Qantas pushes back London Heathrow lounge opening to mid-year

Qantas pushes back London Heathrow lounge opening to mid-year

Qantas doesn't expect to cut the ribbon to its new London Heathrow airport lounge until the middle of 2017, representing a delay of up to four months beyond the original promise of a March opening for the split-level space.

Australian Business Traveller understands that the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 has been beset by similar construction and contractor issues which led to a similar four-month delay for Cathay Pacific's new business class and first class lounges (below) in the same terminal.

Fortunately, with the Cathay Pacific lounges now open, Qantas passengers have a far better option than the tired old British Airways lounges at T3.

Qantas business class travellers and Gold-grade frequent flyers heading home on QF2 and QF10 can enjoy Cathay Pacific’s signature Noodle Bar and a buffet spread at The Food Hall, along with a fully tended bar.

First class and Platinum-grade frequent flyers gain entry to the lounge's first class annexe with its a la carte dining room.

Both lounges share access to eight well-appointed shower suites where travellers can freshen up before their flight.

Qantas Club members can't use the Cathay Pacific lounges but can cool their heels at the far less salubrious Admiral's Club lounge of Oneworld partner American Airlines.

PREVIOUS | Qantas will open a new flagship lounge at London's Heathrow Airport next year as the airline continues to upgrade its international lounge network.

Due to open by March 2017, the Qantas London Lounge at Terminal 3 will follow in the footsteps of its contemporary counterparts at Los Angeles, and to a lesser extent Hong Kong and Singapore,  but give the 'Qantas international lounge' model a uniquely British bent.

While all Qantas passengers will share the same lounge it's expected that additional services – such as free clothes pressing, 'off the list' wines and champagne, and first dibs on shower bookings – will be offered to travellers in first class along with members of the exclusive Chairman's Lounge plus Platinum One frequent flyers.

The lounge will boast a "Rockpool menu and dining experience" with a full-service wine and cocktail bar, showers and a children's zone.

Qantas currently runs two daily Airbus A380 flights out of Heathrow, with the Melbourne-bound QF10 departing at noon and Sydney's QF2 at 8.35pm.

In addition to first and business class travellers the lounge will also be open to Gold and Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members as well as eligible flyers on Oneworld airlines departing from T3.

Upstairs, downstairs

The new lounge will seat 230 people across a split-level facility located on the footprint of the former SAS lounge at Terminal 3, according to a person familiar with the plans who wasn’t authorised to comment publicly.

The Scandinavian airline shuttered its T3 lounge in late 2014 after shifting flights to the Star Alliance hub of T2.

Qantas currently shares the Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge of British Airways, but sees the substantial investment in its own lounge as a marker for the airline's long-term commitment to London and the Kangaroo Route.

"The Kangaroo Route is at the heart of Qantas' identity and London remains one of our most important destinations" said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

"We want the first dedicated Qantas lounge at Heathrow to be something special," adding that it would be "a fresh jewel in the crown".

Joyce – who today reported a record $921 million pre-tax profit for the airline over the six months from July to December 2015 – has previously talked up the possibility of non-stop Boeing 787-9 flights from Perth to London.

That route could see passengers from the east coast cities flying to Perth to make the 14,000km, 18 hour trek to Blighty as an alternative to today's superjumbo stop-overs at Dubai.

Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific is also working on its own new-look London T3 lounge, which will open in June with separate business class and first class zones and take its design cues from the warm residential vibe already seen in CX lounges at Tokyo HanedaBangkokManila and most recently The Pier First Class at Hong Kong (shown below).

Photos, video: Cathay Pacific opens new The Pier First Class lounge

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

 

33 Comments

  • deany83

    deany83

    23 Feb, 2016 09:20 am

    Looks like paid up Qantas club members won't be able to access the new lounge: 

    Passengers eligible to use the lounge will include:
    • Qantas Business and First Class passengers;
    • Platinum One, Platinum and Gold members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program; and
    • Passengers travelling in tiered cabins on partner airlines with a QF code.

    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    23 Feb, 2016 09:26 am

    I'm sure they will be able too. Plenty of time to fix up those things as they lounge won't open til next year.

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    23 Feb, 2016 09:45 am

    Agreed. Sounds like a careless press release by someone who has not bothered to validate prior to release. 

    No member give thanks

  • deany83

    deany83

    23 Feb, 2016 11:45 am

    You were spot on.

