First look: American Express opens Sydney Airport lounge

By David Flynn , December 15 2014
First look: American Express opens Sydney Airport lounge

American Express has opened the doors to its first Australian airport lounge, run by Plaza Premium, at Sydney's T1 international terminal.

Located next to Gate 24, the American Express Plaza Premium Lounge is an intimate space with room for 60 travellers in contemporary tasteful decor.

In addition to the dining bar there are a few smaller seating nooks by the wall.

The American Express Lounge offers a selection of food and drink from breakfast through to dinner.

There's free (albeit password-protected) WiFi, while seats by the window afford a view over nearby boarding gates.

The facility is managed by Plaza Premium and is the first lounge at Sydney Airport not to be affiliated with an airline or alliance.

However, unlike many other Plaza Premium lounges there's no pay-in access, nor is the Priority Pass card accepted – the lounge is only for eligible American Express card-holders and their guests.

An American Express Centurion CardPlatinum CardBusiness Centurion Card and Business Platinum Card provides unlimited access to the lounge provided it's issued by American Express Australia Limited, or is an internationally-issued American Centurion or Platinum card.

A longer list of American Express cards gives the cardholder two free lounge entries per calendar year for account, after which there's a per-entry fee of $55 for adults and $35 for children from 2-17.

  • American Express Corporate Platinum Card
  • American Express Qantas Corporate Platinum Card
  • American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
  • Qantas American Express Ultimate Card 
  • American Express Velocity Platinum Card
  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black American Express Card
  • ANZ Rewards Black American Express Card
  • Westpac Altitude Black American Express Card
  • Westpac Earth Black American Express Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards American Express Card
  • David Jones American Express Platinum Card

The two-per-year entry allocation includes the cardholder, a supplementary cardholder, children between 2-17 or a guest.

The American Express Lounge is open daily from 6am to 11pm.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

VA

25 Aug 2014

Total posts 42

Cool. Will check this out next week. I had no idea this was even planned/getting built. 

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Looking good and hopefully as there's no pay-in access, nor is the Priority Pass card accepted it won't get too overcrowded.

I'm not clear if unlimited access is only granted to the basic Centurion / Platinum member or also for supplementary card members? And if it also cover supplementary card members would they be allowed to bring in guests?

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Dec 2014

Total posts 1

I have a personal Platinum Amex - does that gain me access - i don't see any personal cards listed

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

10 Jan 2014

Total posts 4

Yes, where it says Platinum Card. Not really called a "Personal' card.

Looking forward to a visit  soon!

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Indeed Platinum (Charge) Card offers unlimited entry - see below full list from their T&Cs

1. Eligible Cards

(a) The Cards listed below that are current and issued by American Express Australia Limited are eligible to enter The American Express Lounge with the exception of internationally issued American Express® Centurion and American Express® Platinum Cards, which are also eligible to enter the American Express Lounge:

  • American Express® Centurion Card,
  • American Express® Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Business Centurion Card,
  • American Express® Business Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Corporate Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Qantas Corporate Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Platinum Reserve Credit Card,
  • Qantas American Express Ultimate Card,
  • American Express Velocity Platinum Card.


(b) The cards listed below that are current and issued by licensed network partners are eligible to enter The American Express Lounge:

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black American Express Card,
  • ANZ Rewards Black American Express Card,
  • Westpac Altitude Black American Express Card,
  • Westpac Earth Black American Express Card,
  • Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards American Express Card.


(c) At the discretion of American Express, other American Express Card Members may also enter the American Express Lounge or be issued with a One-Day Pass for entry into the American Express Lounge from time to time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

Looks very nice.

And (admittedly from a distance) a reasonable selection of alcohol on the shelf.

I hope this works out, because it might encourage other independent lounge operators to look at Australia.

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Wonder if they food and drinks offering is on par with the American Express Centurion Lounges in the United States? Doesn't look like it. From the pics overall it does look like a pleasant environment to kill some time. Love the pic wshere you can see the shiny nose of a CZ A380 at the stand!

