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Category: Heathrow

Senator vs standard

Senator vs standard

I am off on my travels again. Another week’s leave from my usual work.

As often seems to be the case I am passing through Heathrow Terminal 2. My usual first stop is the Lufthansa Lounge.

Senator vs Standard

As a Star Alliance gold card holder I get access to the Senator Lounge. This is accessed through the main lounge.

I have been here a few times and each time my observations are the same. It is much busier than the standard lounge

Is it better?

I have yet to work out what extra you get to justify “squeezing”  into the Elite section.

I think on this occasion I noted that ther was a rather limpid chees board and Bombay rather than Beefeater Gin. The wines were slightly different. Otherwise it looked fairly similar.

I actually preferred the increased space and less busy standard lounge

 

 

Interesting I am writing this sitting in the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.

It is really empty, I would say quite but there is always one…

Even here where I can see less than 10 people one group is chatting at a volume that would suit the Senator lounge.

C’est La Vie!!!

 

British Airways Galleries Lounge – Heathrow Terminal 2

British Airways Galleries Lounge – Heathrow Terminal 2

I thought I should experience the British Airways Galleries Lounge as I as flying BA to Barcelona.

 

The Lounge

It is a big long space divided into several sections. Some have windows but overall the impression is of a dark area.

The first main space you enter is the dining area with a selection of hot and cold foods. There was quite a nice if rather basic selection. All self service.

 

The next areas you enter are seating areas divided by “wine racks”. There are quite dark but there are windows overlooking the taxi ways.

 

Beverages

In the final section there is a large selection of spirits. On the centre of this area is an iconic wine cooler with a light installation above. Many other reviewers have commented upon it. Sadly this is now full of bottles of water.

The wine is relegated to another area nearby. However there is a selection of 4 reds and 4 whites. I could not see and fizzy stuff. The Grenache I tasted was very pleasant. This was all self service.

 

Conclusion

I found it an odd place. It is big but felt less comfortable and less spacious than the smaller No 1 Lounge upstairs. It as also generally noisier and less restful.

It is ok but not that relaxing. Overall I think I preferred the No 1 Lounge.

No 1 Lounge – London Heathrow Terminal 3

No 1 Lounge – London Heathrow Terminal 3

I am travelling to Barcelona so decided to use my Priority Pass to try the No 1 Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

There was no problem getting in although moderately busy.

I chose a seat by the window with a view over the tarmac.

 

The Lounge

It was quite spacious with various zones and different seating types. There was plenty of “sit up to” tables to work at or eat and lower tables and armchairs to relax.

Food and Drink

There is a serviced bar with free standard alcoholic drinks. If you wanted champagne a glass would set you back £8 and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot £48.

 

They served Langley gin. Not one I have had before – quite nice with tonic.

I was disappointed with the food selection. There was self service for some rather boring salads and cakes. If you wanted other food you could order it. The selection, as I write, included Lamb Hotpot, Mac and Cheese, Fish finger sandwich, Soup of the day or the cheese plate. I selected the latter and it was served to me.

Not very impressive

 

There is also a paid spa, not that I tried it, but it looked good as I walked by it on the way to the toilets and showers. Then toilets are individual cubicles (no urinals). They are quite dark with dark tiling although the toilet is well lit. The handbasin is supplied with L’Occitane Verveine hand wash.

 

Conclusion

A very pleasant ambience and comfortable place to spend some time. Moderate food . Overall worth a visit

Heathrow Terminal 2 – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and Conclusion

Heathrow Terminal 2 – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and Conclusion

Unlike the other affiliated lounges the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge does not have a first class section (in contrast to Singapore Airlines’s SilverKris, United’s Club and Lufthansa)

I was welcomed very warmly and shown into the lounge.

It is a long lounge along windows with a second tier of seating raised a little from the window seats.

There is a small food section with hot and cold choices.

The bar is serviced and as usual provides a range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.

The lounge didn’t seem as busy as the others I had tried earlier that day. I wonder if this was because many airlines use the United Club, or simply by the time I got there a number of flights had departed, hence depleting the number of waiting passengers

The seating was of a modern square design and comfortable.

