In addition to its excellent Hong Kong first class lounges The Pier and The Wing, Cathay Pacific also operates a network of lounges at some of its destinations. One such lounge is the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge inside Heathrow airport’s Terminal 3.
Unlike its counterparts at Cathay Pacific’s home base, this lounge shares some facilities with the adjacent business class lounge. Passengers admitted to the First Class Lounge are free to wander into the Business Class Lounge and experience the facilities there, including one of Cathay Pacific’s signature noodle bars, without leaving the overall Cathay Pacific lounge area.
On my recent trip to Asia, I started my journey at Heathrow and had a chance to visit this lounge. As a Cathay Pacific Diamond member (Oneworld Emerald), I’ve been privileged to visit many of Cathay Pacific’s lounges across – so let’s see how the London Heathrow lounge shapes up!
Location, Opening Hours & Entry Requirements
Cathay Pacific’s lounges at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 are located just behind the main airside departure lounge/retail area. At Terminal 3, each frequent flyer lounge is given a letter code. The Cathay Pacific lounges are “Lounge C” located close to gate 11.
The Cathay Pacific Lounge at Heathrow is open every day from 05:30 to 21:00 or until Cathay’s last departure on the day, whichever is later.
Heathrow’s Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge is, like most other Oneworld first class lounges, open to the following passengers:
- Cathay Pacific first class passengers including one guest
- Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Diamond status holders including two guests traveling on a Cathay Pacific, Oneworld, or codeshare flight
- Oneworld Emerald members one guests traveling on a Cathay Pacific, Oneworld, or codeshare flight
These days, not that many of Cathay’s aircraft are fitted out with a first class cabin and there are only limited flights from London where First Class is available. Plus, in any case, Cathay’s first class cabin on its 777-300ER only has six seats. Therefore, most of the passengers in the lounge tend to be top-tier status holders.
To enter the lounge area you need to take one of two signed lifts from level 1 to level 2. The lifts open out directly into the lounge reception area where I was greeted by three smiling and welcoming Cathay Pacific uniformed staff.
When I asked to take a picture, they moved out of the way, perhaps they were camera shy!
Then, my boarding pass was checked and I was directed to the First Class Lounge area, the entrance to which is near the reception area.
First Class Lounge
The first thing to say is that, unlike the first class lounges at Hong Kong Airport, this lounge is relatively small, but I would say it’s perfectly formed. It has all you need and you have the benefit of freely wandering over to the much larger Business Class Lounge area without having to leave the overall lounges area.
The main part of the First Class Lounge consists of two intimate lounge areas with a selection of seating options, including leather sofas.
There is also a nice row of leather lounger seats lined up along a panoramic window looking over one of the aprons. These seats are always the most popular!
In addition to these seating areas, there is an a la carte dining room. These ‘restaurant’ style eating options are what sets Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounges apart from its Business Class Lounges. More on this later.
In the lounge seating areas, you will find an array of different buffet-style food and drink options. There’s a nice glass-fronted refrigerator full of tasty items such as sandwiches, smoothies, and yogurts.
Next to this is a hot snack display, with vegetable samosas available on the day I visited, and a coffee machine with pastries to accompany. A selection of teas is also available.
There’s also a help-yourself drinks bar, always a good option for an airline lounge I think! There’s plenty of choice – champagnes, wines, spirits, beers, bottled water, and soft drinks.
The a la carte dining room is accessed directly from one of the lounge seating areas. There’s a host desk and you may have to wait for a table if the lounge is very busy.
There’s a good choice of starters, main courses, and desserts available, including vegetarian options. I was not feeling that hungry so I opted for courgette soup followed by pan-fried Parmesan polenta. If you’re feeling like a western style treat, this lounge always has fish and chips and a very tasty burger on its daily menu.
Business Class Lounge
I took a quick walk into the Business Class Lounge. As you enter the lounge you will find one of the ever-popular Cathay Pacific noodle bars with a large seating area.
The noodle bar serves items such as wonton noodle soup, barbeque pork noodles, and my favorite dan dan mien!
Beyond the noodle bar, you enter the main Business Class Lounge with its staffed bar, and a range of seating areas, including a space at the rear of the lounge with work cubicles.
The First and Business Class Lounges share restroom and shower facilities. They are accessed from the corridor that connects the two.
Both facilities are immediately identifiable as Cathay Pacific facilities with Cathay’s signature interior design concept and both are stocked with high-quality Bamford toiletries.
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London Heathrow Summary
I like this lounge, although due to its size, it can get busy.
Unlike Cathay’s lounges at Hong Kong airport which tend to have a fairly consistent occupancy level because of the consistent schedule there, the Cathay Pacific First Lounge at London Heathrow has busy and less busy times because of the nature of the London schedule. So, the only downside of this lounge is that it feels a little crowded during those peak times.
Regardless, you’ll always get that wonderful Cathay Pacific service whenever you visit!