The beautiful new Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3 is a lovely spot when transiting this airport that can be a mess. There are several good lounges in Terminal 3, and I think this new lounge is high on the list.
On a recent trip I had the pleasure to visit the soft opening of the renovated Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge in Terminal 3. First Class Lounge access on international flights is one of my favorite benefits of being a Oneworld Emerald. After many years as an elite on United, many things about traveling on American and Oneworld are still somewhat novel to me.
I was flying American Airlines back to the US, so I would depart from Terminal 3 at Heathrow. There are lots of lounges in T3, some of which are available via Priority Pass. There are multiple options for Oneworld elites, including First and Business lounges from American, Cathay Pacific and British Airways. The Virgin Clubhouse is also in T3, which is an amazing lounge, but obviously I wouldn’t be visiting there today.
Cathay Pacific has had lounges in Heathrow T3 for some time, but they have been under renovation for more than a year. They used this renovation to expand, taking over space from the Singapore Airlines lounge space, when they moved to Terminal 2. Now there are dedicated First and Business Class lounge spaces, although things like the showers and toilets are shared. The lounges reopened in early December 2016.
My flight arrived from Dubai, I landed in the early morning and had a long layover. After a short bus ride from Terminal 5, I cleared Fast Track security in Terminal 3, went to the Admirals Club reception area to get the sticker on my boarding pass that proves I’ve answered the intrusive security questions that are unfortunately part of departing LHR on American. I spent a short time in the AA International First Class Lounge (formerly the Flagship Lounge). I find this among the best lounges I’ve visited in the American system, I was more interested in visiting the new Cathay Pacific Lounge.
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge, London Heathrow
The Cathay Pacific lounge complex is in Lounge C of the departures area of LHR Terminal 3. When I arrived, the lounge was mostly deserted, and while is slowly filled up, there was never a crowd. I was welcomed by the lounge agent who pointed me towards the First Class area. From the reception desk, the First Class Lounge is just on the right, and then the Business Class lounge is a little further down. Shower rooms are all the way down the hall, and toilets are on the left side of the hall.
I spent most of my time in the First Class lounge, but I did check out most of the space in the whole complex. The design of the First Class lounge reminds me of the flagship Pier lounge in Hong Kong. Being one of the only guests, the staff seemed anxious to help. I wanted to just relax a bit before eventually sitting down for a meal.
The First Class side of the lounge is not huge, but the areas are separated, so there are a few different seating options. Coming from the reception area, the lounge is long and thin, and the dining area is off to one side. Food and drink is located in the middle of the lounge. Here’s a quick photo tour:
Drink selection was pretty extensive, although there are more top shelf liquor choices, especially whiskey in the British Airways Galleries First Lounge. For example Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge has Johnny Walker Black, but Blue Label is available in the BA lounge.
Cathay Pacific First Class Dining area
There are various dining options in the lounge, although I opted for a more formal meal in the dining area. Breakfast was on offer when I was there, but as I was getting ready to leave it looked like things were changing over to lunch.
Similar to other Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges, there is a sit down dining area. After skipping an arrival meal on my inbound flight, and only snacking in the AA lounge, I was finally ready to eat. There are only 8 tables in the dining area, so I imagine this could fill up as the lounge gets busier. In fact, by the time I ate, half of the tables were in use.
I don’t typically eat eggs for breakfast, at least not every day, so I was content to have granola. Healthy? Maybe so, but I was saving room for something later. Stay tuned for that.
Cathay Pacific Lounge Shower Rooms
After enjoying my meal, I decided to take a shower. I’m sure my fellow passengers would appreciate that after an overnight flight from Dubai, then a long flight to Chicago. I asked at the reception about shower availability, and I got the sense that none were in use. I checked in with the staff in the shower reception area, and was quickly pointed to an open shower room.
The shower rooms were well equipped, with luggage storage, a sink and vanity with some space and a toilet. The shower itself was decent sized, with both a handheld shower and an overhead waterfall shower.
There are various amenities in the shower rooms, and most of the items are Aesop branded. Shower and sink have larger dispensers of these items. In addition there is a large array of other items available upon request. I wanted to shave, so I asked for some shaving cream, and the shaving set was provided containing both cream and a disposable razor.
After the refreshing shower, I returned to the lounge to enjoy the view and catch up on some work. WiFi in the lounge seemed quick, and I was pretty productive. I’m admittedly geeky about this stuff, but I really enjoyed the comfortable setting, where I could both work and watch planes. Can’t beat that.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge, London Heathrow
I had a little more time before I had to head to my departure gate. Another tradition I have when visiting Cathay Pacific lounges is to eat at the noodle bar. This is located in the Business Class side of the lounge. I came and went a few times between the lounges, and I saw others doing the same. Not sure if more enforcement is needed, but even prior to a departure bank neither lounge seemed busy, not even the smaller First Class lounge.
The Business Class lounge is a little more open, and both wider and longer than the First Class side. There is a fully staffed bar, and several food stations are available as well.
After looking around, I went to the Noodle Bar near the front of the lounge, and put in my order. The Noodle Bar offers various types of noodles and steamed buns. Just place your order and you will get a buzzer to know when the food is ready. There is lots of seating, but I just opted to sit at the bar and wait for my order.
After my noodles, I grabbed a bottle of water for the flight and headed to my gate. My departure gate was on the opposite side of Terminal 3, which is under construction. Even so, it took me less than 10 minutes to get to the gate from the lounge.
In all, I was impressed with the new Cathay Pacific Lounge complex at Heathrow. There are 3 good lounge options in Terminal 3 for Oneworld elites. The First class lounges are even better for those with Emerald status or those flying in First Class. Options are always a good thing, and to me, the Cathay First Class lounge is at the top of my list when departing from Heathrow.