I was able to watch the status TVs and walked from the lounge to board my flight very smoothly.

 

Conclusion

So which is best?

Of the 3 lounges I sampled on the same day I liked Lufthansa in the main building and the Maple Leaf Lounge in the satellite. If I am not flying first (I wish) then I certainly use this lounge over the SilverKris business lounge and probably even prefer it over the United Club business lounge.

Heathrow Terminal 2 – Lufthansa Lounges

Heathrow Terminal 2 – Lufthansa Lounges

This is on the same, upper level, that you enter once through security. Turn right out of security and it is near the escalators.

I showed my gold status card and my boarding card. My business class ticket with Thai airways allowed me entrance to the business lounge and the status card to the Senator lounge. From reception you first enter the business lounge.

Business Lounge

This was much lighter and bigger the the Plaza lounge. Again more crowded than I have encountered on previous visits but there were still places to sit and relax.

At the end of the business lounge is a door opened by waving a piece of paper with a QR code under a reader. You can then enter the Senator Lounge.

 

Senator Lounge

As before this seemed more crowded than the business section. As far as I understand it this lounge is for first class ticket holders and premium status holders. Although I am one of the latter I wonder how I would feel if I were a first class ticket holder. Perhaps Lufthansa needs to reconsider their admission policy.

The Senator lounge is smaller in area and feels as if it has more seats per unit area than the business area. There is certainly less free circulation space.

 

 

The food selection was similar although a little more extensive than Plaza. Again there were a couple of hot selections and cold foods. The beverages were serve yourself in both areas with any of the soft drinks and mixers, Coke, soda water or tonic water etc provided via a dispenser rather than cans. I presume this reduces waste.

The food and drink selection seemed very similar in both areas so again I can see no benefits of the Senator Lounge over the Business Lounge.

The toilets were clean and modern and had a pleasant air freshener smell.

As my departure time approached I made my way to the satellite part of terminal 2.

Heathrow Terminal 2 and the Plaza Premium Lounge

Heathrow Terminal 2 and the Plaza Premium Lounge

I arrived in Heathrow Terminal 2 at the start of my adventure to Sydney.

My plan was to try a couple of lounges whilst I waited to board. In fact I tried 3.

Plaza Premium – accessed with Priority Pass.

Lufthansa – I was able to access both the Business and Senator sections with my Thai Airways gold card (part of Star Alliance).

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – accessed with my Gold card as part of Star Alliance.

 

Terminal 2 in the evening

Before I comment on the lounges I wants to make an observation on the terminal. I have flown from Heathrow Terminal 2 on a few occasions,  usually around midday. It has been busy but not overtly crowded. Tonight it was really busy.

I dropped my bags easily and then went to security. I usually use the Fastrack lane but tonight the queue was backing up into the concourse. I asked the attendants if the standard queue was any quicker. She shrugged her shoulders, “everywhere is busy”. I decided to risk the standard area as it has more lanes. It was equally busy but well marshalled and did seem to move quickly so, in fact, I got through security pretty quickly. Overall therefore quite a good experience although not as good as previously.

Once through security I decided to try the lounges.

 

Plaza Premium

The Plaza Premium Lounge is in the main hall of terminal 2. After security you go down a level and pass by the transfer desks to the pleasant looking entrance. The receptionist was efficient and processed my Priority Pass quickly and then pointed me to the entrance before moving on to the next customer.

The Lounge is windowless but is well lit in a subdued manner. There are lots of natural woods and is overall very calming except for the crowds! Other reviews I have read say how quiet it is. The day I visited it was quite busy but I was still able to get a seat and was quickly served at the bar for my gin and tonic. Admittedly it was not noisy and was still quite relaxing.

The food selection was good from a couple of hot meals to a few wraps, cheese and cold meats.
There were a few papers and magazines – not a particularly large or varied selection but enough. I was provided with wifi access which seemed to work ok for a bit of web browsing and email checking.

Toilet facilities were clean and functional.

There is another section that contains showers and bedrooms. I did not explore this area.

All in all the lounge was OK. It has clearly got busier since it opened and other reviewers have commented on it.

After a short while I moved on.