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Reading the other questions here, I am not too hopeful, but this is the perfect site to find the answer if it does exist:

Facts:

  • I arrive at T5 (British Airways) at 08:30, depart at 11:40 from T5 (British Airways) to another country. No time once I reach final destination to shower, Leave straight from work to catch the first leg.
  • US citizen + passport, only final destination visa (currently)

Desire:

I want to shower - 10 mins is plenty.

Assume money is no object (pay for lounge access, cabs etc), but I'd rather not buy full ticket if I can avoid it.

Thanks! P.S. It's a wedding, so I REALLY want to shower before haha

EDIT: My plan so far (which doesn't work because it's after security):

  1. Travel from T5 -> T3

    http://www.heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/travel-between-terminals#table

  2. Use lounge

    http://www.heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/services-and-facilities/lounges

UPDATE:

I followed G & Doc's advice and walked over to the Sofitel Hotel (immigration + walk ~20-25 min total), showered there for 25GBP, and walked back through security with plenty of time to spare.

Thank you all for your help!

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Simplest would probably be to book your domestic connection into "Business UK", that way you'd get BA lounge access at Heathrow. Or book the inbound in business class, but that'd probably be more... –  Gagravarr Nov 20 '13 at 17:38
    
@Gagravarr sorry didn't make that clear, it's just a layover on the way to a different country –  im so confused Nov 20 '13 at 17:39
    
    
Book one of the legs into a cheap Business Class fare bucket then, that'll get your lounge access. May not be too much more... –  Gagravarr Nov 20 '13 at 17:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Within Terminal 5 itself, the only showers are inside the various British Airways lounges. There are no public showers, and no lounges which offer paid-for access.

If you qualify for lounge access, you'll find showers at:

  • T5 Galleries North - inside the lounge, go into the main area of the lounge then turn left, they're about half way down on your left
  • T5 Lounges South - part of the Elemis travel spa on the 1st level, ask the Spa staff near the entrance to the CCR to allocate you a shower
  • T5 B - inside the lounge, part of the Elemis travel spa within the lounge, again ask the spa staff

To get lounge access, your options are:

  • BA Executive Club Silver or Gold
  • OneWorld frequent traveller at Emerald or Saphire (but not Ruby)
  • Same day OneWorld arrival from long haul Business or First (show inbound boarding pass)
  • Same day OneWorld departure in Business or First (show boarding pass)

Assuming you don't have status, that means you need to book one of your legs into Business. Check with your travel agent, it may not be too much to do so at booking time. Otherwise, BA sometimes offer cheap upgrade deals, especially in cases when the flight is looking full down the back. Keep an eye on Manage My Booking to see if it pops up, otherwise ask at checkin for a paid-for upgrade. It isn't available on every flight, and it isn't available every day, but it's worth checking just in case.

Otherwise, you'd need to clear immigration, enter the UK, take a bus to a nearby hotel, and book a Day Use Room at a hotel. You need to be able to enter the UK, and allow several hours to get through, go to the hotel, shower, return, re-clear security etc. Lots of hotels near the airport offer day rooms, cost might work out being similar to upgrading one leg to business when you factor in the bus fare or taxi! (To a certain extent, the further from the airport, the cheaper the day use rate)

In terms of how long it would take if you go to a landside hotel, arriving early morning you'll be hitting immigration just at the same time as a lot of large planes come in, so the EU lines can be slow, and the non-EU lines pretty dire. Gate to landside would probably be 45-60 minutes at that time of day for non-EU. You need to be back through security 35 minutes before. Given your timings, that won't leave enough to get to a hotel on Bath Road (where the cheaper hotels are), check in to a day room, shower, check out and get back to the airport. Your only option would really be the Sofitel, which is directly attached to the Terminal. It's a very nice hotel, but not a very cheap one... I can't see their day room rates on their website, so you'd need to ring them and ask. I've heard rumours that they may also sell access to their gym/fitness centre, which would let you freshen up for a lot less than the cost of a day room, but again no prices on their website so you'd need to ring for that too.

