Qantas London lounge, Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

Review: Qantas London lounge, Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

Country:
United Kingdom
City:
London
Airport:
London Heathrow
Cabin Class:
Alliance:
Oneworld
Airline:
QF (Qantas)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Dining with à la carte menu
  • Spacious shower suites
  • Classy design has clear UK influence

What's Not

  • No dedicated first class area
  • Slow WiFi
  • Not enough AC/USB outlets

X-Factor

  • Gin bar showcasing Aussie and UK gins

Introduction

London's Heathrow Airport finally has a dedicated Qantas lounge. Following in the footsteps of the Singapore, Hong Kong and even Brisbane international lounges, the Qantas London lounge has local design influences in a single space for first class and business class flyers, along with travellers in any class holding applicable frequent flyer status or even Qantas Club membership.

With dine-on-demand from set menus, spacious shower suites plus gin and cocktail bars, the Qantas London lounge is a step above a regular business class lounge and an impressive addition to the current selection of Oneworld lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge.

However, Qantas first class passengers and Platinum frequent flyers along with Oneworld Emerald members may find the lounge a little underwhelming by the usual standards of a first class lounge.

Location & Impressions

The Qantas London lounge is easy to find, although its identified on directional signage simply as ‘Lounge B’ – just follow the signs for Lounges or Gates 1-11, taking a left turn shortly after exiting Terminal 3’s central core of duty free shops, cafes and seating.

The two-level lounge has a prime position and the entrance is easy to spot with the familiar 'flying kangaroo' adorning the wall.

The ground floor is the smaller space of the two levels. There’s a dining area with table service and some self-serve dishes, and the gin bar.

A striking staircase (or a lift, for those with large bags or mobility issues) leads you to the upper floor which is the real showcase here.

It features the cocktail bar with views over the departure gates and airfield, another self-service food area, six showers, a business zone and a relaxation zone.

The lounge has a total capacity of over 230 passengers so there's plenty of seating scattered around, mainly on the upper floor, from tables for two to six people, long couches and seats in pairs with a small table.

There are also two small private rooms, reserved primarily for VIPs but also available for other guests on request if you want to get some work done without distraction before your flight.

Both floors have a view of the tarmac, however the positioning of lounge means the view is limited unless you’re right in front of a window.

In any event a large proportion of the ground floor windows overlook the aircraft gates next door to the lounge.

There’s a pair of male and female toilets on the ground floor, with additional toilets on the upper floor.

While there are only two Qantas flights a day, departing around 12 noon and 9pm, the lounge is open from 8am to 8.30pm daily, so it’s also available for the vast majority of British Airways, Finnair, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and JAL flights out of T3.

The busiest times for the lounge would from two hours before each Qantas flight, but the more that passengers on those other airlines decide to visit this lounge, the busier it will become throughout the day.

Access

The Qantas London Lounge welcomes the following travellers:

  • first class and business class passengers on Qantas flights and those of Oneworld airlines departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3 (American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, LATAM, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines)
  • Qantas Platinum One, Platinum and Gold frequent flyers (and one guest) and their Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire equivalents, on Qantas or Oneworld flights
  • Qantas Club members (and one guest) on Qantas flights
  • Holders of a Qantas Club lounge invitation who are on a Qantas flight
  • Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold cardholders on Qantas flights

Note that if you're flying in Qantas first class or hold Qantas Platinum or Platinum One frequent flyer status, you can also visit the adjacent Cathay Pacific first class lounge (our pick) or the nearby British Airways first class lounge, under the lounge access rules for these fellow Oneworld airlines. Qantas first class passengers are also admitted into the Emirates lounge.

Likewise, Qantas business class passengers of those holding Qantas Gold frequent flyer status can visit the Terminal 3 business class lounges of Cathay Pacific, British Airways and American Airlines.

Dining

Qantas has its mandatory ‘Rockpool dining experience’ at the London lounge, which centres on the ground floor dining room’s à la carte menu with table service, which is offered during select hours.

