Heathrow Airport Lounges: The Complete Guide (41 Lounges)

ba concorde room lounge london heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room LHR T5 - Photo credit: richardmoross/flickr

London Heathrow airport (IATA code: LHR) has 4 terminals and is one of the world’s busiest international airports. In this guide we will review every single airport lounge at London Heathrow. Now there happens to be 41 Heathrow airport lounges which we believe is the highest number of lounges for any single airport in the world!

heathrow airport lounges by numbers

So whether you are looking for a lounge from a major airline or a paid-for-entry VIP lounge at London Heathrow then please read on…

Access rules for each Heathrow lounge is explained and lounges are also marked by alliance and whether entry is possible by payment or via the Priority Pass program. Click here for a special 10% discount on annual Priority Pass membership which provides unlimited access to 8 Heathrow lounges and 950 lounges worldwide.

We will look at each Heathrow airport terminal in reverse order:

  • Terminal 5 – opened in 2008, used by British Airways.
  • Terminal 4 – opened in 1986, used by Skyteam alliance airlines.
  • Terminal 3 – mainly used by Oneworld alliance plus Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.
  • Terminal 2 – known as the Queen’s Terminal, opened in 2014 and housing Star Alliance airlines plus Aer Lingus.
  • Note that Terminal 1 has been closed since 30 June 2015.

See here for detailed official maps of each terminal.

Heathrow Terminal 5 Lounges

Aspire Lounge and Spa T5 [PAID][PRIORITY PASS] – Opened in August 2015, this is the first (and only) independent third party lounge at Terminal 5. Good for those who don’t have BA/Oneworld lounge access. Run as a joint venture between Swissport and Collinson Group (Priority Pass). The compact 370m² lounge features a modern design with bar, comfortable seating, floor-to-ceiling windows with runway views, business zone, quiet area with rest pods and (paid) Bliss spa facilities. Located near Gate A18. Access to Priority Pass holders and paying guests (£40 at the door). Open 0500-2300. You can book the Aspire T5 Lounge here

aspire lounge terminal 5 london heathrow

British Airways Lounges [ONEWORLD] – British Airways operates from Heathrow T5 and has the world’s largest airline lounge complex at the terminal covering an incredible 15,000m² in total and seating up to 2,500 passengers. There are 6 BA lounges at the terminal – 5 departure lounges (open from 0530 until the last BA departure) and a BA arrivals lounge.

How To Get Airline Elite Status

airline elite status

One of the goals for many travellers is to reach elite status in an airline frequent flyer program. If you fly on a regular basis then having status can come in handy. In this article we discuss various ways on how to accelerate yourself into elite status.

Airline elite status comes with a number of perks. This can include mileage bonuses, advance seat selection, lounge access, priority boarding and of course upgrades. Elite status can also give you higher priority on wait lists and better service during “irregular operations” such as flight cancellations.

By their nature, frequent flyer programs are designed to incrementally increase spending from loyal customers. Elite levels and airline classes also play on the psychological need for vanity, hierarchy and differentiating yourself from the so-called masses.

With that in mind, let’s see with what we need to do to actually gain status…

Elite Status Requirements by Airline

The following tables show the annual requirements for gaining and retaining elite status for a variety of international airlines. These requirements can either be based on:

  • total real distance-flown mileage
  • special distance-based status/tier points number
  • number of flight segments flown
  • minimum revenue $ spend

American Airlines AAdvantage
GOLD: 25,000 miles / 30 segments
PLATINUM: 50,000 miles / 60 segments
EXECUTIVE PLATINUM: 100,000 miles / 100 segments
Delta SkyMiles Medallion
SILVER: 25,000 miles / 30 segments AND $3,000
GOLD: 50,000 miles / 60 segments AND $6,000
PLATINUM: 75,000 miles / 100 segments AND $9,000
DIAMOND: 125,000 miles / 140 segments AND $15,000
United Mileage Plus Premier
SILVER: 25,000 miles / 15 segments
GOLD: 50,000 miles / 60 segments AND $6,000 (Star Gold)
PLATINUM: 75,000 miles / 90 segments AND $9,000
PREMIER 1K: 100,000 miles / 120 segments AND $12,000
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Elite
MVP: 20,000 (partners 25,000) miles / 30 segments
MVP GOLD: 40,000 (50,000) miles / 60 segments
MVP GOLD 75K: 75,000 (90,000) miles / 90 segments
Air Canada Altitude
Prestige 25K: 25,000 miles / 25 segments
ELITE 35K: 35,000 miles / 35 segments
ELITE 50K: 50,000 miles / 50 segments (Star Gold)
ELITE 75K: 75,000 miles / 75 segments
SUPER ELITE 100K: 100,000 miles / 100 segments

