As the famous “Kangaroo” route between London and Sydney kicks back into gear with the easing of travel restrictions, Qantas’ London Heathrow lounge will be getting an influx of new passengers through its doors. But how does this space measure up to the other oneworld alliance lounges on offer next door? During a recent trip through Terminal 3, I found a relaxed vibe at the Qantas lounge, and experienced excellent service. But the workspace left something to be desired.
I arrived at the lounge in the morning and was welcomed by friendly staffers who directed me to the restaurant area. I was immediately struck by the spaciousness of the interior. The lounge has a duplex style layout with windows at the front of both floors looking out onto the apron; it was airy and light, very much like a cruise ship atrium.
I headed immediately to the restaurant for some breakfast. The tables were arranged to accommodate a seated service, and menus were provided. The staff members were friendly and attentive, with the lounge’s Sofitel hotel connection displayed on their badges.
The menu featured classic Australian brunch items, with a selection of national wines and drinks available. The coffee was, in typical Aussie fashion, excellent, but the sparkling wine on offer was as a bit sour.
I plumped for eggs royale (called ‘benedict with salmon’ on the menu, weirdly), which was delicious and very filling. Cold breakfast items were also available in the restaurant and on a buffet upstairs.
Following the excellent breakfast, I made my way upstairs to crack on with some work, checking out the lounge en route. It is a very bright space with panelled walls, sofas and armchairs around tables, and banquettes in the rear.
As I ascended the stairs, I was greeted by a circular bar and barista station, which is the focus of the space. Everything was very well appointed with leather and plush fabric. The bright colours and wood accents created a marine club aesthetic that felt very Qantas.
Following my tour, I settled down with my laptop. The “business centre” on the upper floor is a long desk/shelf built into the back of the banquette lounge area. The desk was wide and deep, with plugs and USB sockets. The seats were plush, but completely nonadjustable. Whilst it felt expensive, the lack of proper office chairs was a disappointment.
Somewhat bizarrely, the desks are located right next to the children’s playroom. Since the door was kept open, people were coming and going constantly.
Not only that, but parents would sit down in the seats near to the room to keep an eye on their children while they ran around playing. The proximity of the workspace to this area was very confusing.
It was impossible to make calls because of the background noise, and even with noise cancelling headphones I felt very distracted. The layout of the space could easily be adjusted to remedy this issue.
Once the Qantas flight left, and passengers exited, the staff came around to reset the space and clean up, using quiet vacuums which was appreciated.
The restaurant closed after most passengers departed, but the self-service food section was kept replenished with hot and cold light dishes, including soup and jacket potatoes, and cold snacks.
Shortly before I left for my own departure, I checked out the showers. These were bright and very clean, continuing the beachy vibe, with Li’Tya shower products that were functional. The towels and bath mats were self-service and seemed quite worn.
On balance, I enjoyed the lounge. It is a fresh and inviting space, with excellent food and comfortable seating. However, the weak business offering was a let down, as was its proximity to especially noisy parts of the lounge.
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Featured image credited to Fintan Horan-Stear