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Thanks, I looked into this suggestion, and got quoted ~1200 in fare diff + change fee, so it probably isn't the best way lol. I am interested in your immigration suggestion though - would I have enough time to do that given my short layover? –  im so confused Nov 21 '13 at 15:23
    
Ah, you would've needed to have hunted for a cheap fare at booking time. It's worth asking about a paid for upgrade at checkin though, they will sometimes offer cheap ones if the loads are right for it. –  Gagravarr Nov 21 '13 at 15:32
    
I agree - this was a very last minute thought though and I've had the tickets booked months in advance :/ I'll check at the counter. How much would you say a reasonable upgrade would be? I've never paid for a US-London flight before so I don't know the right pricing –  im so confused Nov 21 '13 at 15:35
    
Budget for low to mid single digit hundreds of pounds for a paid two class upgrade like that. (You'll need to cover the upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy, then again from W to J) –  Gagravarr Nov 21 '13 at 15:41
    
However, if you're connecting onto a short haul flight, a special offer Euro Traveller to Club Europe can be had for just under a hundred quid, if you're lucky enough to be on a flight offering it. Check in Manage My Booking, and also ask at the Customer Services Desk in T5 downstairs after security –  Gagravarr Nov 21 '13 at 17:05

Showers

There are no showers in Terminal 5 available to the public. Some British Airways lounges, however, have shower facilities available. Visit their website for further details.

Lounges

You can use them if you are:

  • flying with British Airways in First, Club World or Club Europe
  • a Silver or Gold member of the British Airways Executive Club
  • an Emerald or Sapphire Member of any of the oneworld airline frequent flyer programmes

For BA, Galleries Club Lounge Location details: Terminal 5, located at both concourses (North and South) of T5, and also in the T5B satellite

Opening hours: Till last departure

Notes: Find out more about Galleries on the British Airways website at http://www.terminal5.ba.com/en/Lounges/

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1  
Called them and this is the only available option too, thanks. They said I could try my luck going up to the desk and asking. –  im so confused Nov 20 '13 at 18:38
1  
Why not book one leg in business class then, which would ensure you valid access to them? –  Gagravarr Nov 21 '13 at 11:30
1  
@solver The showers are in the lounge in T5 Galleries North. In T5 south, you go to the Elemis spa desk by the CCR entrance (on the way up to the Galleries South lounge), and the spa staff assign a shower. In T5B, you go to the Elemis spa desk inside the lounge (far right as you enter) and they'll assign a shower –  Gagravarr Nov 21 '13 at 11:32
1  
@Gagravarr 1200 price difference - I guess money is of some object after all haahaha, 1 shower isn't worth that much to me –  im so confused Nov 21 '13 at 15:18
2  
@MichaelBorgwardt true, and because I'll have to work on the flight, I can see the advantages... but at 23 yo who has never had a problem with longhauls, it's hard to justify that price for a little comfort haha decisions.. –  im so confused Nov 21 '13 at 19:42

As you are a US Citizen you can enter the UK without a Visa. Entry and Exit formalities are simple.

The Sofitel Hotel, which is directly connected to T5, allows access it it's Gym and shower facilities for ~30GBP per person. It is open 8am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 9pm on weekends.

There are countless other hotels in the local area that can be reached by taxi, "Hoppa" bus (~7GBP return) or even public bus (free, within a limited range of the airport). These may or may not offer Gym/showers, but I suspect at least some will.

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2  
Given the tight timings of the OP, I'm really not sure they'd have time to take the Hoppa to one of the more distant hotels and return, let alone a local bus or two... –  Gagravarr Nov 22 '13 at 9:45
    
Yeah, but as a generic answer for future visitors this is a useful option given different flight timings. –  Ankur Banerjee Nov 22 '13 at 16:08
    
Thanks for your input, Doc (hehe). As @Gagravarr had mentioned this before, I was interested in the Sofitel, and 30GBP is extremely reasonable, imo. Given my 3 hour layover, and your comment regarding the formality of entry/exit on my US passport, do you think the Sofitel can be worked? I don't think I'm willing to risk anything further, but if it's directly connected to T5... –  im so confused Nov 22 '13 at 16:41
    
As an added question, will I have to go to baggage claim + all that to exit, or can I quickly hop off the plane, bounce through a short immigration line and come back, as my bag is checked to final destination anyway? –  im so confused Nov 22 '13 at 16:57
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You will not need to (or for that matter, be able to) collect your bag. Immigration lines at LHR are generally good, but as with any airport it can depend on what has landed before you, and how quickly you get off the plane. I've been through there 6 times this year and I don't think it's ever taken more than about 10 mins (last weekend it was about 1 minute total!). There are NO outbound immigration checks, just security (similar to in the US). –  Doc Nov 22 '13 at 18:22

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