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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 (September 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.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 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 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 – 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 £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.

  • Tony B says:

    Another T3 flat bed option is with Iberia to Madrid (a330/a350)

  • jj says:

    I can’t speak for the others, but the Cathay first class lounge is as far removed from the BA First lounge in T5 as a gourmet burger restaurant is from a caravan selling burgers outside a lower tier football club: proper meals, waiter service, real orange juice, beautiful decor and toilets that don’t bring to mind an inner city A&E department on a Saturday night.

    The minor downside is check-in. Last time I visited, only one first class desk was open, and the family in front had some complex issues with their documents and luggage. That’s not an issue with the First wing.

    • John says:

      The J check in desk staff are supposed to notice and call you over when they become free.

  • trickyuk says:

    I wonder if BA with switch Barcelona back to T3, it used to be before the pandemic.

  • Simon says:

    Thanks for this article, very useful, I’ve got a flight to Stuttgart booked later in the year and I would have just rocked up to T5 and got in a panic

    • Rhys says:

      You may still panic. Airport strikes across Germany mean my last two trips to Stuttgart have been disrupted…

      • Simon says:

        I had my flight back from Frankfurt cancelled due to the strikes last month. Made me realise BA IT is better than Lufthansa IT

  • DevonDiamond says:

    My flight to Marseille in September is from T5

  • Degsy says:

    I don’t know if one already exists in HfP land, but what would be really helpful is a table that lists all the main lounges (eg those at Heathrow) on one side then a list of all the possible ways of accessing them (eg status, Plat card, etc.) along the other with a ✔️ or ❎ in each box.

  • NorthernLass says:

    Worth noting that BA has been doing a fair bit of chopping and changing between T3 and T5 lately; always double check where is your flight is actually departing as they don’t always notify you of changes!
    BDA, GCM and others were slated to move to T3 from the end of March but actually aren’t until the beginning of June.
    There’s a long thread on Flyertalk which tracks T3 routes for the seriously interested!

  • Phil G says:

    The AA first lounge has a good American breakfast

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

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