A brunch menu is served until around 1pm – during my visit this listed eggs benedict; a quinoa kedgeree bowl with smoked salmon and poached egg; and roasted field mushrooms and herbed bruschetta with semi-dried tomato and rocket salad.

That's not a stain on the plate next to my eggs benedict, it's a 'design element' of the new dinnerware.

After 1pm this changes to a lunch menu at the upstairs buffet with light snacks of cakes and fruit downstairs.

The full dining service restarts in the late afternoon, ahead of the evening departure of flight QF2 to Sydney.

There’s also the option of hot and cold meals at self-service areas both downstairs and upstairs.

The Gin Bar has a very impressive selection of gins, including several Australian varieties, and these can be mixed with a quality Fever Tree tonic water.

The upstairs bar focuses on cocktails, beers, wines and other spirits.

What about Champagne? While not listed on the menu, Petaluma Croser – officially categorised as a ‘sparkling wine’ as it hails from South Australia instead of the Champagne region of France – is available on request.

Espresso machines at both bars ensure that quality coffee is always available, while tea fans will find a large selection of Dilmah teas to choose from.

Work

The lounge’s upper floor has a workstation bench with four seats and easy access to AC and USB sockets, plus one Apple iMac and a printer.

There are plenty of tables scattered around the upper floor where you could also park your laptop and get down to work, but most don't have power points in close proximity – you’ll have to be seated by the wall to plug into an AC or USB powerpoint.

There are also powerpoints at the downstairs dining area, fitted into the bench under the banquette seating.

Note that all powerpoints in the lounge use a standard UK socket, so remember not to put your socket adaptor into checked luggage.

I found the WiFi performance a sluggish 5Mbps both for downloads and uploads. While sufficient for basic needs, this will be a disappointment to those trying to transfer large files, while the 22ms ping rate will impact apps such as Skype.

Relax

Six large and well-configured showers, with both rain and wand shower heads and Aspar toiletries, can be found on the upper floor.

There’s no dedicated quiet zone in the lounge. Due to the open layout – which puts dining on the main level, and on the upper floor a bar at one end and the self service food area the other – most parts of the lounge will have high footfall and associated noise during the busy hours.

If noise is going to be an issue, ask at the lounge’s reception about booking some time in one of the two private rooms.

Summary

How good a lounge this is will depend on your benchmark. As business lounges go, Qantas has certainly delivered: in some respects it's better than the Cathay Pacific business lounge next door, and it's certainly the best Qantas international business lounge so far.

On the other hand, first class travellers will feel short-changed because they get almost nothing more than even a Qantas economy class passenger holding a lounge pass. Likewise, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers who have become used to 'first class' treatment might decide to sample T3's other Oneworld first class lounges from British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Mal Murray

Mal Murray (Mal Murray)

Mal holds a long-term passion for all things related to travel and loyalty programs. Originally from Brisbane and now based in London, when not planning his next trip or working out how to maximise loyalty points Mal toils away at his day job as an information security consultant.
 

17 Comments

  • JPeuty

    JPeuty
    Banned

    1 Dec, 2017 02:42 pm

    To me this looks like a 5-star business lounge.

    I understand F passengers and Platinum status holders may be disappointed, but take a reality check: this is a great lounge, and Qantas doesn't (yet) have the frequency that CX does to warrant a dedicated first lounge.
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    WP_fornow

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    1 Dec, 2017 04:46 pm

    I would rate this as a five star business lounge but a four star lounge for travellers entitled to a first class lounge.
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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    1 Dec, 2017 09:56 pm

    QF also only have 2 flights per day with an F cabin from MEL but still maintain a dedicated F lounge there...
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  • deany83

    deany83

    2 Dec, 2017 07:08 pm

    Melbourne and Sydney probably are more ‘Platinum Lounges’ than First and there are enough international flights to warrant separate lounges
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  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Dec, 2017 05:27 pm

