Review of No 1 Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3

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This is my review of the No 1 Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

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

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 Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge can be accessed for cash, via Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum, or you can buy one directly) or various other access schemes. It is not in Lounge Club, however.

As you can see from the sign:

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

this 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:

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

It has a cinema:

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

It has silly pod chairs you can swing around in and pretend to be a James Bond villain:

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

It has a library, albeit with no books!

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

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):

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

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.

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

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).

No1 lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 review

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.  OMG …. that review is here.

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

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

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

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  1. I’ve used that l

  2. I’ve used that lounge, it’s excellent. Has a nice vibe and as you showcased, good facilities. The spa isn’t bad either.

  3. Paul Irving says:

    It’s not on the lounge pass list, so wasn’t aware it could be used!

  4. I use this lounge all the time, it’s great. Especially as T3 can become a morass of people at busy times such as Xmas, Easter, start of summer holidays, ie when we travel! The only issues I’ve seen have been:
    – occasional over-crowding & turning away people, you could get round this by pre-booking (for £5 I think);
    – some rooms (eg library & cinema) can be made unavailable when groups are expected, I think it is the lounge staff doing this to make sure they can sit together.

    Kids are welcome.

  5. Sorry, but are you sure about your statement: “The Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge can be accessed…via Lounge Club (2 free visits with Amex Gold) ”

    On the Lounge Club website only Swissport is listed for T3, and you didn’t mention this one as an option when replying to my comment on your recent review thread of Amex Gold.

  6. What is the deal with the magazines in the BA lounges? Are the publishers paying BA to put them there?

  7. Always impressed with no 1 lounges. Gatwick North has recently been extended and is having some other refurbishment completed. On my last visit to this lounge it was busy but the staff were making a noticeable effort to clean up tables ASAP – BA take note!

    There is a good range of snacking food available all day which is of decent quality and the complementary hot snack is a nice added bonus

    The £20 earn 750 avios deal is an excellent deal and I always use no 1 when flying from LGW, LHR T3 and EDI.

  8. If you have a tastecard or Gourmet Society card you can get 2-4-1 entry to the No1 lounge. We did that 2 weeks ago – 2 for £35. And you can get a free trial of these cards for a month (just be careful with Gourmet card – it’s subscription, so remember to cancel). I thought the lounge was good, the food was ok-ish, but it was a bit annoying that two areas were closed for ‘bookings’ (apparently, although no one came in during the 2 hours we were in there).

    • Yep but Andy’s version = £12.50 plus you get fast track for free

      • Forgot about the premium security, the £20 avios deal is gaurenteed entry. Useful at LGW North when BA will be using the no 1 lounge.

  9. Good timing, as I’m flying BA F to Miami on Wednesday from T3. I asked on FlyerTalk about it previously and the general view was none of the OneWorld lounges are that good, but Cathay is the best. I’ll be interested to hear your views.

    • If the Cathay one is as good as the new renovated editions seen at Bangkok and Manila, then it should be adequate for a drink(s) and some dim sum.

    • Had you booked before they moved flights to T3, in which case how disappointing 🙁
      Concorde lounge or the choices Rob is reviewing currently!

  10. Must admit I did the same last time when flying out of T3 on BA, thought I may as well check out all available lounge options when I had the time!

  11. Aeronaut says:

    “It has a library” … albeit one without any books…

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