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Review: the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

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This is our review of the Qantas London Lounge at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3.

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

The last time I found myself in the Qantas London lounge was in March 2020 before my 24-hour economy flight to Sydney and just a couple of weeks before the UK went into lockdown. Being back in the lounge – which has been open since December – felt like life had come full circle. The last time we wrote about the lounge was at the opening party in 2017 when the Qantas CEO was making the drinks!

Qantas Lounge Heathrow review

The Qantas lounge at Heathrow was my third stop on my oneworld lounge tour at Terminal 3. You can see my review of the British Airways Galleries Club lounge here and my review of the British Airways Galleries First lounge here.

How to access the Qantas London lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

You do not need to be flying Qantas to access the Qantas lounge. The only requirement is that you be flying a oneworld carrier (such as Finnair, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or British Airways), either on a Business Class ticket or with the relevant status.

That means anyone with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald (ie. British Airways Executive Club Silver or Gold) can access the lounge, even if you are flying an a hand-baggage-only British Airways economy flight.

Emirates passengers can also access this lounge. Whilst it is bigger and better than the official Emirates lounge, you should note that there is direct boarding from there (ie there is an airbridge linked to the lounge). It makes your trip a lot smoother and you may prefer to use the Emirates lounge for that reason.

I got in on the back of my BA Gold status and an economy flight to Gibraltar. You can see the list of short haul BA flights operating from Terminal 3 (at least as it was in October 2021) here.

How to find the Qantas London lounge

Terminal 3 uses an alphabetic labelling system for the nine lounges that are now available at the airport. The Qantas lounge is designated as ‘Lounge B’ when you exit security.

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 entrance

Lounge B is situated between the main terminal concourse and shops and gates 13-22. It is inbetween the Cathay Pacific lounges and the British Airways lounges.

Inside the Qantas London Lounge

The Qantas lounge has a smart entrance with two members of staff to scan your boarding pass. The lounge staff were extremely friendly and the attendant made an effort to say goodbye to a departing passenger, which was a nice touch.

All things considered, the Qantas lounge is a fairly large facility with 236 seats. It is also the newest of the oneworld lounges, having opened in 2017. Whilst the lounge is starting to show a bit of wear and tear it is, on the whole, in exceptionally good condition.

The lounge is spread across two floors. When you enter, you are greeted by an a la carte dining area, which was temporarily closed due to an issue with the refrigeration units:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 a la carte dining area

Adjacent to the a la carte dining area is the gin bar, again temporarily closed:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 gin bar stairs

and

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 gin bar

Last time I was here I made sure to try virtually all of the gins, of which there are many, with recommended pairings with the food from the bar staff.

In any case, the lower floor should re-open again very shortly – I was told it would be a matter of weeks, if that.

To the right of the gin bar is the staircase to the upper floor, which opens onto the impressive marble horseshoe bar which specialises in cocktails:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 horseshoe bar

There is also a barista service. If you are sensitive to noise you may want to find somewhere a bit further from the bar where you can hear the grinds and whistles of coffee being brewed and cocktails shaken.

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 sofas

This floor is much more casual, with plenty of sofas, armchairs and coffee tables:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 seating 3

Behind the staircase is the buffet plus a small dining area:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 upper floor dining area

Whilst adjacent to this you can find an area full of booths:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 seating 4

…. before you head back towards the cocktail bar:

Views from the lounge are not spectacular, if I am honest. Qantas had to work within the confines of the existing terminal building which is not the most modern. That means the windows are smaller and straddle just the left hand side. As a consequence, the lounge does not have as much natural light as the BA Galleries lounges or the Cathay Pacific lounges with their modern floor-to-ceiling windows.

The staff have always been exceptionally friendly every time I have been to this lounge. Qantas, like Virgin Atlantic, always seems to have a friendlier and more relaxed atmosphere than other airlines, which I enjoy.

Food and drink at the Qantas lounge Heathrow T3

As mentioned above there is normally an impressive a la carte menu on offer in the Qantas lounge. Once this resumes in the coming weeks the Qantas lounge will once again be the best Business Class lounge if you are hungry.

I can’t say whether the menus have changed, but when I was here two years ago it included roast pork, coq au vin, and of course salt and pepper squid, a Qantas signature:

Qantas Lounge Heathrow dining salt & pepper squid

The food was genuinely great – some of the best lounge food I have had and leagues ahead of what you find in British Airways lounges. It is probably on par with the catering in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

In addition to the a la carte dining you’ll also always find a self-serve buffet. During my stay this was decked out with breakfast, which included all the items you need for a full English – scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, sausages, hash browns, mushrooms and tomatoes:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 buffet

It is slightly embarrassing that the Qantas lounge does a better full English breakfast than either of the British Airways lounges ….