British Airways Executive Club
BRONZE: 300 Tier Points
SILVER: 600 Tier Points
GOLD: 1,500 Tier Points
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
SILVER: 25,000 miles / 15 segments
GOLD: 40,000 miles / 30 segments
PLATINUM: 70,000 miles / 60 segments
Lufthansa Miles & More
FREQUENT TRAVELLER: 35,000 miles
SENATOR: 100,000 miles (Star Gold)
HON CIRCLE: 600,000 miles in 2 years
Aegean Miles+Bonus
SILVER: 24,000 (retain 16,000) miles or 12,000 (8,000) miles with 2 A3 flights
GOLD: 48,000 (24,000) miles or 24,000 (12,000) miles with 4 A3 flights (Star Gold)
SAS EuroBonus
SILVER: 20,000 points / 10 segments
GOLD: 45,000 points / 45 segments (Star Gold)
DIAMOND: 90,000 points / 90 segments
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
SILVER: 15 Tier Points
GOLD: 40 Tier Points

A Guide to Status Matching

airline status match

For years status matching of elite level frequent flyers has been common practice in the airline industry.

Let’s say you have elite frequent flyer status with airline A. Status matching is where you apply to an airline B to see if it can offer you complimentary equivalent status in its loyalty program. Such status can give you benefits such as priority check-in and boarding, lounge access and mileage bonuses.

Airlines offer free status matches in the hope of gaining high revenue customers from direct competitors.

Flyers tend to request status matches for a variety of reasons – perhaps they are changing jobs or moving to a new city / country which could require different travel patterns on other airlines and alliances; or they just have a number of upcoming flights booked on a new carrier they wish to try and would like to temporarily enhance their benefits.

Airlines sometimes offer status matches on a temporary basis only – such as targeting residents of a specific country or frequent flyers from a bankrupt airline.

Can I do a status match with one of my airline’s alliance partners?
Generally no. Partners in each of the 3 main alliances – Oneworld / Skyteam / Star Alliance – have informal agreements in place to ensure they don’t ‘steal’ each other’s elite passengers. It may be possible to match within an alliance if moving to another continent or via a corporate program.

How often can I status match with one airline?
In most airline frequent flyer programs you can only undertake a status match once-in-a-lifetime of membership. However some airlines in the US will allow more frequent matching such as every 5 years.

Expedia vs Orbitz vs Travelocity vs Priceline vs Cheapoair

Expedia vs Orbitz vs Travelocity vs Priceline vs Cheapoair

Which online travel agent (OTA) is the cheapest? Is there any difference in fares between agents such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz or do they all pull the same results from Global Distribution Systems. Below we will test out 5 of the main OTAs in a random series of flights worldwide.

Now in the past we have always maintained that you should try to get multiple quotations from different airlines and online travel agents in the search to find the cheapest airfare. Is this still the case?

In the US, many people naturally turn to the ‘big 3’ online travel agents – Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz – to make flight searches. In fact these 3 all belong to the very same company (Expedia Inc) after recent consolidation in the industry.

The main 2 players are currently:

Expedia –  owns Travelocity, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Hotwire and eBookers.

Priceline – owns Kayak, Booking.com and Agoda.

On top of this you have:

CheapoAir – a large independent flight booking agent.

Tripadvisor – has built up a large portfolio of small sites concentrated mainly around the hotels and restaurant review business. Also has a flight booking engine and owns Seatguru, the flight seat review site.

Google – has become a player having invested in ITA Software and has a Google Flights search engine.

Expedia vs Orbitz vs Travelocity vs Priceline vs Cheapoair Test

Let’s test out the online agents to see who comes back with the lowest economy class return fare (4 weeks out) for various city pairs around the world. We are just looking for the very cheapest airfare and will not worry about the best airline or the optimal connections.