Review of the SkyTeam (and Priority Pass) lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

This is my review of the SkyTeam lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4.

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

It is over four years since I last reviewed the SkyTeam lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 4 so I thought it was time to go back.

Very surprisingly, despite being an ‘official’ airline lounge, the SkyTeam lounge is also part of Priority Pass.  This is fantastic news for American Express Platinum card holders, as they now have free unlimited access for themselves and up to three guests (if you are travelling with your supplementary cardholder) to a high quality space.

As you will see, though, I would be tempted to choose the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 4 instead, which I reviewed here.  Plaza Premium is also your only option if you have a free Lounge Club pass via American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.

You can also buy one-off day passes for the SkyTeam lounge via the Lounge Pass website.

Overview

As you would expect from the flagship Heathrow lounge for the entire SkyTeam airline alliance, a serious amount of money has been spent here.  Unfortunately, at least at 7am in the morning, you could almost see the tumbleweed blowing across the floor.

A few years ago Delta moved its flights from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 to co-locate with its partner Virgin Atlantic.  This seems to have sucked the life out of T4.  It is now driven, in terms of passenger numbers, by Qatar Airways and Etihad.  Whilst Qatar Airways sends its non-Business Class passengers with status to SkyTeam, the lounge is still virtually dead.

I looked at the departure board.  Between 8am and 8pm, there were just 45 departures.  A lot of these were short haul and many were non-SkyTeam flights.  The lounge, at least during the morning, does not have the passenger numbers to fill it.  It wasn’t very busy back in 2014 but now it is virtually deserted.

The first thing to note is that the lounge is very big, over two levels.  At 7am on a Tuesday, the huge lower level had effectively been abandoned.  Food was only available upstairs and the buffet area downstairs lay empty, as did the bar:

No food here …..

and no people either ….

The key design feature here is plants.  There is a lot of (real) greenery behind the seating which is slightly surreal but not ineffective:

The only areas of interest downstairs were the Clarins spa area:

…. and the decent newspaper selection.

There is also a small private area which I imagine is reserved for First Class passengers on long haul flights:

Back in 2014 there were some cabanas / day rooms and a yoga room.  I didn’t see these on my latest visit – I’m not sure if I missed them or if they have been removed.

Here is part of the breakfast buffet upstairs:

Unfortunately it was a very weak selection.  Think of the food you’d expect on the breakfast buffet at a Holiday Inn and you’ll get the picture.

Of course, when you only have this many customers to serve …..:

and

….. you can’t blame them for skimping.

Conclusion

When my inbox is continually filled with complaints from readers who cannot get into Priority Pass lounges in Gatwick, Luton and Stansted due to overcrowding, it is weird to visit a lounge at a major London terminal which is running at literally 5% of capacity during the morning peak.

At the very least, SkyTeam should open it up to Lounge Club members.  I’m slightly surprised that the upstairs area has not been closed and handed back to the airport, or offered to another operator – Aspire does not have a Terminal 4 lounge, for example.

If you were travelling First Class on SkyTeam you would be unimpressed.  For a Priority Pass lounge, it is worth a visit although you would have a better time in the newer Plaza Premium lounge at the other end of the terminal.  This is a far smaller lounge – perhaps 20% of the size – but on my last visit the food was far better and it has a lot more life.

If you plan to visit the SkyTeam lounge and do not have a Priority Pass you can book entrance in advance for cash via the Lounge Pass website.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Bits: Bournemouth Airport gets a lounge, Flybe launches Southend to Newquay, new Accor / Club Eurostar promo
Bits: buy a 'BA 100' badge for Flying Start, No 1's new Edinburgh lounge, BA's Boeing 747 retirements
Click here to join our email list and receive all of the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. OT is the new lounge in the Gatwick South Terminal open for those with priority pass? I can’t see it on the app and No1 definitely won’t be letting people in without paying the £5 fee as they will be “fully booked”

    • Grain store is fabulous and you can re use the PP again after a first go with it, and stock up at the counter…really nice but expensive stuff to buy with the card…menu really nice.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      They don’t accept PP unfortunately.

      I went in yesterday having paid 15 GBP with 400 Virgin miles offer. I quite liked the set up in there but the food wasn’t great, just breakfast stuff until 12pm on the dot by which time most people were on alcoholic drinks and looking for nibbles.

      Pleased I read the HFP review before going there, I went prepared with some plastic cutlery to avoid the wooden utensils (sad I know!).

      They had the capacity tracker up on their computer when I went in and they seem to have been at 60-70% so far this week, so don’t think it gets overcrowded there yet.

