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My flight arrived at London Heathrow shortly after 7AM, while my connecting flight to Toronto was at 12:05PM. That left me plenty of time between flights, which was perfect, since I had a lot of work to catch up on between two longhaul flights without wifi.
This was my first time using Terminal 2 at London Heathrow, also known as the Queen’s Terminal. It’s primarily the Star Alliance terminal, though it has been eons since I’ve flown Star Alliance out of Heathrow.
While I hate Heathrow in general, I figured the connection wouldn’t be too bad, since I was connecting within the same terminal. Boy, was I wrong. I wish I had one of those things which shows you how many steps you take or how many miles you walk, because connecting at Terminal 2 was as good as any treadmill workout.
Upon landing I followed the signage for Terminal 2 connections, where I had to walk a good 15-20 minutes before I arrived at a point where I could start the process of connecting within the terminal. Surely there has to be a better way.
From there I had to go through a checkpoint where my boarding pass was checked. There was a bit of a queue, though fortunately it moved quickly. While there was a Fast Track lane, it wasn’t in use.
From there I had to go through security, where fortunately a Fast Track lane was open. Security was possibly the most pleasant experience I’ve had in the UK, as I was through in five minutes and also didn’t have my bag pulled for a secondary screening.
I was always under the impression that Heathrow’s Terminal 2 has a single, massive Star Alliance Lounge, which is shared among all carriers. However, I found out that isn’t the case, and that there are actually five lounges, operated by Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, United, Singapore Airlines, and Air Canada. I followed the signage towards the Air Canada Lounge, which was in the “B1-B3” area.
Terminal 2 itself is quite nice, and reminds me a lot of Terminal 5. That isn’t to say that it’s functionally designed or stunning, but rather that it’s clean, spacious, and modern.
I quickly realized that the “A” area of the terminal was in the building I was in, while the “B” area was in a satellite concourse, given that there are multiple concourses in Terminal 2.
So I followed the signage in that direction, which was quite a haul.
I eventually found the escalators which took me down a level, to the underground walkway. As you can see based on the signage, from there it’s up to a 15 minute walk to the other end.
It was a long escalator ride down.
Then it was a long walk down a moving walkway.
Then it was a long ride up the escalator on the other end.
This portion of the terminal was also quite nice, though wasn’t quite as “grand” as the other side.
After getting off the escalator I turned left towards the Air Canada and Singapore Airlines lounges.
After turning left, the lounges were located immediately to the right.
From there I took the elevator up a level, and then turned left to the Air Canada lounge.
The lounge had a beautiful exterior, and the reception area had a nice design, which reminded me a lot of the Air Canada lounge in Frankfurt.
The friendly agent confirmed my departure gate and welcomed me to the lounge.
I realize this terminal is still fairly new so it’s easier for an airline to have an impressive lounge, but I was blown away by how nice, spacious, and bright the Air Canada lounge was. Most of the seating was to the right of the entrance, with comfortable leather chairs along the windows, and then an elevated area with more seating.
In the center of the elevated area was a big Air Canada 787 model. Unfortunately I don’t think it would have fit in my carry-on, or else I might have, ahem, borrowed it. 😉
At the far end of the lounge were some triangular leather couches, along with a quiet area, featuring some lounge chairs with ottomans overlooking the tarmac.
Then there were several semi-private lounging areas with personal televisions, which I loved. These were identical to the ones offered in the Frankfurt lounge.
Back towards the entrance and to the left of reception was a business center with a communal table, heavy duty printer, and several PCs.
There was also an entertainment zone with several screens along a counter, as well as a rack with all kinds of magazines and newspapers.
There was even more seating in this section.
Then past that was the dining area, which was also beautifully designed, with red walls, cool light fixtures, etc.
In the far left corner was the bar.
Next to that was a self serve espresso machine, which was hands down the coolest self serve lounge espresso machine I’ve ever seen.
While the espresso machine was awesome, I’d note that there’s another espresso machine located behind the bar, where the lounge staff can whip you up a custom made espresso beverage, which I of course took advantage of.
The breakfast buffet was on the right side of the room.
There were several types of juice, soft drinks, tea, etc.
Then there was a waffle and pancake station with a chef, which isn’t something you often see in a lounge.
There were several hot dishes, most of which made up a traditional English breakfast.
There were smoothies, cold cuts, fresh fruit, salad, cereal, pastries, croissants, fresh bread, etc.
There was also porridge.
As the day progressed, the breakfast spread was changed up, and they added all kinds of sweets.
Eventually they transitioned from breakfast to lunch, with several appetizing looking cold options, finger sandwiches, etc.
There was also soup, and about five hot dishes.
I’d note that the service in the dining area was fantastic, especially from the two Albanian ladies working there (I believe that’s where they were from, based on what I overheard).
There was an older lady who had mobility issues and didn’t seem to be in the best mental state. She was traveling with her son, though he went to the business center and left her on her own. The lady working in the lounge proactively came up to her and asked if she could make her a plate of food and get her something to drink.
The lady wasn’t especially nice back to her (though I don’t blame her for it, since like I said above, I don’t think she was totally with it mentally). She said she wanted food, and asked what they had. The lady working in the lounge responded back with each item individually, and she responded with an abrasive “no” to just about everything she offered. Eventually they agreed on something, though I was so impressed by the lounge attendant’s friendliness and patience.
Before the flight I decided to shower, given that it had been a long travel day. So I requested a shower room for around 10:30AM.
The shower room was beautiful, with a sink, toilet, and a huge shower with awesome water pressure and temperature control.
I headed to my departure gate, B43, at around 11:15AM, which was 50 minutes before departure. Within five minutes boarding commenced.
Air Canada Lounge London bottom line
While Terminal 2 is just as poorly designed as every other terminal at Heathrow, it is physically a nice terminal, similar to Terminal 5.
While I only used the Air Canada lounge during my layover (though presumably could have used any of the lounges as a Star Alliance passenger), I was very impressed. The decor was beautiful, the food spread was great, the showers were perfect, and the wifi was fast. I have nothing but good things to say about the lounge, though can’t wait to try other Star Alliance lounges at Heathrow next time.
Do you have a favorite lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 2?