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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 (60)

  • Joff says:

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

  • Roberto says:

    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. 🙂

  • Jon says:

    Thanks CV3V, I’ll keep that in mind.

  • KP says:

    Given the excellent lounge options at T3, Im going book a RFS destination specifically keeping T3 departures in mind – BCN or PRG!

  • John says:

    Any idea how to get prices down for the QF LHR-PER flight? £4500 for J is not worth it and neither is £1000 in Y

    • Peter K says:

      Wait until the furore/excitement of it calms down?
      Book it on Avios?

    • Rob says:

      Joyce told me sales are well ahead of schedule so I doubt they will move just yet. Prices tend to be cheapest 60-90 days out anyway.

  • Liz says:

    OT: we are booked on the SYD-LHR BA16 flight which stops in SIN with the same flight number continuing on to LHR. There seems to be 1.5hrs from landing to take off. Do we get off the plane? Can we access any lounges or do we have to stay by the gate area and reboard? Not sure how this flight works. Has anyone done this flight – it’s on the 777.

    • jason says:

      We went to the lounge for 40 mins it was really close from memory but was 4 years ago!

    • CV3V says:

      You have to get off the plane with all your belongings. Head to Qantas lounge, time for a quick shower and bite to eat then straight back to the gate. Using the Qantas lounge means you will avoid the surge at the BA lounge for food n showers.

      You will have just enough time.

      In SIN and a few other Asian airports Boarding means gate open/pre boarding and final call means boarding. So don’t worry too much about the screens.

      You have to clear security at the gate, not an issue.

      • Liz says:

        Thanks Jason and CV3V

        • Lyn says:

          Liz, if you do want to use the shower in the Qantas SIN lounge, suggest you book it as soon as you get to the lounge, as they can get booked up quickly when flights arrive from Europe.

  • vlcnc says:

    Stunning lounge! I really love how Qantas have re-invented themselves. From dowdy and dated, to thoroughly contemporary premium Australian brand. BA could learn a lot!

    • Rob says:

      True. Getting people like Marc Newson (disclaimer: I know him via our kids) involved in the Sydney lounges and the A380 cabins was smart, not sure why he didn’t do this one.

      • vlcnc says:

        I used the Melbourne lounge when flying back with QR business last year, and was actually really surprised. Its not just the decor or interior, its the service – staff are really helpful and amenable and it was spotless – they worked really hard to maintain the lounge and keep people happy, was very surprised as had heard so many complaints about Qantas from aussie friends in the past. I think overall I still think prefer the ambiance of Cathay’s lounges and I’m a big fan of Ilse Crawfords work for them, but I think Qantas comes very close.