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Heathrow lounge news: Air France KLM in T4, inside the American Airlines First lounge in T3

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Lounge news in brief:

What is Air France and KLM doing for lounge access in Terminal 4?

As we covered last week, Air France and KLM have been forcibly moved back to Terminal 4 by Heathrow. This started yesterday.

This is a blow for the airlines, even though Terminal 4 has historically been their home. Since the Air France KLM and Virgin Atlantic transatlantic joint venture went live, the ability to connect seamlessly from long haul to short haul in Terminal 3 has been an important driver of traffic. British Airways will now look more attractive for many people travelling from France or the Netherlands to North America.

The SkyTeam lounge in Terminal 4 – which was huge, see our last review here – closed during the pandemic. I don’t know if it has been fully ripped out or not – let me know if you know.

Air France and KLM are now using the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 4.

I reviewed the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 and it is totally fine. Image below. It isn’t huge, however, and it was fairly busy when I was there last month. This was obviously well before Air France and KLM turned up.

Your chance of getting into Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 4 using American Express Platinum or DragonPass (you can’t use Priority Pass) has now dropped.

Is this sustainable long term? Probably not, but at the same time the old SkyTeam lounge is now too big without Delta passengers. I’m not sure if Air France and KLM would want to underwrite it given that they are only running short haul services.

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 4

Inside the American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

As we covered last week, American Airlines has reopened its First Class lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3. It is the last airline lounge to reopen in the terminal.

The First Class lounge is a separate area to the Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow, which we reviewed here.

A friend of mine was there yesterday and sent a few pictures. He pinged me a few pointers:

  • He got a very warm welcome 
American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
  • Champagne is offered on entry (Moët white or pink), similar to an AA Flagship Lounge
American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
  • It does (as I said last week) have a very utilitarian, old aged peoples home feel!
American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
  • There are no real changes from when he was last there four ago
  • You can order from a menu (see below) or take food from a small buffet
American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
  • It’s a big space and didn’t feel crowded
American Airlines First Class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3
  • You get a good view of the aircraft at Gate 23

To be honest, there is no logical reason to use this lounge unless you want somewhere that it a little quieter than the alternative spaces. If you have access to the American Airlines First Class lounge, you have access to the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge (review) ….

You can learn how to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles from UK credit cards in this article.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points 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 sign-up 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass 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 (29)

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

  • Andrew. says:

    It is very utilitarian isn’t it?

    If there was an M&S in the background, It would look just like Southwaite Services.

    • JDB says:

      Yes, it’s incredibly utilitarian, but utilitarian doesn’t need to be as ugly and dated as this! Admiral’s Clubs have never been much good and have looked remarkably similar since the 1980s; not sure why they haven’t progressed in a way that even BA has.

      • Rhys says:

        The latest generation of Admiral’s Clubs look phenomenal – see DCA airport.

  • James Harper says:

    Perhaps it’s time Delta and Virgin moved to T4 and Malaysia and Qatar to T3. It makes more sense but who would have the biggest tantrum – Branson or Al-Baker?

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

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