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Where can you fly on British Airways from Terminal 3 for the Qantas and Cathay lounges?

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Long time readers of HfP will know that when you are flying from Heathrow Terminal 3 you are spoilt for choice when it comes to airline lounges.

The excellent Qantas lounge (review here) has now been open for over five years, and is regarded as one of the best business lounges in the UK.  You also have the Cathay Pacific lounges (review) which are a great place to go if you have a BA Gold card and would like to enjoy some fine restaurant dining in the first class lounge.

If that wasn’t enough, American Express has also made Heathrow Terminal 3 its home for one of the first Centurion lounges to open outside the US.

Heathrow Terminal 3

As well as the amazing Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges, you can also visit the T3 American Airlines and British Airways Galleries lounges.  These are both perfectly acceptable but not in the same league as the others.  If you have a Priority Pass card, there are also two excellent independent lounges – Club Aspire and No1 Lounge.

Have you flown from Terminal 3 in a while?

All this means that Heathrow Terminal 3 is the place to be if you want to relax in style before a British Airways flight (unless, of course, you can use the BA Concorde Room in Terminal 5.)

Remember that you need to be travelling in Club Europe / Club World to access the lounges, or have a British Airways Silver card or above, or oneworld equivalent.  You will need a BA Gold card or equivalent to access the First Class private dining section of the Cathay Pacific lounge.

You should also note that not all the lounges are open all day, so they may not be an option for very early or late evening flights.

Which British Airways routes operate from Terminal 3?

British Airways doesn’t provide an official list so we asked aviation analytics firm Cirium for help. This list is for the Summer season, for flights now until the end of October.

It only covers BA flights, and only short-haul and mid-haul routes. We didn’t think even our readers would take a long-haul holiday specifically to try a few lounges ….

You can also access these lounges with a business class flight on any other oneworld airline using Terminal 3.  A very attractive option would be the handful of Finnair’s Helsinki flights which use the new A350 long-haul aircraft which I reviewed here.  Book yourself in business class, for cash or Avios, and you can check out the new Terminal 3 lounges and then fly to Helsinki on a flat bed!

You can also fly on Iberia to Madrid, which occasionally uses a long haul aircraft with lie flat business class seats. Both Finnair and Iberia do this for cargo purposes.

Note that this list is correct as of the time of writing but some routes may move between terminals at short notice or may operate across different terminals at different times in the Summer season.

British Airways short-haul and mid-haul routes from Terminal 3:

  • Algiers
  • Billund
  • Bucharest
  • Bastia
  • Budapest
  • Figari
  • Gibraltar
  • Gothenburg
  • Krakow
  • Ljubljana
  • Luxembourg
  • Marseille
  • Nuremberg
  • Olbia
  • Oslo
  • Perugia
  • Prague
  • Pula
  • Sofia
  • Stuttgart
  • Valencia
  • Vienna
  • Zagreb
Cathay Pacific lounge Heathrow Terminal 3

Which lounge should you visit in Terminal 3?

If you have a British Airways Executive Club Gold card or are flying in First Class, the obvious choice is the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge, reviewed here.

If you have a British Airways Executive Club Silver card, it is a toss up between the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge, reviewed here and image above, and the Qantas London Lounge, reviewed here.

If you don’t have status but do have an American Express Platinum card, you can visit The Centurion Lounge, reviewed here.

If you don’t have any status but do have a Priority Pass, there is a No1 Lounge in Terminal 3, reviewed here. You can guarantee entry by paying £6 to reserve a spot via this website. Bookings for cash can be made here. There is also a Club Aspire lounge in Priority Pass, review here, which can also be pre-booked.

Rhys selflessly spent a day touring the various lounges in Terminal 3, and you can read his final rankings here.

If you have a British Airways Gold card or equivalent, you can also visit the American Airlines First lounge which has just reopened. Rhys was there this week and a review will follow.

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 (93)

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

  • Jake says:

    Rob, Rhys- have BA ever mentioned to you about their LHR lounge refresh plan and timelines?

    Or have you ever asked?

