OneWorld Welcome: Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge London

Introduction
American Airlines Flagship Lounge New York
American Airlines Business Class New York to London
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge London
Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge London
Malaysia Airlines First Class London to Kuala Lumpur
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines First Class Kuala Lumpur to London
Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 4
American Airlines Flagship Lounge & British Airways Galleries First Lounge Terminal 3 London Heathrow
American Airlines Business Class London to New York


By shortly after 7AM we left terminal three for terminal four, where our Malaysia Airlines flight would be departing from. Heathrow Airport is the world’s biggest cluster%&^*, and it’s indescribably frustrating how complicated it is to transit between terminals. We had to take the Heathrow Express between terminals which is actually probably one of the easier connections. It took about 15 minutes for the train to arrive, and then it was about a five minute ride to terminal four.


Heathrow Express station

Terminal four is sort of the SkyTeam and “reject” terminal at Heathrow (I know what you’re thinking, and I agree, I just won’t say it. šŸ˜‰

It houses all the airlines that don’t really belong elsewhere, so it sure is an interesting place.


Terminal four

Malaysia’s check-in desk is located at the far end of the terminal, and at the very right were the first and business class check-in counters.


Malaysia Airlines check-in

The check-in process was fast, and within about two minutes we were given our boarding pass and invited to use the Fast Track security lane. The security queue wasn’t very long, and within about five minutes we were airside. The Golden Lounge is located adjacent to gate six, and shares an entrance with the Gulf Air lounge.


Terminal four airside


Signage to lounge


Lounge entrance

At the entrance we were welcomed by a friendly agent that directed us right towards the first class portion of the lounge.


Lounge reception desk

There was no one else in the first class lounge, and it was actually a really nice space. It was beautifully decorated and furnished, with plenty of seating. I assume it will get a bit busier now that Malaysia has joined OneWorld and Emerald members get first class lounge access, but for an airline with an otherwise small first class cabin and (I assume) not many top tier elites, the lounge was huge.


First class lounge seating


First class lounge seating

We took a seat in a pretty private area at the far end of the lounge.


First class lounge seating

There was also an extensive buffet area which hadn’t yet been set up, and a bar that is between the business and first class lounge, so can be accessed by passengers from both sides.


Buffet


Bar

The first class section of the lounge was separated from the business class section by a glass door near the bar.


Looking towards the business class lounge

The lounge also boasted awesome tarmac and runway views, and I could even look straight into the cockpit of the Delta 767 parked immediately below the lounge.


Tarmac views


Tarmac views

As soon as we settled in a friendly server came by to introduce herself and offer us drinks. She explained that the buffet would be fully setup within about 15 minutes. At that point I had a look at the spread, and while I didn’t have anything, I was impressed by the buffet. It featured a pretty extensive spread with both western and Malaysian options.


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Drink selection

There was even an a la carte menu.


A la carte menu

The first class lounge also featured a couple of private bathrooms as well as a shower.


Bathroom


Shower

The shower had Salvatore Ferragamo t0iletries — impressive!


Toiletries

I spent the next couple of hours getting caught up on work. Throughout the entire time we were in the lounge only one other passenger joined us in the lounge, so it was a great place to relax. The server was extremely attentive throughout our stay, and checked with us every 15 or so minutes to see if we wanted anything else.

As we were getting ready to leave I noticed a room labeled “The Retreat” near the kitchen. For the entirety of our stay I assumed the door led to the kitchen, but in reality it was a pretty cool dark room with some massage and relaxation chairs. We only had a couple of minutes to spend there, but in the future would definitely spend more time in there.


The Retreat


Massage chairs


Relaxation chairs

At around 10:15AM we left the lounge for gate five, which was only a two minute walk from the lounge. The gate area was crowded, though within a few minutes first and business class boarding was announced.


Departure gate


Our A380 to Kuala Lumpur


Our A380 to Kuala Lumpur

I could hardly wait to see what was awaiting us aboard.

For an outstation lounge I thought this was one of the nicest lounges out there. It was extremely private, and I loved the furnishings, service, food, and views. If only Malaysia’s lounge in Kuala Lumpur were half as nice…

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Comments

  1. @ Michael — Only on departure. They don’t have an arrivals lounge in London.

    @ JRL — No firsthand experience, though have been trying to figure out. Kind of surprised about the lack of information about this on the internet. It seems they use a contract lounge which isn’t especially good, though I haven’t been able to figure out the name.

