If you’re flying from British Airways Terminal 3, you can of course use the British Airways business and First lounges, but if your have BA Silver or Gold status, or equivalent One World status, or travelling in Business or First, you also have access to the Cathay Pacific Business and First Lounges as well as the newly refurbished Qantas Club. On my recent European trip to Budapest and Vienna I decided to give them both a try and see how these alternative lounges for British Airways Terminal 3 Flights compare.
Alternative Lounges for British Airways Terminal 3 Flights
British Airways Terminal 3 Lounges
In my opinion the British Airways Terminal 3 lounge is below par when compared to the lounges in Terminal 5. The furniture and internal decoration are not the problem, they are on similar level to what you would find in Terminal 5, I think the problem is the space utilised by the lounge: it’s quite a dark space and with the ageing Terminal 3 building, the ceilings are quite low and it just doesn’t have a nice vibe like the Terminal 5 lounges do.
The Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge
I’ve visited Cathay Pacific’s Wing lounge in Hong Kong a couple of years ago and it was one of my best lounge experiences I’ve ever had, so I was quite excited about visiting their London Heathrow lounge. Obviously the Heathrow lounge is much smaller, but it is still as nice as their Hong Kong lounges.
From the main Terminal there are two dedicated lifts which take you up one floor to the lounge reception. After checking in there is a long corridor, the first lounge is immediately off to the right and the toilets to the left. At the end of the corridor are the showers, and just before is the entrance to the business lounge.
When you enter the business lounge you first pass through the noodle bar which is set out like a proper restaurant with a kitchen and serving bar, with about 30 dining booths. You order from many dishes at the bar and are given a buzzer, then you take a seat and when your food is ready you are buzzed and go to the bar to collect your food. The food is all freshly cooked and absolutely delicious.
If you carry on through from the noodle bar you enter the main lounge area where you first come to a buffet area serving hot and cold food options along with soft and hot drinks, then you enter the main lounge area with many different seating areas and a very extensively stocked bar.
The main lounge area has quite a good view out over the tarmac and also a direct view of the runway, and in particular where most of the aircraft actually took off – a great view for any aviation enthusiast.
During my visit I enjoyed a freshly prepared chicken chow mien in the noodle bar before relaxing in the lounge afterwards with a small serving of Thai Red chicken curry with a glass of champagne.
The Qantas Club
When I arrived at Heathrow I hadn’t actually planned on visiting the Qantas Club. But with only half an hour before boarding, after being in the Cathay Pacific lounge for around an hour and a half, I decided to pay a quick visit to the recently refurbished Qantas Club.
The Qantas Club is arranged over two floors, you enter into the lower floor and into a room with a central bar area serving food on one side, and drinks at their Gin bar to the other. The side of the room where the food is available is laid out as a dining room, with dining booths along one wall, and bar seating to the side of the room near the bar. To the back of the room there is a large elaborate staircase leading to the upper floor which has a small bar area at the top of the stairs, and more relaxed seating areas. The upper floor is about twice the size of the lower floor. The decoration of the lounge is very modern and contemporary, for me it was maybe slightly too modern for a lounge as I didn’t feel as relaxed in here as I did in the Cathay Pacific lounge.
During my brief visit I unfortunately didn’t sample any food offerings or have a drink at their large Gin bar downstairs, I did however enjoy a delicious glass of Barossa Shiraz on the upper floor of the lounge, before I had to leave for my flight.
I would visit the Cathay Pacific lounge time and time again if I was departing from Terminal 3 on British Airways not only for the extensive food options available, but for the fact that it has a very chilled vibe, making it very easy to relax. I would also visit the Qantas Club again because due to my time constraints I didn’t get to sample many of the facilities that this lounge had to offer during my visit. I don’t think I can make a judgements on the Qantas Club just yet, but I would visit the Cathay Pacific lounge again over the British Airways lounge in Terminal 3, due to the more relaxed atmosphere and the extensive choice of food on offer.