    Flagship lounges are a very different beast to 'out-station' lounges, especially for Platinums darting out in all directions on Qantas and partner airlines (London is one-way traffic on just two routes, soon to be one route), as well as Sydney for example being the only lounge for Oneworld airlines.
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  • vantage03

    vantage03

    2 Dec, 2017 07:04 am

    Qantas has 28 (2x14) First Class seats a day out of LHR. Cathay have 18 (3x6).
    Looks like a great business lounge but I think this is a missed opportunity for QF as their First Lounges are one of the best parts of their First offering compared to the competition.
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Dec, 2017 12:29 pm

    Note that Qantas will be back to 14 first class suites a day once the Boeing 787 takes over as QF9/QF10, as this tops out at business class. Still agree that some first class area would be great though!
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  • OzMattyD

    OzMattyD

    5 Dec, 2017 03:00 pm

    If Qantas hold true to the additional service that they have for First and P1 passengers in the Singapore and HK lounges, then you may not notice. Priority showers, reserved seating, and an 'under the bar' drinks list are pretty good.
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  • ScottB

    ScottB

    1 Dec, 2017 03:28 pm

    A "ping rate" of 22ms is perfectly acceptable for public WiFi - in fact it's better than average. Skype would work fine with these latency/bandwidth results, and if you're using it to call friends or family back in Australia you're facing an extra ~300ms round trip delay anyway.
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  • JPeuty

    JPeuty
    Banned

    1 Dec, 2017 06:01 pm

    Yeah, I nearly choked on my coffee when I read that a 22ms ping rate would impact Skype. I take it AusBT resident tech-head David didn't review the copy before it was posted.
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  • ScottB

    ScottB

    2 Dec, 2017 01:31 am

    The writer is an infosec consultant according to their bio.. probably should know better.
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  • Mal Murray

    Mal Murray

    2 Dec, 2017 08:19 pm

    During both times I was there, I did various speed tests along with actual internet usage, for example uploading photos to Dropbox and using a data based calling app, and both had issues. The IP assigned belonged to Heathrow Airport, so there's definitely some kind of latency issue with the Wifi in the lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • parishiltons

    parishiltons

    1 Dec, 2017 03:31 pm

    Whaddaya mean 'even Qantas Club membership'? The whole point of joining is to access the Club lounges. Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • JPeuty

    JPeuty
    Banned

    1 Dec, 2017 06:03 pm

    I'm with you, I found it more than a little condescending. I know the AusBT readership is quite a high-end and high-flying demographic, but stay grounded!
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  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Dec, 2017 12:24 pm

    No offence was intended by the 'even Qantas Club members' reference – that reference was deliberately called out as a counterpoint to the fact that the same lounge hosts first class flyers, so as to illustrate that as a 'premium lounge' it's open to the widest possible range of flyers and they all get pretty much the same experience.
    No member give thanks

  • WP_fornow

    WP_fornow

    1 Dec, 2017 03:56 pm

    Why is it that in all of the overseas lounges Qantas insists in instlling only the local power point configuration? For a few $ more per GPO they could install universal configurations. Does my head in.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    1 Dec, 2017 04:44 pm

    That's right, blame Qantas because you don't know any better. It's very common in airports that only the local AC socket is allowed to be installed due to safety reasons or other regulations. Of course it would make sense for airport lounges to have the same 'universal socket' as you find on aircraft but if it's that obvious there would naturally be a reason why it isn't done, and this is your reason.
    No member give thanks

  • Ziggy

    Ziggy

    1 Dec, 2017 05:55 pm

    I wouldn't rush to tell someone that they "don't know any better"....especially as your own point is somewhat weakened by the fact that British Airways offers european-style 2-pin power outlets at various locations in Heathrow (including its First Class lounge in T3....which happens to be right next to the new Qantas lounge).
    If memory serves me there may even be US-style 2-pin sockets in the First Class lounge over at T5...but I'm not 100% sure of that.
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  • tony walker

    tonyw

    1 Dec, 2017 04:23 pm

    local power point config. is a general issue for travelers. Bathrooms USED to have multiple sockets, not any more. USofA is probably the worst, ?Singapore the best?
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    1 Dec, 2017 05:04 pm

