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Need airline lounge ideas for London Heathrow Terminal 3

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Apr 15th, 2009, 11:41 AM
  #1
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Need airline lounge ideas for London Heathrow Terminal 3

Hi there! My husband has a 6 hour layover between Vienna and Phoenix at London Heathrow airport. He's only flying "Premium Economy" on British Air so he doesn't have access to their lounges in T5. There are no other lounges in T5 except BA! So my thought was, he is arriving into T3, is there a landside arrivals lounge from another airline that I might be able to just buy a day pass? Or is there a hotel that's attached to the airport that would be a reasonable enough price for him to go laydown for a few hours? I'd want it to be attached to the airport though, the way the Sofitel Gatwick is. Just trying to way my options. There's no way I could imagine him trying to entertain himself in the airport for 6 hours unless there's a movie theater!!!

Any ideas???
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Apr 15th, 2009, 11:50 AM
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There is now a Sofitel in T5. We are staying there in August. You can walk, according to the hotel website "Sofitel London Heathrow is directly connected to Heathrow T5, only 4 minutes walk via a covered link-bridge." It would be outside security of course so he will have to exit and reenter the terminal and allow enough time.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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That's perfect! Was it very expensive?
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Apr 15th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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I found $160 is that a good deal?
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Apr 15th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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I found the Yotel is a better option, this little cabin in T4 is rented by the hour and it's only $40 for 4 hours! https://www.yotel.com/default.aspx
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Apr 15th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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It's a huge PITA to get from T3 to T4 then to T5.

Plus, if he's only transiting, he will stay on airside. If he wants to get to Yotel or Sofitel, he'll need to clear immigration, which can be 5 mins or 60 mins depending on the time and day.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Hmmmm....any other suggestions? Know of any airline lounges in T3 that sell day passes?
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Apr 15th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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The issue is he is doing a T3 -> T5 transfer. He cannot get from the T3 arrival area to the T3 departure area.

When he arrives at T3 from VIE, his 2 options are:
1) airside transfer to T5, or
2) follow the masses to immigration and get to landside of T3. From there, he's free to go to Yotel or Sofitel or anywhere he wants. But he cannot re-enter the secured area of T3 (departure area) with a BP for T5 flight.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Does your husband have elite status with any OneWorld airlines? If he has OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status, he can enter the BA Lounge at T5.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Nope, no elite status with any airline, we always fly with miles so we never accumulate points!

What about the sofitel in T5?? Since it's actually attached to the airport would that work? Stinks because the Yotel is $40 and the Sofitel is $129.
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Apr 15th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Six hours arriving at T3 and departing from T5 frankly doesn't sound like enough time to warrant the Yotel or any 'otel.

One possibility (airside at T3, nothing at T5) - http://www.prioritypass.com/index.cfm
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Apr 16th, 2009, 01:43 AM
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I'm not sure it is that necessary. T5 is a beautiful terminal with lots of open space, some decently comfortable seating and good restaurants. Check-out the shops, have a long meal, etc. I find it pretty pleasant.

The Sofitel is a bit of an option, but it is outside of security, so you will have to exit the terminal, clear immigration and customs in the UK (which can take a while) and then re-clear security at T5. Personally, I wouldn't bother.
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Apr 16th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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Gardyloo - can the OP's husband get access to airside of T3?
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Apr 16th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Gardyloo, thanks, I looked at that website and found that there is a Servisair pay lounge airside in T3. I'm wondering about yk's response, will he be able to access airside? When you come off the plane for a connection are you still airside or does it automatically dump you out landside/

My only concern about my husband is he has a really bad back, I mean really bad. He's already going to be going on an 8 hour flight in premium econ which is a little better than econ but not much. For this trip, since it wasn't really for pleasure, we didn't want to waste the miles for biz class (we try to save those for when we travel together on holiday) so I just want to try to make him as comfortable as possible!

I appreciate everyone's advice.
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Apr 16th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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I'm not sure how a lounge will be that much more comfortable than terminal seating? I haven't been to that many lounges, but the ones I have been to, their sofas/couches have ZERO back support. Apart from the fact that you get free drinks and snacks in a quieter environment, I don't see any additional benefit.

