This is my review of the No 1 Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.
I flew to Helsinki last week to test drive the new Airbus A350, of which more soon. All of my flights from Terminal 3 in the last few years have been on Emirates, where we would head directly to the Emirates lounge. As you could board directly from there, there was little incentive to check out the other options.
For my Finnair flight, I was overrun with lounge options:
- No 1 Lounge (via Priority Pass)
- Swissport (via Priority Pass)
- Cathay Pacific (the ‘official’ Finnair lounge)
- British Airways (a oneworld partner of Finnair)
- American Airlines (a oneworld partner of Finnair)
Being the indecisive type, I decided to try them all! I will review them all over the next few days in the order in which I visited them. First up, No 1 Lounge.
No 1 Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3
I like No 1 lounges. HfP reader Alan reviewed Edinburgh for me here. I wrote a very positive piece about their Gatwick North lounge last year, and the new ‘sister’ facility MyLounge this year. The new private Clubrooms in Gatwick South were covered here.
If I’m honest, the No 1 Gatwick South lounge is a bit of a zoo but that is being replaced in February 2016 by a new state-of-the-art lounge in a different location.
The lounge also has a spa (paid) and a number of bedrooms (also paid) which you can use. I didn’t visit either but the option is there if you want it.
I think you have to be a bit of a miserable sod not to find No 1 lounges fun. Terminal 3 has a games room:
It has a cinema:
It has silly pod chairs you can swing around in and pretend to be a James Bond villain:
It has a library, albeit with no books:
They will make you a ‘cooked to order’ fish finger sandwich (the first ‘cooked to order’ item on the menu is free, further items are £4 each):
There is a proper buffet and (not photographed) a full bar. Most alcohol is free except for premium spirits, champagne and prosecco, which can be purchased for cash. What I didn’t realise when I was there, as this was the first lounge I visited, is that the buffet compared exceptionally well to what the other lounges were offering in the 3pm to 5pm window – which was generally nothing.
The computers are new Macs. There is a good selection of newspapers and magazines (note, BA and AA, that the lounge has magazines you might want to read as opposed to those paid for by the highest bidder).
I thoroughly recommend this lounge if you are flying out of Heathrow Terminal 3. I would even be tempted to use it, given that I have a Priority Pass, instead of the British Airways lounge when flying BA. I am getting ahead of myself, though, as my next stop after No 1 Lounge Terminal 3 was the Swissport lounge immediately adjacent. The Swissport review is here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 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.