Qantas is now selling access to its London business class lounge

Would you pay £55 to visit Qantas' London Heathrow lounge?

By David Flynn, October 29 2019

Qantas is now letting travellers pay their way into its swish London Heathrow lounge, regardless of their frequent flyer status or even which airline they're booked on – a roster which includes airlines that don't belong to the Oneworld alliance.

Your boarding pass and £55 is now all it takes to visit Qantas' London Heathrow lounge.
Your boarding pass and £55 is now all it takes to visit Qantas' London Heathrow lounge.

Qantas has set a walk-up rate of £55 (A$103) for access to its lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3, which opened in December 2017 and boasts a dining area with à la carte menu, a well-stocked gin bar and an upstairs cocktail bar.

Drinks with a view at the Qantas London Heathrow lounge's cocktail bar.
Drinks with a view at the Qantas London Heathrow lounge's cocktail bar.

Review: Qantas London lounge, Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

However, while the lounge is open from 8am to 9pm, it's largely empty but for the departure of Qantas' two daily flights to Australia: the non-stop QF10 Boeing 787 to Perth, at 11.55am, and the QF2 Airbus A380 to Sydney via Singapore at 8.35pm.

Executive Traveller understands the paid access option is being treated as a trial to help fill the lounge and generate revenue during the extensive afternoon lull period, although staff are said to be mindful of the need to avoid over-crowding the lounge prior to the superjumbo's evening departure. Qantas has been approached for comment.

Pay-in access at Qantas' London Heathrow lounge is understood to be a trial offering.
Pay-in access at Qantas' London Heathrow lounge is understood to be a trial offering.

Eligible travellers in Oneworld business or first class, and top-tier frequent flyers holding Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status, also have the option to visit the nearby lounges of British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines. Of these, Cathay Pacific is widely held as the superior choice.

Cathay Pacific's London first class lounge is a cosy Heathrow haven.
Cathay Pacific's London first class lounge is a cosy Heathrow haven.

Terminal 3 also has an independent No1 Lounge which charges £34 online, or £40 at the door, for a stay of up to three hours.

The No1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 charges £40 per visit for walk-ups.
The No1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 charges £40 per visit for walk-ups.

Elsewhere in the Qantas loungescape, the airline expects a ribbon-cutting for its new Singapore first class lounge on Monday December 2, with a soft opening likely some days prior.

Located at the opposite end of Changi Terminal 1 to the current Qantas Singapore Business lounge, the Qantas Singapore First lounge will welcome not only first class passengers on the Qantas A380s and other Oneworld airlines (most notably BA First passengers) but Platinum-grade frequent flyers and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents.

The dining room and open kitchen of the coming-soon Qantas Singapore First lounge.
The dining room and open kitchen of the coming-soon Qantas Singapore First lounge.

Read: Take a guided tour of the new Qantas Singapore first class lounge

The timely pre-Christmas opening of Qantas' Singapore first class lounge should alleviate crowding in the Qantas business class lounge, which has also recently been extended to add 74 seats and boost total capacity to almost 600 passengers, compared to some 460 guests when the lounge debuted in April 2013.

Extensions at the Qantas Singapore business class lounge have increased capacity to almost 600 passengers.
Extensions at the Qantas Singapore business class lounge have increased capacity to almost 600 passengers.

Read more: Newly-expanded Qantas Singapore lounge eases the squeeze

Early 2020 will also see Qatar Airways open a new Premium Lounge at Changi Terminal 1, adding another option for eligible Oneworld travellers.

Qatar Airways’ Singapore Premium Lounge will be located on the upper ‘lounge level’ of Terminal 1, adjacent to the Emirates and Plaza Premium lounges at the start of the C Gates wing.

Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge will add more choice for business class and first class flyers.
Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge will add more choice for business class and first class flyers.

Currently under construction, the Qatar Airways lounge is expected to offer à la carte dining and a tended bar with Champagne and made-to-order cocktails, set in a refined space with a sense of seclusion, in keeping with the airlines' description of its Premium Lounges as being “more of a boutique hotel or private club than a lounge.”

Expect an elegant design and fine dining at Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge.
Expect an elegant design and fine dining at Qatar Airways' Singapore Premium Lounge.

However, unlike Singapore's Qantas and British Airways lounges, the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge will be an exclusive domain of business class and first class travellers on the airline and fellow Oneworld airlines.

