It’s not often an airline lounge merits a second review within the space of 18 months.
Having reviewed American Airlines’ London Heathrow Arrivals lounge on a late morning visit last year, here’s second review at a much earlier hour in the day.
First, let’s quickly recap its location and facilities:
Lounge Location and Opening Hours
The lounge is located on the 2nd floor of the arrivals section of Terminal 3.
Once you have cleared immigration and customs, follow the signs for the American Airlines arrivals lounge and take a lift to the 2nd floor. The lounge entrance is immediately in front of you.
In the past year, the lounge opening hours have been extended from 05:00 to 15:30 daily.
Lounge Access Criteria
The simple explanation is that you can use this lounge when arriving at London Heathrow Terminal 3 in First or business class on American Airlines, BA, Cathay Pacific, or Qantas.
Arrivals lounges do not fall within normal Oneworld alliance reciprocal access rules.
However, there are lounge access entitlements for Oneworld Emerald, BA Premier, American Airlines Concierge Key card holders. These are detailed in full on the American Airlines website.
The lounge facilities include:
- Self-service luggage storage area
- Private shower suites and bathrooms
- Valet pressing service
- Hot & cold food buffet & a la carte menus with table service
- A wide variety of seating, with many having at-seat power
- Business centre with PCs & copier-printers
- Newspapers, magazines, and two live TV screens
- Complimentary WiFi
As you can see the shower suites are well-sized and well maintained:
The lounge features an extensive self-service buffet.
Starting from the left hand side of the lounge, you’ll find juices, cereals, dried fruit and, if you feel so inclined, all you need to make your own Bloody Mary.
Moving on, there’s a cold selection of cold meats and cheeses and pots of berries and vanilla bircher muesli with pumpkin seeds; greek yoghurt with berry compote and granola; and fresh fruit salad.
Also available are a “heartbeat” smoothie made from beetroot, mango and carrot or a “pash ‘n’ shoot” smoothie with pineapple, mango and passion fruit. Later in the day, these are replaced with brunch items.
In terms of hot options, there’s a full English breakfast comprising scrambled egg, Cumberland sausage, bacon, slow roasted tomatoes; parsley chestnut mushrooms and baked beans.
To end the self-service options, there are a full range of hot drinks. Also not pictured are well stocked fridges offering Diet Coke, Coke, Schweppes Tonics, and Evian/Harrogate Spring bottled water.
A La Carte Options
You do also have the option of ordering a la carte items.
The menu does change occasionally but a typical menu includes Eggs Benedict, Eggs Royale, American Pancakes and a full English Breakfast and, of course, that London brunch staple, Smashed Avocado On Toast:
Other Lounge Facilities
The lounge also includes a business centre which, from experience, seems rarely used.
Overall, this is a great facility to have. It’s well run and staff do a very good job of attending to tables and keeping the lounge tidy. It is much smaller than the BA Arrivals Lounge in Terminal 5, but seems more than adequately sized to cater for the volume of passengers.
To pick a couple of faults. First, as this lounge is geared towards business traveller, the seating is geared towards passengers travelling solo. There are no large tables or benches. If you’re travelling as a family or in a group, you’ll need to shift the chairs around a bit to sit together!
Also, the decor does veer a little towards the corporate side. The design of most airline lounges has to reflect the fact they are used for almost all of the day. For a lounge that is primarily used early in the morning, it could perhaps be a little brighter.
American is due to open a new Flagship lounge in the departures area of Terminal 3 in the medium term. If it combines the design of its Flagship lounges in the US with the catering and service of this lounge, then it should impress.
Disclosure: This review was carried out as part of a self-funded trip.