The best lounge at Heathrow?

Heathrow airport is of course home to British Airways, which has over 55% of the slots at  the main gateway to the UK.  Terminal 5 is where the bulk of its flights depart from, however it’s too large to fit into a single terminal so has a number of departures from terminal 3 as well.

I reviewed their flagship lounge, the Concorde Room recently and was fairly disappointed with what they had to offer, especially as it’s restricted to first class ticketed passengers only.

Yesterday, I was travelling out to Vienna in Austria which is one of the small number of flights that depart from terminal 3 rather than 5.  In terminal 3 a number of oneworld airlines have their own lounges, meaning there’s a good selection to pick from:

  • American Airlines Admirals Club
  • American Airlines Flagship Lounge
  • British Airways Galleries Club
  • British Airways Galleries First
  • Cathay Pacific Business Class
  • Cathay Pacific First Class

In addition, Qantas is building its own lounge complex too, which should be completed later this year.

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Hoarding showing an image of the new Qantas lounge under construction at Heathrow Terminal 3

The business class lounges across all three airlines are open to passengers travelling in business or with oneworld sapphire status and the first class lounges are open to first class passengers or those with oneworld emerald status.

For my trip to Vienna, I decided to go and visit the Cathay Pacific first class lounge.

Upon showing my electronic boarding pass I was welcomed in and directed towards the first class section.

Given it was just after 13.00 and I hadn’t yet had lunch, I decided to sit down in the dining room section and have some food as I was starving.

A very friendly member of staff showed me to an empty table and gave me a few minutes to look over the menu.  She also asked if I’d like a drink whilst I waited so felt it would have been rude not to ask for a glass of champagne.

I decided to go for the chicken salad to start and then the sea bass as my main course.  I also opted for a glass of Gavi with the main, which wasn’t mentioned on the menu, but was delicious.

The food was outstanding and everything I’d hoped my terrible meal in the Concorde Room should have been.

For dessert, I opted for the chocolate fondant and then a double espresso.  Again, it was excellent.

The lounge itself was a haven of tranquility; there were lots of comfy seats, a wide variety of power plugs, and the wifi was free and fast.

There was some outstanding views of the apron too, with the lounge being just at the rotation point for aircraft taking off from 27L.

I took this time-lapse footage which was around 30 minutes of comings and goings.

The lounge itself had a well stocked bar, a whole host of snacks to choose from, the obligatory espresso machine, and pretty much everything you could possibly want.

Finally, the bathrooms were also spotless and totally on brand with Aesop toiletries.

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Cathay Pacific Lounge Toilets at Heathrow Terminal 3

In short, this is really an excellent lounge, the food is great, the service was spot on, the drinks are lovely and it has a quiet and relaxing ambience.  What’s doubly surprising is that this is an out-station for Cathay Pacific and not not it’s home location.  It also goes to show how much the competition has upped its game, and how far British Airways has slipped at it’s home airport.

Later this month, I’m going to be visiting the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in terminal 4, which I’ve heard is equally as good, however so far, this has to be the best lounge at Heathrow by a country mile.  Highly recommended for any trip from terminal 3.

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