Qantas’s London lounge: Is it worth paying for access?
Why £55 to get in might not be worth it for everyone.
Qantas is running an unusual experiment where you can pay for access to its T3 Heathrow lounge in London.
Normally Qantas doesn't allow any paid access to its lounges – to get in, you need to be flying in First or Business, have a Qantas Club membership, have Gold or Platinum Status or have a guest pass.
However, right now, it's allowing walk-up customers to pay GBP£55 (about AUD$103 with current exchange rates) to access the lounge. You don't have to be on a Qantas flight or even flying with a partner airline. If there's space available, you can potentially get in.
In practice, your best chance at access will be in the afternoon, after the QF10 flight to Perth has departed around lunchtime and before the evening QF2 flight to Sydney. Once the lounge fills with passengers waiting for those services, you're less likely to get in.
But assuming you do have the option, is it worth it?
Qantas's London lounge is very highly rated. It scored 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 in our Points Finder review.
As Qantas doesn't have a separate First lounge at Heathrow, it offers First level dining in the lounge, with an à la carte menu set by Rockpool. That explains why the access fee is so (relatively) high. If you want the chance to check out that kind of experience and you're passing through T3, this is a rare opportunity to do so.
With my mercenary hat on, for it to be worth paying £55, you'll need to consume at least £55 worth of food and drink, compared to what you might spend elsewhere. At an easy £10 for each drink and £15 for a not very elaborate meal, that's quite an achievable goal. But if you only have one cocktail and a quick meal, then the money might not be worth the expenditure.
There's no one single answer for everyone. Some passengers might consider the showers alone worth the money. Others will be happy to indulge with a lounge experience as the right way to finish a holiday. And still others will prefer to spend their time at the airport shopping.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.
Picture: Enoch Foong/Finder