    It must be quite high up the list of stuff they probably should do, get asked about but won’t actually do!

    • Rhys says:

      Have we asked? Yes. Have they told us? No!

      There were rumours it was due to happen in 2020, then covid struck. Still on the cards I believe.

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        IIRC they did replace carpets and furniture though which would come under the “refresh” banner.

        Anything more like adding loads more plug sockets etc would come under the “refurb” and more expensive banner,

      • Jake says:

        Thanks. BA seem to have a long deck…

  • Vit says:


    As a Silver BA, I can book BA economy (with 1 checked-in luggage) and I will be entitled to another checked-in luggage? A total of 2 checked-in luggage, is that correct?

    Also I can get access to the lounge as well mentioned in this article (not First Class of course).

    I think that’s what I read from BA website but just want to double check with those more experienced.

    • NorthernLass says:

      Yes and yes. And I have a feeling your checked bags can be 32 kg each as well, but double check that!

      • Vit says:

        Thank you. I think it is indeed 32kg. I won’t need that much though. Just don’t want to mix PPE with normal clothes. 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          yes, 32k each though a gentle reminder to some checkin staff might be needed

          • Londonsteve says:

            Indeed. I had a protracted debate a few years ago with a member of check in staff at BUD who wanted to charge me for overweight bags. Despite my polite insistence that I’m well within my baggage allowance, she insisted I’m not and got upset when I suggested we escalate it to her superior.

  • Richie says:

    If they built T5D would they have a First Lounge /CCR?

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      They need to finish 5C first (which does have shell space for a lounge – the escalators up to it are already there)

      • VALittleRed says:

        Interesting, would be great if they could put in a fresh first Lounge there.

  • Erico1875 says:

    “We didn’t think even our readers would take a long-haul holiday specifically to try a few lounges ”
    Would anyone really pick aeven a SH destination based on airport lounges available?
    Not me.
    Lounges are nice, but that’s it.

    • John says:

      I went to Dubai just to try the EK F lounge… As I was going to lose my BA gold and QF was £250 return couldn’t resist. Also CX on outbound 🙂

      And I don’t pick SH destinations based on airport lounge (I may do if there is a good hotel lounge) but lounges influence the route I choose to get there.

    • Londonsteve says:

      Well, in a sense, yes. If I’m equally happy to visit 5 different cities in Europe, either because I’ve never been, or because I have and I really like them all, I may well book the destination served out of T3 because the lounges are so much better. All things being equal, of course.

  • shub says:

    When travelling CE, how early can you check in luggage at T3 and earliest you can access the lounge?
    As I think centurion doesn’t allow access 3 hours before the flight departure time.

    • Rob says:

      If you’re in business there is no cut-off IIRC, you can check in as early as you want. Unlikely the oneworld lounges would have restrictions. Amex may well have.

      • Londonsteve says:

        How about if you’re flying Economy, Rob? I was under the impression that because BA check in desks are constantly manned and aren’t destination specific, you can check in luggage at any time?

        • Rob says:

          My understanding is that you can’t do it until 3 hours before. There is also an increased risk of baggage loss if you check in luggage before 3 hours because it goes to a storage area inside Heathrow and you are reliant on it being sent across to the relevant area for your flight at the 3 hour mark (as I understand it).

  • HeathrowLady says:

    Qantas you can also pay to enter flying any airline in any seat £55 for 2 hours. Although they did say that if they are getting full they don’t sell it which they said is normally after 6pm when they have their A380. But good option for morning

  • harvey says:

    Have I missed something? I just flew to Prague from T3, BA club europe, no status.
    I went to the BA lounge. Could I have gone to any of the above??

    • Rob says:

      Yes. You really don’t want to go to the BA lounge when Qantas and Cathay are also options. American is a bit rubbish but is empty.

  • TP Law says:

    Does anyone know if there a list of the remaining BA lounges in Europe (non-UK)? I can only remember there is one in Rome.

    Likewise is the a list of Oneworld airline lounges for Europe? I think Cathay has kept quite a few closed, e.g. CDG.

    Many thanks

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