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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.

Qantas lounge hEATHROW

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 for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

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 Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club lounge – see the list here

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and 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 (96)

  • Wollhouse says:

    Sort of related… to lounges at least, Miami airport, E gates. I flew BA business just after midnight on Monday. At check in, a single desk was open for business/first with a queue. Security, fast track took you into the non fast track queue which had a single gate open. The conveyer wasn’t working and you had to push your own stuff through. Fine for me, not so great for the poor chap way ahead of me with a sleeping baby in a buggy, toddler and all their gear. The poor guy was trying to push stuff whilst carrying the kid and being shouted at by the chap working, who could just as easily have pushed his stuff. Security screening gate kept getting a closed sign put up and everything stopped. Loads of staff around doing nothing so a bit weird. Lift up to the BA lounge wouldn’t accept the lounge floor. Neither would the other one. Turns out the lounge is closed. Has been for 2 months… no signs saying this, Not mentioned during check in. Apparently there is another lounge in D. But I was told it was a 30 minute walk, closes at 10:30 and the transit train between E security and the gates is “sporadic” in the evening so I was recommended not to go by the BA staff member I found. Everything in the E terminal was already shut or closing. The VIP lounge I might have been able to use with my Dragon Pass…. cones in front of the escalator… I was told it also closed at 10:30. So, if you’re taking a late flight with BA out of Miami E…don’t count on the lounge, or any food or drink at the airport! I do have to say, that the cabin crew were lovely once on board. They’d just had a 30 minute detour walk through the terminal so were also unimpressed. And the food was actually very good. First world problems, I know, but I do think as a Club experience goes, Miami/BA have some serious work to do.

    • xcalx says:

      The lounge has been closed for a while now. Hoping its back open by late November.

      Miami
      BA’s designated lounge at Miami airport is the Premium Lounge which it shares with other Oneworld alliance members such as Iberia, Finnair and Qatar Airways.

      This is located on the fifth floor of Concourse E in the Central Terminal. This lounge is temporarily closed for repairs from Monday 2 July 2018 for approximately five weeks.

      If you’ve ever visited the lounge you would know that whilst it is certainly spacious, the decor does scream “1980s office lobby”. I was told well over a year ago by a member of staff that the lounge was due to be refurbished, but there seems to be no sign of this happening yet.

      Whilst the lounge is closed, BA passengers can use the American Airlines Flagship® lounge near Gate 30 of Concourse D in the North Terminal.

      This is a relatively new lounge. By any measure, it will be a significant improvement with much more modern decor and a better choice of food and beverage more suited to pre-departure on an international flight. Like the Premium Lounge, it does have showers. Under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, eligible BA passengers have access to this lounge in any event.

      Whilst Concourses D and E are interlinked, it will be much longer walk from the lounge to the BA departure gates. Note that if the BA flight is departing from Gates E20-E33 there is a train to these gates on level four of Concourse E, as per this official map.

      (From experience of flying into and out of Miami many times over the years, the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that each time it’s different so the best advice is just be prepared for it not to be the same as before.)

    • Anna says:

      You’d probably get a few thousand avios if you complain to BA re this – if there’s no lounge access they normally give out F & B vouchers. I’ve flown out of MIA 3 times and the security queues were always a 2-3 hour nightmare causing some pax to miss connections. Next year we’re flying into MIA but home from GCM where if you time it right you can be the only people at security!

      • Wollhouse says:

        Well, you won’t be sad to miss the Miami return;) xcalx, I was told it might take a year for the refurb… and all the above is true re Term D lounge…except it closes at 10:30, so not overly useful for a 00:15 flight. I’m with Anna, next time, I’m flying in and out of orlando ha ha!

  • LewisB says:

    OT: Lufthansa now flying from Bristol to Frankfurt from Spring 2020.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    OT: LATAM launching Sao Paulo – Falkland Islands once per week. It’s technically the UK, it counts!!

    • B says:

      Winner, I can’t wait to go back to MPN. Hopefully a redemption will be possible before LATAM leave one world.

  • 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.

    • Liam says:

      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.

      • Anna says:

        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 🙁

          • BJ says:

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

  • 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?

    • Jake says:

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

    • Graham Walsh says:

      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.

    • Anna says:

      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.

    • BJ says:

      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.

      • Cat says:

        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!

  • Jason says:

    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

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    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!

  • PaulC says:

    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.

    • KevMc says:

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

      • PaulC says:

        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.