Review: Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3


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The refurbishment of the Cathay Pacific lounges at Heathrow T3 was completed late last year but, thanks to the fact that I’ve been seriously cutting down on my travel with American Airlines (with whom I used to fly from Heathrow T3 quite a bit), I haven’t had an opportunity to visit them until just recently.

The opportunity to visit the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge arose thanks to a rare trip I took with American Airlines a couple of weeks ago and, as my upgrade out of Economy Class was looking more and more doubtful as the departure day grew closer, the opportunity to check out the new lounge was keeping me smiling 🙂

Lounge Access Rules & Opening Times

The lounge is open 7 days a week between 05:30 and 22:30

Access is available, on the day of travel, to passengers booked into a First Class cabin on a flight operated and marketed by a oneworld airline.

It’s also available to oneworld Emerald status holders traveling on a flight operated and marketed by a oneworld airline (in any cabin) on the day of travel.

Both First Class flyers and Emerald status holders may bring one guest into the First Class lounge providing that guest is traveling on a flight operated and marketed by a oneworld airline.

Lounge Location

Finding the new Cathay Pacific lounges at Terminal 3 is simple:

  • Proceed through airport security and head out of the main airside shopping area following signs for departure gate 11.
  • As you exit the shopping area you’ll be presented with a T-junction at which you should turn left
  • Ahead of you, on the right hand side, you’ll see a sign that reads “Lounge C” and, upon closer inspection, you’ll see the Cathay Pacific logo on the sign too.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3 

Both the First and Business Class lounges are one level up from the gates and can be accessed using one of the two elevators provided.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3 

As soon as the elevator doors open the lounge check-in desk is straight ahead (you can just see the corner of the desk in the picture below)…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3 

…and the hallway you see above leads to the Business Class lounge and the spa/showers.

The entrance to the First Class lounge is on the same wall as the elevator doors, opposite the check-in desk.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3 

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

The Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge At Heathrow T3

The first thing I noticed as I looked into the lounge was how bright it was – it was a sunny day in London and the lounge was looking good.

You enter into the lounge via a short corridor which leads to one of the two main seating areas……

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

……which, on this occasion, were bathed in light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling the lounge has along one entire side……

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…….looking out over the airport apron:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

As you walk into the lounge, on the right and just before you reach the first seating area, is a galley-style snack and drink area which Cathay Pacific calls “the Pantry”:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

This is where you’ll find a selection of teas and cookies…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

….a coffee machine….

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…fresh fruit, scones, clotted cream and various conserves/preserves…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…..chips (crisps), olives and dips (including guacamole, humus, feta and tzatzsiki):

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

A the end of the food area is a tall refrigerator with more snacks and drinks.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

On this occasion the fridge contained a selection of small sandwiches….

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…..cheeses…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…and chilled non-alcoholic drinks:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Around the corner (to the right) of the refrigerator is a small seating area with a sofa, a few chairs.

The floor-to-ceiling windows are on one side while, on the opposite side is a big screen TV:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

All along the window wall are recliner chairs which turned out to be my favorite place to relax….

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Just as in the Pier First Class lounge in Hong Kong, the lounge has cleverly positioned power outlets within easy reach of the seats.

They’re hidden within the tables next to the seat:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Just pull out the drawer and you find two UK-style power outlets and 4 USB ports.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Back in the first main seating area there are a good choice of seats…all of which appeared pretty comfortable:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Further in to the lounge (which turned out not to be very big) is the second main seating area…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

….and a pretty well stocked bar:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Most of the spirits selection didn’t look very “premium” to me (plain Black Label Whisky, regular Jack Daniels etc…) although the Gins (Bombay Sapphire and Sipsmith) were good choices.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

There were various wines on offer and I was pleased to see Moet as one of the two Champagne choices on offer (what can I say? I like Moert 🙂 )

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Lastly, where in Tokyo you’ll find beers like Asahi and Kirin on draught (I don’t recall what I saw in Hong Kong), the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge in London offers Carlsberg:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Just past the bar area is the far end of the lounge where you’ll find another wall of glass windows and a bookcase with newspapers and periodicals.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Just off the second seating area is probably the most important part of the lounge and what really differentiates the First & Business Class lounges – the dining room.

This has been decorated in a very similar style to the Pier in Hong Kong although, with around just 10 tables, it’s considerably smaller.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

On the grounds that it would be criminal not to try out the menu I decided to see what was on offer.

The menu (click to enlarge) – for the avoidance of doubt, there are no prices on the menu as everything is free:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific has brought its famous noodle bar to London Heathrow and, although it’s in the Business Class lounge, the servers in the First Class lounge will still happily go and pick up whatever you’d like to order.

For my starter I ordered the “Avocado and hot smoked salmon timbale with French dressing”

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

It was beautifully fresh and flavourful – perfect for the sunny day we were having.

I couldn’t turn down the noodle bar and, as I knew the portions wouldn’t be large, I move on to the “Wonton Noodles in Soup”:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

It was delicious!

Next, and lastly or I may have exploded, I had a selection of dim sum on the advice of the lady serving in the dining room:

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

These were very well cooked – done to perfection – and a great way to round off the meal.

After the meal I realised that I was running short of time and that I would have to head to the gate soon….but there was just enough time to check out the shower rooms that are shared by both lounges.

It was very quiet all during my visit so there was no line for the showers (that was lucky!) although I would recommend checking how busy things are as soon as you arrive in you plan on freshening up before your flight.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

Besides pointing out the mind-blowingly expensive toiletries that the shower rooms are equipped with…..

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow T3

…..I can’t really pass too much comment on the facilities as I did little but photograph them…still, they looked nice 🙂

Bottom Line

The Cathay Pacific First Class lounge isn’t particularly big so I worry that, at busy times (i.e when Cathay has flights departing), it could get a bit crowded. During my visit, however, it was blissfully quiet and almost deserted – I loved it!

If there is a negative I’d say it’s the quality of the alcohol on offer – it wasn’t high end. When the British Airways First Class lounge serves Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky it’s strange to see Cathay’s equivalent lounge only offering pretty-basic Black label.

Not an issue for me as I really couldn’t care less about the spirits on offer….but I’m very aware that others will notice.

Still…..

The staff were all super friendly, everything was clean, the food was delicious and the lounge served my favorite entry-level champagne – for me, this was a very good visit and I’m looking forward to going back in a few weeks time.