Guided tour: inside the new Qantas Singapore first class lounge

By David Flynn, February 19 2019
Guided tour: inside the new Qantas Singapore first class lounge

An all-new Qantas first class lounge is taking shape at Singapore’s Changi Airport, and we’ve been for a virtual walkthrough of the deluxe digs thanks to some pretty impressive VR technology. Here’s what you can expect to see when the lounge opens by the end of November 2019.

The reception area of the Qantas First Lounge (to use its proper name) is one we’ve seen before, in the first round of concept images.

What we can add is that the lounge will be open around the same hours as the airport’s current Qantas lounge (which will be rebranded as the Qantas Business Lounge), from 2.30pm to midnight – and it will lay down the welcome mat to not only first class travellers, Chairman’s Lounge members and top-tier Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and  Platinum One members, but also their Oneworld Emerald equivalents. 

“We always extend a warm welcome to our Oneworld frequent flyers and they will be very warmly welcomed in this lounge,” Qantas International CEO Alison Webster tells Australian Business Traveller.

(Other Oneworld airlines using the same Singapore Terminal 1 as Qantas include British Airways, Finnair, JAL and Qatar Airways.)

As we’ve previously reported, the lounge itself will be located at the far end of the terminal’s D Gate wing, adjacent to the Aerotel airport hotel and its outdoor swimming pool, while the existing Qantas lounge is over by the C gates.

To orient yourself: once you pass through T1’s immigration and passport control checkpoint, you’ll turn left to head to the Qantas business class lounge, and right to make a beeline for the Qantas first class lounge.

Qantas says that an increasing number of its flights – especially the Airbus A380s – are being allocated to the D gates, but either way, it takes less than ten minutes to stroll between the two lounges.

Looking again at the first class lounge’s lobby, you can see the first of several callbacks to the DNA of its siblings in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles in the Carrara marble.

To one side past reception are the shower suites – we don’t have any photos of these, but the VR walkthrough shows them to be quite spacious and well-appointed.

The rest of the lounge is gun-barrel straight, and starts with this semi-private nook when you veer to the right of the reception area.

These deep chairs offer a modicum of privacy (plus inbuilt power sockets) for business travellers working away on a laptop...

... and are similar to their cream-cream-coloured counterparts at Brisbane’s Qantas Chairman’s Lounge (shown below).

“You're in your own little cocoon, really”, enthuses Webster. “Sometimes in a lounge you just want to shut the world out. It lets you do that but still take what you want from the experience. It's learning the way we run the Business Suites because you have that same kind of privacy in a lounge setting.”

The area with the appealing U-shaped banquette seating and the ‘virtual skylight’ overhead has been designated as a nominal VIP zone, “that we might set aside for some Chairman’s Lounge members (and) VIP passengers if necessary,” suggests David Caon, who is designing the lounge for Qantas. 

The perforated panelling – made from sheets of the same European oak as the other Qantas First lounges –  "is a design element that sort of flowed across from the Brisbane Chairman's Lounge, where I started to experiment with a lot of first class architectural finishes,” Caon reflects.

“It’s  also very interesting for me from a regional aspect, I think it looks a bit like a screen, which gives a bit of a sense of Singapore.”

Stepping forward from here is a cluster of seating in several different styles plus a laptop-friendly marble bench.

Also evident are the plants and more hints of a lounge’s tonal palette. “We're trying to create a sort of a lighter palette that’s sort of softer and blends in with the greenery, which is very Singapore and important for wellness as well as that regional aspect of the design,” explains Caon (below).

“But it’s also having a sort of tonal difference. A lot of what we're also trying to focus on is texture, so rather than having a lot of contrast and a lot of different colours we're trying to bring a really nice texture to everything, so that everything is quite tactile and beautiful.”

Almost directly across from this is the bar, which will serve up everything from wine and Champagne to spirits, cocktails or just a barista-pulled flat white, with a small self-serve selection of dishes off to the right.

From here, we flip the view to face backwards – you can see the VIP area at the far end of this image – and you begin to realise how much of the Singapore first class lounge will be set aside for dining.

That’s quite appropriate, as most visitors to the first class lounge will be looking to enjoy a meal before jumping onto the relatively short overnight flight to Australia during the lounge’s peak period  (between 6pm and 8pm), or before they bed down for the long haul to London on the flagship QF1 flight. 

The final image in this set completes the lounge walkthrough, with dining tables to the left and right and a wide marble-clad bar and open kitchen at the far end.

The flooring along the middle section of the lounge is a new terrazzo which Caon’s team is developing.

“In the reception it’s all Carrara marble, and then when you flow through to the main lounge space it’s actually a terrazzo, which is one of the key materials that I'm quite excited about. It’s from a similar region in Italy to where the Carrara comes from, with oversized (marble) chips in it.” 

The à la carte menu will combine locally-influenced dishes with favourites from the Qantas first class lounge network, including the iconic salt and pepper squid.

Read: What's next for Qantas' business class, first class in-lounge dining?


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 79

Looks very impressive. Well done Qantas. This far exceeds what SQ has on offer. Very pleased that QF has moved away from DXB and back to where they belong being SIN.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 104

Pretty much sums up QF these days. Nothing real, all virtual reality.

