Star Alliance passengers have many lounges to choose from at London's Heathrow Airport, helped by the fact that all Star Alliance flights depart from the same terminal, making it easy for passengers to choose their lounge.
Whether you're travelling near or far, every business class departure lounge here will welcome you with open arms when travelling on a Star Alliance business class ticket or with a Star Alliance Gold, United Club or Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide card in your back pocket, with some lounges having an even broader access list.
For example, Lufthansa operates a business class lounge right near security, which Lufthansa business class passengers can access: but those same travellers could instead choose to visit the Air Canada, Singapore Airlines or United lounges – and vice versa.
It goes without saying that if you’re wandering to a lounge far away from your departure gate, leave plenty of time to reach it and remember that boarding calls might not be made for your flight – but if you know your way around or you're prepared to learn, here are your Star Alliance business class lounge options at Heathrow T2.
It's worth noting that the Star Alliance lounges are distributed across two parts of the terminal. The Lufthansa lounges are in the main part of the terminal (dubbed Terminal 2A, or T2A), directly after security – this is mainly used for European flights.
The lounges of Air Canada, Singapore and United Airlines are at the more distant Terminal 2B (T2B) satellite, which is a good 10-15 minutes walk from T2A.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
Where it is: In the terminal's B pier, opposite the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounges.
When it's open: 6am-10pm daily.
Who gets in: Beyond the travellers mentioned above, if you have a reduced-price Air Canada Maple Leaf Club 'North America Plus' membership, you can use this lounge before all Star Alliance flights – it's only Maple Leaf Club Worldwide cardholders that can visit the other lounges here.
Entry is also open to Air Canada premium economy passengers who upgrade their ticket to include lounge access via the Air Canada website, and to some North American credit card holders.
What's so special: With so many lounges to choose from, this is the only business class lounge in T2 with barista-made coffee, so whether it's starting the day with a latte or a late afternoon pick-me-up to get you to your flight properly caffeinated, order-up some Lavazza coffee:
When your time is spent relaxing, there's also a nice quiet area towards the end of the space, and although the furniture has been rearranged somewhat since this photograph was taken, you'll still find comfy chairs, TV viewing suites and even day beds:
AusBT review: Air Canada Maple Leaf business class lounge, London
Lufthansa Business Lounge
Where it is: Straight after security screening to your right-hand side.
When it's open: 5am-10pm daily.
Who gets in: Along with the usual guest list, this lounge also welcomes Miles & More Frequent Traveller members flying with any Star Alliance airline, and guests who purchase entry online.
What's so special: It's fair to describe this as the most 'basic' business class lounge in T2, but Lufthansa's advantage is that it's located right after security, so you don't need to trek all the way down to the B Gates, which is a good 20-30 minutes on foot round-trip if your flight is departing from the A pier.
There's still a reasonable selection of hot and cold food – although no cocktail bar, as the other T2 business class lounges all offer – with various zones catering to working, dining and relaxing.
Because you're free to visit more than one lounge before your flight, many travellers also use this as a 'pit stop' for a bite to eat, before moving onward to their preferred lounge at the B pier: useful if you've been stuck in London's terrible peak hour traffic on your journey to Heathrow, before still having to complete the check-in and security formalities.
Finally, Lufthansa also operates a better-than-business-class lounge for Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers jetting through Heathrow – known as the Senator Lounge, and accessed from inside the Business Lounge – so if your wallet wields a shiny frequent flyer card alongside your Star Alliance ticket, that's another option.
AusBT review: Lufthansa's London Business Lounge
Singapore Airlines SilverKris business class lounge
Where it is: Opposite the Air Canada lounge, down in the B-gate pier.
When it's open: 5:30am-10pm daily.
Who gets in: Through Singapore Airlines' direct partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, Flying Club Gold and UNIQ members, Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers and members of Virgin Australia's 'secret' The Club scheme can stop by prior to Singapore Airlines flights only.
What's so special: The SilverKris Lounge has a decidedly premium feel, with a colour palate and overall style designed to serve as a business class traveller's 'home away from home'...
... but with inspiration drawn from the airline's business class cabin, such as these multi-purpose individual booths that resemble the broad style of Singapore Airlines' flagship business class seat at the time of installation, and which, like that seat, can be used for working, dining or just relaxing, such as watching a video on your tablet:
In this author's opinion, the lounge also offers the best selection of hot food for business class passengers departing T2 seeking a pre-flight lunch or dinner, with a number of hot buffet stations beyond those pictured below with a good variety of meals, both light and substantial, with plenty of healthy options and sweet treats, too.
There's a cocktail bar here too, but for something more adventurous than the standard Singapore Sling, try a 'Stabiliser' which introduces Irish Cream into the more traditional mix of Kahlua, Vodka and espresso coffee.
Singapore Airlines also operates a separate SilverKris first class lounge at Heathrow, which is reserved for Star Alliance first class passengers and the airline's Solitaire PPS Club guests.
Where it is: Follow the signs to the B gates, and take the lift upstairs at lounge B1.
When it's open: 5am-10pm daily.
Who gets in: If you're not covered by the regular Star Alliance guest list, you can purchase access in advance for US$59 (A$83) through the United mobile app or at the reception desk for same-day travel.
What's so special: My first-ever experience with a United lounge was a dingy room at Newark Airport (then known as a Red Carpet Club) with styrofoam coffee cups and long-life milk the main attraction: but fast forward to today, and the fresh London Heathrow United Club couldn't be further from that turn-of-the-century experience, if the design didn't already give that away.
When there's work to do, I find this space the most productive, as there are plenty of laptop benches scattered throughout – with each seat having easy access to power – and private working rooms tucked away as well for anything confidential or more focus-driven:
When visits are more relaxed (or when the day's work is done), there's a full wine and cocktail menu to select from...
... with a variety of buffet food throughout the day, and plenty of travel-themed artwork to peruse:
AusBT review: United Club business class lounge, London
Like Singapore Airlines, United also operates a separate space for first class passengers – the United Global First Lounge – but it's not a lounge for frequent flyer members to visit, unless you have the elusive United Global Services card.
There's one more: United's shared arrivals lounge
Where it is: Once you've cleared passport control and collected your baggage at Terminal 2, take a hard left as you enter the 'public' area of the terminal, and the arrivals lounge will be on your left-hand side.
When it's open: 5am-until 2pm daily (last food order at 1:30pm).
Who gets in: Unlike the departure lounges listed above, this lounge doesn't universally welcome business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers. Instead, only the following travellers are permitted access:
- United Airlines' Polaris first class and business class customers arriving into London
- United Global Services members arriving on United in any class of service
- Air Canada business class passengers arriving into London
- Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members arriving on Air Canada flights (+1 guest)
- South African Airways' Voyager Platinum Life members arriving on SAA flights
What's so special: For most passengers stepping off a long international flight, the first port of call may well be the showers to freshen up for the day ahead – and to help you look your best, there's a complimentary pressing service, so just leave your suit in the two-way cupboard and ring the housekeeping bell.
Travellers who maximised their sleep on board can also acclimatise to the local time zone with an a la carte breakfast menu running until 1:30pm, with favourites like Eggs Benedict and a Full English Breakfast through to waffles and fresher bites like fresh avocado and hummus served with an egg on toast:
The lounge is relatively compact, but still offers a variety of seating beyond the dining area...
... laptop work benches for catching up on the emails you missed overnight, as well as a TV and reading material:
AusBT review: United (Star Alliance) arrivals lounge, London
Chris Chamberlin travelled to London as a guest of Star Alliance.