Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our review of the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3.

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

Earlier this year, I went on a lounge safari of all the oneworld lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 to update our reviews.

One lounge I couldn’t get in was the American Airlines Admirals Club, as it was still shut, so I thought I’d make the effort on my recent flight to New York. A review of American Airlines’ Flagship business class will follow.

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The Admirals Club was very lightly refreshed this year, although I challenge anyone to spot the difference.

How to access the AA Admirals Club at Heathrow T3

You do not need to be flying American Airlines to access the lounge.

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 First Class ticket – depending on lounge – or with the relevant status.

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

You are allowed to bring one guest if you are entering via your status. If you are entering via your ticket class, you should be able to bring a guest who is travelling in Economy or Premium Economy on the same flight.

How to find the Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow

Terminal 3 uses an alphabetic labelling system for the nine lounges that are now available at the airport. The Admirals Club is designated as ‘Lounge H’ (together with the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse) when you exit security.

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The majority of the lounges are all along one corridor. The Admirals Club is just to the right of the Cathay Pacific and Qantas lounges, and is slap bang in the middle of the corridors to the majority of gates.

The Admirals Club is open from 6am until 7pm daily, except on Saturdays when it closes at 5pm.

Inside the Admirals Club lounge T3

I mentioned before that the Admirals Club shares the ‘Lounge H’ designation with the Virgin Clubhouse. That’s because the Clubhouse is upstairs whilst the Admirals Club occupies the ‘ground’ floor:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

After having your boarding pass scanned you make your way down a corridor past the bathrooms and showers to the main seating area.

First up is a small area of seats which remained unused during my stay in the lounge, primarily I imagine because it’s attached to the corridor and feels very transitory:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The centrepiece of the lounge is a large round dining area:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The buffet is on the left (more on that later).

To the right you have more armchair-style seating. You do at least get some good views across the terminal:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

There is also a decent light installation that turns a gloomy corner into something a bit more appealing and bright:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The Admirals Club is not quite as big as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, but it is bigger than it looks. There is more seating behind the dining area, which is screened by a wall, including a small hot-desking area with a couple of TVs showing the World Cup (on mute):

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

There is also a ‘quiet’ area. I’m not sure it was any quieter than the rest of the lounge, which was fairly sedate at 4pm on a Monday.

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Connectivity is very good throughout the lounge. There are an abundance of options, with sockets for both UK and US style plugs at most seats:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

There are also seven or eight showers in the lounge. I had a quick peek, and found them to be very large and clean:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Food and drink in the Admirals Club lounge

A small buffet is provided. As the First dining room is still closed, all passengers will eat here:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

When it comes to hot food you have a choice of three options: honey roasted gammon, potatoes and pasta. None of it looks particularly appealing:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Why is it that lounge caterers think that the perfect ratio of pasta to sauce is about 100:1?

On the other side of the table you have lighter options, including some sandwiches and a salad bar, which at least looked ok:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

There are self-serve spirits and wines, plus soft and hot drinks. A prosecco is offered instead of champagne.

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

and

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

The highlight of the lounge dining is the freezer of Jude’s ice cream off to one side:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

…. as well as a pick’n’mix style sweets station:

Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Conclusion

As the oldest oneworld lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3, the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge is showing its age. A light refresh earlier this year hasn’t done much to change that. If anything, the dark grey pleather armchairs make it feel even more like a depressing hospital waiting room, and the food isn’t much better.

This is now even more glaringly obvious given the brand new American Airlines and British Airways lounges in New York. Anyone flying from London to New York or vice versa would enjoy world-class lounges at JFK whilst slumming it at sub-par facilities in Heathrow. The difference between those lounges and this is night and day.

Will we see a refurbishment? Prior to covid, there were rumours that American Airlines was going to renovate and reopen the space as a Flagship lounge, which is meant to be better than an Admirals Club. That has not happened and from what I’ve heard appears to have been paused, at least for now, despite being long overdue.

My advice, for anyone with access to this lounge, is to skip it and head to the Qantas London Lounge or Cathay Pacific Lounges next door.

Travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3? Here are your lounge options ….

Heathrow’s Terminal 3 has one of the highest concentration of premium lounges of any terminal in the world.

Our overview of the best airline lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 is here, or you can read individual reviews of all the lounges here:


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 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 sign-up 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.

Comments (29)

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

  • Nick says:

    Logically I should hate this lounge, for the reasons Rhys and others have said. But in reality I have a huge soft spot for it that I can’t really explain. If I try to rationalise, perhaps it’s because there’s always oodles of space, it’s very relaxed, and has the fastest internet in the airport. Make a Bloody Mary, grab some jelly beans, and bob’s your uncle.

  • RB says:

    Not sure you can guest someone in if they’re not flying in business as last time I was there in October they didn’t allow it for two people next to me…but like the kind Samaritan I am I guested him in…then promptly left for the CX lounge.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Do OW members get to make up guesting rules as they go or is this a case of AA getting to pick the rules for AA elites?

      One world Lounge directory seems to be clear enough:

      “ Emerald and Sapphire members may invite one guest to join them in the lounge. The guest must also be travelling on a flight operated and marketed by a oneworld carrier.”

      (Qatar premium lounge does explicitly restrict to only First ticketed pax and no guests but there are no such comments on any others)

      • Thegasman says:

        I think RB is referring to “You are allowed to bring one guest if you are entering via your status. If you are entering via your ticket class, you should be able to bring a guest who is travelling in Economy or Premium Economy on the same flight.”

        There’s no provision in OW rules for guesting based on flying J/F. You only get universal guesting privileges if OW Sapphire or Emerald. The second sentence in the quote above is either an AA specific concession or incorrect. I’ve never heard of it & nor have some of the lounge agents based on RB’s experience.

        • RB says:

          Yes that’s exactly what I was referring to. Chris, I made no reference to those two people being OW emerald or sapphire.

  • AHE says:

    In general AA lounges are very poor and in US only serve soft drinks and up to 2 alcoholic drinks with popcorn. If you have any choice avoid them.

    • Smid says:

      Nope, your info is out of date. Normal AA Admiral lounges now don’t serve the 2 premium drinks anymore, no tickets, nothing associated with boarding pass (though some of the lounge dragons seem to think the latter, the barstaff, and indeed flyertalk agreed those were gone).

      You get, I guess, as many of the low end rotgut wine, and standard beer as you want, but you pay for everything else. Tokens and good beer is gone. Makes the SFO to JFK flagship business as crappy experience, like when we did it last Easter.

  • Joshua Critchley says:

    A lot of power sockets and few people.
    That’s rather good for the real traveler who works and gets fed well on board.
    Let the plebs (who can’t afford to sit in a premium cabin) fight over the last seat in the cathay lounge for their gruel.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.