Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow Airport

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

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So this installment is a bit out of chronological order, since we didn’t use a lounge prior to our flight to New York. Instead we just checked out of the Sheraton as late as possible, and headed straight to the airport and onto the flight.

That being said, on this trip I also separately flew London to Miami on American, which I won’t be writing about (in the interest of time). Prior to that morning flight I checked out the Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow.

There are three oneworld first class lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3:

While I’ve checked out the Flagship and Galleries Lounges more times than I can count, I had previously never visited the Cathay Pacific Lounge, and I’m not sure why.

So I figured I’d finally check it out. The Cathay Pacific Lounge is located in the “C Lounge” cluster of the terminal, which is a bit further from the American gates than the American or British Airways lounges. That being said, we’re maybe talking about an extra two minutes of walking, so it’s not a big deal. Cathay is known for some of the best airport lounges in the world, and some of my favorite, so I was eager to check this one out.

Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow entrance

The lounge is open Mondays through Saturdays from 5:30AM until 10PM, and Sundays from 7:30AM until 10:30PM.

Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow hours

The entryway was the same as just about every other Cathay Pacific lounge I’ve been to, with a marble wall and a cardboard cutout of a Cathay Pacific flight attendant.

Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow entrance

There were a couple of elevators, which take you up a level, where the lounge is located.

Cathay Pacific Lounge London Heathrow elevators

At the entryway I presented my American first class boarding pass, and was admitted to the first class section of the lounge, which is located just behind the elevators.

At the time I was the only guest in the lounge. While the first class lounge isn’t really stylish, it’s functional and modern. There are a variety of seating options, from couches to individual lounge chairs to the circular red cubicle couch thingies.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow seating

Overall it struck me as a very large first class lounge.

In the back left corner of the lounge was a rack with some magazines and newspapers.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow magazines & newspapers

Next to it was the buffet and dining area. The dining area consisted of a handful of two person tables.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow dining area

Behind the tables was the door to the business class lounge, which is also where the restrooms and showers are located. The door easily opened in both directions, so presumably someone could sneak into the first class lounge if they wanted to.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow door

The buffet itself was quite good for a breakfast buffet.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

It featured fresh fruit, granola, smoothies, fruit parfaits, cereal, oatmeal, croissants, pastries, etc.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

Then there was an espresso machine, as well as tea, cookies, and some outrageously tasty popcorn.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow espresso machine

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow buffet

The alcohol selection was reasonably good as well, both in terms of variety and quality.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow alcohol selection

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow wine selection

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow alcohol selection

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow alcohol selection

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow beverage selection

The lounge looks out over the Terminal 3 tarmac and the runways in the distance, so does boast some nice views.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow view

Cathay Pacific London Heathrow Lounge bottom line

Is this as nice as Cathay Pacific’s flagship First Class Wing Lounge in Hong Kong? Nope.

Is this as nice as some of the other top lounges at Heathrow, like the British Airways Concorde Room and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse? Nope.

But of the three oneworld lounges in Terminal 3 I definitely think it’s the best option. I’d return here any day over the Flagship Lounge or Galleries First Lounge.

How about you — what’s your preferred oneworld lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3?

  1. The best lounge at T3? I’m not so sure. I transit through here frequently and often end up visiting all three of the F lounges. They improved the space in the past year by taking out the computers, but it still feels kind of small to me. I actually like the layout and furnishings of the business lounge better. That said, a lounge review is not really complete without a review of the showers and the CX lounge leaves a lot to be desired here. They are quite cramped and small, and, in my experience, the water temperature can be uneven. AA Flagship is best for showers, and BA First Class lounge is the most spacious. But I always visit CX anyway for the noodles.

    Another small point you did not mention: they do not have universal power plugs, and you must request an adapter from the staff.

  2. Hello Lucky

    So I have an upcoming flight on BA with my wife LHR to ORD on a Saturday morning, I have been to the AA and flagship lounge at LHR but never to the CX lounge. My wife has never been to any of the lounges

    I will be flying F so I can go to either lounge

    Which one do you suggest I take her?

  3. The quality of lounge will be definitely better if it is located in the country/place of origin.

  4. Lucky-I never see lounges this empty. Your images seem to show plenty of empty ones. Is it the time you fly, do you use their images, or are you just working the room to get these shots?

  5. CX lounge at LHR is my #1 choice. After 11 a.m., once the Hong Kong flight departs, it’s empty for a few hours for the most part. Perfect.

  6. @Carlos: I would go to the BA Galleries lounge…pretty good selection of food and drinks IMO.
    Have a safe trip!

  7. @Carlos are you on a codeshare flight operated by AA? If not and is a BA operated flight then you are going from Terminal 5 and there are only BA lounges.