Sounds like what he needs is a bed to lie down on. But to be able to do that, means standing in line for immigration/customs & security, which probably negates any comfort and relief he got from lying down.
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Apr 16th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Gardyloo - can the OP's husband get access to airside of T3?

Y'know, now that I posted that, I have to confess I'm not sure. I haven't done a T3 < > T3 transfer ever, as far as I can recall, so I might be overlooking something. It's entirely possible given LHR's security regime, that you need to be re-screened for security even if you're staying airside in the same terminal, and the screening people will want to see your ongoing boarding pass before they'll screen you into the shopping mall. If that's the case, and your BP is for a flight leaving T5, they probably won't let you in, just point you to the FCC and the bus to T5.

I'm walking through the T3 arrivals halls etc. in my mind, and I believe I recall a place where you can peel off from the main corridor to go to T3 connections (before you get to the main FCC area) but my mind's eye unfortunately doesn't have x-ray vision so I don't know if around that corner there's a gent in a uniform and yellow vest telling you to have yourself screened, your BP checked, and your carryons irradiated.

That considered, and given you'd still have to go through the whole flight connections centre thing once you leave the lounge anyway, I suspect your total time in the lounge would be fairly limited, reducing the value of the cost of admittance.

I do agree that T5 is spacious enough and pleasant enough that waiting for a couple of hours there is no great ordeal, so I would probably opt on the side of not fooling around with it.

Another viewpoint, however, is that your bags will be checked through, so if you wanted to go landside from T3 and head out to someplace like Windsor for a couple of hours, get a pint and walk around, it might help you rest on the next flight, at a total cost not much higher than the day pass to the lounge, if at all.
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Apr 16th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Y'know, Gardyloo, I will have an answer for you in a couple of weeks!

I'm doing a T3-T3 transfer next week (AA BOS-LHR; BA LHR-VIE) since BA has moved the VIE flights to T3. So I guess I'll find out what the procedure is like, and if anyone's gonna check my BP when I go from the arrival side to the departure side of T3.
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Apr 17th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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If he knows the geography of T3 well, an arriving passenger can usually walk into the departure gate areas even if he's not got a T3 boarding pass (though possibly not if he's bussed from the plane). Arriving passengers without an ongoing T3 BP can't get into the general departure lounge, but the airline lounges are mostly in the gates 13-22 spur.

The trouble is, though, that:

The only general lounge (Servisair, though they've rebranded as Penauille in some lounges) is supposed to refuse admission to passengers without a T3 BP. As it happens I've never seen anyone without a T3 pass turn up there, so I've no idea how rigorous they are about this. But LHR policy is that arriving passengers shouldn't go back airside: it's just not physically possible to prevent this totally without spending millions on reconstruction. I'd imagine Servisair staff are more motivated to avoid losing their security pass than by the tiny commission they'd make on daypass sales and would therefore enforce the rule. But the poster's husband might try following the signs for gates 13-22 (then "airline lounges" then Servisair/Penauille)just before immigration and see what happens.

They're purposely ill-signed from that direction, but downloading the map of the T3 departures area from the Heathrow site might help. Again purposely, there's no map available of the layout around the immigration area, so he needs a bit of low cunning (Immigration is top-right of the departures lounge shown on P4 of the map, on the same floor). As long as he's not wearing Arab clothes, the worst that's likely to happen is he'll be asked to turn round
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Apr 17th, 2009, 10:33 AM
  #19
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Thanks everyone for all the info! I did email Servisair and you are correct flanneruk, he would not be able to get in. So I am thinking that he should just bring one of those lumbar pillows with him and make the best of it in T5, we'll just load up his laptop with movies, or endless seasons of the incomprehesible show Lost, that alone will distract him for hours!
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 11:11 PM
  #20
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Just for completeness-sake, I just did a T3->T3 connection. (I'm in the JAL lounge in T3 typing this). Basically I followed Flight Connections, and after walking through the maze, I get to a point where T3 connections split off from the remainder. We have to go through security screening again, and even though it was a fairly short line, it took forever (makes TSA seem very efficient by comparison)! After security screening, I walk pass a whole slew of airline desks (for pax w/o their BP) and then into the T3 shopping mall.
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