Lounging around Heathrow T3 – Long Way Home
In this adventure:
- I’ve got to stop looking at odd routings and thinking they’re good ideas
- Sleep? What’s that concept? Off to Heathrow T3
- Lounge Fight – Cathay Pacific and American Airlines Lounges
- AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- The Nutella Cafe
- Fooding Around Chicago
- The Canon 100D – Good for aviation photography?
- Camera shift – from EOS 6D to EOS R
- Back to O’Hare, Air France Lounge
- AY10 Chicago to Helsinki Vantaa… with Air Italy?
- 2 hours and 20 in Vantaa
- AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- Busing back
- Long Way Home or short way back?
So, I had three choices of lounges – the British Airways lounge, the American Airlines lounge or the Cathay Pacific Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (as the Qantas lounge isn’t open early in the morning).
We all know that British Airways lounges can be exercises in disappointment – so I decided on my usual first choice of lounge at Heathrow T3 – the Cathay Pacific lounge.
Cathay Pacific Business Class Heathrow Lounge
I was welcomed in the to the lounge and directed to the business class side of the lounge. I’ve got no problem with this – as the Cathay lounge is great in general.
The thing to watch here, however – has the lounge degraded or improved in any way? Let’s have a look
Well, the good news is the lounge hasn’t changed much at all. Things have bedded in, and the lounge is very settled with its design as well as looks and operation
After making my way in, first stop was at the noodle bar. My breakfast order was taken, and I continued to have a look around the lounge.
With a glass of bubbles in hand, and my noodles arriving shortly after – things were good.
Well Well as good as things could be at 5:40 in the morning.
The noodle dishes were of good quality as always, with two small bowls of noodles making for a more than adequate breakfast.
And of course, the char siu bun is as cute as always in the steamer
Service was top notch, with staff managing the lounges areas were clear. The one thing to note was that the airport seemed… quiet.
This can work to your favour when you’re not awake.
I also grabbed a few hot items from the a la carte menu – mainly to try them out. Again, the quality as constant.
There were various drink options, but again – there’s one thing I love about this lounge – and its the water dispenser.
I try to reuse water bottles where I can, so having the ability to fill up a water bottle at an airport is a wonderful thing. This dispenser can do:
- Cold water (bottom button)
- Hot water (two buttons on the left and right together)
- Sparking Water (top button)
It’s a small, but welcome thing to see in lounges – and I do wish more lounges installed these sorts of taps.
And this lounge has remained at a high-quality level every time I’ve been through it since the lounge has opened formally (we’ll ignore the time when it soft opened, and they forgot to activate the lifts)
That’s something to be welcomed when travelling – be it on a premium or cheap ticket.
With the time till boarding closing in, I did a lounge switch and switched to the American Airlines lounge.
The lounge is a good distance closer to the gate complex firstly. It’s also a good place to be if there are delays or unscheduled changes.
And it’s also good to double check loads and capacities.
I was buzzed into the American Airlines lounge – and checked the status of the middle seat. With check-in gone to closed, it would be a good indicator of how busy the flight would be. And it seems my luck would hold this trip with the middle seat free.
Which on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner – is important. As airlines try and cram in seats aboard the 787, passenger experience has taken a major hit in economy class with tight seats and tight aisles – to the point where I’ve ended up in all sorts of positions to be conformable. A free middle seat would mean comfort – or a Eurobusiness type of space on the plane for the flight to Chicago.
The American Airlines Lounge remains as it has done the past few visits – it’s nice to see those high-quality soft points still being seen to – in terms of food and beverages – as well as the traditional sweet stand.
This is another thing I like about this lounge – it brings a bit of Britishness into the American Lounge with traditional “Pick’n’Mix sweets“. Good for taking a bag on the plane with too!
The furnishings could do with a little love as well a the lighting though.. Which is a bit dull.
Nonetheless, things were reasonable. Enough to get some water in and relax before the joy of flight
With the plane called for boarding. I headed to the gate.
With it going from the far end of Terminal 3 (Gate 3-28) it was a trek down the travelators and beyond.
I was blipped through by the gate agents and then cleared by the security agents. I then stopped to grab my traditional pre-take-off photo of the plane.
And was stopped because there was and I quote “security agents on the ground”.
I’m still publishing the image because unless you’re pixel peeping, there’s squat all going on here.
As Group 3 had already been called, I headed aboard the waiting Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ready for the flight to Chicago
Next: AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International... and maybe some fairy lights.
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