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During my last-minute AAdvantage partner EQD and mileage run on British Airways to Barcelona via London Heathrow (LHR), I recently had the opportunity to check out the new Qantas lounge for business and first class passengers in Terminal 3.
While the new lounge does not yet appear on the OneWorld lounge access page, access eligibility is listed outside the lounge, noting that OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald members (American Airlines’ Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum) can access the lounge with a guest when traveling on a OneWorld ticket. Access is also available for Qantas customers travelling in First and Business, Qantas Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and their guests as well as Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold customers and Qantas Club members and their guests. The lounge is open daily from 8am to 8:30pm.
The new Qantas lounge can be found in the Lounge B area — next to the Cathay Pacific lounge and American Airlines Admirals Club.
The exterior of the lounge featured a wood-paneled Qantas logo and glass doors . Friendly staff inside were very excited to welcome passengers to the brand-new lounge, which can accommodate 230 customers.
The gin bar is the first feature of the lounge that you will notice after entering, featuring a display of 14 different varieties of gin.
The gin bar area also had dining tables set with silverware and glassware.
The gin bar menu was straightforward, but the design of the menu could use some refinement. Notes such as the country of origin, history, and flavor profiles about the variety of gins on offer would be a welcome addition. Likewise details on the different tonics would be great to know too.
I opted for a Four Pillars gin with an aromatic tonic, which gave the drink its pink color.
The glassware felt more luxurious and substantial than a cheap bar glass.
A detail of some of the 14 gins available at the downstairs gin bar, including Four Pillars, Hendricks, multiple varieties of Sipsmith, The Botanist, and Opihr.
More seating on the first level on the back side of the gin bar.
The gin bar area on the first level also featured a small spread of treats as well as fresh food.
After a beverage downstairs I had a quick look around upstairs at the second level of the lounge. While I opted to partake of the first class table dining menu in the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge next door, I wish I would have visited here first to have more time to spend in the brand new lounge.
The ceiling above the staircase leading to the upper lounge area.
The gold and marble staircase leads you up to the upper level, where you are greeted by the marble circular bar.
The main upstairs marble circular bar features a brass chandelier, with staff serving cocktails designed by the Qantas Rockpool Mixologists.
The upstairs area also featured a couch and television, as well as a display board with flight details.
Power outlets and wifi were available at many seats upstairs.
There was plenty of seating in the lounge area upstairs, and the lounge did not feel crowded.
In the lounge announcement Qantas says the menus are designed by Rockpool with a Sofitel service experience and a la carte service in the dining room with a selection of plates of the day. Some are “quintessential British dishes such as ploughman’s platters, pot pies and scones with jam and cream,” others are “Australian favourites such as healthy brunch bowls with eggs, avocado and kale, and zucchini and haloumi fritter.” You;ll also find the “signature salt and pepper squid with green chilli sauce from the Qantas First Lounges.”
More salad and fresh food options, as well as tea, coffee, and “Quench” water choices, both still and sparking.
When I visited, the scones were on display as well as four different salad choices on the menu, cream of cauliflower soup, chicken tikka masala, vegetarian biryani, and more.
The upstairs buffet area offered both hot food items as well as salad options. More seating is available across from the second floor buffet, but I opted to not take any photos to avoid intruding on the guests dining there. There are also six brand new shower suites that I wish I would have had time for, so I would definitely add this to the top of my list for a long layover on my next trip.
This new lounge is a welcome addition to London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, especially since it is open to both OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald status members. Qantas will have three hub options between Australia and UK/Europe in March 2018 including a daily Sydney to London A380 service via Singapore, a daily 787 Dreamliner service from Melbourne via Perth to London and daily services via Dubai with partner Emirates, and this lounge should be a welcome amenity for Qantas travelers about to embark on the world’s longest nonstop flight.
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