Review of the American Airlines lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3

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This is my review of the American Airlines 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 a fortnight ago to test drive the new Airbus A350.  As Finnair fly from Heathrow Terminal 3, I had five lounge options:

I decided to visit them all!  Having started off with the two third-party lounges (No 1 Traveller – outstanding, Swissport – dreadful) I moved on to the oneworld options.

I reviewed the British Airways lounge in Terminal 3 here.  I had planned to review the Cathay Pacific lounge as well, but I didn’t know when I visited that it was about to close for refurbishment.  As it is now shut – I was one of the last people to visit, it seems! – there is no point wasting pixels on it.

This leaves the American Airlines lounge.

I had heard some fairly positive things about this lounge – no-one is ever going to rave about an American Airlines lounge, of course, but the buzz about this was not too bad.  I was therefore a little surprised with what I found.  You need to remember that I was there at 5.30pm in the afternoon which appears to be a lull in the AA schedule.

The reception area is very smart indeed.  I get a feeling that it has been refurbished far more recently than the lounge itself.

I walked around the corner and found myself in a h-u-g-e space.  It feels far bigger than the British Airways lounge.  What is lacked, however, was guests:

As empty

…. any guests …

As empty 2

… anyone there? ….

AA empty 3

… anyone, please? ….

AA dining area

The good news is that it seemed I would have an entire buffet to myself.  Sadly the food, whilst obviously not as bad as the British Airways selection next door, was still not fit to lace the boots of the No 1 Traveller spread upstairs.  There was some pasta:

AA pasta

…. some salad ….

AA salad

… and some sandwiches ….

AA sandwiches

I don’t have a photograph of the self-service bar.  It was nothing to write home about – I didn’t see champagne in any of the lounges I visited (it would have been in the First Class section of the BA lounge) although the now-closed Cathay lounge did have prosecco.

What AA did have was sweets!

AA sweets

It also had a large number of computers for your use (although BA had more) and the usual terrible ‘only there because they paid us’ selection of magazines.

It is difficult to write about a lounge when you are the only guest – there were no staff either.  Just me and this big space.  It was a bit spooky!  It gave me too much time to consider the state of the furnishings, which were frankly pathetic and look as it they escaped from the reception area of a 1970’s office block.

I am guessing (well, hoping) that the lounge comes to life in the early evening with decent food and a few other guests.  I can’t recommend visiting at 5.30pm, however ….

From my tour of Terminal 3, the clear winner in the lounge stakes is No 1 Traveller.  You can access with a Priority Pass or buy access via their website.  Of the oneworld airline lounges, British Airways is the best of an uninspiring bunch.

I am hoping to visit the Virgin Clubhouse in Terminal 3 in 2016, which is somewhere I haven’t visited this century.  It is time I paid it a visit again.

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Comments

  1. OT: I have a redemption booking with EY (LHR-AUH-CMB) and timing of the second leg of the itinerary has changed. EY MAN call centre agreed to change the booking free of charge because of that. I want to keep my original first leg, and change only the 2nd leg which was affected by the schedule change. However… maybe after 10 minutes hold, the call centre girl told me that they were not able to do the change as there was no availability on the first leg and the system did not allow to make changes on the 3nd leg only, so they had to request somebody in AUH to do the change manually and it may take 2-3 days. The problem is that availability on my preferred flight may be gone by then… Any work around? Has anybody had similar issues before?

    • Sounds a bit like ‘put the phone down, call again’ – except that Etihad agents are generally not great. I had a lot of grief getting my A380 flight next week changed when they switched planes on me, and I had a ludicrous amount of trouble getting the chauffeur arranged. Because it was a very early departure, I decided to stay at Heathrow overnight. They are not allowed to make chauffeur bookings on a day which is different to the departure day and it took 3 days to get authorisation to pick me up the night before.

  2. Goglobalnz says:

    Worth noting that because its so quiet getting a shower is easy

  3. Alan Gregg says:

    If I’m in T3 and fancy a beer (they have London Pride) some nuts and a bit of quite time I go to the AA lounge.

    It’s always dead which for me is great. Chairs are comfy enough and there’s plenty of power points.

    You can get champagne in BA if you ask. It’s like doing a drug deal, you call them over and then they sneak it back to your table whilst trying to hide it from the rest of the lounge in case more people ask.

  4. Lady London says:

    Assuming the AA lounge has the rumored showers then that would be my only reason to visit.

    I shuddered looking at Rob’s pictures. Memories of my school auditorium, or the school gymnasium on a wet day. By the looks of the food it’s racing BA Galleries to the bottom.

    What a contrast to the buzzy slick convivial AA lounge in T2. In the case of T2, the AA lounge is my standout favorite. and that’s against the stiff competition of the SQ and LH lounges that are also in that Terminal.

    • I wish my school gym had looked like that on a wet day. We had to play indoor rounders when it was wet. The outdoor version was bearable. Indoors, not so much.

  5. These pictures did shock me a little. The Flagship lounge though on the other side is really quite nice. More modern interior, smaller obviously and when I’ve been in it (usually for a morning departure to the US) busy but not overly so.

    The made to order breakfast (scrambled eggs with avocado if I remember correctly) was actually yummy.

  6. Thanks as always for the review. I’m curious though… if the CX lounge hadn’t closed, where would you have rated / placed it?

    Also, second question, do you (or any readers) know which is the best T3 lounge for a (newly attained) BA Gold and their BA silver wife??

    I used to love the CX (good magazine selection there too!), so was planning to try “CX First”, but that plan has been blown out of the water. Is BA First (or whatever it’s called) my best option now, or does Admirals Flagship stack up well?

    Sorry for babbling 🙂

  7. Does anyone know if the Emirates lounge at T3 has now reopened, and if it has a dedicated First Class area now ?

  8. Did you do the Finnair A350 review yet? I’ve searched around on your site but can’t see it ….

    • No, had to get the lounge reviews done first! Will be very soon as I adament it will be done before I head off to the Middle East on the next review trip on Thursday!

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