You can now pay for entry at the Qantas Heathrow Terminal 3 airport lounge

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According to Executive Traveller, Qantas has opened its very good Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge (review here) to paying customers.

You do not need to be flying Qantas, oneworld or any particular cabin class: it is open to anyone passing through the terminal.

It costs £55 which is, needless to say, a lot. Despite its reputation as one of the best lounges in Heathrow you may baulk at the cost.

Apparently, Qantas is treating this as a trial. The lounge remains empty for most of the afternoon, since Qantas only flies from London at midday and just after 8pm. There is a good six hour slot between these two flights where one flight has departed and passengers for the second have not yet arrived.

£55 is a little steep compared to the No 1 Lounge (review here) and the Club Aspire lounge (review here), where £20-£25 can often get you access if you find the right deal.  That said, it is an impressive space.

My bigger question is over how Qantas intends to market it.  It can’t promote it to its own passengers who don’t have access, since the lounge is already busy over those periods.  It has no easy way of reaching other passengers flying out of Terminal 3 – short of sticking a big sign on the door saying ‘come on it, it’s only £55’ ……

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

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Comments

  1. Lady London says:

    I hâte to say it but thé QF lounge would be an idéal candidate for thé apparent new Priority Pass policy of accepting Priority Pass, then charging extra.

    QF lounge could end up Grade C Priority Pass Extra costing £20-25 in addition to whatever Priority Pass gives the lounge. Thé £20 price for a booking of minimum 2 persons.

    Grade B £10-£15 on same basis for Clubrooms and décent No.1’s.

    Grade A Basic £5-£10, applying in thé end, for every other lounge. £0 for special promotions/limited periods/ PP signups.

    Every adult can bring 1 child free.

    • Interesting. Which other lounges accept Priority Pass plus a surcharge?

      I did wonder whether Qantas might decide, if the number of people paying £55 is low, to try going onto Priority Pass for a restricted period each day, like the Virgin Clubhouse at LAX which is only open to PP holders 5–10.30am. I don’t know what kind of cut PP takes versus the amount the lounge operator earns for each visitor, though.

      • I think LL may mean the £5 reservation fee which is pretty much a must to be able to get into some lounges.

        • Lady London says:

          Yes you are right Anna. Increasing reports over past couple of years now seem to have become constant : at major airport lounges in the UK, and not just at peak times now, large numbers of Priority Pass holders are told the lounge is full and denied entry. This even when a practically empty lounge can be seen behind the person denying entry. And with far more space than needed for, say, an entire Qatar Business class number of seats. Some people are reporting constantly being denied at every London airport 5 x plus in a row.

          The lounges are saying if you didn’t pay £5 (or £10 soon to be probs £15 for Clubrooms) to the lounge ahead, extra to the money they will receive for letting you in on your Priority Pass, as a “reservation fee”, then the lounge is full. This is across the lounges so it doesn’t seem as though Priority Pass is paying them enough. And Priority Pass is not budging it seems. So the lounges are effectively enforcing an effective £5 charge on Priority Pass holders apparently. Leading to a high rate of denial of entry. This seems to have become constant in the UK, at least.

          As BJ says and I agree, the quality of the Priority Pass lounges and the change in the lounge experience mostly means these days that you might as well find somewhere else and sit there with a sandwich in an awful lot of cases. Certainly these conditions don’t suit frequent flyers who need to work en route as Priority Pass can’t come even close to guaranteeing an environment suitable work work any longer.

          Amex holders who want to enter as 2 or a family of 4 (using 1 main card and 1 supp) may still the see value but as a single traveller I would also question how much of the now-£600 fee for Plat can really be justified by expected access to Priority Pass lounges when needed en route.

          • Lady London says:

            *My above suggestion was a bit tongue in cheek – that future direction of Priority Pass means always needing a co-pay to gain entry in to a UK lounge in future – but actually – bringing us back on topic – the QF T3 Lounge would perfectly fit the bill as the top end grade of 3, that Priority Pass could bring in. Making the de facto extra fee now needed in order to guarantee entry to a Priority Pass lounge at a major airport in the UK, official 🙁

          • I thought you were breaking the story of the month at first 🙂

  2. Benilyn says:

    OT: Ideas for 7 day itinerary for Egypt? Looking for more touristy / historical / active holiday, not a Sharm El Sheikh one. Never been, looking to fly into Cairo. Then Luxor? From Cairo I can do day trips right?

    • Egypt air fly to both Cairo and Luxor from Heathrow. You could fly into one and work your way up to the other.

    • I went to Cairo for work, took an extra 2 days out to sightsee. Did the Pyramids tour one day and the following did a tour of the city, religious buildings and market. Probably loads more to do.

    • Nile cruise? This would get you to many of the best sights with minimal effort.

    • Genghis says:

      I went years ago straight after university for around 3 weeks all over. if you don’t fancy flying – we didn’t – there’s a train that runs down to Aswan (was decent accommodation even when we went). However, the best thing for me was a tour into the desert from Bahariya Oasis.

      • ankomonkey says:

        +1 for Bahariya Oasis. We did a desert sleep this April – kids and adults loved it. The local people we experienced in that area were truly hospitable and honest.

