Lufthansa Senator Lounge, London Heathrow Airport T2

Review: Lufthansa Senator Lounge, London Heathrow Airport T2

Country:
United Kingdom
City:
London
Airport:
London Heathrow
Cabin Class:
First
Alliance:
Star Alliance
Airline:
LH (Lufthansa)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Easy to find, right next to security
  • Lots of natural light with ample space to work

What's Not

  • Limited range and type of food and drinks compared to Heathrow's other Star Alliance lounges
  • No access for business class flyers unless also holding Star Alliance Gold status

X-Factor

  • Don't walk past the tasty chicken curry!

Introduction

While most airlines generally reserve their best lounges for business class passengers, Lufthansa does things a little differently, by having one lounge for business class – as you'd expect – but another, the higher-tier Senator Lounge, kept for Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers, even if travelling in economy.

Here, the range of food and drinks on offer is a little more extensive, and the space is generally just that bit quieter given the shorter door list, encouraging regular travellers to fly with Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners over what can be fierce competition from other European airlines.

Australian Business Traveller stopped by the Lufthansa Senator Lounge at Heathrow Airport on a recent journey to London to put this 'better than business class but not quite first class' lounge through its paces.

Location & Impressions

After proceeding through fast-track security at Heathrow T2 as a Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer, take a sharp right to find the Lufthansa lounge complex, which houses both a Business Lounge and the Senator Lounge, marked 'A1' on airport maps.

You're greeted at reception in what is the Business Lounge, and if eligible for Senator Lounge access, you'll be given a barcode slip to scan for entry at a separate door inside, which sits at the back of the Business Lounge.

The arrangement is similar to the old Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounge arrangement in Melbourne – where the Business Lounge used to be inside the Qantas Club – and once inside the Senator space here in London, you'll uncover a light and bright area with a variety of seating...

... including a dining room, although all food and drink comes from the buffet.

As with the Lufthansa Business Lounge next door, the Lufthansa Senator Lounge opens from 5am until 10pm daily.

Access

With two London Heathrow lounges, Lufthansa's Senator Lounge caters to the following guests:

  • Miles & More Senator and HON Circle frequent flyers departing on a Lufthansa, Star Alliance or eligible codeshare partner flight the same day.
  • Other Star Alliance Gold cardholders departing on a same-day Lufthansa or Star Alliance flight.
  • Lufthansa and SWISS first class travellers connecting to or from a same-day flight – such as flying Lufthansa to Frankfurt in business class or economy with an onward connection in Lufthansa first class (or vice versa).
  • Other Star Alliance first class passengers departing from London (although the United Global First Lounge and Singapore Airlines SilverKris First Class lounges await).

Take note that a Lufthansa or Star Alliance business class boarding pass does not provide access to the Senator Lounge unless also holding Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer status – so if that describes your journey, you can visit the Business Lounge next door instead.

Dining

On the dining front, the Senator Lounge is much like the Business Lounge, but with a slightly wider variety of dishes and drinks to choose from.

During a recent mid-afternoon visit, the choices available included a delicious chicken curry with steamed rice, which I enjoyed as a late lunch...

... joined by soups and accompaniments...

... penne pasta with cheese, a range of salads...

... small bites like sandwiches, yoghurts, desserts and apricot cake...

... other sweets such as popcorn and lollies, joined by pretzel-like bites and olives...

... and a selection of pastries, adjacent to the self-serve espresso machine:

That's where you'll also find a range of juices...

... spirits with mixers, with red wines not too far away...

... beers on tap, beside a soft drink dispenser...

... and a variety of white wine too, including both a Prosecco (Italian, naturally), and a German sparkling wine...

... and, table whites:

Regular travellers with a keen eye might have spotted that the menu and catering here is provided by Do&Co – the same company that supplies British Airways' all-business-class flights from London City Airport to New York JFK – so although the dining range isn't overly extensive, the food that is provided here is of a reasonably good quality.

However, with the airport's other Star Alliance lounges offering a mix of tended bars, cocktails, hand-crafted espresso coffee, broader selections of hot food and more (depending on which lounge you visit), we can't give this space more than three stars on the dining front, particularly when positioned as a better-than-business-class lounge.

Work

Given most passengers visiting this lounge will be taking shorter hops across Europe as opposed to longer international (sleeping) flights, there's a good amount of space for business travellers, beginning with a dedicated working room.

There's room for working on your own laptop in booths – complete with good lighting and access to power, with both UK-style and European outlets at each desk – and a couple of seats with computers provided...