    Given that people will have been using UK plugs while they've been in the UK, that shouldn't be a problem. And you can always just use the USB plug anyway. It seems rather precious to expect airlines to cater for multiple plugs in their overseas lounges and on their aircraft.
    No member give thanks

  • Merry

    Merry

    1 Dec, 2017 06:56 pm

    Query. The article understandably focuses on the gin and cocktail bars, mentioning also that a sparkling wine is available on request.
    As someone who drinks only wine, and loves Australian varietals, please reassure me that wine of high quality is available?
    No member give thanks

  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    1 Dec, 2017 07:07 pm

    no sorry Merry... its all Jacobs Creek.
    (although I actually dont mind JC so that suits me just fine...lol)
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  • JPeuty

    JPeuty
    Banned

    1 Dec, 2017 07:24 pm

    I don't know who Jacob is, but let the vinous red creek flow!
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  • Mal Murray

    Mal Murray

    2 Dec, 2017 08:09 pm

    There is no self service alcohol anywhere in the lounge, but wine wise, expect to see Australian and New Zealand ones such as Penfolds Max's Cab Sav 2015, Wolf Blass Private Release Chardonnay, Between Thorns Sauv Blanc, another white from Chalk Hill (possibly the 2014 Sauv Blanc), St Hellett Gamekeeper (I think the Shiraz, but unsure) and Matua Pinot Noir,

    For the beer lovers, there is Heineken, Birra Moretti and Theakston Best Bitter on tap. I did spy Bundaberg Ginger beer in one bar fridge, but no bottled beers.
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    1 Dec, 2017 07:31 pm

    Looks great. Tried the CX lounge recently and that was superb also.
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  • points only

    points only

    2 Dec, 2017 01:33 am

    I am fairly sure I saw bottles of St Hallets and Penfolds on the shelf below the Gin in one of the photo's. There is hope for those of us who like a premium Australian red!!
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  • Malvern_customer

    AGoldring

    2 Dec, 2017 08:56 am

    No champagne????

    Scare bleu......off to CX F class lounge then.

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  • Steve987

    Steve987

    2 Dec, 2017 10:51 am

    I anticipate everyone who goes into the lounge is going to be super pleased ... because F flyers will be next door.

    It looks awesome though and hopefully some of these design elements make their way to Melbourne J too.
    No member give thanks

  • vlad

    vlad

    2 Dec, 2017 11:34 am

    I don't think the article mentioned it -- though I may have just missed/misread it -- but the access rules for the lounge also permit Emirates first and business passengers: https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/lounge-locations/london-heathrow/terminal-3/international-lounge-the-qantas-london-lounge/global/en

    I'll be looking forward to stopping by in January!
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  • Ross

    Ross

    2 Dec, 2017 04:32 pm

    Is there a kids area in the lounge?
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  • Mal Murray

    Mal Murray

    2 Dec, 2017 07:47 pm

    There is no dedicated area for children/families.
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Dec, 2017 12:49 pm

    Here's the current wine list for the Qantas London lounge...

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  • JPeuty

    JPeuty
    Banned

    3 Dec, 2017 08:07 pm

    My oh my has the quality of wine available in lounges gone down over the past decade...
    No member give thanks

  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    3 Dec, 2017 04:59 pm

    230 Capacity, with the physiology of people sharing with strangers it is probably more like 180, this will be packed
    (Lots of slivers and credit card holders will be using their passes as well)
    Only 6 showers, fun times just before QF10, where you want to be fresh before a 18 hour slog


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  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    3 Dec, 2017 05:14 pm

    The capacity was directed at A380 load for QF2
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  • Joe

    Joe

    3 Dec, 2017 09:07 pm

    Alan Joyce et all take note: "Whats not..No dedicated area for F Class"
    No member give thanks

  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    5 Dec, 2017 11:18 pm

    As a QF P/P1 Why cant we access the EK lounge as well?
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Guest

19 Dec, 2017 09:31 am

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