the lift home.
Once the group was called forward, it was time to queue up for the exit controls. My boarding pass was zapped, with the stub being retained by the airport. Meanwhile, a US Border Patrol Exit camera took my picture. With those things positive, I was allowed to board.
It was to time to head to the upward slopes.
Next: British Airways BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
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