REVIEW: The brand new Qantas lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3 (accessible by BA passengers)

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This is our review of the Qantas lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3.

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

The new Qantas lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 opens at 8am on Wednesday.  On Tuesday I met Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, at the official opening who was keen to show me what British Airways passengers can expect if they choose to visit this lounge instead of the BA Galleries facility.

(The Qantas departures from Heathrow are at 11.45 and 20.45 so there is plenty of scope around that for British Airways passengers to come in when it is quiet.  Qantas status members on Emirates flights can access the lounge throughout the day.)

Here is Alan pouring himself an Australian gin at the bar:

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3 Alan Joyce

The elephant in the room, of course, is the Cathay Pacific lounge in Terminal 3.  This sits above the Qantas lounge and is a very impressive facility with dedicated First / Gold and Business / Silver lounges.  Anika’s review of the launch event is here and my recent visits to the First side confirm it is very good.

However, if you are a British Airways Executive Club Silver member or have a Club Europe / Club World ticket, you may be better in the Qantas lounge. 

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

The key driver here is the a la carte dining in the Qantas lounge.  As you will see below, the Qantas lounge has a large formal dining area which is available to everyone.  Whilst we need to see more feedback, I think dining here will be better than the Cathay Pacific business class lounge.  It goes without saying that it will be better than the British Airways Galleries lounge.

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

I asked Alan Joyce if he was concerned about British Airways passengers flooding the lounge.  After all, you need to walk past it to get to the BA facility.  He said that he was happy to have BA passengers, especially at times when there are no Qantas flight scheduled, but that if it got busy they may need to prioritise Qantas passengers at certain times of the day.  With 236 seats it is clearly impossible to fill it solely with Qantas passengers.

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

Remember that, in March, Qantas is launching a 17 hour flight between London and Perth using a Boeing 787-9.  This new Heathrow lounge is designed to ensure those passengers are fed and watered before they get on the plane.  The fact that you can get the same service if you are flying London to Bilbao on British Airways is just luck!

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

This is the first Qantas lounge in London.  Since moving from Terminal 4, Qantas passengers have been using the inferior Emirates lounge.  It is being overseen by Accor who run 27 other Qantas lounges worldwide.

It is a two level facility.  Downstairs is the a la carte dining area.  There is a lot of seating in the restaurant and I am confident that Qantas / Accor will deliver here.

Upstairs, via an impressive staircase, is a circular cocktail bar and at the other side of the lounge is another snack and coffee counter.

I can’t talk about the food because the lounge was not open to the public today and they were not serving their normal menu.

There are two VIP rooms upstairs.  Frankly they are not exciting – windowless spaces as you can see below – and I will try to avoid becoming famous enough to need to hide away in one of these:

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

If you want a shower, you’re in luck.  There are six shower suites and they look good:

Review Qantas lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

The proof of the pudding is how the lounge performs from 8am tomorrow.  Note that it closes at 8.30pm so if you are on a late night BA departure you won’t get in.

On the basis of my visit today, it seems a no-brainer if you are in Club Europe / Club World / BA Silver from Terminal 3. It is worth considering if you are BA Gold / flying First and want a more spacious and buzzier facility than Cathay Pacific offers.

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Comments

  1. The lounge looks great, BA will surely have to up their game at LHR. It’s bad enough that at SIN i walk past the BA lounge to the Qantas lounge when flying with BA, but to be doing the same at LHR should embarrass BA.

    The Qantas SIN lounge is perhaps the favourite of any lounge i have ever used (whether in Biz or First), combination of layout, food, service and atmosphere.

    • Yes it does look good. Not sure about the stairs though – high heals and stairs rarely go well together. The VIP room does look a bit of an after thought but perhaps it’s a work in progress. All in all very nice!

    • Even more frustrating is that the Quantas lounge has delicious brownies sometimes but no ice cream, and the BA lounge has ice cream but no brownies.

  2. Does it open at 8am everyday (or just opening day)?

    Have an AY flight at 07.30 next week…was hoping to check the new lounge out but might have to stay in the CX lounge instead (not that it’s bad).

