Normally when we fly out of Terminal 3 we use the British Airways lounge. However, this time we decided to make a change. Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld Alliance, so lounge access is available to British Airways Executive Club members with Gold and Silver status or flying in a premium cabin. We have Silver BA status and were travelling in Club Europe. This gave us access to the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge; Gold status or a First Class ticket gets you access to the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge.

The Cathay Pacific Business Class & First Class lounge suite in T3 closed late in 2015 for a complete makeover. It officially re-opened on 7th December and in fact, the lifts that take you up to the lounges still had that smell of newness that is exciting when you go to a place that has only just opened.

Receiving a good reception

As soon as we stepped out of the lift we received a really genuine warm welcome from the lovely lady at the reception desk. There is a single reception desk for both the First and Business lounges. After we were checked in, we were directed to the lounge.

From reception, there is a short corridor that leads to the two lounges and other facilities; loos to the left, showers at the end and the all-important lounges to the right. The Business Class lounge is the second doorway on the right and First Class is, as you might expect, the first.

As we walked into the lounge, the first thing that struck us was how large it felt and how there was a sense of openness to the space. The first thing area of the lounge is the renowned Cathay Pacific Noodle Bar.

The bar offers a selection of noodle dishes and some dim sum, all cooked to order. We didn’t indulge on this occasion, but the dishes we saw on the tables looked very tasty. There is a self-service drinks area, which includes a tap for draft beer (handy if you’ve overdone the chilli sauce on your noodles). For those of us who can’t leave home without an array of tech, every table has two UK sockets with USB ports so you can fuel your devices whilst you fill up on food. For the foodies, there is bar-counter seating so you can watch the chef’s as they create your dish.

Settling in

From the noodle bar, you walk through to the seating area with bar. Between the two areas is the Food Hall, with a food selection, hot and cold beverage station, a large table and some seating. We headed through to the large seating area, which is kitted out with bespoke Solo Chairs furniture.

We made ourselves comfortable at one of the tables by the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the northerly runway. This meant that avgeek Jetset Bart could sit and get all excited as the planes came in to land and taxied past us. (Okay, I have to admit the Qatar Airways A380 was pretty impressive close up).

The chairs in the lounge were very comfortable. The small tables between the chairs have a pull-out shelf that houses two UK sockets and 4 USB ports.

Bar service in the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge

We dropped our bags and went up to the bar, which was very well stocked. There is an impressive selection of wines, spirits and beers, and any airport lounge that has a cocktail menu gets extra points for style. Spirits on offer included Absolut & Stolinacha vodka, Bombay Sapphire & Gordon’s gin, Remy Martin VSOP and Bacardi. Whisky lovers can chose from Canadian Club 12 year, Johnny Walker Black label, Jameson Irish, Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam. The service at the bar was impeccable and the level of service remained high throughout our visit.

Armed with suitable refreshment in the form of glasses of Moet & Chandon champagne, we settled down with some nibbles to relax, post a few tweets, upload some photos on Instagram and do some plane spotting. When we had arrived in the lounge, there were only a few others in there. It began to get a little busier later as people started to arrive for late morning Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. However, despite the increase in visitors, the lounge still felt spacious.

Exploring the facilities

After a little rest (okay, after the first glass of champagne), we did a little exploring of the lounge. Just at the end of the seating area we found The Bureau, a small business area, compete with some very sexy 27″ iMacs. Heading back towards the Noodle Bar we checked out the offerings in the food area.

We had arrived at about 8:30am, so it was within the breakfast service time. For an airport lounge there was an amazing selection. There were hot breakfast options of bacon, sausage, beans, potatoes, scrambled egg & porridge, all of which looked fresh and appetising. (If we’d known it was going to be so good we’d have skipped brekkie at the hotel and had an extra half hour in bed!) As well as the hot food, there was a generous choice of pastries and some cereals. We did succumb to temptation and scoffed a few pastries with our second glass of champers.

The food area had a great selection of juices & other cold beverages, coffee machines and cold snacks fridge. The snacks fridge held a fantastic range of options, that were appealingly presented in glass preserving jars and offered tempting flavour combinations such as ‘Salami Milano with Pickles’ and ‘Grilled Peach and Chicken Salad’.

Feedback and time to fly

Whilst we were at our seats, one of the lounge team came over to see if we’d like another glass of champers and like to take a guest survey. We agreed and she went off to get the iPad for us to do it. She returned with an envelope and was quite apologetic. It seemed that they had done a lot of surveys and the battery had run out, which we found amusing given the number of plugs and USB ports in the lounge.

With boarding time drawing closer we each paid a quick visit to the loos, which again, were impressive. The toilet facilities are shared by the First and Business lounges. They were spotlessly clean and stocked with Aesop soap & moisturiser. It’s not often that that I’m impressed by soap, but the combination of mandarin rind, rosemary leaf & cedar atlas in the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash was a definite winner. We didn’t use the showers, but had we wanted to there are 8 shower suites (again shared by Business and First), also stocked with Aesop toiletries.

It was now time for us to head to our gate. The lounges at T3 are sensibly placed close to the gates, so we didn’t have far to walk. As we left the lounge the host said a cheery goodbye as we waited for the lift.

We made our way to the gate feeling relaxed and happy, which in no small part was down to our visit to the lounge. All in all, an excellent lounge; next time we fly from Heathrow Terminal 3, we’ll be making a beeline for the Cathay Pacific Lounge to repeat the experience.

When is the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 open?

The Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge is open Monday to Saturday from 5:30am until 10:30pm and Sunday from 07:30am until 10:30pm and welcomes:

  • First & Business class passengers on Cathay Pacific flights and those of Oneworld airlines departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3 (American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, JAL, LATAM, Qantas, Royal Jordanian & SriLankan Airlines)
  • Marco Polo Platinum (and two guests), Marco Polo Gold (and one guest) frequent flyers and their Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire equivalents, when on Cathay Pacific or Oneworld flights
  • Marco Polo Silver frequent fliers when on a Cathay Pacific flight

NB: Oneworld flights do not include codeshare flights with non-Oneworld airlines, even those marketed by a Oneworld member but operated by a non-Oneworld carrier, or those operated by a Oneworld member but marketed by a non-Oneworld carrier.