On Tuesday evening I was in Terminal 2 at Heathrow for the opening party for the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge.
This is the sister lounge to the classy Plaza Premium departures lounge in Terminal 2 which I have covered previously.
The Terminal 2 arrivals lounge is interesting for a number of reasons:
it is the first independent arrivals lounge at Heathrow
it is the first arrivals lounge at Heathrow to accept Priority Pass or Lounge Club cards, or buy a pass at at their website
it is open from 5am to 10pm – unlike many arrivals lounges which close around 2pm (looking at you, BA)
It is situated directly next to the exit from the customs area in Terminal 2, directly opposite the walkway into the arrivals level from the car park, tube and Heathrow Express.
Plaza Premium has taken a different approach from its departure lounge. The main area comprises a bar with a tapas-style food offering as you can see in the photos above – one from the party and one PR photo.
This is a relatively modest space. The spa and shower area is huge in comparison. There are eight shower suites and a number of massage and spa suites – the massage suites can be converted into day rooms for sleeping. The quality of finish is very high and the spa uses organic, chemical free products from British brand ILA.
If you arriving into Terminal 2 on a Star Alliance flight it is worth a visit. If you are arriving into Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 then you can walk to the lounge via the underground circulation area where the trains are. If you are coming into Terminal 4 or Terminal 5, you would need to take the tube or train to the Heathrow 1-2-3 station.
Basic entrance is £25 including VAT. It is free if you have a Priority Pass card (another benefit of Amex Platinum, or you can buy one directly) or a Lounge Club card, which comes with Amex Gold. One off visits can be prebooked via the Plaza Premium website.
The shower rooms and spa treatments are charged separately if you pay on the door to enter. According to the comments below, anyone who use a Priority Pass card can use the showers free of charge.
A lounge coming to Terminal 5?
The speech from Mr Song Hoi-see, founder and CEO of Plaza Premium, contained an interesting titbit. As I have written before, Plaza Premium has a Terminal 4 departure lounge under construction which will open in the Spring.
He also revealed plans to open a Terminal 4 arrivals lounge. In addition, though, he said that the company was in discussions with Heathrow about opening lounges in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.
A Plaza Premium departure lounge in Terminal 5 would be a major move. At the moment there is no third party lounge in Terminal 5. Whilst we are presumably looking a couple of years ahead, the idea of an independent lounge offering in Terminal 5 – especially if it is of the high standard of the Plaza Premium departure lounge in Terminal 2 – is exciting.
Delta arrivals lounge also open in Terminal 3
By coincidence, US airline Delta opened its invite-only arrivals lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 on the same day. You can learn more about that in this Business Traveller article.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.