    • Train trip to Alexandria for one or two nights for something different. Recommended hotel in Cairo – Kempinski. Don’t shy away from the food, they have fantastic grilled meat and great rice desserts but be careful with salad.

      • Train South, from Cairo see the sights at Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel, then skip the Nile cruise in favour of two nights on a felucca with a good book and a camera! I also did a marvellous unexpected 3 day trip to the White desert when I should have been in school, thanks to Eyjafjallajökull.
        Enjoy!

  3. ot checking in for international JAL flight, takes me thought to their own website and then says I need to check in at airport it’s still over 24 hours and my BA apps says I can check in with the usual 24 notice…is this normal ?? I booked through BA using miles

  4. Hi all – very OT in the spirit of Bits but I’m hoping that some of you would be kind enough to reward my years of sarcasm and occasional inspiration on here with some support for my efforts this coming weekend to run the New York Marathon in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    I am not a runner and I am terrified about the prospect of doing this but the charity is personally relevant to my family and if anyone would be kind enough to consider supporting me it would mean a huge amount. My link is available by clicking my name.

    In the spirit of a HFP link and to ensure transparency, I paid the NYCM registration fee personally, the flight is on Norwegian paid for entirely with cashpoints from old work travel and the hotel is a HH redemption so nothing is diverting resources from the charity – every penny will wind up benefiting prople like my youngest son who are living with the life limiting condition.

    Thank you in advance to anyone kind enough to support, it may just make the difference to me getting to the end!

  5. O/T An easy question – When booking a BA flight using Avios the taxes are paid to another company therefore wouldnt be classed as airline or BA specific spend on an AMEX Gold or BA card? Therefore I’m best just spending on whichever AMEX card I’m looking to hit a bonus on.

    • It will go through as a BA transaction, so always best to use your BA card

      • Ahh, I’ve only ever booked through Avios using a Lloyds free upgrade voucher. This is my first Companion voucher. Cheers.

    • Harry T says:

      You get 3 Avios per pound spent at British Airways with the BAPP AMEX. This includes paying for British Airways Holidays packages, and the taxes and charges on redemption flights.

  6. Neil Donoghue says:

    Has anyone had any luck using the Wheely promotion more than twice on their Amex cards? I was going to give it a try this afternoon and see what happens

    • Yes. Worked fine on my BAPP. Two trips to LHR and £25 refund received for each on my online statement. Takes 4-5 days.

      • Apologies I just realised that you said more than twice! No I didn’t do that but might give it a go next week before the offer ends.

        • Neil Donoghue says:

          Cheers Dev, I will let you know tomorrow! The offer worked fine for me as well but I didn’t receive any email to say the offer triggered

    • No joy here, I got the two lots of £25 cash backs but the third time I used it nothing 🙁 oh well!

      • Neil Donoghue says:

        Thanks Louise! Used it tonight and the charge has gone through…Let’s see if I get the £25 back

  7. OT Monese card

    Am I right in thinking that the £5000 monthly limit relates to pay point transactions only and PO transactions have no limit per month just the £500 at any one time.
    From Monese TCs

    Cash top-up via Post Office Per transaction £5 £500 £5 £500 £5 £500

    Cash top-up via PayPoint Per transaction n/a £249 n/a £249 n/a £249
    Per day n/a £500 n/a £500 n/a £500
    Per week n/a £2,500 n/a £2,500 n/a £2,500
    Per month (30 days) n/a £5,000 n/a £5,000 n/a £5,000

    Thanks

  8. They currently charge BA $80 for every entrant travelling on a BA flight – and that’s at oneworld ‘mates’ rates’. In this context, £55 is a bargain!

  9. Re the Accor offer – “In theory, this promo is only valid if you were emailed it directly by Accor.”

    I didn’t get an email and when I tried registering I got the message “Unfortunately, your status does not qualify you for this offer”, and I’ve got Gold status!

  10. OT,

    When booking a 241 from the UK to Hong Kong what is the best sequence to save on the charges?
    Outbound online and then call for the return?

    Thanks

    • Won’t save on the charges that way. You’ll get charged the same if you book both out and back together or one outbound then later one return. You’ll only save if you use the 241 solely for the outbound then book the return as a separate ticket using twice the avios and not linked to the 241.

      • happeemonkee says:

        That’s not correct. If you book the outbound only using the 241, you can book the inbound seperately to make use of the lower charges ex HK and phone BA and ask to apply the voucher to the return. You’ll then get 50% of your Avios back. I did this a couple of weeks ago.

        • Ah, I see. Thanks very much.

          • Michael C says:

            Yep, did this for a March trip: out to Osaka with the voucher. Reserved the return from HKG with Avios, then rang and the reservations were “linked” and half the Avios returned, no problem.

  11. O/T Re curve card and ATM withdrawals. I have the basic blue card with a £500 monthly limit for foreign transactions. Does anyone know if the £200 ATM withdrawal limit per month is separate or would be part of this £500 limit. thanks Claire

    • It’s separate unless you’re doing an ATM withdrawal that involves a FX conversion (e.g. Euros from an ATM where the underlying card is in pounds).

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