14 Aug 2014

Total posts 17

I guess it's not the same lounge referred to on the Plaza Premium site?

 

https://www.plaza-network.com/location_detail?city=Sydney

They have an option for pay-in access:

Lounge UseAUD
2 hours 77
5 hours132

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

The Plaza Premium lounge is also the Amex lounge, but PP also manages the SkyTeam lounge next door, which does allow pay-in entry... a bit confusing!

That's the Skyteam Lounge next door.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jun 2013

Total posts 367

great for Sydney! when is Melbourne getting one.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 182

The access criteria is a bit unclear. For example, I have a reserve plat and diamond awards, as well as a supplementary reserve plat on my partner's account. Does this mean I get 6 free entries? or just 4?. And could my partner, who is a supplementary holder on my 2 accounts, and has her own reserve plat, also get 6 entries?

It's not that we need it as we travel in F/J, and especially the location gate 24 is a bit out of the way for VA/EY/EK that we often take, but it'll be a far better proposition than NZ when taking VA. 

Another question, does it have showers?

Thanks

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

I could have sworn the article initially stated there are three shower suites, but that line was perhaps meant for the Skyteam lounge...

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

haha me too and I was thinking I was going crazy :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

I'll be at SYD T1 on Thursday and am wondering if you could use the 2 free passes to get the family inside

I have the Plat Reserve card and am interested in have a look at the lounge

Not sure if its better than the Qantas Buiness Class Lounge though?

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

I suspect the Qantas Business Lounge would be better however with your Platinum Reserve you'll be able toi get in your partner as well as kids if they are 17 our younger, see below detailed T&Cs.... (refer to all other eligible cards that are not Platinum Charge or Centurion)

(b) All other eligible cards are entitled to two (2) entries into The American Express Lounge per calendar year (1st January to 31st December) for each American Express Card account. The entries may be used by the basic Card Member, Supplementary Card Member or a guest travelling with a Card Member. Complimentary access is available for the Card Member’s children between the ages of 2-17. Card Members wishing to bring additional guests will be subject to a charge that is to be processed on the Card Member’s American Express Card. Please refer to the reception desk at the American Express Lounge for the applicable charges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Thanks mmarco I am departing on Jetstar and don't know which lounge will be closer to the gate but thanks for the advice

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Update JQ3 seems to depart from Gate 8 or 9 in the past few and next few days so it is close enough to amex lounge

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 18

They need to fix the article don't they mmarco as kids between 2-17 are complimentary, so a family with 2 adults and 2 kids between 2-17 can get in with their 2 pass allocation. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jul 2014

Total posts 110

So,

I have a British Airways AMEX (non Plat), so whats the deal with this then, does that fall under the 2 visits per year rule?

Given the lounges location in an International airport, surely they should have a policy for this.

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Nope it doesn't - it's only for (selected) AMEX cards issued in Australia, the only internationally issued cards granting access are AMEX (Charge) Platinum and AMEX Centurion.

Complete list is below...

 

1. Eligible Cards

(a) The Cards listed below that are current and issued by American Express Australia Limited are eligible to enter The American Express Lounge with the exception of internationally issued American Express® Centurion and American Express® Platinum Cards, which are also eligible to enter the American Express Lounge:

  • American Express® Centurion Card,
  • American Express® Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Business Centurion Card,
  • American Express® Business Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Corporate Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Qantas Corporate Platinum Card,
  • American Express® Platinum Reserve Credit Card,
  • Qantas American Express Ultimate Card,
  • American Express Velocity Platinum Card.


(b) The cards listed below that are current and issued by licensed network partners are eligible to enter The American Express Lounge:

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black American Express Card,
  • ANZ Rewards Black American Express Card,
  • Westpac Altitude Black American Express Card,
  • Westpac Earth Black American Express Card,
  • Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards American Express Card.

