What are the entry rules for the new (2nd) Qatar Airways lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4?
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Qatar Airways returned to Heathrow Terminal 4 on Tuesday, the first airline to do so. Others are following over the next couple of weeks until there will eventually be 30 carriers there.
One surprise is that Qatar Airways has built a second lounge in Terminal 4 during the pandemic. What we thought was going to be an extension to the existing Premium lounge seems to be a totally separate facility.
We don’t have any official information on this yet although we are hoping to take a look soon.
Historically, Qatar Airways restricted access to its Premium lounge at Heathrow to anyone flying in Business or First Class.
Status passengers travelling in Economy were originally sent to the SkyTeam lounge (now permanently closed) and later to the Plaza Premium lounge which sits directly above the Qatar Airways lounge.
Qatar Airways seems to have decided that it wanted to completely control the passenger experience at Heathrow Terminal 4 by opening its own ‘second’ lounge. One potential issue is that this may impact those flying on Avios tickets.
Note that the pictures in this article are all PR photos of the Premium lounge in Terminal 4.
The new Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Lounge
The oneworld alliance website now shows the following lounge information for Heathrow Terminal 4.
Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Lounge
Open to: Business Class, First Class, oneworld Emerald (eg BA Gold), oneworld Sapphire (eg BA Silver)
Guesting: You can only bring a guest if getting in via oneworld status
Which airlines?: The lounge can be accessed by Qatar Airways passengers as well as those flying on other oneworld airlines (eg Malaysia Airlines)
Qatar Airways Premium Lounge
Open to: Business and First Class passengers on revenue tickets
Guesting: No guests allowed
Which airlines?: The lounge can be accessed by Qatar Airways passengers as well as those flying on other oneworld airlines (eg Malaysia Airlines) but they must be flying on revenue tickets
Both lounges are open from 5am to 10pm, seven days per week.
To add to the confusion, remember that Qatar Airways also sells discounted Business Class tickets which don’t allow any lounge access.
What about Avios tickets?
It is still early days and we need to see what happens in practice. However, based on the wording on the oneworld website, it looks like anyone flying on Qatar Airways on an Avios ticket, even if flying First Class, will be relegated to the Frequent Flyer lounge. This means no ‘at table’ food service, no fine wines or top end champagne etc.
The real winners here are Malaysia Airlines and Royal Air Maroc passengers. With the Malaysia Airlines lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 now closed, revenue passengers in Business Class or Business Suite are probably now best served by visiting the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge.
We’ll update you on the Qatar Airways lounges when we’ve been able to have a look for ourselves.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (March 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
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
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.