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How is the Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge during coronavirus?

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With Heathrow Terminals 3 and 4 closed, Terminal 2 has been welcoming a number of airlines it wouldn’t normally see.

Plaza Premium is the only independent lounge in Terminal 2 – all other lounges belong to Star Alliance members with the exception of the Aer Lingus lounge.

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

This makes it the obvious lounge for displaced airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Delta, who announced they would be offering complimentary access to Plaza Premium for Upper Class and Business Class passengers.

The Plaza Premium lounge in T2 is still open to Priority Pass and American Express Platinum card holders – at least it was at 7am.

It was surprisingly empty when I entered given this is the only independent lounge in the terminal, although this is evidently a reflection of the state of the aviation industry. T2 has always been less crowded than T5 but it was virtually empty on Thursday morning at what I imagine would be a peak time.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t imagine it gets much busier. With the majority of Virgin Atlantic and Delta flights being to the US or other countries with quarantine requirements, you can probably count the business class passengers on each flight on one hand.

I’m not complaining – I’ll take an empty lounge over a crowded one any day. Plaza Premium in T2 makes excellent use of the windowless space it has to create a cosy lounge:

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

It achieves this look through a lot of clever lighting and Asian architectural styles. It lets you forget that you are underneath what is effectively the check-in and baggage drop areas on the floor above!

The Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2

Once the manned desk at the front has verified your entry eligibility you enter into a lovely atrium-style space which has a bar on one side and access to two other areas:

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

The space has been separated into semi-permeable ‘rooms’ with the use of wooden dividers. This makes the lounge feel cosy despite its size.

Different areas include a more formal dining area near the kitchens as well as a range of slightly more casual single and double armchairs.

Connectivity is excellent with virtually every seat having its own plug sockets.

The staff were doing an excellent job of cleaning. I noticed my side table had just been wiped down before I sat at it and I saw other tables around me being cleaned on a regular basis.

Food and drink at Plaza Premium Heathrow T2

The biggest change in how the lounge operates is with the food offering. There is no buffet any more. Instead, the buffet is staffed with someone who takes your order.

Here is the breakfast menu. You can pick from any combination of items:

  • Scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and baked beans
  • Porridge
  • Selection of cereals, fruits and yoghurts
  • Selection of breads, pastries and muffins

I don’t think the food has changed at all post-Corona – I imagine it is just no longer self-serve.

I decided to go for a hot breakfast:

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

….. which was decent except that there seemed to be some kind of cream under the eggs which rather overpowered the flavour! Very odd.

It also would have been nice to have a bit more choice – for example, some hash browns and smoked salmon, perhaps. As it stands, the breakfast offering wasn’t hugely different to what you’d find in a British Airways lounge.

I also noticed they had ‘chocolate cornflakes’ on offer:

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

….. which is clearly Nutella on normal cornflakes! I wonder if they ran out of actual chocolate cornflakes and were told to improvise …….

Coffee, tea and fruit juices (more like fruit juice ‘drinks’) were self-serve. The ‘juices’ came in these glass dispensers with a tap (do they have a name?). Instead of pulling the lever, Plaza Premium had fitted them with a push accessory, meaning you didn’t have to touch them at all:

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 review

You can also get drinks at the bar, although when I asked for anything bubbly they asked how I got lounge entry. When I said it was via my Amex Platinum card, they told me that only a few spirits, beer and wine were available! It didn’t feel right to drink a G&T or glass of wine at 7am so I left it ……

Conclusion

Despite the pandemic Plaza Premium in Heathrow Terminal 2 continues to offer a relaxing lounge away from the rest of the terminal (and the mask-wearing required everywhere!)

Whilst the food offering could be improved slightly, I’m not sure whether this is simply a reduced offering to reduce contact. It’s a shame that I couldn’t get free champagne or prosecco. In hindsight, I should have just walked out the lounge and re-entered using my Priority Pass insead of my Amex Platinum card – although that assumes that Priority Pass cardholders get better treatment.

If you don’t have access via Priority Pass or Lounge Club, you can buy access via the Plaza Premium website here.

If you don’t have a Priority Pass, you get a free one with an American Express Platinum cardYou can also buy a Priority Pass for cash here.

Alternatively, if you apply for a free (in year one) American Express Gold card you will receive two free Lounge Club lounge passes which are also accepted here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in five major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £575

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £575.

See if you qualify for the 30,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £4,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.  Holding a British Airways American Express card does not disqualify from the Platinum bonus.

If you cancel The Platinum Card at any point, you will receive a pro-rata refund of your membership fee.  You will not lose your sign-up bonus.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in five major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold Elite), Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£10 per month of Addison Lee taxi credit

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Amex Gold is our recommended ‘first card’ for a miles and points beginner
  • You receive two free airport lounge passes when you sign up, and a further two passes each year if you renew
  • After your two free passes, you can visit further lounges for a small fee
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £140 from Year 2

Representative 56.6% APR variable, from Year 2, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £140 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases and in Year 1 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 10,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible, which is why we recommend this as the best choice for your first miles and points card.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the two free airport lounge passes and the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with two free airport lounge passes.  These allow either you and a friend, or yourself twice, to visit any lounge in the Lounge Pass network.  You make additional lounge visits for £20 per person.  You receive an additional two free passes each year.

You earn double Membership Rewards points on all airline spend (made directly on an airline website) and all spend made outside the UK.

If you spend over £15,000 in a card year, you will receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you renew.

Other benefits include a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals and special deals at 350 selected hotels worldwide, where Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive a $75 in-hotel credit per stay.

Comments (16)

  • mr_jetlag says:

    Is this also a Dragonpass Lounge?

  • John says:

    Still crap then. Look at that bacon… those eggs!

  • Novice says:

    I was never a fan of buffets or self-service as you don’t know how clean anyone else is. I like this system of order to get what you want. I hope this carries on forever now. It would save me asking staff for various things next time I travel. It would be perfect if they add more choices for food though.

  • Michael Jennings says:

    Denying you champagne is one thing, but if they are going to offer you still wine I can’t see any sensible reason for not offering you some kind of prosecco or cava. These things aren’t especially expensive.

    • HAM76 says:

      Except that more people are willing to empty a bottle of prosecco than a bottle of wine.

  • Simonbr says:

    Slightly OT, do BA ever provide compensation if you’re flying Club but the airport’s lounge is closed (eg Naples today)? Nothing was offered at the check-in desk. Is it worth emailing BAEC or do we just suck it up?

    • Rob says:

      Nothing offered to me at Newquay on Monday! In the past they have offered vouchers at check in at some airports for the cafe.

  • Alex Sm says:

    I never liked this lounge but Rob for some reason adores it. But after this review I might want to revisit. Still have dragon passes from that January bonanza

  • Dubious says:

    I had a colleague who was transiting and spent about 5-6 hours in this lounge.
    He said it was ‘ok’ rather than ‘good’…and got a bit tired of the decor after while…

  • Roy says:

    At least one, maybe both (not sure) of the Plaza Premium lounges I regularly used pre-corona (T2 and T5) has had a highly restricted free alcohol offering for ages. Even beer and wine wasn’t free across the board – only one beer was free (Carlsberg IIRC) and as for wine I think only the house wine was free.

    I really don’t think PP vs Plat makes any difference: it used to be restricted to everyone; now I guess maybe some of the airlines have negotiated a different arrangement, hence why you were asked.