  2. How long exactly was your layover? You didn’t post flight time for AA JFK-LHR and arrival time. Wasn’t it between 4 and 5 hours?

  3. Lucky,
    Once I saw that you started off in Biz from Ny to LON on AA, I lost hope. Where is the aspirational travel fix I need – Are we now dreaming about Biz on AA?.
    šŸ™‚

  4. Also, I have been through all the LHR terminals in my lifetime and I can tell you that when Terminal 4 was opened, it was a HUGE improvement on the others. I loved the BA lounge in that terminal and last went through it in 2007 and it was still light years ahead of AA in terminal 3 then.

  5. @ffi

    Aspirational? Agreed!

    This is LHR.

    So much better to transfer at ABL (Anywhere But London)

  6. “Heathrow Airport is the worldā€™s biggest cluster%&^*”

    Even more than CDG?

    Will Malaysia be moving their lounge now that they are a part of Oneworld?

    Nice lounge overall, wish you snapped a few pics of the business class section, just to compare…

  7. @ wwk5d — I tend to think so, if for no other reason than that it has more terminals. For what it’s worth the business class lounge looked very similar, it was just more crowded.

  8. I am often pleasantly surprised by airport lounges. Traveled from Phnom Penh to Bangkok this morning and the TG contract lounge at PNH, Le Salon, was just wonderful.

    I also really like the South African Airways domestic lounge in JNB.

  9. Thanks for yet another great report (yes, they are getting better). My thoughts include: Why one would visit TWO lounges in the same airport, during the same trip is beyond my understanding, except that you are collecting and sharing information… As in other notes, not in any particular order, origination lounges are often a waste of time, but for en-route layovers or terminal arrivals they can be a blessing – even if one pays a fee. While LHR is one of the world’s major transit points, smart folks avoid it if possible, even if doing so results in a slightly longer transit. (Please remember that most of us are trying to get somewhere, not just inspecting the services.) En-route and arrival lounges are functionally more important than are the departure lounges, but very few flyers (or airlines) think that far ahead.
    And an old thought from an old traveler, whose first commercial flight was on a DC-6 or /7, a couple of years before the Jet Age began. Before deregulation, all commercial air travel was close to what we now know and Business or First class. (Today’s coach seats are worse than a Greyhound bus in all measures except speed.) The grace and comfort of the Pre-Jet and Early-Jet is (think pre-deregulation) still available and gracious flying IS possible. One simply buys a Business Class or better seat. In relative dollars, the costs are high, but about the same as they were when nearly all seats were “First Class.” In those regulated days, the airlines could not compete on price, so service was their game. Loads of under 50% still provided a modest profit for the airlines and if they hit 75%, they were making big money. Thanks to Al Kahn, that’s gone, loads above 85% are the norm and one eats what one brings, even for some First Class trips. While flying CAN still be fun, it is an expensive hobby – and yes, even for experienced collectors or points and miles. Thanks. -C.

  10. I remember when terminal 4 was the big international terminal for the UK. Would sit there listening to the multitude of foreign voices around. All going somewhere. Great send off on an expedition to lands unknown lands.

    Nice to see that the first class lounge does not put out wasteful amounts of food. Good for them!

  11. I know this is a really newb question but is all of that food in the first class lounge complimentary?

  12. While I certainly agree that LHR is one of the worldā€™s biggest cluster%&^*ā€, travel between the terminals on the Heathrow Express is actually easy and, most importantly not said in the article, free. There are also free shuttle buses between the terminals and hotels that service the airport (I have had to use them many times due to weather and airline imposed delays). It is, however, important to leave sufficient time to retrieve your bags and transfer if you are transiting between different airlines. The timeframe required for the Express is well-articulated. I have never traveled from LHR T4 but have done so from all the rest. The lounges are generally very good but I am interested in seeing the T4 lounges and whether there are any options given MAS Oneworld partnership.

  13. The Hotel Hoppa is not free. Ā£9 round trip. And takes an effing age to show up to dark, damp, windy stops.

    Spicy baked beans. Just the thing to serve pax before a long haul flight.

  14. Travel between terminals is really easy at LHR – unless you have to pick up checked baggage and then recheck it. If you have through-checked luggage, or are HBO, then you should just follow the purple signs and go on the intra-terminal transfer buses. It’s really quick and easy.

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