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At last – a Priority Pass arrivals lounge at Heathrow as Plaza Premium opens

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On Tuesday evening I was in Terminal 2 at Heathrow for the opening party for the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge.

(This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.)

This is the sister lounge to the classy Plaza Premium departures lounge in Terminal 2 which I have covered previously.

You can buy passes in advance via the Plaza Premium website.

Plaza Premium arrivals lounge party

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)

Plaza Premium Arrivals

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.

Plaza Premium Arrivals spa

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.

Plaza Premium arrivals guest wall

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list 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 you get a 30,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

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.

Comments (37)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James says:

    I visited the plaza T2 departure lounge during a long layover last week, the staff gave me a very good deal on a day room on the door (was intending to use my lounge club card) and I have to say I was impressed, it really is of a high standard throughout!

  • R says:

    To confirm: this lounge can be used by anyone coming into any Heathrow terminal? Do you have to be coming in on a longhaul flight? Would be useful for those coming in on shorthaul flights who have priority pass and want a drink or a bite before heading on.

    • Rob says:

      Anyone can use it – I was told they expect quite a bit of custom from people waiting to meet people off flights, especially delayed ones

      • R says:

        I cant help but wonder if this could be abused by the odd few. If you don’t need to be flying, couldn’t a Heathrow employee pay £250 for priority pass(or get an Amex Plat) and have their lunch in the lounge every day? Plaza premium might not care, as they get paid by priority pass, but priority pass might start to have a problem as they would presumably make a loss on that customer.

        Guess if they see it start being abused, they could tighten up entry rules.

        • Andrew S says:

          The arrival lounges in the past have all needed a boading pass of the same date

          • Rob says:

            But they were free ones! Why should Plaza Premium care as long as Priority Pass is paying them?

            Although …. I assume the booze served in an arrivals lounge is NOT duty free. This means that PP has far higher costs than in a departure lounge if people hit the booze …..

  • Max says:

    Great for those of us who choose not to live in the south-east province and wish to freshen-up before continuing our journeys by land..

  • tony says:

    If I’m not mistaken, PP holders used to be able to use the Air Canada arrivals lounge although U think there may have been some bizarre rule about the plane having to have landed at T3…

    Interesting that Delta have done that, too – flew in with them earlier in the year and was given access to the Virgin revivals lounge.

  • Paul says:

    Good news ….. One wonders if amex can and will be able to sustain the priority pass offer though if the number of lounges and cost of entry continues to rise.

    As for T5 you can a move by BA to make status more difficult to achieve in the near future and reducing the need for galleries North. The savings would be huge and the area perfect for a 3rd party lounge.

  • Alan says:

    So from the sounds of it you have to pay extra to use the showers? That’s quite disappointing if so, especially when they don’t cost any extra in the T2 airline Plaza Premium Lounge (I made use of them recently returning from Singapore waiting for my connecting flight with Little Red). I’d say a shower was a fairly key component of an arrivals lounge too!

    • Rob says:

      I am not 100 per cent certain it is not included but they are priced separately on the list – unless that is the price if you just want a shower but not use the lounge facilities

    • Pierre says:

      Just went there yesterday evening, showers are included if on Priority Pass, it’s an extra £15 for pay on entry

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    I do like the Plaza Premium in T2. Very nice 🙂 And the arrivals lounge will certainly be used.

    However, if they can get a lounge into T5, I’ll be very impressed. My Cathay Pacific Gold must run out soon, and the BA lounge staff are always arsey about the fact my BA ticket has my BAEC number on and not my Cathay Pacific number

  • Kai says:

    OT – Got an offer from IHG giving 100% bonus for purchasing points. I bought 60000+60000 points in their last promotion, can I buy another 60000+60000?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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