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Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

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This is my review of the Plaza Premium departure lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

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

Full details of all of the Plaza Premium lounges in Heathrow including this one can be found on their site here. Note that this review is of the airside departures lounge – the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge in Terminal 4 is now permanently closed, as are the other Plaza Premium arrivals lounges at Heathrow.

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

I didn’t actually intend to review the lounge this week, although it is eight years since we last covered it and a re-review is well overdue. My plan was to visit the new ‘Blush by Plaza Premium’ lounge in Terminal 4, but it turns out that you cannot get access to this with an American Express Platinum card.

As a reminder, Plaza Premium lounges are no longer part of Priority Pass or LoungeKey. You can get access by booking for cash here, using an American Express Platinum card (show your card at reception, one free guest allowed) or using a DragonPass lounge club card.

I had no trouble getting in around noon on a Monday. The lounge was busy but certainly nowhere near full.

With the SkyTeam lounge now closed, there are no Priority Pass options in Heathrow Terminal 4.

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

Where is the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4?

The Plaza Premium lounge is situated directly above the Qatar Airways lounge facility which is to the left as you clear Terminal 4 security.  It is by Gate 1, which due to the weird gate numbering system in Terminal 4 is nowhere near the end of terminal!

The Etihad lounge and the Etihad gates are a fair walk away down at the other end, to your right.

You need to head up a quite a few stairs to get to the lounge, but a lift is available.

Because of the number of people about, there are fewer wide angle shots than usual in this review.

Inside the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4

The lounge has an odd layout driven – I think – by the fact that a number of Middle Eastern airlines use it, including Saudia.

To one side of reception you have a bar, with all drinks having to be ordered – there is no self pour alcohol. To the other side of reception is the dining area, which is completely dry with not a whiff of alcohol in sight.

Here is the main seating area facing the buffet, which is light and bright. You have two long communal tables nearest the food and then a number of tables for two directly behind.

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

This is helped by a large window (this is an old photo) but there isn’t much to see – this is a ‘dead end’ part of the apron and if the gate isn’t being used there will be no aircraft in sight. You don’t get aircraft passing you.

Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 review

Slightly bizarrely, the lounge used to have a tree! Where the flowers are on the table below used to contain a tree, which stuck out of the table and stretched up to the skylight above it (not visible). The plug sockets built into this table have also been removed as you can see.

Getting rid of the tree has removed the main ‘feature item’ from the lounge, and removing plug sockets from this table doesn’t help either. Bring back the tree!

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

There are elements of Shoreditchy / warehousey styling but unlike, say, My Lounge at Gatwick South, these are only light touches.  The space is generally warm.

There is a large seating area behind the dining area and, slightly hidden away, a run of seats by the windows around the corner from the buffet:

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

Off to the side are a honeycomb of work pods, which are also quite cosy.  If you want to use a ‘house’ computer, however, you need to sit on a stool in the reception area.

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

There is no play area but little people have their own table with a view over the gates:

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

Food and drink at the Plaza Premium Terminal 4 lounge

In terms of food, you certainly won’t go hungry.  They were serving lunch when I arrived:

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

The hot dishes were definitely varied – chicken tikka masala, a chickpea tagine and mac ‘n’ cheese, with a very English apple crumble for dessert!

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

What is interesting is the bar.  As I mentioned earlier, Terminal 4 is home to many of the Middle Eastern airlines – not just Qatar Airways and Etihad but also Gulf Air and Saudia. There is also Royal Air Maroc and Malaysia Airlines in T4.  Possibly for this reason – or perhaps just for design reasons – the bar is in a totally different area on the other side of reception.

There is no self pour alcohol. Standard soft drinks, beer and wine are free. All other drinks must be paid for – prosecco is £5 per glass, champagne (Pannier) is £35 per bottle, non-house wines are £3 to £5 per glass, speciality beers are £4.50 per bottle, spirits are £3 to £6 for a 25ml shot.

Review: the Plaza Premium lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

It’s worth knowing that the bar has a lot more seating that you would guess if you just put your head around the door. There is an extra area tucked away after the bar.


The lounge does have showers available. These are not always included if you get free entry via a lounge club programme so do check with reception.