A selection of delicious yoghurts where also available:

As were a range of pastries and muesli:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 buffet pastries

I particularly liked the tea sets they had:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 tea set

You can help yourself to soft drinks although alcohol is only available via the bar. Sparkling wine is also self pour, in this case Petaluma NV Croser Adelaide Hills Brut which retails for £19 (the BA sparkling wine in Galleries retails for £7):

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 Australian sparkling wine

Showers

There are a number of showers on the upper floor of the Qantas lounge. Although they are not quite as luxe as the Cathay Pacific showers they are nevertheless extremely smart. The design feels very much like it has been taken from a hotel:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 shower

Toiletries are by Aspar:

Qantas London Lounge Heathrow T3 Aspar amenities

Conclusion

The Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 has a lot to offer.

The absence of a dedicated lounge for First Class passengers means that Qantas has created an elevated Business Class lounge that straddles both cabins. That alone makes it the best Business Class lounge at Heathrow in my view, on par with the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

Despite being one of the darker lounges at Terminal 3, Qantas has made up for it via design, including a lovely feature staircase and marble bars on both floors. It really is a beautiful lounge, and the wood panelling on the upper floor adds an element of Britishness to the whole place.

The cherry on top are the unfailingly friendly staff who always seem to be having just as much fun as you are.

Stay tuned for further reviews this week as my T3 lounge safari continues.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2022)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) 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.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Amex Gold

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 Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get 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 (51)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Lyn says:

    I think this is possibly true in the sense of timing a la carte dining to match Qantas flights, and trying to provide a very good Qantas lounge experience for Qantas premium and status passengers.

    When we visited, pre-pandemic, there was a morning Qantas flight. The lounge staff asked which flight we were on when they took our a la carte order. They would have given us priority if we had been on the Qantas flight to make sure we had time to eat breakfast and have coffee before the flight.

    I am sure they would also be well aware of any Qantas Chairman’s Lounge members visiting the lounge before non-Qantas flights.

    • Lyn says:

      Oops, this was meant to be a reply to John T. and Rhys on page 1 re priority for Qantas status passengers!

  • merlin90 says:

    I just booked LHR-LAX in March. I tried out the Centurion Lounge last time I was in T3. I’ve never done any other airline lounge there except BA, so will give the Qantas one a go next time. (Given a totally free rein I would probably try CX and AA too, but my wife is a little less amenable to lounge hopping, so I have to pick and choose.)

  • Londonsteve says:

    I would be curious how the economics work when you visit a One World lounge, other than the one run by the airline you are flying on. If you are a BAEC member, will BA make a payment to Qantas because one of its passengers elected to use the Qantas lounge rather than the in-house BA offering? Do they digitally capture your lounge entry? I’m surprised it’s possible to go on a ‘lounge safari’ and would have assumed that you can visit one lounge before flying and that’s it. Availability of other One World carrier lounges for BA passengers is a well kept secret in my opinion. Cannot see the point in consuming pasta alfredo with a watery Americano in Galleries when offerings like this Qantas lounge are also available.

    • Rob says:

      We understand Cathay First incurs a bill of c £100 to BA, probably £60-ish for Business.

      • Londonsteve says:

        If you’re flying on a HBO fare to any of the BA short haul destinations from T3, that’s almost certainly more than the cost of the ticket! I would imagine BA would really rather you didn’t visit, but can they not prevent it as that would contravene their contract with One World?

        • Nick says:

          The operating carrier pays. What you need to remember is that outside of the HfP/FT world there are lots of customers who default to ‘the lounge they know’ so BA make as well as lose money in T3.

          There are actually 2 x 2 rates within oneworld (premium F, premium J, standard F, standard J) which all attract a different price. I’ll leave it to your imaginations which goes under each category at T3…

  • Peter Clare says:

    We are flying to Perth on April 8th with Quantas in Premium Economy and wish to have use of the Quantas Lounge pre the flight. Is this possible and how do I book it in advance please.
    Peter Clare

    • Rob says:

      This is what the website says:

      “Step away from the hustle and bustle of the airport before your next flight. If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you may receive an email invitation to purchase a lounge access pass 2 to 5 days before your next flight. It’s a terrific opportunity to get a glimpse of some of the benefits you could enjoy if you decide to become a Qantas Club member. Refer to your email invitation for more details and to purchase or see the terms and conditions. Please note that invitations are sent at Qantas’ absolute and sole discretion. More information can be found on our FAQs page.”

      You can, with less messing around, buy passes for the No1 Lounge in Terminal 3 here – https://www.headforpoints.com/hfp/no1-lounge-heathrow-terminal-3/

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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