Lounge Review – American Airlines International First Class Lounge, London Heathrow (LHR)

Prior to boarding the flight from LHR to Charlotte, NC, I had a few minutes to visit the American Airlines First Class Lounge in Terminal 3.

American’s Lounge Makeover

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Entrance to American’s International First Class Lounge at LHR

American is going through an extensive lounge makeover process.  During this process it has renamed its best lounges, the Flagship Lounges, as International First Class Lounges. Compared to other lounges for first class passengers and top tier elites, these lounges have long needed to improve their interior look and dining options.  Once the renovations are finished, American will again call these lounges Flagship lounges.

American has almost completed the changes at the International First Class Lounge at JFK Terminal 8.  It now has a much more contemporary look.

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JFK T8 lounge

To further illustrate what the new lounges will look like and to compare to other OneWorld alliance lounges, here is a review of the progress of the renovation at JFK and reviews of First Class Lounges of Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Ethiad.

American Airlines JFK International First Class Lounge – Progress Report

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita – Main Building

The Wing and Cabanas – Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Review, Hong Kong

First Look – Ethiad New First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi And a Bonus Review

LHR International First Class Lounge 

The American International First Class Lounge is located on the Terminal 3 concourse level at lounge area H.  It is inside the Admirals Club.

After presenting my boarding pass to the agent at the Admirals Club check in desk, I told her I wanted to go to the first class lounge.  She seemed confused like it was the first time she’d had that request.  I explained that Executive Platinums were entitled to use Flagship lounges and first class lounges when travelling internationally.  After about a minute of perusing the boarding pass while looking perplexed, she pressed the button that opened the door to the International First Class Lounge.  Sheesh!

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The entrance to the International First Class Lounge inside the LHR Admirals Club

It was immediately apparent that this lounge needed serious updating.  Entering the lounge, the food area is on the right.  Restrooms and showers are on the left. The main seating area is straight ahead at the back of the lounge.  There are windows but no tarmac views.

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Seating area at LHR International First Class Lounge

The seating and decor is pretty dismal compared to the first class lounges in the reviews above and to the remodeling at JFK.

Next to the seating area is a small business center.20170410_123718_resized

The highlight of this lounge is the small dining area where one can order a meal or eat food from the buffet.

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I brought some food from the buffet to one of the tables.  I did not have enough time to try the menu.  The breakfast menu looked appealing while the afternoon a la carte selection was limited to two items.20170410_132640_resized

The buffet is well stocked with breakfast items.20170410_123234_resized20170410_123338_resized20170410_123529_resized20170410_132921_resized

Alcoholic beverages are also set up in the buffet area which also offers coffee, juice and bottled water of course. 20170410_123148_resized

Next to the buffet was an informal dining area.20170410_132526_resized

I did not get to check out the showers but just took a pee(k) in the bathroom.  It was clean but again not up to the standards of other first class lounges. 20170410_132439_resized

Being disappointed with the current state of this lounge, on my way out I asked one of the attendants about the plans American has advertised on its website to renovate the lounge, establish a First Class Dining area, and convert the lounge back to a Flagship lounge.  The attendant informed me that she was aware of no such plans.

Overall Impression

Except for the small dining area with a la carte options, the condition of this lounge was a letdown.  The agent at the check in counter was unaware of the criteria for access, and other employees were clueless about the renovation plans.  For this lounge I give American a Needs Big Improvement.  There is hope for the future as long as Executive Platinums retain access to all features of the remodeled lounge.

 

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