    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    23 Feb, 2016 11:02 am

    Qantas Newsroom release has been updated - now also mentions Qantas Club

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    23 Feb, 2016 04:25 pm

    Who are they hiring in the newsroom? Know your product people!

    Not to mention, they forgot OW equivalents!

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    23 Feb, 2016 09:22 am

    Excellent news! 

    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    23 Feb, 2016 09:24 am

    If Qantas Club passengers cannot use this lounge it is a massive oversight by AJ. No doubt AUSBT will get confirmation.

    No member give thanks

  • deany83

    deany83

    23 Feb, 2016 09:27 am

    Guess there is still the Admirals Club... it's usually quiet around the time that QF2 takes off.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    23 Feb, 2016 01:08 pm

    Hi Mark - we're late getting to this (busy morning, as you can see!) but we checked with Qantas and yes, as has been noted here and reflected on the Qantas website, the omission of Qantas Club members from the release was exactly that – an omission – Qantas Club members will be as welcome here as at any other Qantas international lounge such as LAX, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    23 Feb, 2016 03:33 pm

    Cheers for clarifying that David, much appreciated. As a life member of QC that flys QF regularly to Europe but only 25% in business, it's great to know we will have facilities like in Singapore, HK & LA. Keep up the great work AUSBT!!

    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    16 Feb, 2017 09:33 am

    Do Qantas Club members have access to a lounge at LAX ?  I recently provided Qantas lounge passes to a family member to use at LAX and they were told that they could not use them.  I understood the passes provided the same access as QC members.

    Member who gave thanks

    henrus

  • henrus

    henrus

    16 Feb, 2017 10:07 am

    No, the passes are only for Qantas Business lounges.


    Qantas club members can access partner lounges which the one in LA is as its the Oneworld Busines lounge (operated by Qantas).
    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    16 Feb, 2017 11:45 am

    I see, seems a fine line between a Oneworld Business lounge operated by Qantas and a Qantas Business lounge.  Somewhat surprising that lounge passes cannot be used at LAX - I would think it is Qantas's busiest international terminal outside Australia.

    No member give thanks

  • Harry Carr

    harrycarr6

    23 Feb, 2016 09:41 am

    I guess this is a big nod to the fact they may begin the non-stop flight from Perth to London! 

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    23 Feb, 2016 09:43 am

    How so?

    No member give thanks

  • madge

    madge

    23 Feb, 2016 09:51 am

    I wonder why the oneworld airlines can cooperate on lounges at LAX, but not at LHR? T3 has 2x BA, 2x AA, 1x CX and soon 1x QF lounge. On top of that, AY uses a contract lounge at T3??

    That aside, looks like it will be a great lounge!

    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    23 Feb, 2016 10:37 am

    Probably an issue with walls and continuous space - remember LHR T3 is a very old terminal, unlike TBIT

    No member give thanks

  • LondonAussie

    LondonAussie

    23 Feb, 2016 05:20 pm

    Yes and No!

    The AA and BA lounge are adjacent, and many of the guests in both are travelling with either airlines. Its a good point I rasied in another thread about co-sharing.

    I suppose each Airline wants to be able to impart its own spin on things and each customer group has different expectations, BA only wants to serve very poor quality Bacon Sangas, whereas AA has a full buffet available, BA has more alcohol and water, AA has fizzy drinks and candy, to name a few subtle differences.

    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    16 Feb, 2017 05:23 pm

    The TBIT plans also only set aside a small amount of space for lounges. Rather then set aside space for lots of small lounges like at other ports (eg, look at the lounge size problems at SFO or ORD), the airport preferred to lease the space out for alliance based lounges.
    TBIT has QF F, EK, EY, KE/Sky, Star, oneworld and their own airport operated lounge.

    I still have to question the wisdom of the airlines spending so much money on new lounges at LHR T3 with the terminal planned to be knocked down as the new T2 expands.
    Has there been any new news on the LHR redelopment plans?

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  • Tom Goddard

    TomGoddardd

    23 Feb, 2016 10:34 am

    Good news Qantas is now going full pelt for upgrading

    No member give thanks

  • ryanpst

    ryanpst

    23 Feb, 2016 10:43 am

    Just reading online that T3 at Heathrow is due to be demolished in 2019. Could be dodgy facts but why build a lounge for 2 years use?