    • Managed to get into no1 yesterday using PP at 6.30 am…we always fly early from Gatwick so touch wood normally can get in. We had eaten at the grain store first tho 🙂

  2. Rob.

    Is this a TYPO? Third Para
    Very surprisingly, despite being an ‘official’ airline lounge, the SkyTeam lounge is also part of Priority Pass. This is fantastic news for American Express Platinum card holders, as they now have free unlimited access for themselves and up to three guests to a high quality space.

    Thought you can only have one free guest per PP, so you need a platinum supplementary card to take 2 additional guests.

  3. Did you not enjoy the oxygen bar?

  4. Interesting. Last time I was there, which was around lunchtime during the Christmas holidays it was quite full and I struggled to get a seat by the window. Agree that it is a bit lacking in character, but I’d choose it over the overcrowded BA lounges at T5 any day.

  5. Thanks for the article. I was there last Friday afternoon and it was actually very busy over the two floors with only a few seats remaining, so quite a lot of people given how big the lounge is. I agree with the poor food selection though.

  6. Phil Huff says:

    I’ve enjoyed this lounge a few times, but always before a Korean Air flight to Seoul. At that point it really does get busy, with one level (usually the lower level) often being full. Food and drink is served on both floors at that point. That’s the real peak, I’d imagine.

    Never tried the Plaza Premium lounge in T4 as I’m always catching up with colleagues in the SkyTeam lounge. I’ll pop in next time.

  7. I was there a few months ago in the evening and it was quite packed. Judging by other comments here, maybe your visit was a fluke rather than the norm? I can confirm food was not amazing but better than many outside of London BA lounges (although, admittedly, that does not set the bar very high).

  8. I visited this lounge just before Christmas for an early morning short haul flight to Rome. Rob certainly captures my experience of the lounge. The breakfast offering was bland and looked worse than you would find at most budget hotels. I saw one lady stand at the buffet counter for 15 minutes waiting for some form of fried or scrambled egg to be replenished, as both dishes were empty. The staff really were invisible, not in a good way!

  9. I will be visiting this in a couple of week’s time.
    Any complimentary spa offers for Sky Team elite flying on Sky Team J?

    • Not sure, sorry. Seemed dead when I was there with no-one on reception.

    • I flew Qatar last October and went into the SkyTeam lounge to ask about a spa treatment. I was given a time slot an hour later, so returned after a few cocktails in the Qatar lounge. They only have one treatment available, but I’m not complaining as it’s free and I got a slot!

  10. I have used this lounge many times and, yes, the morning (7am in your review) is quiet but then there’s just the AF/KL/AZ flights for SkyTeam. Go in the early evening when you also have the SkyTeam flights to Asia (KE to ICN, CZ to CAN/WUH/SYX, GA to DPS and MU to PVG) along with the SkyTeam European flights AF/KL/AZ/SU and I have found it to be packed and only bothered with a post-work/pre-flight shower since there’s no seating to even have a drink at.

  11. I use it (via LoungeKey or Priority pass) on evening (20.30) departures to Malta, frequently. I prefer it to the Plaza Premium lounge at the other end of the terminal. Evening food offering is usually pretty good and in my experience is better than the T5 Galleries Club lounges. It’s always very busy in the evenings, both floors, and they tend to close the downstairs earlier so as soon as we arrive we always head up the stairs. Drinks are pretty good too, there are a selection of wines, beers and spirits. They also have a bottle or two of cava in the fridge for self pouring which is a nice touch.

  12. I don’t stay in many Holiday Inns but I’m pretty sure the ones I’ve been to in the UK have offered a full breakfast buffet (sausage, bacon, hash browns, sometimes black pudding) whereas in your photo I could only see scrambled eggs, beans and tomato.

    • Holiday Inn express tends to be more limited. Sausage/bacon/scrambled normally.
      Holiday Inn you get a wider choice but it’s not free.

  13. “Aspire does not have a Terminal 3 lounge, for example.“

    Did you mean Terminal 4?

  14. “It is now driven, in terms of passenger numbers, by Qatar Airways and Etihad.”

    Have Etihad started sending passengers to the Sky Team lounge? I thought they had rebranded their lounge (The House?) underneath the Sky Team lounge in partnership with No. 1 Lounges?

  15. Lynn Ako says:

    I am surprised by this review as I have used this lounge quite a few times when travelling through T4. The breakfast offering is usually a full breakfast plus yoghurt’s, waffles and other pastries. Shame your picture didn’t show the whole buffet bar. Usually busy with passengers too.

    “Very surprisingly, despite being an ‘official’ airline lounge, the SkyTeam lounge is also part of Priority Pass” – I don’t think the Skyteam Lounge is part of Priority Pass although Priority Pass members can use it.
    I have to say my experience using the lounge and the spa have been very positive each time. I haven’t tried the premium Plaza lounge myself but would recommend the Skyteam Lounge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.