My review of the Emirates lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3

This is my review of the Emirates Airline lounge at Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport in London.

We flew to Dubai last week on Emirates.  (Skywards miles redemption, via transferred American Express Membership Rewards points during the 25% transfer bonus last year, before anyone asks!)  This meant my first visit to the Emirates lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 for about 5 years.

There are two main differences to the British Airways facilities in Terminal 5:

Emirates has just one lounge for all First and Business Class passengers, plus status card holders

You board directly from the lounge.  (BA flyers may remember that the original Concorde Room lounge in Terminal 4 was so called because Concorde, in its day, used to board directly from it.)

Boarding from the lounge means that, as you walk in, you are greeted by this directly in front of you:

Emirates London lounge plane review

…. which my 2-year old loved.  Because the inbound flight was slightly delayed, we actually saw it taxi onto the stand and park up in front of us, which was impressive.

The lounge itself is U shaped.  You enter here onto a corridor:

Emirates London lounge corridor review

…. and if you turn left you end up at what is effectively the ‘quiet end’.  There is a second boarding gate in this area, which was not used whilst we were there.  The Qantas flight was disembarking on the stand.

Emirates London lounge quiet end review

Turn right and you end up in the dining area.  There is an impressive buffet here ….

Emirates London lounge buffet review

…. although the seating, to put it mildy, is utilitarian.

Emirates London lounge seating review

There are a few things worth noting if you expect to be visiting the Emirates lounge at Heathrow:

It is a bit out of the way.  To get back to the shops, you have a decent walk down a depressing corridor.

There is no childrens play area (unless you count playing games on the lounge computers!).  The food selection is fine for children, however.

To say the lounge lacks a ‘wow’ factor – apart from the  novelty of direct boarding – is putting it mildly.  That said, apart from the new concourse in Dubai Airport, the Emirates home base lounges are not much better!

To be fair, for a business class lounge run by an airline outside its home airport, it is certainly not bad.  You won’t starve and you won’t be short of anywhere to sit.

You WOULD be disappointed if you were in First Class, however, since this lounge does not match up in any way with the Emirates First Class in-flight product.

After two hours (our flight was delayed by 30 minutes), we boarded.  Which was, of course, laughably easy, because we just walked through the door below from the lounge!

Emirates London lounge gate review

As it was an A380, we boarded directly onto the top deck, with no contact at all with the economy passengers who board directly onto the lower deck from the concourse.  (There is crossover area for status passengers who are flying economy but who have lounge access.)

I will spare you an in-flight trip report since I did one last October on an identical A380 business class flight.  My 2-but-almost-3 year old was impeccably behaved, which makes me hopeful that the ‘troublesome children on a plane’ phase of my life is now over!

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Comments

  1. squills says:

    You might get lucky for a few years but it all kicks off again once the nippers start squabbling 😉

    One of the main reasons we usually grab 4 window seats in a column.

  2. yagamimo says:

    Interesting review, Raffles. I use the EK lounge quite often and I think it’s *much* better than the BA Galleries North/South lounges at T5, which when I last went were really crowded with dirty toilets and almost no food at all. The EK lounge by contrast has good showers, good food and it’s usually not too busy. I agree about the lack of a ‘wow’ factor but I’m not sure there are many Business class lounges out there that have one…?

  3. I was there last month and was surprised by how good the food was, having got used to BA’s dull offerings. Having planned to make do with whatever was offered in the lounge and then sleep on the flight (8pm dept), this convinced me by some twisted logic that I should also sample their in-flight offering. Big mistake: it was basically the same menu prepared less well, and took nearly 3hrs of the 6hr flight to be served. :(

  4. Johnny5a says:

    I love your bit about “we boarded directly onto the top deck, with no contact at all with the economy passengers who board directly onto the lower deck”

    I read that “we boarded without encountering the great unwashed” 😉

    • Isn’t that one of the reasons we all read HfP? Signed Susan the Soapless (sadly)

    • It’s more about not being a queue with 300 other people all shoving their hand baggage in your face, or having a hundred people walk past your seat towards the back whilst you are trying to stow your hand baggage and sort out your kids ….

  5. As with most things about Emirates everything is very business like and efficient. Their catering is much better than anything I have had at any other business class lounge, and from the various lounges I have been fortunate enough to try they are consistent with what they offer. But they do lack atmosphere, this is most evident at the A380 Concourse at DXB and their ridiculously huge ‘lounge’, it’s very impressive with lots of..…everything, just it feels more like being in a shopping mall as opposed to a relaxing lounge.

  6. ankomonkey says:

    I used the Emirates lounge at BHX around 1.5 years ago and found the food to be excellent – far better than in any other lounge I’ve used (although yet to experience the Concorde room or LHR Clubhouse). It was also better than in many restaurants.

  7. AndyGWP says:

    Hey Raffles – just a suggestion, but could you have a “Lounge” tag, and or maybe a “Airport” (i.e. Heathrow) categoryfor these types of posts…? would make them easier to find again in the future? Just a thought :)

    • I have been cutting down on tags recently, actually! I now only tag by loyalty scheme – the vague ones, like those you suggest, got the chop. On the upside, the search function on HFP is very good and now lists by relevance rather than by date.

  8. squills says:

    All this talk does make you think a bit about the value you might attribute to comfort (especially when it’s not your money 😉 )

    I once managed to persuade a very pleasant boss (thanks, Martin!) to convert a business class ticket to USA into a RTW seat in cattle with a couple of weeks scuba diving off the Barrier Reef in it for me.

    Hey! he & I saved our company a fair bit of money.

    Now, a trip out to the ME is not exactly much worse than Turkey ie 4+2 I guess.

    I think I’d rather sit in cattle & spend the rest of the money on moi-meme & the family. Obviously not forgetting the point it might not be real money in the first place, but Avios= money at some point.

  9. Just read that Emirates are to open a lounge in Glasgow.

  10. Waribai says:

    Slightly OTbut as you mentioned childrens play areas, I know the BA lounges at LHR have some great kids areas. Do you happen to know the situation at LGW. Do the BA lounges there have anywhere for kids to play?

  11. Gatwick North BA has a little room for kids, but it’s not really for any older than 3 or 4 I’d say. There did seem to be a PS3 in there, but no idea if it worked. If it did, I’d probably have been in there waiting for Gatwick to deal with the delays.

  12. Waribai says:

    Thanks Peter. That’s very useful information. I have a 2.5 year old so any basic play area will be more than welcome! I did look around on the internet but I could only find photos of the ascot lounge (I think) which has now been demolished. Anyway, we’ll be at LGW next weekend so I’ll report back.

  13. OT: may i ask what Lounge should I go in Gatwick South? any advice? will be there early morning