A relatively rare visit to London Heathrow Terminal 3 afforded us the perfect excuse to check out Qantas’ recently opened lounge in London.
At the outset, our review comes with one significant caveat.
Qantas has just two flights from London a day. One at 11:55 and another at 20:45. Alas, we were not flying to Australia so our visit was between these flights. The lounge was virtually empty. Indeed, at times there were more staff than passengers!
Whilst this was a great opportunity to enjoy a very quiet and peaceful lounge in a busy terminal at a very busy airport, we’re unable to judge how effectively it operates at peak times before Qantas flights leave Heathrow.
Also, some services, namely a la carte dining on the ground level, were not on offer at the time of our visit.
The lounge itself is easy to locate. Once you have cleared Fast Track security in Terminal 3 simply walk straight through the passenger waiting area and the lounge entrance is straight ahead. Lounges in Terminal 3 are assigned a letter for signage and navigation purposes. Qantas is Lounge B. The Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and American Airlines lounges are a short distance away. Continue reading “Qantas London Heathrow Lounge Review”
Qantas has officially opened its new lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3. The lounge opens to passengers on Wednesday 29 November 2017.
Designed by Woods Bagot the lounge is split over two levels and features:
– An at seat dining area with a la carte menus
– Hot and cold buffet food
– A marble cocktail bar, overlooked by a brass chandelier
– A separate gin bar
– An all day barista coffee service
– A “Quench” hydration station with tisane, fruit infused water, sparkling water
– Six shower suites
As you can see from the pictures and video below wood and marble feature extensively throughout. Whilst Qantas lounges outside of Australia are relatively few and far between this is a typically high quality addition.
The lounge is open from 8am to 8.30pm daily. Passengers flying business and first class on Oneworld airlines are eligible to enter the lounge as are Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald cardholders. Qantas Club members and Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold customers are also eligible.
In a little under six months Qantas will launch direct flights from London Heathrow to Perth. If the route is a success it will herald the start of a new era in aviation with direct flights to Brisbane and Sydney likely to follow.
Preparations for the launch moved a step closer this week as Qantas first Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner arrived in Sydney bearing the name “Great Southern Land”. Whilst Qantas is a little late getting on the Dreamliner bus, the airline is seizing the opportunity to reassert itself in international travel.
Qantas’ Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will operate on scheduled international flights on Melbourne to Los Angeles from Friday 15 December 2017. London Heathrow to Perth to follow on Sunday 25 March 2018, by which time Qantas will have four Dreamliners in its fleet. As is par the course for new aircraft types, Qantas will operate the Dreamliner on selected domestic flights in Australia for crew training and familiarisation purposes. Continue reading “Qantas readies for non-stop London – Perth flights”
The changes were announced today as Qantas and Emirates are to extend their partnership for a further five years. However, due to regulatory reasons Emirates will not be able to codeshare on Qantas operated services from London to Singapore and London to Perth.
Qantas announced its annual financial results in Sydney today. The airline posted a healthy profit before tax of AUD$1.4bn. This is a sharp turnaround in fortunes for Qantas after it reported a record loss of AUD$2.8bn three years ago. Much of the turnaround has been achieved through a restructuring of its international network.
Qantas has also today given a firm expression of interest in launching non-stop flights between London and Sydney by 2022.
Qantas has tasked aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to produce new aircraft under development, the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range and the Boeing 777X respectively, with sufficient range to operate London to Sydney non-stop with no restrictions on passenger loads.
Qantas claim that a non-stop flight between London and Sydney could shave four hours off the journey time.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce commented:
“From next year we’ll be flying direct from Perth to London, which is a huge leap forward. We believe advances in technology in the next few years will make Sydney to London direct a possibility and Qantas is well placed to be the airline to do it.
“Any aircraft purchase would have to meet strict financial thresholds, but these direct flights would be revolutionary for air travel in Australia.”
Airlines do not ordinarily give away commercial decisions on route launches away years in advance, and this is a very public message aimed squarely at aircraft manufacturers to sharpen their pencils.
It is also axiomatic that the viability of non-stop flights from London to Sydney will depend on how non-stop flights to Perth are received, both in terms of cabin comfort and whether passengers, particularly those at the front of the aircraft, are willing to pay a premium for non-stop services.
Personally, we would love to see non-stop flights to Sydney and for Qantas to rebuild its presence in London back to four flights a day.
Following the news today that Qantas is to fly direct from London Heathrow to Perth from Sunday 25 March 2018, Qantas has also confirmed it is to also withdraw its service from London Heathrow to Melbourne via Dubai, operated with the Airbus A380.
Instead, passengers wishing to travel between London and Melbourne courtesy of Qantas can either fly on an Emirates codeshare service with a change of aircraft in Dubai.
Qantas has today unveiled its new premium economy seat which is due to operate on Qantas’ non-stop Boeing 787-900 flights between London Heathrow and Perth from March 2018.
At the time Qantas announced the launch of non-stop flights between London and Perth it kept details of its premium economy seats under wraps, whilst hailing it as revolutionary. Today Qantas has unveiled the seat and some aspects of the premium economy cabin design.
This week’s Australian Financial Review magazine carries an extensive feature on Qantas. It is well worth a read. Much of the feature focuses on the work Qantas is doing to prepare for non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth.
These flights are due to go on sale in April 2017 in advance of the route’s launch in March 2018. Whilst Qantas is still keeping some details under wraps, such its new premium economy seat, it has given the AFR some insight into its preparations for the new route. Specifically, Qantas is looking at the whole “ultra long-haul” in flight experience. This includes the design and timing of in flight meals, cabin lighting and in-flight announcements.
Qantas Airways is to launch a new direct non-stop route from London Heathrow to Perth in Western Australia from March 2018.
This is the first scheduled non-stop direct link between Europe and Australia.
There have been non-stop flights between Europe and Australia in the past, but only as one-off charter flights with a significantly lighter weight.
At a distance of 14,498 kilometres and a fight time of approximately 17 hours, this will be one of the longest “ultra long haul” non-stop flights in the world. This is a time saving of 3-4 hours on one stop services.
Qantas has yet to announce the exact departure and arrival times of the flights and flights will not go on sale until April 2017. If Qantas is to use departure slots from its existing Heathrow portfolio a departure time of around either 12 midday or 10pm is likely.