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.
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).
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.
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’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