Besides the lounges at its bases in Australia (such as the Sydney lounge), Qantas also operates a network of lounges at its outstations. One of those is The Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow airport’s terminal 3 which was opened in November 2017.
I had a chance to visit the lounge prior to my British Airways flight from London to Vienna (one of the few British Airways flights that use terminal 3) back in October 2018. Here’s a review to help you set your expectations before visiting the lounge.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Location, Opening Hours & Access
As mentioned above, The Qantas London Lounge can be found in Heathrow’s terminal 3. It’s located in the same general area – in the central part of the terminal just past security and immigration – as the Cathay Pacific and American Airlines lounges.
The lounge is open every day from 8AM until 9:15PM and is accessible to Qantas and other oneworld as well as Emirates premium class passengers and status holders. (I accessed it using my British Airways Silver status.) Unlike at some of Qantas’ other lounges, there’s no dedicated first class section in the lounge.
I should also note here that the lounge was almost completely empty for the vast majority of my stay between 3PM and 6:30PM.
As can be seen in the pictures above, the lounge’s entrance was nicely decorated with wood. Just past the entrance, there were two reception counters – although only one was staffed when I entered the lounge. And, past those counters was a wooden wall with a cool embedded Qantas logo separating the reception area from the lounge itself.
The lounge was spread across two floors with the first floor serving mainly as a dining area and the second floor taking care of the rest.
On the first floor, right after the reception area, there was a counter-height table with six chairs. Then, there were about twenty or so dining tables with chairs and benches. Most of those were set up for two people.
Finally, there was a bar which – besides the usual drinks – also boasted a wider-than-usual selection of gins. Along the bar, there were some high-top chairs as well as dining chairs. Later in the day, a buffet spread could be found there as well, and the area also served as the lounge’s a la carte restaurant. More on that later, though.
To get to the second floor, one could either take an elevator or walk up the elegant staircase located on the right-hand side of the lounge, just behind the bar.
At the end of the staircase, I was met with the dominant feature of the second floor – a circular bar. Behind the bar, there were windows offering a (very limited) view of the apron.
Besides the bar chairs around the bar itself, the area featured a variety of seating options ranging from individual sofa chairs and big sofas all the way to lounging chairs.
More seating could be found on both sides of the staircase – mainly consisting of sofa chairs and dining tables.
Finally, the back part of the second floor housed the lounge’s main buffet area (which I will talk about in more detail in the next section) and some more seating – mainly in the form of “bench boxes,” but also some sofa chairs.
Other than the above, the second floor also featured a business center with a printer and an iMac, as well as a small kids’ room.
As for the lounge’s shower rooms and restrooms, most of them were located on the second floor. However, there was also a pair of restrooms on the first floor. I found it nice that all of the restrooms were actually individual rooms with their own toilet, sink, etc.
Food and Drinks
Let’s start the overview of the lounge’s food and drinks with one of its more unique features – the a la carte dining. My visit overlapped with the dinner service which started at 6PM. The lounge also offers a brunch menu, but there’s no a la carte dining between brunch and dinner time.
I tried two items from the menu – the heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad and the salt and pepper squid with green chili dipping sauce and aioli. While I enjoyed both of the dishes, I especially liked the squid which seems to be the lounge’s “signature dish.”
The other unique feature of the lounge was its gin bar which was part of the bar on the first floor and offered a selection of more than ten different gins.
Other than that, both the first and the second floor bars offered a standard selection of soft drinks, liquors, coffee, etc. Besides that, there were some syrups, as well as teas in the buffet area on the second floor. There were no canned or bottled drinks in the lounge (the bartenders served soft drinks from dispensers).
As for food other than the a la carte options, there were some light snacks including nuts and cookies at the bar and a more extensive selection of food in the buffet area.
There were a salad bar, a couple of mains, as well as some desserts in the buffet area (see the menu below for full details) – and a similar buffet spread was made available on the first floor during the dinner time as well.
The Qantas Lounge London Summary
I haven’t had a chance to review many of the major airline lounge in Europe yet, but so far The Qantas Lounge is my favorite one out of the ones that I did visit. While it might be underwhelming for first class passengers, when thought of as a business class lounge, I think it really stands out.
The biggest advantage of the lounge – at least during my visit – was the fact that it was empty unlike the overcrowded Cathay Pacific lounge next door. The a la carte dining and two staffed bars were just a nice bonus on top of that.
If there was one thing I wish the lounge had, though, it would be canned and bottled drinks. It would be easier to just grab a can of Coke out of a fridge rather than having to go to the bar, ask for the drink, wait for it to be served, etc.
All in all, though, I really enjoyed my stay in the lounge – especially so considering it was before a 2-hour intra-European flight to Vienna and not before a 20-hour flight to Australia!