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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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.
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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.