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Review: the Cathay Pacific lounges at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

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This is our review of the new Cathay Pacific lounges at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3.

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

EDIT: Our updated 2022 reviews of the two Cathay Pacific lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 are here

It took one year, but Heathrow Terminal 3 has finally got its new alternative to the British Airways lounges.  And it was worth the wait.

Last November the old Cathay Pacific lounge closed for expansion and refurbishment, growing into the space which used to be occupied by the Singapore Airlines lounge.  After one year of work the new Cathay Pacific First and Business lounges officially opened their doors last Tuesday.

I went down to Heathrow Terminal 3 for the press launch to take a first look at both lounges, which are being managed by Plaza Premium on behalf of Cathay.

The new Cathay Pacific lounge complex has separate First and Business Class areas that can be accessed with your British Airways Executive Club card.  For the First Class lounge you need to have BA Gold or be flying BA First and for the Business Class lounge you must be BA Silver or be travelling on a Club Europe / Club World BA ticket.

If you don’t have BA status, Aspire has just opened a new Club Aspire lounge in Terminal 3 to replace the old Servisair lounge.  This is accessible via Priority Pass and Lounge Club.  We are planning to review that next week.


The two lounges share a reception and the bathrooms as well as the shower rooms are accessible by all passengers.


First Class Lounge

This is where to head if you have a BA Gold card.  The first thing you notice when walking into the First Class Lounge is how well lit it is.  There are floor to ceiling windows for natural light during the day and various lamps.


At the far back is a reading area with magazines.


The First Class Lounge has got a dining room with all day a la carte menu.


Here is the menu (click to enlarge).


Without stating the obvious, you won’t be getting waiter-service fine dining over in Galleries First …..

The self service bar has everything from spirits to wine and bottled beer as well as Carlsberg on draft and soft drinks.  The British Airways lounge may actually have an edge here – Cathay doesn’t get everything right.


The First Class Lounge also has a snack bar. I was in the lounge in the morning and there were sandwiches, yoghurts and fruits.


Business Class Lounge

One thing Cathay Pacific Lounges are famous for is their noodle bars and this has been retained in the new lounge.  I can confirm that the food is very good because I had champagne, dim sum and noodles for breakfast.  And this was the morning after the Head for Points Christmas party …..


The menu isn’t as vast as in the First Class Lounge but has still enough choices including vegetarian options.


The restaurant area reminded me a bit of a posh Busaba without the communal tables …..

Every table has got two UK sockets with USB ports so you can charge your devices whilst eating.


As you walk through the dining area, you get to a seating area with a bar.


These green armchairs with reading lights are incredibly comfortable.


This is the business centre with an accessible telephone booth at the far end.


Shower rooms

The shower rooms, stocked with Aesop products, are at the end of the hallway outside the two lounges. I didn’t manage to take a good picture of the shower itself, however there is a bit in the video below.


I shot two videos whilst I was there to give a better impression of what you will find.  If you can’t see the links below, you will find them on our YouTube page here where you can also subscribe to our channel.

First Class Lounge:





Business Class Lounge:





As Cathay Pacific is part of the oneworld alliance, British Airways Gold card holders and First Class passengers can access both lounges and BA Silver card holders or passengers travelling in Club Europe / Club World can use the business lounge.  Both lounges are very impressive and, in terms of style and food, represent a massive improvement on the BA option.

I recommend a visit to everyone on their next flight from Heathrow Terminal 3 – try to get in before the word gets around and all BA passengers start heading across …….

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

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

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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 – 20,000 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 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

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 (68)

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

  • Chris Cannon says:

    So if you’re travelling first on BA out of T3 can you use their First Lounge or are you stuck with BA?

  • Paul says:

    I wonder how long it will be before Cathay either bans BAEC card holders or limits access for them. The BA lounges are going to be very quiet.

    • scott says:

      BA are paying for access I think so why would they?

    • Lady London says:

      I think BA would be more worried if this caused people to book flights with other airlines than BA just so they can depart from Terminal 3. I can tell you my chance of booking BA for longhaul just pretty much disappeared between the better Lounge and other Terminal offerings in Terminal 2, and this lounge in Terminal 3.

    • AndyGWP says:

      It’s a OneWorld agreement that permits entry though isn’t it, not a CX decision?

      (Happy to be corrected – the above is an assumption) 🙂

  • Barry cutters says:

    What are the times of operation? Guessing it’s not all day.

  • Ro says:

    If BA silver works, will any one world ruby get access?

  • April says:

    I’ll be travelling Club World (not Club Europe) from T3 soon – will I be able to use the Business Lounge?

  • Ivan Henry says:

    If your flying BA first out of T3 but don’t have any BA status can you access this lounge or so you need to be gold, I’m not clear from reading this and can’t find anything on the web either.

  • Ian says:

    So what is to stop someone from the business lounge going to the toilet and then simply returning to the first class lounge?

    • the real harry says:

      ‘The shower rooms, stocked with Aesop products, are at the end of the hallway outside the two lounges’

      Presumably you walk past the desks so they’d spot you. Must be worth trying a ‘self upgrade’ though: ‘ooh. sorry, didn’t realise’ etc if you’re caught 🙂

      • AndyGWP says:

        Yeah – from memory (of how it was pre-refurb) you got out of the lift – desk was in front of you and the toilets were to the right down a corridor (on the way to the business lounge), and the first lounge was on your left.

        To be honest, I really liked the booze they did in there, but wasn’t a fan of the limited food choice and was much happier in Galleries First last time I went to T3 🙂

  • Greenpen says:

    I think the wool of privilege is covering one’s eyes if burger and fish an chips can be thought of as fine dining!

    • Gavin says:

      you’d be a fool to have any of the Western options in that Cathay lounge

      Cathay lounges at CDG are fantastic

    • Lady London says:

      IME when you’ve been on the road having to eat even in nice restaurants for a week, being able to have fish and chips or even just beans on toast is heaven.

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

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