  3. Good pics of the bar on your Instagram.

  4. James Howland says:

    OT question; I’m £750 short of hitting a spend target on my BAPP to get a 5,000 avios bonus and have 2 days left.
    /
    Any ideas to manufacture the spend and get the cash back quick-ish? Obviously don’t mind paying a bit to secure the bonus!

    Cheers

    • Easiest way is £750 of gift cards for your usual supermarket or petrol station.

    • Also:
      Consider paying into your elec/gas account. EDF accept Amex.
      Pay into Amazon and top up gift card balance.

    • the real harry1 says:

      pay £750 into your council tax a/c using Paypoint @ Co-Op (& others) – doesn’t matter if it means you’ve overpaid, you’ll get it back if you ask for it

      same principle applies to any other bill you can pay with Amex – you can over-pay

      as it happens, I am about to pay £500 into my water bill a/c as I got a bill for £200-odd and the Paypopint I use these days (@ Texaco) charges 50p on top, plus I need to hit a spend target same as you

      • Agreed. My council has seemingly implemented more stringent controls. I had to chase yesterday and my refund for just under £1k is sitting with a manger for approval. Was much quicker last year.

  5. Quick question. Flying to Prague as a family in December in Economy, though my Mother in Law has BA Silver Membership. Ordinarily she has access to the BA Lounge +1. Would she be able to use the Silver Membership and have access +1 in the Qantas Lounge? She’d take my wife and baby in whilst I’d potter around outside dreaming of what could be.

    I’ve been in BA Lounge at T3 and whilst it’s a lot more manageable than T5, it is a bit dated now.

    Thanks guys.

  6. This is a really basic question, but I’m new to the whole business class stuff!
    I thought that you could only access lounges if you either had status with that airline (or within its alliance group), or you had an appropriate ticket i.e. Club Europe for BA business lounge. But from the above, you note that even if you had a BA CE or CW ticket (but no status at all), you can still access the Qantas lounge- I’m guessing because BA and Qantas are both in OW? So would this work using any business class ticket for any OW airline to get into any OW lounge in LHR or other London airports? Thanks!

    • https://www.oneworld.com/ffp/lounge-access

      Essentially you need a ticket on a OW airline in J or F to access the relevant lounge or OW status. Though there are exceptions. E.g. the S7 lounge in DME don’t let people in on a BA J ticket but do let them in on BA Silver (OWS)

      • Thanks Genghis, that’s a v. nice surprise. I have an upcoming CE flight next year from LHR, so this means I don’t have just the BA galleries lounge to choose from! Although I did like their bacon rolls last time…

        • At LHR you will need to check what terminal you are in, but if it is T3 you will be able to lounge hop around the oneworld lounges. If your flight is T5 then its off to the BA lounges.

          As i mentioned in earlier comment, at Singapore i walk straight past the BA lounge and go to the far better Qantas lounge.

  7. Von Schmallhausen says:

    Will check it out tomorrow 😀

  8. Super news. One question – do you think there is a) any chance of OW/BA/the other airlines removing the right for Silvers on cheap BA flights to use the Cathay/Qantas lounges or b) BA moving most/all their flights away from T3?

    (appreciate b) may be an ignorant question)

    • I’m surprised OneWorld haven’t made more of a concerted effort at T3 and created a OneWorld lounge business and OneWorld First lounge. However, with current state of mutual co-operation shifting towards competition, maybe that’s an indicator of the future? Cathay could easily block their First lounge. And maybe BA guests will be ‘softly’ pointed to the BA lounge. I very much doubt in the near future there will be a block on the Cathay/Qantas lounges unless its an alliance wide agreement. Also: the food in AA Flagship has upped its game recently. And that’s due for a renovation soon too… BA First still good for black puddings and sausages.

  9. Well funnily enough I’m on the LHR to Bilbao so will check out the Quantas Lounge tomorrow afternoon!

  10. Hope to be Gold the next time I fly out of T3 to GIB in February and already looking forward to my CX First v Qantas “lounge off”…… Might have to get there an extra hour earlier than I had planned just to double double check everything. 🙂

  11. Thanks CV3V, I’ll keep that in mind.

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