01 Sep 2018

Total posts 29

Care to elaborate with just say, three examples?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 104

1. Priority boarding - QF is famous for touting it but not delivering.
2. "Revolutionary" PE seat on its 787s. Nah.
3. Lie flat J seats on all A330s - promised in 2012, still not delivered.
4. Moving hub back to SIN, years to plan for this, but lounge facility clearly inadequate as predicted by many.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 104

Sorry, that was four.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 166

Flying QF in first in 3 weeks. Not looking forward to the Singapore stopover. I cannot fathom why they haven’t fenced off a corner for passengers in the F cabin.

Can’t wait for the new lounge

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1257

But they do, don't they?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 323

Use the EK or BA lounge is they are definitely quieter.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 7

They do indeed save a few seats for F (as you walk in, diagonally to the left, backing against the glass overlooking the terminal).

You'll spot the small reserved signs on the tables, along with glasses of water covered with paper mats.

In my experience, the staff on the door only catch you about half the time to guide you there. It depend who's receiving you as you walk in.

If nobody mentions it as you come in, help yourself to the reserved seats and one of the staff will discreetly ask to see your ticket. (Unlike priority boring, they do actually move on non-F holders if they try to help themselves to one of the reserved seats). After that, you're hooked up for the proper champagne from under the bar...

22 Feb 2018

Total posts 8

They actually have dedicated dining tables and lounge seats for all First, Chairman and P1 passengers. While it is crowded the lounge staff do a great job looking after these passengers. They also reserve showers as well - just ask.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 29

They do. It's the row of seats by the window to the left of the bar.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1257

Great news for Plats and OWEs.

16 Jun 2017

Total posts 6

Why not redirect Qatar passengers to another lounge (read subpar) like Qatar does to Oneworld FF in Doha?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 185

Because they make money from it

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 247

Because unlike QR which has several lounges at Doha, Qantas has only one right now, and there are not many other lounge options at Changi T1. BA wouldn't be an option because it gets busy with BA's own flights and it would probably charge Qantas a lot of money per head, more than the SATS lounge I'm sure!

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 97

I like the private single chairs - similar concept to the private Solo chairs designed by Ilse Crawford (or previously generation Solus) in some of the CX Lounges.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2494

Yes, they very much reminded me of Ilse Crawford's Solo chairs – which is a good thing – I'm looking forward to trying them out.

31 May 2013

Total posts 21

Are there any windows? Natural light is always so sparse in airports. Shame its no colocated next the business one - but makes sense they had to take what they could get - looking forward to seeing the real thing!!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 903

I would say no. There is a "virtual skylight" which mimics natural light but is really lighting.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 247

The earlier AusBT article linked in the article which reveals what seems to be the specific location of the first class lounge shows that what appears to be the dining room area overlooks the arrivals section of T1. The photos in this article show wooden slats on those windows so this would be because there's not really an appealing 'view' to speak of but there is some light coming through, even though it's not natural light. The 'skylights' mentioned in the article are 'virtual skylights' which according to an earlier AusBT article on the lounge will mimic natural light including showing clouds and darkening as sunset approaches, be interesting to see.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 98

Looks good. Can’t wait to use it. Flying SIN - LHR this weekend and will def be using the BA lounge not QF. Usually much quieter.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 247

Actually SIN-LHR is pretty quiet, the lounge is busiest between arrival of QF2 with passengers pouring in from 6pm and departure of the QF flights to Australia which are spread across 7pm to 8.30pm. I did QF1 a few months ago and as it arrives around 10pm the lounge is actually very quiet then.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

12 Nov 2017

Total posts 17

Sterile and bland, but I guess that defines contemporary these days...(give me the Singapore Private Room decor any day).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 76

November is still a long way away. I've got at least 3 flights passing through SIN by then with QF. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel when we are shoulder to shoulder in the Business Lounge. I haven't tried BA lounge but may do this time. I liked the photos of the QF First lounge when I saw it in the first article and like it even more now. I hope the food and drink live up to the hype and I see that they do have comfortable chairs with an ottoman, I'll be heading for those.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 95

Me too, Metoo. I’ll be heading back from the uk mid August. BA First LHR SIN, QF First SIN MEL. It’s a pity I’ll miss it for the next few trips. I suppose I could always go through DXB...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 80

All is fine and I'm sure the food will be OK etc, however I cant help but feel that these privacy chairs in the lounge, privacy suites in first, new privacy business seats says a lot about how us humans are becoming more insular. Hmm.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Those who consider themselves the elite in society may not crave the company of others of a lower social standing. Look at private islands in Fiji or Caribbean: not going broke. In contrast, I like a certain amount of other 'activity' around, so the rarefied atmosphere of such a lounge doesn't overly appeal. Too snobby!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 95

It’s not snobby. Some of us enjoy solitude and just don’t like loud mouths and other people’s noisy children.

I can’t relax in a crowded “food hall” like the current lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2016

Total posts 43

awww... I will miss the opening by a few weeks. Coming thru on QF2 F in late October, then continue journey RTW on QF11 in November. Next trip I guess..... What's the best SIN lounge for 2 hours (a bit less) between the LHR-SIN / SIN-SYD legs of QF2?

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