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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.

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow plants

The Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at Heathrow was my penultimate stop on my oneworld lounge safari at Terminal 3. Previous stops include:

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:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow dining area

Here is the noodle bar:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow noodle bar

Beyond this the lounge is more casual, with armchairs clustered in various groups and along the windows:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow seating

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:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow plants

In the middle you have a bar where you can order alcoholic drinks (self pour is not available):

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow bar

At the very end of the lounge is a TV with news:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow TV corner

…. as well as these individual pods:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow 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:

Cathay Pacific lounge Heathrow dimsum

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:

Cathay Pacific Business lounge Heathrow 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.

Showers

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:

Cathay Pacific lounge Heathrow shower suite

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:

Cathay Pacific First lounge Heathrow shower

It’s hard not to be blown away. Toiletries are by Bamford and have a lovely geranium smell:

Cathay Pacific First lounge Heathrow bamford toiletries

Conclusion

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.


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 (50)

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

  • Panda Mick says:

    Coffee was palatable.

    Their porridge was good. But so much plastic for Jams, Honey and stuff…..

    Hilton Tallinn had a piece of honeycomb…. Just sayin’

  • Frankie says:

    What are the opening hours please?

  • Nick says:

    Rhys really can’t resist any opportunity to blag about how he got Rob’s mate to comp him gold 😜

    Looking forward to getting back in here. I love the noodles, and the views over the apron, runway and cargo area are great. Shame they seem to have got rid of the lovely Aesop soaps, but can’t win them all.

  • Tar says:

    Can you use this if flying from T5? How long is the transfer/is it worth it?

    • Rob says:

      Technically possible with an airside transfer but absolutely a bad idea.

      • Tar says:

        I guess the T5 business class lounges are all pretty comparable since they’re all BA?

        • dougzz99 says:

          The B lounge is much nicer as it sees far fewer people.

        • Rob says:

          B is quieter and that has lots of knock on effects – food should be faster to arrive, better chance of getting seats together etc. Also means no need to rush for the train to get to the B satellite at departure time.

          Assuming you’re flying from B of course!

          • David says:

            I find lounging in B and flying from C a nightmare due to that blasted train only randomly stopping for the required transfer !

  • Vanessa says:

    Been there once flying BA , and was declined food service at the noodle bar because “they only reserve noodle bar service for cathay pacific ticket holder”. Was told the only food option available was the miserable cold buffet on offer. Have avoided that ever since.

    • ee says:

      That’s strange – was not our experience last time we visited (pre-pandemic).0

    • NorthernLass says:

      How did they even know who you were flying with?! That wasn’t my experience either.
      Presumably if CX isn’t flying atm they can’t use this excuse not to serve people.

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

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