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

This is a great new benefit for Amex Platinum - thanks for the article. Would be really good to know more about the food/beverage selection to see how this compare with the airline lounge options.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

So let me get this straight: you can get in with a Platinum Amex. But not with an Amex Corporate Platinum card, or a Platinum Reserve Amex, or the Amex Velocity Platinum, all of which require you to pay $55.

And definitely not with my Qantas Platinum Amex, which despite featuring the words "Platinum" and "Amex" is not in any way a platinum Amex. (In fact it's exactly the same as the gold one I had two months ago, but they phased that out in favour of a platinum one because they decided I didn't have enough grey/silver cards in my wallet already.)

I'm starting to think that perhaps they may be overusing the word "Platinum" a bit. 

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Did you read the list 2 posts above? Most of the cards you mention would grant you access...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 117

thanks David, great review. Looking forward to trying it out and enjoying the lounge-hopping experience in Sydney.

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

11 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

I don't see NAB Qantas AMEX on this list. Wonder why ?

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

It looks like only "Black" cards issued by the banks are included... 

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

11 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

Mine is a Platinum. Thats the highest one that NAB has. They don't have any Black cards. Might take this up with NAB.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

I wonder why NAB Platinum has been left out in the cold. It's the same level, cureently as Westpac, ANZ and CommBank Black.

Rumour has it they are working on a new affiliate card package which could have super size perks, but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

11 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

Yes i heard a slight rumour about that too. I queried them on whether they are coming up with a Black card, they said not at the moment. Their Platinum Qantas card has the best points value (even mentiond by AUSBT) so I guess I'll wait to find out... either that sign up for a AMEX Platinum Edge...

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Good news - hope we will see another one in Melbourne soon.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2014

Total posts 11

What has me bothered is that I can't find any imformation about the lounge on the CBA website, and don't feel like being put on hold for 20 minuites while waiting for them to answer, so does any one know that the deal is with the diamond card? Do you need to register for an additional pack or site or can you just flash your card and they will let you in? 

Cheers

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Just flash the card at the louge entrance!

See below for T&Cs

https://amexnetwork.com.au/goodgoing/cardmembers/lounge

(b) All other eligible cards are entitled to two (2) entries into The American Express Lounge per calendar year (1st January to 31st December) for each American Express Card account. The entries may be used by the basic Card Member, Supplementary Card Member or a guest travelling with a Card Member. Complimentary access is available for the Card Member’s children between the ages of 2-17. Card Members wishing to bring additional guests will be subject to a charge that is to be processed on the Card Member’s American Express Card. Please refer to the reception desk at the American Express Lounge for the applicable charges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2014

Total posts 11

thanks!

Sly
Sly

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 2

How was the experience at Amex express lounge? Is it the same or similar to the Qantas lounge?

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

Much much much smaller compared to the Qantas Business Lounge at SYD - however it was almost empty when we were there, food and drink selection was good, you can ask to go SkyTeam lounge (take the lift) if you need a shower.

Overall if I had to choose I'd go to the Qantas lounge however if you like a nice & quite ambience go to the AMEX lounge.

Sly
Sly

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 2

Thanks mmarco! 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 4

I have an AMEX Platinum Edge Credit Card, will I be elegible for using this lounge? It would great if I can use it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jun 2014

Total posts 2

I have a Westpac earth black American Express card and I can see that I have two visits a year, which I think is great, we'll be checking the lounge the next august.

I have just been granted a David Jones Platinum American Express and although the actual card may not reach me in time for my planned trip this coming weekend I have printed out all of the online documents showing that I am Platinum and which can be cross referenced with my identification. So will I still be granted access to the lounge? Please confirm ASAP. Many thanks, April.

You'll need to contact American Express, April.

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 23

I really doubt it, they'll want to see a physical card to gain entrance

14 Sep 2015

Total posts 2

In the T&C's of my Velocity Platinum Card it  says: 

From time to time, American Express Card Members may be issued with a One-Day Pass for entry into The American Express Lounge at the discretion of American Express.   

Has anyone ever received a discretionary one day pass? Would this mean if you have used up your 2 passes OR if your card is not officially eligible, they might just let you in anyway?


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