Review: the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
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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.
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.
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:
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:
The centrepiece of the lounge is a large round dining area:
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:
There is also a decent light installation that turns a gloomy corner into something a bit more appealing and bright:
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):
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.
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:
There are also seven or eight showers in the lounge. I had a quick peek, and found them to be very large and clean:
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:
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:
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:
There are self-serve spirits and wines, plus soft and hot drinks. A prosecco is offered instead of champagne.
The highlight of the lounge dining is the freezer of Jude’s ice cream off to one side:
…. as well as a pick’n’mix style sweets station:
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:
- American Express Centurion lounge review
- American Airlines Admirals Club lounge review
- British Airways Galleries First lounge review
- British Airways Galleries Club (business class) lounge review
- Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge review
- Cathay Pacific First Class lounge review
- Club Aspire lounge review
- Emirates lounge review
- No1 Lounge review
- Qantas London Lounge review
- Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse review
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.