Review: the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
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This is our review of the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3.
This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK. You can see all of the reviews here.
The Cathay Pacific lounges at Heathrow are widely regarded as the best lounges at Terminal 3. They have just re-opened, following almost two years of closure.
They are currently the main lounges for Finnair and American Airlines, the latter using it whilst the AA lounge is refurbished and possibly turned into a Flagship lounge.
The Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at Heathrow was my penultimate stop on my oneworld lounge safari at Terminal 3. Previous stops include:
- The British Airways Galleries Club lounge (review)
- The British Airways Galleries First lounge (review)
- Qantas London Lounge (review)
How to access the Cathay Pacific lounges at Heathrow T3
You do not need to be flying Cathay Pacific to access the lounges. The only requirement is that you are flying a oneworld carrier (such as Finnair, American Airlines, Qantas or British Airways), either on a business class ticket or with the relevant status.
That means anyone with oneworld Emerald (ie. British Airways Executive Club Gold) can access the First Class lounge and anyone with BA Silver can use the Business lounge, even if you are flying an a hand-baggage-only British Airways economy flight.
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 here.
The lounge is open from 5:30am until 7:30pm daily, except Sundays when it opens at 7:30am.
How to find the Cathay Pacific lounges at Heathrow
Terminal 3 uses an alphabetic labelling system for the 9 lounges that are now available at the airport. The Cathay Pacific lounges are designated as ‘Lounge C’ when you exit security.
Lounge C is situated just a few metres down from the Qantas lounge, by gate 11. The lounge is currently open from 5:30am until 5:30pm daily except Sundays, when the lounge opens at 7:30am.
Inside the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at Heathrow T3
To get into the lounge you need to take the lift up a floor:
Once you have scanned your boarding pass you can proceed to the lounge, which is the second on the right (the first on the right is the First Class lounge).
The Business Class lounge is substantially larger than the First Class lounge – about two to three times as large.
The first section is a dining area, adjacent to the noodle bar:
Here is the noodle bar:
Beyond this the lounge is more casual, with armchairs clustered in various groups and along the windows:
Aesthetically, the First and Business Class lounges are pretty similar, with warm wooden panelling and furniture in warm browns, greys and blacks. The addition of several fiddle leaf figs and other plants liven the space up and also tie into the green accents throughout:
In the middle you have a bar where you can order alcoholic drinks (self pour is not available):
At the very end of the lounge is a TV with news:
…. as well as these individual pods:
On the whole, the Business Class lounge is less bright than the First Class lounge because it sticks out less and is shaded by the terminal buildings, although it does get more light in the evenings. This also means the views aren’t quite as good, although it has floor to ceiling windows and is still brighter than most airport lounges.
As you can see from the photos, it wasn’t too busy although there were more people than in the First Class lounge.
Food and drink at the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge Heathrow T3
As mentioned above, the main dining options in the lounge come from the noodle bar near the lounge entrance. There is no table service – you head to the noodle bar to order and get given a buzzer to alert you when you can collect your food.
Dishes generally include a range of noodles, bao and dim sum:
In addition to the noodle bar there is also a small buffet. During breakfast you can find a few hot dishes available (which I forgot to photograph – oops!) plus various plates with cold cuts:
The Cathay lounges tend to focus on Asian cuisine so if you are after something more Western then you may be better off eating in the Qantas lounge.
The Cathay Pacific lounge showers are shared by the First and Business class sections of the lounge and are by far the best showers at any Heathrow terminal:
The dark brown marble is just absolutely stunning together with the gold fittings.
Stepping into the shower you feel like you have skipped the flight entirely and have already arrived at a stunning 5* resort:
It’s hard not to be blown away. Toiletries are by Bamford and have a lovely geranium smell:
Although not quite as spectacular as the First Class lounge, the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge is still a lovely facility. It outclasses BA’s Galleries First lounge, with better food and drink options as well as much more modern and stylish decor.
If you’re looking to freshen up, a trip to this lounge will also get you access to the best showers at Heathrow.
I would consider the Qantas lounge and the Cathay Business lounge to tie as the second best oneworld lounges at Heathrow T3.
The Cathay lounge has more Asian dishes, better showers and more natural light. The Qantas lounge has mostly Western a la carte dining and a greater range of gins. What you prefer will depend on what you like, although personally I would visit both given they are just round the corner from each other.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2023)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable 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 Air Lines and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four 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 four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get four 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.