Cathay Pacific reopens London first, business lounges

Considered as Heathrow T3’s best lounges, they’ll once again be a hit with savvy Qantas passengers flying out from London.

By David Flynn, January 14 2022
Cathay Pacific reopens London first, business lounges

Cathay Pacific has finally flung open the doors to its highly-regarded lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3, despite the airline’s flights between London and Hong Kong being suspended.

And yes, we said lounges – both the well-appointed business class and cosily chic first class spaces are back, no doubt to the delight of eligible passengers on Oneworld airlines departing T3.

Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.
Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.

That includes Qantas, of course. Even though Qantas has reopened its own London lounge, where the gin bar and à la carte dining remain drawcards, the adjacent Cathay Pacific lounges remain a popular alternative with Qantas passengers.

And their opening times – 5:30am-5:30pm Monday to Saturday, and 7:30am-5:30pm on Sunday – easily accommodate Qantas passengers on QF2 to Sydney (which departs from T3 at 9:50am) and QF10 to Melbourne (departing at 11:20am).

Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.
Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.

Business class travellers and Qantas Gold frequent flyers (and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents) enjoy entry to the Cathay Pacific business class lounge, where the signature Noodle Bar headlines a wide selection of meals and snacks.

Meanwhile, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers (and Oneworld Emeralds) can head to Cathay's first class lounge for an extensive à la carte menu in the dining room, along with the general apartment-style ambience.

Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.
Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.

Of course, there's no reason you can't visit the Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges.

Other Oneworld airlines in T3 whose passengers are likely to make a beeline for the Cathay Pacific lounges including Finnair, which runs multiple daily services to Helsinki, and British Airways (despite BA's own T3 lounge being open, it remains the poor cousin among the Qantas and Cathay offerings).

Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.
Cathay Pacific's London Heathrow T3 lounges are the best choice for Oneworld flyers.

Cathay’s decision to reopen its London lounges indicates confidence in steadily-rising traveller numbers among its Oneworld partners out of London, even if its own services to Hong Kong are banned until at least February 15 under Hong Kong’s latest clamp-down on ‘high-risk countries’.

London and the UK are also home to a high number of Gold and Diamond members of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club loyalty program, which from July this year will be rebranded simply as Cathay.

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 136

Well thats a strange decision I'd have thought. 

Very strange when you consider the cost of running a lounge: staff, meals and drinks, cleaning. I think Cathay was planning to open it this week anyway, because getting a lounge ready is a process you have to plan weeks ahead for in terms of getting staff organised and refreshing training, updating security passes, arranging the menus and getting all the produce in, restocking and restarting the kitchens.

I think Cathay did all this with the expectation of demand increasing for transit passengers, then the sudden HK ban on flights took them by absolute surprise, but they decided they may as well open the lounges as planned because they know they'll get a LOT of visitors from OneWorld airlines.

I heard that airlines pay Cathay £40-50 per passenger, at least that was the rate when the CX lounges opened, so hopefully at least the lounges will break even!

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 309

I do remember feeling like a kid in a Candy store being on a 1hr flight to CDG in J and having access to these great lounges.  Good luck to all that get to try them out soon!

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

Yes, I know quite a few frequent flyers in London who redeem their Avios for economy seats on short BA flights into Europe for the weekend and they would often try to get flights departing from T3 so they could use the CX lounge thanks to their BA status. They would keep track of which flights departed T3 instead of T5 and a lot of the destinations were very appealing! Not sure there are nearly as many these days though.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 85

Cathy lounges beat the tar out of the Qantas ones where, when I was there several times, 'service' was either no existent or just plain rude. At Cathay we were treated to service in the best Asian style. Congratulations and thanks.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 101

I’ve only had amazing service at QF LHR and been treated extremely well. CX has always been busy and I’ve never had personalised engagement like the team give me at QF. 

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 59

Getting ready to fly from London to somewhere other than HK?

Pure speculation, but it seems quite feasible with the largest shareholder being British, quite a few Heathrow slots, these lounges and other airport setup, and plenty of sympathy towards HK people after the democracy crackdown.

Not sure whether the closure of the London pilot base has already happened though.  But then, they still have pilots based in the USA, so Atlantic-hopping would get them some hours in the air.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 136

Does Cathay hold traffic rights to carry passengers between the UK and the US?

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 59

Maybe not, but the thought of getting a UK AOC might be crossing their minds, especially now that HK is basically closed for transit passengers.

JA
JA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Jul 2013

Total posts 15

Actually prefer the QF lounge to the CX f pre-pandemic. I’ve come to love the food and beverage offering and much friendlier ambience of the QF lounge with 2 bars, à la carte dining around QF flights and the variety of different gins. Showers are brilliant too as is furniture. Always a super pleasant visit.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2017

Total posts 21

In my opinion the Cathay First lounge wins hands down as the best in T3. Have used it many time for morning (always Saturday and therefore probably quieter than week days) departures from London. Great breakfast and the small footprint offers a nice and somewhat exclusive feel. No fan of the Qantas lounge. Although the staff are nice, I find it big and noisy.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1428

I agree the Qantas lounge was always a bit hectic for me pre Qantas flight so a retreat to a sit down a la Carte from the cozy cathay lounge was nice. ( note my past tense some time before the opportunity arises again).

05 May 2016

Total posts 636

This is very welcome. It was very disappointing when I flew out a few weeks ago that both the Cathay Pacific and Qantas lounges were closed. The BA lounge was a very underwhelming alternative.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Cathay Pacific reopens London first, business lounges