All in all, I’ve always had a soft spot for this lounge even though it’s a modest size – although losing the tree has taken away some of its character. Plaza Premium knows what it takes to run a good third party lounge.  You don’t get the same number of bells and whistle as a No1 Lounge (no cinema, no kids room, no library) but what you do get is well executed.

If you don’t get free access via American Express Platinum or DragonPass you can buy access via the Plaza Premium website.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 £24.  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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (31)

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

  • ChampagneSocialist says:

    @Rob Thanks for the review, shame that the MH Golden Lounge is no more but the Plaza Premium is a solid third party alternative. Re. The Blush Lounge could you please clarify access rules if not Amex Platinum?

    • Rob says:

      Seems to be cash or a qualifying airline only.

      • Amy says:

        Blush is on my dragonpass app. Access via barclays avois Mastercard (paid one). That does include some free passes. Maybe 4. I haven’t seen that covered on HFP yet. Only the paid access.

        • Rhys says:

          We’ve covered the Barclaycard Dragonpass lounge deal!

          • Amy says:

            Oh OK. I just hadn’t seen the 4 free passes. Nice surprise when I got my Barclaycard.

        • Reney says:

          I know i have the passes from my Barclays card but how do I actually use them?

          • LittleNick says:

            At least you have passes, it says my membership is suspended since I tried to sign up since November! Have both the barclaycard+ and barclays premier and get no dragonpass premier even though I should. They keep saying IT will work on it but nothing, terrible customer service.

          • LittleNick says:

            Apologies about my rant with DPP+, all resolved now

          • Amy says:

            Have you downloaded the dragonpass app?

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Don’t you get the passes only if you also have a Barclays premier account?

  • Amy C says:

    Thanks for this timely article. Was only last night I was trying to work out which lounge I could use when I’m there at the crack of dawn on Monday.
    Never heard of the ‘Blush’ one, how do you get in there then?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      It’s used by El Al, it can also be prebooked for £30 on the Plaza Premium website

    • Rhys says:

      It’s brand new – Plaza took over the old El Al lounge last year.

  • MilesOnPoint says:

    Any news on when the Plaza Premium *arrivals* lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4 will re-open?

    Would be handy to have for QR flights that arrive in the early morning from Doha for a quick shower and some breakfast.

    • Rob says:

      It’s in the review!

      • Miles. OnPoint says:

        Apologies, I managed to miss that when skimming through first time round.

        My morning coffee hadn’t quite kicked in yet :/

      • Max says:

        Any ideas why the arrival lounges are all closed? Are they not getting enough visits?

        • Rhys says:

          Yes, didn’t make sense. Plaza still have the space and are considering what to do with them.

          Personally, I think a grab-and-go concept could work quite well.

    • Rhys says:


  • Mattb says:

    Popped in here for breakfast a couple of months back. Food wise I was quite impressed, although everything had just been put out so it was all fresh.

    Not sure if it was a one off thing but it opened half hour later than their website advertised.

    • John says:

      Breakfast quality in their T3 lounge has been declining for years. The selection has reduced from the full of a serving island plus wall area to just a couple of hot dishes on the island. Microwaved scrambled eggs and bacon from a steam oven, with an underbaked bread roll.

  • zen says:

    I see they have a T5 lounge as well, is it better than Club Aspire?

  • TGLoyalty says:

    No plaza premium or no 1 lounge offers self pour alcohol … not sure what Me airlines has to do with this

    • Rhys says:

      More the fact that the bar is in a separate room

    • Lady London says:

      Interesting. Perhaps some lounges will also include a separate area for women

      • Bagoly says:

        But women should only be travelling with their male guardian, and so the last thing they would want would be for them to be separated!

  • Sid says:

    Looking forward to our first holiday since Covid, what are the options available to Amex Plat cardholders at the moment at LHR T3, and how busy will they be around 4pm on a Saturday. Thanks

    • VALittleRed says:

      LHR T3 (assuming economy class travel, no status with Amex Plat): No1 Lounge or Club Aspire via your priority pass from Amex Plat and of course the Centurion Lounge by showing your Amex Plat card directly to lounge reception. Not been to any of these but your best bet is probably Centurion Lounge from what I’ve read or try all three and report back!

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

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