An outstanding facility at Qantas's European gateway, and a perfect pit stop for a hearty meal or more
The London Qantas Lounge features a double-storey space for travellers to work, dine and relax in Heathrow Terminal 3. Drawing inspiration from the London landscape and the River Thames, the lounge decor features a combination of warm timber, marble, brass and leather elements, giving it an urban-chic-style vibe.
Completed in late 2017, the Qantas Heathrow Lounge is a popular choice for Qantas's own passengers in London and oneworld travellers alike. After all, Terminal 3 serves 9 out of the 12 oneworld carriers operating out of London Heathrow, such as Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and British Airways. I had the pleasure of visiting this lounge en route to Prague with a BA flight; putting to test Qantas's ground experience at their flagship lounge in London.
General information and lounge layout
Unlike the British Airways and Cathay Pacific lounges here in Terminal 3, the Qantas Lounge does not have dedicated first class zones. On one hand, this is unfavourable for first class travellers when exclusivity and privacy for top-tiered travellers are considered. On the other hand, business and eligible economy passengers get to experience distinguished services that few business class lounges offer, such as a la carte dining.
There are two levels to the lounge and its entry via the reception is located at the lower level. The lower level of the lounge features a bar and the sit-down dining area, while the upper level is equipped with a second bar, more seating and a buffet food counter. As the a la carte dining with table service is only available during dedicated "Brunch" and "Evening" times, you generally find guests utilising the upper level outside of those hours. Fortunately, a la carte dining is well-timed for Qantas departures:
- QF10 Perth/Melbourne 12:10pm (Brunch begins 9:30am)
- QF 2 Singapore/Sydney 9:05pm (Dinner begins 6:00pm)
Also located upstairs are the shower suites and a pop-up kids zone as well as a dedicated business zone. While the business zone is quite small, it comes equipped with an Apple computer and a photocopier for those last-minute office needs. Upon request, passengers can also access one of the VIP rooms.
Linking the two levels are a modern Gatsby-esque staircase and an elevator. The lounge has a capacity for up to 250 passengers, so my visit during their off-peak hours meant there was ample space to stretch out in the lounge.
What I liked
Ambience and decor
The lounge is quite aesthetically pleasing. Immediately after reception, you will find a short hallway with wooden-clad walls and an engraved Qantas logo. Turning right at the hallway will bring you to the grand stairway, which is probably the defining feature of the lounge.
The terrazzo-styled stairway is decorated with brass and steel fixtures. It brings you to the upper level where you'll find a circular marbled bar with an impressive glass chandelier overhanging it. Overall, the lounge has a warm and inviting atmosphere. It's certainly unique when compared to Qantas lounges elsewhere.
Excellent beverage options
With more than a dozen gins plus a selection of cocktails and premium wines on offer, the Qantas London lounge is a great place to stop by before your flight. The gin bar menu comes with standard gin choices as well as suggested accompaniments. I chose "The Botanist", which was served with Fever Tree Indian tonic, Aperol, ice and lime.
I also enjoyed a barista-made coffee, which is far superior to those from self-serve machines you generally find in many airport lounges. The flat white was rich and well-balanced, and it certainly brought back memories of home. Available upstairs at the buffet section is a "Quench Bar" serving up fruit-infused water and a selection of teas. Here you can find the Rockpool signature tisane herbal tea served in cast iron teapots.
While I did not get a chance to experience the a la carte dining during my visit, I briefly surveyed the Rockpool-designed brunch and evening menu to get a heads up for my future visit. The listed dishes look appetising and not surprisingly their signature salt and pepper squid dish is featured in both menus.
The afternoon buffet consists of lighter food options, with a selection of salads, dips and desserts. The hot food option was a Korean braised beef dish and rice. If you fancy a quintessential British afternoon tea, you can find house-made scones served with clotted cream, jam and strawberry.
Spacious shower suite
Located upstairs are six spacious, modern shower suites. The shower was clean and ready for use when I arrived. Each shower is equipped with a double-function standard and waterfall showerhead. The shower amenities included the botanically scented range of Aurora Spa products similar to other Qantas lounges.
What I didn't like
Although there are windows installed at both levels, they are quite limited when compared to the size of the lounge. Due to the location of the lounge, the tarmac views aren't exactly enticing to begin with. Furthermore, those seated at the window-facing seats enjoy a partial view given the narrow set of windows. I had to stand next to the window in order to look out to the runway in the distance.
Limited power outlets
Power outlets are located mostly at the periphery of the lounge. Unless you've secured a seat along the wall, getting your devices charged during your lounge visit might be a challenge.
Buffet food presentation
A minor issue with the buffet counter was its presentation. The crumbs and spillage around the food bar remained unattended over the duration of my stay there. No chance of a magazine-cover photo shoot here.
Points Finder Lounge Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE FINDER LOUNGE REVIEW PROMISE: Our lounge reviews are based on a visit to the actual lounge during normal operation. We offer an honest and open critique from one of our frequent flyer experts and update with any relevant news as it comes to hand. Being in a lounge should always be more pleasant than just being stuck with waiting at the gate, but we won't shy away from highlighting issues. Learn more about how our scoring works.
THE POINTS FINDER TAKE
The Qantas lounge in London has exceeded my expectation with standards well above an average business class lounge. In my opinion, it is one of the best Qantas business lounges out there. The attractive decor, a la carte dining, gin bar and barista-made coffee are some of the reasons the lounge is worth a visit. Despite several minor aspects of the lounge not being up to scratch, I certainly prefer this lounge over the British Airways Business Lounge. However, for first class or emerald-tier travellers, the BA or Cathay first class lounges may offer the privacy you are looking for. Lastly, if you happen to visit Terminal 3 outside of the dedicated meal times, I suggest hopping over to the noodle bar in the Cathay Pacific lounge next door for more food options before visiting the Qantas lounge for a pre-flight drink.
Note that BA's operations are split between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5, so if you are keen to try out this lounge, you may want to do a terminal search prior to making your BA flight booking.
Qantas London Heathrow Lounge details
08:00 - 21:05 daily
The Qantas London Lounge is located on the airside of Heathrow Terminal 3. Getting to the lounge is straightforward by following the signage to Lounge B after the security checkpoint and duty-free shops. The lounge is not far away from gate 1-11 and it is next door to the Cathay Pacific Lounge (Lounge A).
- Business/first class passengers with Qantas and oneworld airline partners
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members
- oneworld Sapphire and Emerald tier members
- Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum member
- Qantas Club members
- Complimentary lounge invitations – issued by credit card or by Qantas Frequent Flyer for Silver members
Although complimentary lounge invitations are currently accepted for entry to the Qantas London lounge, there is a small chance that it may be declined on the day of travel depending on the crowd.