Melbourne gets pay-to-access Marhaba airport lounge

By David Flynn, September 8 2017

Melbourne Airport's international terminal will see its first pay-to-enter lounge with the opening of the new Marhaba lounge on September 12, 2017.

Part of the Marhaba lounge network operated by the Emirates-owned Dnata air services group, passengers who lack access to an airline-specific lounge – most likely because they're not travelling in business or first class, or don't have appropriate frequent flyer status – can pay their way into the lounge for A$65 for up to four hours.

Some airlines will offer access to selected travellers who hold membership in that airline's lounge program but not the appropriately lofty frequent flyer status, and Australian Business Traveller understands the lounge could be added to the Priority Pass network in the future.

With room for 200 travellers, features of the lounge include a buffet, shower suites and a quiet zone.

The wine list boasts "a selection of Australia’s finest wines', according to Dnata, or a shot of Hudson Coffee fro the barista bar for that morning wake-up.

The Marhaba Lounge is open daily from 6am to midnight.

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.

deanr

deanr

04 May 2015

Total posts 231

Fingers crossed Virgin Australia can sort out access to this lounge for premium passengers flying to Fiji. It's a bit ordinary having to use the VA domestic lounge here in MEL before these flights, compared to the Etihad lounge for those flying to LA and HK!

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Where exactly is this located to be able to have windows?  I thought that only available space was being taken by the new AMEX lounge in the old MH lounge space.  It's also interesting how Melbourne is going from no priority pass lounge to having 2 of them in a matter of months.

Joshb

Joshb

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

It's the old EK lounge, upstairs next to QF F lounge

Monarch

Monarch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 4

There's a relatively unhelpful map at https://www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/service/lounge/mel/ which points to the access escalator!

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Congratulations Marhaba for setting this up in Melbourne, I'm sure it will do well.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

The hours of operation are also amazing.

tonbo

tonbo

05 Oct 2015

Total posts 12

This would appear to be the lounge that JAL is directing passengers to for their Melbourne -> Tokyo flight.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Is this documented anywhere? I assumed they would've used the QF lounge like in SYD.  JAL J pax can still use the QF lounge under OW rules but I guess JAL W pax will be restricted to this lounge.

tonbo

tonbo

05 Oct 2015

Total posts 12

Yes, the JAL website. Given the summer departure time of 00:45, and the Qantas lounge closing at 23:30, Qantas may not work. The Cathay lounge probably also isn't ideal as it would be full at this time.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Thanks,  I recently booked premium economy on the new route back in July and I couldn't find it anywhere when I looked back then.

KinHo

KinHo

03 Sep 2017

Total posts 51

Looks like this concept is being rolled out progressively by airlines. Great to see this happening and to have this option. 

At times even when flying J class with free access, and was pressed for time, there is not enough time to use the lounge. A total waste. 

So any class passengers with ample time, this pay-to-access (for pax without free access) will be worth it. 

Maggie

Maggie

18 Mar 2015

Total posts 3

Great location compared to poor old QC in the bowels of the building. For the infrequent overseas traveller it takes away to need to remain loyal to any particular airline/lounge. 

waikato

waikato

07 Dec 2016

Total posts 4

My question is where is the "new" Emirates lounge or are they sharing with Qantas?

Alistarch

Alistarch

29 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

$75 sounds quite reasonable for 4hours if you don't have the appropriate lounge access with the airlines...at least it has windows that allow direct sunlight and a view of the runway, something the Qantas lounge doesn't offer.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

Good to an independent lounge option for MEL, but will reserve judgement until we've got actual photos of the food plus a hands-on review.

lionelhutz

lionelhutz

20 Jun 2014

Total posts 59

Nice to have a Priority Pass lounge in Melbourne! Between this and the free meals in Sydney, PP is actually useful domestically now.

Michael Kao

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 340

This lounge is in the international terminal right? Mightn't be that useful for domestic flights. 

clarkysdonga

clarkysdonga

18 Aug 2015

Total posts 49

Just need a MEL DOM option now

jeffinsydney

jeffinsydney

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 16

Great idea but really looks ordinary.......

Like an old Greyhound bus station in Atlanta........the food court in Westfield has more style.

deany83

deany83

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 135

But it has windows!

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Highly unlikely you will be mugged at the Melbourne Marhaba, not so sure about the Greyhound Atlanta bus depot though. The food and drinks on the news last night looked magnificent, likewise with all the brand new facilities and the very attentive staff, seems like money well spent for the flying public not eligible for Airline lounges.

Descending

Descending

10 Sep 2017

Total posts 1

Bear in mind that check-in normally opens 3hrs before departure. Reduce time to make your way through the maze that is MEL T2, and also 20min or so that you need to leave the lounge for boarding. Might leave you with just over 2hrs of lounge time for $75. That is unless you're in transit or have no baggage to check in and have done online check-in to allow you to pass through immigration with a boarding pass before check-in has opened. 

DBPZ

DBPZ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

I used to spend > $10,000 extra a year to maintain the access to lounges, until I realized that I can buy booze at a much lower price.

twiningb

twiningb

30 Jan 2015

Total posts 20

Anyone know whether this might be accessible with Diners Club? The Marhaba Lounges in DXB and DWC are.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

According to Channel 7 news last night it's only $65 to get in, and seems to be swarming with cashed up back packers. The old EK lounge was a great size and heaps of windows, so they have a great location.

Monarch

Monarch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 4

The question is was the 7News footage an official opening with staged 'users' for media? Or was the footage of actual paying users? It will be "interesting" to see who the clientele is. 

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

That's a question you'd have to ask Channel 7. The pricing information we've published in the article is as quoted on the Marhaba website, where access can be pre-purchased in Emirati Dirhams (AED), which we converted into AUD at the XE.com exchange rate as of Friday September 8. :)

It's possible that rates for walk-up customers may differ, so last week, we asked the lounge's PR team to advise if that was the case, and if so, what those rates would be: but for whatever reason, they weren't able to provide that information.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Herald Sun also reporting a $65 entrance charge.

346

346

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2017

Total posts 87

Good to see a priority pass lounge in Melbourne. Now we need an AMEX one too.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

there's an amex lounge coming and will also be available for priority pass access

worktravelnomad

worktravelnomad

11 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

The amex lounge is not available to priority pass in Sydney so doubtful they would do this in Melbourne 

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

I could've sworn I read somewhere that it was but now I can't find it anywhere.  Oh well not a problem since I expect this lounge to be better than the AMEX anyway and can just use my AMEX if I was really bothered to check it out

worktravelnomad

worktravelnomad

11 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

The offical statement from Priority pass says this is not a PP lounge

Senhsiu

Senhsiu

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

Nah, got turned away with my Priority Pass tonight.

paulf

paulf

16 Sep 2017

Total posts 6

I tried to enter on Priority Pass this morning and was denied. The friendly woman behind the counter suggested I wasn't the first to turn up with a PP card. I was offered $65 entry but declined.

The lounge is upstairs next to Qantas First lounge.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

If one doesn't have lounge access with an airline, A$65 for two hours' access is not great value even though it offers a respite from the boring general waiting areas..

The only time it becomes good value is if a flight is significantly delayed, but still highly likely to operate.

Why can't this lounge have an agreement (interim?) with Priority Pass?


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