    Maybe a move to a different terminal before a new lounge?

    No member give thanks

  • jrfsp

    jrfsp

    23 Feb, 2016 12:17 pm

    Must be a typo , i reckon it might be 2119.

    Once T1 has been demolished, and the new runway has been built....

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    23 Feb, 2016 02:26 pm

    The plan is to demolish T3 at some point to make way for 2 concourses for T2 much like T5B and C. When T1 closed a year ago, that was planned to happen some time in 2019.

    They need to finish building out T2A and T2B first. They might also finish off T5A, B and C and allow the oneworld members in T3 to move to T5.

    As for the 3rd runway and T6...

    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    25 Feb, 2016 10:29 am

    If Boris Johnson has his way we will all be flying into Essex! 

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    16 Feb, 2017 10:32 am

    @Nick Sydney2

    And a mighty fine idea that is too!

    No member give thanks

  • Looking

    Looking

    23 Feb, 2016 02:31 pm

    Yes 2019 as announced in June 2015. Heathrow is a public company so if demolition is not occuring in 2019 should have been disclosed.

    http://www.airport-business.com/2015/06/heathrow-putting-local-community-heart-expansion/

    “We are closing Terminal 1 on 29 June. The next phase will be to demolish Terminal 1 and extend Terminal 2, and then close Terminal 3. - See more at: http://www.airport-business.com/2015/06/heathrow-putting-local-community-heart-expansion/#sthash.bBJeEy6M.dpuf
    “We are closing Terminal 1 on 29 June. The next phase will be to demolish Terminal 1 and extend Terminal 2, and then close Terminal 3. - See more at: http://www.airport-business.com/2015/06/heathrow-putting-local-community-heart-expansion/#sthash.bBJeEy6M.dpuf
    “We are closing Terminal 1 on 29 June. The next phase will be to demolish Terminal 1 and extend Terminal 2, and then close Terminal 3. - See more at: http://www.airport-business.com/2015/06/heathrow-putting-local-community-heart-expansion/#sthash.bBJeEy6M.dpuf
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    23 Feb, 2016 03:23 pm

    When T3 closes depends on the status of the T2 expansion.

    Looking at the airport maps and current plans, they would need to complete expansion of T2A and B, and make some amount of progress on T2C and maybe T5D before T3 can go.

    No member give thanks

  • AJW

    AJW

    21 Oct, 2016 05:53 pm

    Also need to be mindful of what they mean when they say 'terminal'. Terminal could just mean the check-in hall and baggae collection area, but all or some gates remain whilst they rejuggle things around to make space to build.

    This is kind of how the new T2 was constructed. The 'terminal' was closed, but some of the old T2 gates were accessed through T1 for a little while. And now the new T2 is open, much of the old T1 gates are still in use bit accessed through T2.

    So the same may well happen at T3 too. Maybe parts, especially the northern side may close first, with the southern part which contains the newer A380 gates linked to T2. Whilst not in the newer section the lounges are not far away. (EK's may be in the newer section).

    No member give thanks

  • Proptika

    Proptika

    11 Jul, 2016 02:52 am

    All well and good for 2017. However, as AN Admirals club is closed,  for loyal Qantas Club Paid Members travelling economy or premium economy there is currently NO QANTAS CLUB LOUNGE at Heathrow T3 where all Qantas flights depart. Qantas Club paid up members have no facility at T3 and the BA lounge people act as if Qantas is something they accidentally stepped in.  Joyce may be making great profits for his shareholders but he is treating his loyal paying customers terribly. 

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    16 Feb, 2017 10:36 am

    @Proptika,

    Do yourself a favour and calculate how much you've spent on QF anually. See if you can spend the same amount of money with a different airline/different programme that will you give you an outright OW Sapphire or Star Alliance Gold status. Then you'll never have to be at the mercy of Qantas Club changes.

    No member give thanks

  • Packetman21

    Packetman21

    16 Feb, 2017 02:26 pm

    It looks amazing!

    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    17 Feb, 2017 12:11 am

    @DavidFlynn, don't you mean QF10? QF9 is the flight to LHR. Depending how far back this delay pushes things the lounge may/may not be finished before I can access it. If I can't it could be great to try the Cathay Pacific FLounge in LHR to see what that's like.

    No member give thanks

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30 Mar, 2017 11:42 am

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