  8. You don’t mention the made to order noodles/wonton window–always worthwhile–although the alcohol selection at BA is MUCH better.

  9. @ Ray — I was there right as the lounge opened at the crack of dawn, so it was still empty. 🙂

  10. @ Carlos — If you’re flying on BA you’ll be departing Terminal 5, and can use the Concorde Room. Enjoy your trip!

  11. The food selection is laughable compared with BA First, where you can order off a menu (their warm goat cheese salad is great) and this is a tiny lounge which can get crowded and feel overwhelmed. BA First is miles better @T3, followed by Cathay (when not crowded) and the horrible AA/Qantas lounge.

  12. Hi Lucky!

    Thanks for the review. Didn’t know there was a Cathay lounge at Heathrow.

    Going to London for the first time in a couple of months, leaving JAL F from LHR to HND. Which lounge do I have access to and which would you recommend?

  13. @ JimC — They depart from T3, so you have access to any of the three oneworld lounges referenced in this post. I’d maybe check out the BA and CX lounges. Enjoy your flight!

  14. Does CX have any good outstation lounges operated by them? I suppose one should also inquire if they have access to any decent outstation lounges period. I suppose the QF F lounge at LAX would be long on that list, what others should join them?

  15. But the BA first lounge has self serve Johnnie Walker Blue… Literally the highlight of any lounge experience for me.

    I can get $100 worth in an hour if I put my mind to it! 😉

  16. @ Dan — Yeah, unfortunately in terms of their own lounges, I don’t find that they operate very many good ones, unfortunately.

  17. Ben,

    Is there a table service or are the tables there just for the buffet?

    If there is a table service, is it restricted at certain hours to First and QFF Chairman’s Lounge, BA Premier etc. guest? In the T3 BA First Lounge table service is restricted at certain hours to First pax and those status holders listed above.

    Lastly, is there a noodle counter in the CX First Lounge at LHR T3?

  18. @ TheRealBabushka — I don’t believe there’s table service. I think you can just sit there if you want something from the buffet. I believe there is a noodle bar in the business class section of the lounge.

  19. Best lounge in T3.

    The two best features are the noodle bar and the Glenlivet water (which is now served in the BA lounges as well).

  20. My IAD-LHR flight arrives Terminal 5 but departs from Terminal 1 so BA says I can’t access Concorde because of security……..what do you think is my best option for a 5 hour layover before a LYS flight?

  21. Can Business Class ticket holders on AA access the business class section of the CX lounge? Do they serve noodles on the business class side as well?

  22. I’m flying on an 8am from Helsinki to SFO via LHR. I managed to get an F seat with AA miles on the A380, thanks to the Easter bunny. I wonder if you might share advice on lounge strategy, since Helsinki’s Finnair lounge with sauna seems amazing, but this is an early deparature. And Finnair lands LHR at T3, 9am; and BA287 to SFO departs 1:55pm at T5.

    1. Is it worthwhile to luxuriate early at HEL lounges?
    2. At LHR, would you advise spending time in CX lounge or head directly to T5?
    3. Between T5 lounges, is Concorde Room better than their “First” Lounge?


  23. @ Robert ZinSF — Congrats on finding an award seat in A380 first! Definitely head straight to T5 and go to the Concorde Room, it’s the nicest lounge. Given what a long travel day you have, I probably wouldn’t arrive in HEL unnecessarily early.

  24. @ Ben S – I do. LHR, SFO and CDG are Cathay Pacific’s non-Asian outstation focus cities (among others), so they operate lounges there. JFK and LAX are kind of focus cities too, with 4-5 flights a day, but they’re monopolies, so Cathay Pacific doesn’t need to worry about competition. While (see my reviews, linked above) Cathay Pacific doesn’t have an absolutely perfect business class experience, it isn’t bad, and definitely trumps other airlines on the route, so Cathay Pacific opens lounges to make other airlines running LHR-HKG, SFO-HKG and CDG-HKG (BA, VS, UA, AF etc) feel threatened in the market. Sorry for my late reply 😀

  25. @ Ben S – Ooh, left out my most important point. By getting to the flagship BA lounge/flagship AA lounge/flagship JL lounge (or something), passengers start to go “ooh, this lounge is great, possibly better than CX”. Demand for other airlines increase as prices start to turn towards them on the other airlines (Cathay Pacific’s price point is really high on most routes). Cathay needs to keep competition so directs others into their lounges, even though ultimately they’re still allowed into flagships, which is why we have the industry that’s so interested in the lounge market (e.g. Lucky and I). Which is what makes us readers awesome! 😀

  26. If I am flying in F aboard BA to MIA, will I be departing from T3 or T5?
    I would sure love to visit the ConcordRoom.

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