American Express cardholders will have more space to stretch out when flying internationally from Sydney Airport, with the unveiling of its new – and much more spacious – lounge.
Situated downstairs in Pier C and adjacent to The Emirates Lounge, AMEX will transition guests across to the new facility from Wednesday October 23 2019.
The new lounge sits in the space previously used by Air New Zealand and, before that, Malaysia Airlines – although it's been extended to provide a glimpse of the outside world, or at least of the aircraft parked at Gate 58.
“Airport lounge access continues to be one of the most valued benefits for our card members and we know from the success of our lounges around the world that travellers appreciate the stress-free environment, complimentary dining, and luxury amenities that our American Express Lounges offer,” said Naysla Edwards, Vice President of Brand, Charge Cards and Experiences at American Express A/NZ.
“Opening this new, spacious and convenient American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport is part of our ongoing commitment to provide our card members with premium travel benefits, exceptional hospitality and best-in-class facilities and experiences."
At over 600m² it's three times the size of the current AMEX Sydney Lounge – which is frequently subjected to overcrowding – and is subtly 'zoned' into an informal relaxation area near the window, a pair of long workbench-style tables plus a half-dozen banquettes along the middle, and a dining room at the far end.
Not only are plenty of AC/USB power outlets conveniently located throughout the lounge, but those in the recessed area of the workbenches include a USB-C socket for the latest generation of Android smartphones and other devices.
The dining area raises the bar from the previous AMEX lounge: there's ample seating to cater for the peak-hour crush, plus enough room to allow cabin-bags to be wheeled around.
But the star attraction here is the live cooking station, where chefs prepare a variety of dishes: the menu lists five different types of pizzas, several variations of fettucini pasta, a wonton noodle soup, plum chicken stir-fry and teriyaki chicken on rice, while vegetarian, vegan and wellness options appear alongside comfort food such as sliders.
The nearby bar offers an eclectic mix of spirits such as Effen Vodka, Squealing Pig Rosé Gin and Naked Grouse Blended Canadian Whisky, and while there's no Champagne (not even an under-the-counter stash for Centurion card-holders) there's Seppelts The Drive sparkling, which is the same Australian drop found in many Qantas Clubs and Qantas International Business Lounges.
Coffee lovers are spoilt for choice here – apart from the usual espressos and lattes, a speciality menu also offers single-origin Ethiopian cold brew and a sweet 'Snow White Hot Chocolate' made of white chocolate and foamed milk, while the lounge's signature espresso martini remains a reliable go-go.
There are also three shower suites stocked with L’Occitane en Provence amenities ( the current AMEX lounge doesn't offer showers, with passengers instead shunted to the nearby SkyTeam Lounge).
Managed by Plaza Premium, the Sydney AMEX lounge was the first lounge at Sydney Airport not to be affiliated with an airline or alliance. Unlike The House, there's no pay-in access, nor is the Priority Pass card accepted – the American Express lounge is exclusively for eligible American Express cardholders and their guests.
American Express Centurion and Platinum Charge Card cardholders have unlimited access with two guests, while a larger list of other Australian-issued AMEX cards provides two complimentary entries per calendar year, with all accompanying children under 17 years old admitted free of charge.
Executive Traveller's full review of the new American Express Sydney Lounge will appear once the lounge opens next week.