This means that frequent flyers booked into premium economy or economy  – even Platinum members of Qatar Airways’ own Privilege Club, along with their Oneworld Emerald equivalents (such as Qantas Platinum, British Airways Gold and the like) – won’t be allowed into Qatar Airways’ Singapore lounge. 

Qatar Airways also enforces a strict ‘smart dress code’ at its lounges. For example, Qatar’s Bangkok lounge decrees that “tattered jeans, shorts, beach ware, vests or revealing clothing and flip-flops (thongs) are not permitted.”

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 566

It seems strange that Qantas keeps their lounge at LHR open throughout the day; airlines such as Emirates close their lounge when there are large gaps between departures. Personally I think GBP55 is poor value.

Qatar's lounge policy is very puzzling. This means that its own Platinum members flying Economy are denied entry to its lounge and instead directed to the BA or QF lounge. Oneworld's management has been weak in allowing such a situation to develop.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 66

"It seems strange that Qantas keeps their lounge at LHR open throughout the day; airlines such as Emirates close their lounge when there are large gaps between departures." I believe this may be a OneWorld requirement, if so then it would strike me as odd given that LHR T3 already has BA and CX lounges open all day as well.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 290

I can't imagine very many takers at that price. You would want to make very very good use of the Gin Bar to see value.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 22

Can highly recommend the Portobello Road gin with watermelon liqueur ice cubes and cucumber. In a London bar that would set you back $15 quid so a few of those plus a meal would cover the cost

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 4

Does that entry fee qualify one for the "under-the-counter" champagne?

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

Probably not worth 55 GBP . When I was there earlier this month for a BA flight to Italy (mid afternoon) the kitchen was closed so dining options limited, the staff also had a very lax attitude toward customer service and lounge presentation. Regret not going to CX F lounge in lieu, lesson learned!

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 264

Honestly you'd have to be nuts to pay to get into any lounge. For the relatively short period of time you're there you're better off finding a good bar in the terminal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Nov 2017

Total posts 7

If you were in Y or PE and have a long layover between flights, the chance to shower, freshen up, eat and drink in a relatively quiet environment might seem good value. You're not going to get that at a good bar.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 264

Granted, but £55 is still a lot of money for nibbles and a shower for those chance times when my trip involved a long layover. I'd just grin and bare it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 57

If you can grab 55 quid then great, just don't stack and pack when I'm there please.

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 107

If you're Qantas Platinum or Platinum One then head (literally) next door to the Cathay First Lounge. The significant difference is proper a la carte dining. I've been here a number of times and had breakfast and lunch. Far superior food to any other One World lounge in Terminal 3.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 396

Another reason not to have to endure the Qantas Pub mentality with kids and chaos. I hope QF Singapore First lounge stays exclusive otherwise it's the Qatar lounge when I can.

CX

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 121

I've been to this lounge a couple of times as a "try-out" (I get access to the CX F lounge so always end up there for reasons that should be obvious). Once it was quiet and the staff were indeed very lacklustre - that can be fixed. The other time it was busy. On both occasions I found the lounge a bit soulless - it is quite airy due to the double-height layout, but conversely it didn't feel cosy or comfortable. The food was also a bit lacklustre on both occasions, and I must confess I didn't stay long on either occasion. There are some lounges I would pay 55 quid for if I intended to have a really long stay, needed a shower, didn't have an alternative, intended to eat a full meal etc etc - but not this one.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 362

A couple of points: 1. not in favour of selling access to the lounge during the times the QF flights are operating out of LHR 2. wish all the airlines would bring in a dress code. Would like to see QF adopt the strict dress code to all their lounges, not just domestic ones.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 22

Agreed and unfortunately it will be our own Aussie country folk who will come in dressed for comfort and the beach

19 Aug 2017

Total posts 7

Nick I am with you, tank tops, flip flops and load of kids. I use the CX F lounge all the time now, much quieter, better food. Look forward to seeing what the QF Singapore F lounge will be like when it opens next month!!

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 22

Cannot come soon enough. Written from CX F at LHR enjoying a splendid gyōza and followed by channa masala.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

CX F being a better choice for QFF, they have to bring people in , justifying to keep it open still....

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 185

pathetic effort to increase revenue-Mr Joyce are you so desperate to have millions of dollars as salary???

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 185

when they established business lounges it was meant to be used by real people who actually have business class tickets-nowadays like a cheap pub- disgusting

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 318

I will be in Singapore on the 2/12 and am looking forward to experiencing the QF F Lounge.


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