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Review: the new Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4

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This is our review of the new Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4.

When Terminal 4 reopened last June, we were surprised to see that Qatar Airways had built a second lounge. What we thought was going to be an extension to the existing Premium lounge turned out to be a totally separate facility.

Before I get into the lounge review, I should mention that Qatar Airways has recently opened a premium check-in facility in Heathrow Terminal 4. It looks similar to the one operated by British Airways at Gatwick. I didn’t use it – I was only travelling with hand baggage – but it looks smart:

Qatar Airways premium checkin heathrow terminal 4

Why does Qatar Airways need two lounges?

The Qatar Airways Premium lounge in Terminal 4 is, arguably, the classiest airport lounge in Heathrow. It is a very smart and sophisticated place to spend your time, with a high quality restaurant.

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 Terminal 4 lounge (review here) 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.

Who can access the new Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge?

Acess to the lounge is as follows, as per the oneworld website:

  • Open to: Business Class, First Class, oneworld Emerald (eg BA Gold), oneworld Sapphire (eg BA Silver), Qatar Privilege Club Silver members (but not oneworld Ruby equivalents)
  • Guesting: You can only bring a guest if getting in via oneworld status, not by ticket class
  • Which airlines?: The lounge can be accessed by Qatar Airways passengers as well as those flying on other oneworld airlines (primarily Malaysia Airlines now that it has closed its own lounge in Terminal 4, and Royal Air Maroc)

Both lounges share the same entrance, which is down by Gate 1. There is only one check in desk, with the staff directing you either to the right – to enter the Premium lounge – or towards the stairs or lift if you are heading to the Frequent Flyer lounge.

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 stairs

The staircase has been designed to add a touch of theatre to the lounge, and it opens out directly into the main seating area.

Whilst it looks as it I was given a private tour, I wasn’t. I arrived at Heathrow four hours before my flight and, with no other departures, I literally had the place to myself for 45 minutes. The whole terminal was empty at this point – I also had the Fast Track security line to myself, and even after I’d spend 2-3 minutes repacking my bags there was still no-one else behind me.

Qatar Airways has created a classy space with floor to ceiling windows running down one side. No aircraft were parked up outside however and it is literally a dead end so no aircraft cruise past. This is not the place to plane spot!

There are basically four seating zones. There are two circular areas with grey fabric armchairs at the bottom of the staircase (oddly without power outlets as far as I could tell):

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge Heathrow Terminal 4

Running along the window are a series of areas which are suitable for families, each containing at least four red seats (the tables here contain power sockets):

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 seating

There is a small seating area with green, higher backed, chairs next to the two TVs:

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 seats

Finally there is a seating by the buffet in the dining area:

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 buffet

Food and drink in the Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge

I was there during breakfast and, just before I left, the lunch service was laid out. The quality of the food – with the exception of a pain au chocolat which was a bit dry – was very high.

It’s been a few years since I was in a British Airways business class lounge at Heathrow, but given that the quality of food in the Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge is well above the Galleries First lounge, it must be light years ahead of what Galleries Club is currently serving up.

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 breakfast

The hot lunch dishes which were coming out as I left were Sweetcorn Mousseline, Beef Short Ribs with Chimichurri, Chicken Makhani, Prawn Machboos with Raita, Broccolini with Fire Pepper and Mozzarella Ravioli with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce. There was also a full salad bar laid out.

In terms of drinks, you have two options. Some French sparkling wine (not champagne) is laid out in an ice bucket:

Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 wine

…. together with a fridge of soft drinks below it.

There is also a QR-coded drinks menu although orders needed to be placed in person with the staff. This includes a wide list of teas, coffees, juices, soft drinks, basic spirits (Johnnie Walker Red, Baileys etc) and beers (Heineken, Stella Artois) and even non-alcoholic sparkling wine.


Whilst not huge (there are around 60 seats, excluding the dining area), the Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer lounge is a classy space with high quality food.

Whilst it may get busy at peak times, it was a haven of quiet in the late morning. The pinch point will be around 8pm, with both Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines having back-to-back departures around 9.20pm.

My only niggle is the lack of champagne, but to be honest it is very rare to see this on free pour in a business class lounge – and this, technically, is meant to be a step below a business class lounge. In reality, it is better than virtually all UK airport lounges outside London.

If you are travelling on Qatar Airways (or Malaysia Airlines, or Royal Air Maroc) in Economy but have British Airways Silver or Gold status, you will get a good start to your trip here.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 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 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

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

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.

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 (51)

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

  • Amy C says:

    Hmmm looks nice. Wonder if I’ll be allowed in tomorrow. I’m BA silver BUT travelling in Economy on a staff ticket so my OW status won’t be reflected on the boarding pass and all I’d be able to do is show my BA app to prove I’m silver.
    I’ll probably have to use the Amex for Plaza Premium. 😒

    • Patrick says:

      Ask to add the frequent flyer number at a check-in desk: when I worked in the airline software industry there were different frequent flyer codes:
      FQTV, classic code for your frequent flyer number
      FQTS, code for frequent flyer status
      FQTR, code for frequent flyer redemption, automatically used when on an award ticket
      Ask to add your ba number as FQTS should do the Trick to enter the lounge

  • Paul says:

    Meanwhile flying qatar in J from manchester will get you into the Aspire lounge. Better to leave home later than go there.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, I remember a visit there when flying Delta years ago. Not good.

      Virgin Clubhouse now opening 2024 – will be interesting to see if they let other airlines use it. I’m sure there will be gaps in the Virgin / Delta departure schedule which Qatar etc may be able to fill.

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        If it adds to the bottom line and doesn’t interfere with VS passengers enjoyment then why not?

        Could add restrictions such as no guests and no entry earlier than 3 hours before departure to help manage demand and space.

    • James C says:

      I thought Qatar used the 1903 Lounge in T2 at Manchester for its J passengers which looks decent based on the HfP review-

  • Chabuddy Geezy says:

    I visit in September, it was not busy around 8pm, I think Malaysia at least are directing frequent flyers to Plaza Premium as its probably cheaper for them. Some of the cold buffet items had dried out a bit probably because the lounge was not busy. Having visited the Premium Qatar lounge as well I think the hot buffet items are the same so Qatar are not skimping on cost. There is also one shower each for male and female.

  • Eoc says:

    I went last Friday evening. I was on Malaysian travelling economy but am BA Gold. They directed me to a small dining area/ room in the FF Lounge w( white tablecloths, waiter) which was for Emerald level passengers. I then had a very nice 3 course dinner enabling me to forgo Malaysian’s reheated aluminium tray offering onboard. The whole experience was very relaxing.

  • G says:

    I was there on a late August afternoon (as only 2 MH flights a day, I think only 2 Moroccan and 6 (?) QR flights – It was basically empty and the food offering was lamb shanks and truffle mash.

    The food quality was definitely up there and above Galleries Club in T5

  • Boon says:

    With so many excellent lounges now in T3 and T4, it almost makes me want to abandon BA, even though LHR is its hub airport and meant to give the best lounge experience.

    • Andrew J says:

      But you can use the good T3 lounges when flying BA from T3

      • G says:

        Very limited flights nowadays, BA (and IB) has consolidated the majority of its departures into Terminal 5.

        Flying Sri Lankan, AY, AA and CX are the best way to ensure T3.

  • DaveJ says:

    Is it classy?

  • Steve in Croydon says:

    I’m flying ex-LHR Qatar Business Class tomorrow, so spoiled for lounge choice: 2 * Qatar, 2 * Plaza Premium (via PLAX). Nothing with Priority Plus it seems.

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

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