There are four One World alliance lounges in London Heathrow Terminal (LHR) 3; BA, AA, Qantas and Cathay Pacific. If you have lounge access with one, you can most likely visit any – Cathay Pacific is the best but isn’t perfect.
You don’t have to use the LHR T3 airport lounge of the One World airline with whom you are flying. If you’re flying in Business or First, or have One World Sapphire/Emerald status you can choose from four lounges – you could visit all of them if you have time!
If you need to choose just one, choose Cathay Pacific.
As you leave the shopping part of the Terminal and head for the gates, the Qantas lounge is straight ahead, BA and AA you’d need to turn right, but turn left until you see the Lounge C sign, then take the elevator.
The staff at the desk are friendly and don’t shame you for flying on a BA ticket. You’ll be directed into the first or second entrance; First or Business.
The First lounge isn’t very big…
…but has a table-service restaurant. Just present yourself at the entrance and wait to be seated.
You can order drinks and food, although I find it’s quicker just to pop out to the lounge area and pour my own. The menu changes, but here is an example:
The dim sum (potstickers in US) are excellent, except for the BBQ pork bun – just ask for that to be omitted. Don’t order dim sum if you are short of time, as they seem to take the longest – you can easily wait 25 minutes.
There have been some amazing starters on previous menus. Here are two of my favourites – asparagus, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and gyoza. The gyoza are even better than the dim sum.
From the menu above, I tried the ‘oriental spiced mango and crispy duck’ and ‘spinach and ricotta ravioli’. Neither lived up to expectations and and I was glad to see them disappear from the current menu.
The current menu has a great Thai Chicken Curry.
The business lounge is big and has a walk up dim sum/noodle bar. I haven’t used it, but I assume the food is the same quality as the first lounge.
So what are the downsides?
- The Cathay bathrooms are shared between Business and First and aren’t individual rooms with their own coat-hanger and washbasin. So if you want to brush/floss your teeth, you’re sharing a common washbasin area – both business and first BA lounges have nice individual rooms.
- You can’t take newspapers – BA lounges welcome you to take newspapers.
- There aren’t any bags of crisps, should you want to break a lounge rule and take them to eat on the plane – BA lounges have crisps, although I’m sure they would prefer you didn’t take them out from the lounge.
- Service can be slow – If you are in a rush, you should really head to a lounge with a good buffet – Qantas is better than BA.
My advice is to visit the BA lounge first, quick glass of champagne, then walk round to Cathay.
Here is a link where you can check if you qualify for entry:
and this link to details of the LHR T3 lounge: