One of the questions that gets asked most frequently is “which is the best oneworld lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3?” With 4 lounges to choose from now, it’s a great problem to have. #firstworldproblems. Although some people have completely forgotten that in oneworld and other alliances you can use any lounge if you are travelling in business or first or have the correct status level in their frequent flyer scheme. I must admit I was guilty of that for a while just going to the lounge of the airline I was flying with.
So before you head straight to the British Airways or your airline’s lounge why not have a look at what else is on offer? Here is the link to the oneworld lounge finder which will show you all the lounges available for oneworld. Don’t forget if you have an American Express Platinum card you can also use 80 Plaza Premium lounges and Amex Centurion lounges (US & Hong Kong). You can find a list of all the British Airways lounges and the facilities here.
Which is the best oneworld lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3?
To answer this question is like answering how long is a piece of string? It all depends on what you want from a lounge and what your status or travel class is. I will look at which is the best lounge depending on your needs from a lounge.
What is the best overall oneworld First lounge at T3?
This is a fairly easy answer for me. Although there isn’t one lounge that has everything, the Cathay Pacific First lounge is the closest to perfection for me. From great dining, good champagne & cocktails plus attentive service to the relaxing decor, this is my top oneworld lounge at T3. It is second only to the Virgin Clubhouse for my favourite UK lounge. As a matter of interest, the Concorde room would be very close to the Virgin lounge in my rankings due to the fabulous Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne they serve.
What is the best overall oneworld business class lounge at T3?
Surprise, surprise this is Cathay again with an honourable mention to Qantas. The Cathay business class lounge has a broad selection of hot and cold buffet food as well as the Noodle bar plus cocktails and a reasonable selection of wines and drinks.
What is the best lounge for Champagne and wine?
Surprisingly for some, I would say the BA First and business lounges. Cathay and Qantas are close runners-up though. British Airways often have some hidden gems which I suspect are bin ends from the onboard service.
In both lounges, they usually have 3-4 each of red and white wines plus Champagne. It is always worth having a wander around the lounge as often you will find different wines in different areas. For example on my last T3 BA Club lounge visit I found this gem:
In Galleries Club you normally have to ask one of the servers for Champagne which is usually Castel-no.
The First wines often include a Mersault which is one of my favourites although the BA ones aren’t normally the best examples of this wine. The Champagnes vary depending on supply but are usually Henriot white and rose Champagnes.
In second place would be the Qantas lounge for the selection of Australian and New Zealand wines plus the fact they have a dessert wine. I also like their Australian sparkling wine.
Cathay is a solid choice for 3rd place as the First lounge has Baron Rothschild and Moet Champagnes. The wine selection I find a bit dull here with 2-3 choices of red and white wine. Examples would include a Bourgogne Chardonnay or a Waipara Sauvignon Blanc. I often find the white wines and Champagne a bit warm in here, probably due to the way they are stored:
In the Cathay business lounge, they have Moet Champagne, Prosecco and a couple of wines at the bar but none are particularly outstanding. The Prosecco cocktails are fun though.
What is the best lounge for gin or cocktails?
This is 100% the Qantas lounge for me. What’s not to love about 14 different types of gin and Rockpool cocktails? I love the marble bar too and the elevated position by the window for looking out over the airfield. The Cathay First lounge has a better list of cocktails but I am sure that the bartenders at Qantas can make most classic cocktails.
What is the best lounge for a healthy meal?
This would probably be a tie between Qantas and Cathay. Qantas has a firm focus on health with their buffet of fresh salads and crudites for snacking on in the gin bar. They also have a Quench bar for infused waters and tissanes.
Cathay has a small selection of salads and fruit in their business class lounge but less in the way of healthy snack items other than wraps.
What is the best lounge for a proper meal?
Hands down the Cathay First Class lounge. They have a proper dining area with table service and a great menu of Western and Asian favourites. I particularly like their Asian breakfast with dim sum and noddles. Qantas, American and BA all do food to order for First class but the menus are smaller and the atmosphere is less sophisticated.
For more upmarket food my next choice would be American Airlines. Their menu is very small but the dishes are restaurant quality and service is generally excellent – I have often found it better than Cathay’s service. If you want a more casual meal then BA can do that with items such as burgers and bau buns. Qantas has a smaller menu of casual dishes such as pies and sausage and mash. The ambience is nicer than BA being a new lounge but there is no champagne unless you are travelling in First with Qantas.
The Cathay business class lounge not only has the most extensive and high-quality buffet for food but also has the Noodle Bar where dishes are cooked to order. You can have dim sum or noodles including their signature dish, Dan Dan noodles. As well as hot dishes the lounge offers sandwiches and wraps, fruit and salads so ideal if you want something lighter or healthy.
What is the best lounge for food or drinks in a hurry or self-service?
In this situation, you want to grab something quickly and not have to order food or a drink.
For First class the BA lounge has an OK selection of buffet food and the wines and champagnes are good plus completely self-service. The American Airlines buffet is also good in First although champagne is brought to you but you can help yourself to wine.
For business class, British Airways has the best selection of help yourself drinks apart from Champagne which must be requested, although they have been trialling help yourself at some airports. The food is fairly average though with a rather underwhelming buffet.
What is the best lounge to get work done?
For this one, it depends on the time of day. The Qantas flights go out at around 1pm and 9pm. In between these times and early in the morning the lounge is very quiet. Service is great and there is a fairly large desk area to work at. There is only one PC (Mac) however. If you are not worried about this or champagne I would go for Qantas.
Cathay flights also go out in the evening but this lounge can be busier during the day as more people are wise to using it now. The BA lounges have a large well-equipped work area and I have rarely seen this overcrowded.
The lounges all have a dedicated work area with printers and Wi-Fi. I have found the BA wi-fi at little slow at times but it is normally good enough for work purposes.
What is the best lounge for a spa treatment or shower?
There is one option here: British Airways and their Elemis spa but make sure you get there early to get a treatment. You are entitled to a complimentary 15 minute treatment if you are travelling in First or business (Club World) cabins or you are a Gold card member flying long haul on British Airways flights only. The BA spa menu is here.
For showers there is little difference between the Cathay and Qantas lounges, both of which are available for business class customers. They both have a luxurious feel and great toiletries. If pushed I would probably go for Cathay as I love Aesop products.
If you would like to read more information about a particular lounge here are my reviews:
British Airways Galleries Club and First lounges
Qantas business and first lounge
American Airlines Business and First lounges T3 review
You can find the airlines official information about the lounges here:
Do you have a favourite lounge at Heathrow? What is your favourite lounge at T3? Let me know on social media or in the comments below.
This is really useful for the Cape Town Club World flights we’ve just snagged for February 2019 going from T3. Managed to pick up the pair of seats at midnight. Just hoping they release some more nearer the time as there’s 4 of us travelling! Will all the lounges listed be open for a 9:30pm departure?
Hi Dan. Currently, Qantas closes at 8.30pm, BA & Cathay at 10.30pm and AA at 5pm except on Sundays when it is 9pm. So 3 out of 4!
Looks like some good options. If you’re travelling BA Club Europe from T3 but are NOT a OW Sapphire member, do you still get a choice of the OW lounges or are you stuck with Galleries Club? Thanks.
Hi Jack. Yes you can still use any of the Oneworld business class lounges when travelling business class.
Just to note on the spa options, the BA website says “*Complimentary spa treatments available in Heathrow Terminal 3 and JFK Terminal 7 departure lounges, are for passengers travelling on British Airways operated flights only.”
Yes that is correct. I will update it to make it clearer.
Hi, I would be truly grateful if you could provide some guidance here: We are arriving around 9:00 AM on a Business Class flight on AA from ORD, and we have an 8-hour layover at LHR (T3) until our BA Club Europe connection to WAW leaves around 5:00 PM. We do not have any kind of 1W elite status. Would they still let us into the CX or QF lounges simply based on either our AA or BA J-class boarding passes?
Yes you could use the AA arrival lounge if you went landslide or any of the BA,AA, CX or Qantas lounges airside if you are departing in Club Europe. In fact you could visit them all!
Thank you Michele! I appreciate the guidance. Look forward to visiting all these lounges 🙂
Hi which one world business lounge has the best breakfast options?
CX likely is the nicest space in my opinion Paul.
Can I bring a guest into any of these lounges if I am travelling on CX first class?
Yes you can Max.
I’m flying business class with BA next month from Heathrow T3 to Miami. Could I visit more than one lounge on this occasion. Say if I wanted to use the Elemis spa in the BA lounge but wanted to eat at the Cathay Pacific lounge?
Hi Daisy. Yes you can visit as many as you want.
Question about using the showers in these spas- If you are OneWorld Saphire, yet flying in Economy/Premium Economy, can you still use the Elimis showers? Or the shower facilities at any of the other louges? Thanks.
Yes the best ones would be in the Cathay Pacific lounge.
Super helpful thank you!
I have a CE flight arriving at T5 at 16:25 in a few weeks, and we’re then taking the 18:15 to Cape Town on in CW. I was hoping to pop in to the Cathay lounge for the first time (I usually have to fly from T5 so stuck with BA lounges…). However, on the T3 maps I see the Cathay Lounge shown as 10 mins in one direction from the main departure thoroughfare, and the gates BA uses for its 747s (in the 30s) are advertised as being a 20 min walk in the opposite direction. Does it really take 30 mins to walk from the Cathay Lounge to these gates? If so, I think we might have to forgo the Cathay lounge altogether sob sob
No it’s usually around 15 mins walk tops 🙂
The Cathay lounge is definitely not 10 minutes from the main departure lounge! It is 2 minutes at best including getting the lift! I am not sure on the 20 minute walk to the b747 gates. I can’t remember ever having walked more than 10 mins at T3. The BA and Cathay lounges are all in the same area.
We have business/first class flights from USA on first 3 connections, but there was no first available on last leg from London to France on our business/first award ticket. Could we still access one of the lounges showing all our boarding passes?
If on BA then yes you should get First lounge access when arriving from a long haul flight in First onto a connecting flight
I’m so sorry, I know that this is probably very clearly answered, but I just want to make absolutely sure as I don’t want to look a fool. We are flying BA Club Europe from LHR T3, can we use any of the business class lounges listed above? I just want to make sure that it includes Club Europe, not just Club World.
Thanks so much
Yes any one world business class lounge
Hi, can one use your recommended first lounge Cathay at T3 with a BA gold card if flying Latam? Presumably yes
Yes you can.
Hi, As a BA Silver member, can I take my wife and 1 year old daughter into any OneWorld lounge, please?
You can only guest one person if you are flying in economy but they sometimes allow infants as an extra.
Sometimes it depends on my mood:
The bright, light Qantas lounge is great for when alert and excited.
The moody, darker and sophisticated Cathay lounge is perfect when I’m feeling contemplative and want to put my feet up (great armchairs and ottomans).
BA First is best if I want to neck a lot of champagne (self service!).
Could I just clarify something please? We are flying BA First in May and the Qantas lounge appeals to us with the bar set-up. However, am I reading your article correct in that only Qantas First passengers are allowed Champagne? Or, is it any (Oneworld) First passengers?
Thanks in advance.
Only Qantas. But you could of course lounge hop and try Qantas and one is the others.
So the Cathay First dining room is just that? For those flying Cathay F? This would mean the only hot food available is in the Cathay Business noodle bar?
No it’s available for anyone with OW emerald or flying OW F who can get into the F lounge.
Hello, myself and my husband are BA silver members and we’ve booked economy flights with BA at Christmas. We are travelling with my sister- and brother-in-law and their 14yr old daughter. Can we bring all 3 of them to the BA Galleries lounge / other oneworld lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5 on our 2 silver cards? Thank you.
Nope 1 guest each.
We are travelling business class on Air Lanka from LHR terminal 3, which business class lounge am I able to use?
If you mean Sri Lankan then you can use any of them or all of them.
Really helpful; thank you. We will be flying in JAL business class from T3 to Tokyo (early next year, hopefully), and their website seemed to push you towards the BA lounge. Hadn’t considered we could use any of the other OneWorld lounges. Will check them out!
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