... while for shorter stays, this bench by the buffet area proves adequate for a little laptop work, and allows you to easily keep an eye on your belongings while fetching a coffee or snack:

Beyond these areas, most of the seats provide easy access to power – even if just to recharge your smartphone – with UK and European outlets at the ready, although no USB sockets:

WiFi is shared with the Business Lounge next door and offered downloads speeds of 16-22Mbps during my stay, with uploads measuring at 5-8Mbps: perfectly ample for most tasks.

Relax

Away from the working and dining spaces, there are plenty of comfy seats here, which again feature power outlets. These include loungers that could double as a day bed for those settling in for a longer stay...

... and there's no shortage of more traditional seats, too – plus booth seats with cocktail tables aside, as shown at the top left below, which were very popular on this weekday afternoon:

Finally, natural light is abundant, given one side of the lounge offers floor-to-ceiling windows, with shutters outside to help avoid heavy sunlight or too much heat, without plunging the lounge into darkness:

Overall, the Lufthansa Senator Lounge is more than adequate for passengers taking short flights across Europe, and for regular travellers such as Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers, it's nice to see that loyalty recognised with a slightly better lounge than provided to regular business class travellers sans status.

For passengers jetting further afield and arriving at Heathrow feeling a little peckish, this lounge's location right next to security proves a good place for a pitstop and a bite to eat, even if departing from the terminal's B pier where the other Star Alliance lounges are located.

Of course, eligible passengers flying with Lufthansa – and all other Star Alliance airlines – could also choose to visit the terminal's Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and United Club/Global First lounges, so if there's plenty of time before your flight, take your pick!

Chris Chamberlin travelled to London as a guest of Star Alliance and Lufthansa.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

8 comments

  • James O'Mahony

    Ourmanin

    16 Jan, 2019 12:14 pm

    Chris, thanks for the review. It's interesting that there are such contrasts with the way in which SQ treat Star Alliance Gold members, the Gold Lounges at Changi are shameful, and that's at their home airport, Lufthansa are making a better attempt at an outstation, albeit a major one. Even BA (who I am the first to criticise and have the similar type of monopoly at LHR that SQ have at Changi) provide a step up for their Gold FF members (OWE, equivalent to QF Platinum).
    No member give thanks

  • vantage03

    vantage03

    16 Jan, 2019 08:39 pm

    Good and fair review. Decent and clean but not as good as other T2 offerings, however they require a long trek there and back if flying LH, which usually depart from gates extremely conveniently located near the lounge and security. Would take the pleasant but inferior lounge to avoid the 15min return walk to other lounges.
    No member give thanks

  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    16 Jan, 2019 10:43 pm

    I'm usually at the LHR Senator lounge twice a month and love it. I don't think the food is much worse that the SQ or UA lounges. It's better than the AC lounge for sure. The soups, pasta, and salads are consistently great and the hot dish (usually a curry) is generally good too. Deserts are a limited. Showers are excellent too. As you say, it lacks the tendered bar of the SQ and UA lounges but the SQ bar is only tendered in the evening.
    What it does have is Europe power sockets - something SQ, UA and AC don't have. That's a game changer for me as given I'm based in Europe all my plugs are the round Europe ones. And yes, as Star Gold it's great to have some tier recognition -something SQ don't do well at all at Changi.
    No member give thanks

  • James O'Mahony

    Ourmanin

    17 Jan, 2019 01:48 pm

    The Star Alliance recognition at Changi didn’t really bother me too much before. But as I’m now based in Singapore it really does frustrate me. As I’ve started my own business I have to look at costs and for short haul Asian travel economy is one thing I do now make use of (up to a point). The SQ provision at Changi is dreadful in their ‘Gold’ lounges. It really is a slap in the face for loyal customers. It smacks of a company reluctantly knowing they have to do something but putting the bare minimum effort and cost into so doing. If I was flying One World, even in economy, I have the option of both Qantas and BA lounges (and soon the new Qantas First Class Lounge, which should allow entry for OWE), even if I chose to fly economy.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    17 Jan, 2019 02:46 pm

    Don't forget that in Singapore, Star Alliance Gold passengers can also visit the Thai Airways lounge in Terminal 1, next door to the Qantas lounge. (Do check the opening hours though, as it's not open all day.)

    No member give thanks

  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    18 Jan, 2019 07:18 am

    Worth noting no showers here if you are transferring from long haul onto short haul and wanting to freshen up. The SQ, UA and AC lounges all do, but there are in 2B wing which is quite some walk.
    No member give thanks

  • morco

    morco

    18 Jan, 2019 03:21 pm

    Would my Gold VA get access?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    18 Jan, 2019 03:32 pm

    No: Virgin Australia isn't affiliated with Star Alliance. The only option for VA Gold here is the Singapore Airlines lounge when flying Singapore Airlines only, as part of that partnership.
    No member give thanks

Guest

20 Jun, 2019 11:45 pm

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