American Express unveils new Sydney Airport lounge

AMEX eases the squeeze in Sydney by moving into more spacious digs with shower suites and a cocktail bar.

By Brandon Loo, October 17 2019
American Express unveils new Sydney Airport lounge

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.

Sydney Airport's new American Express lounge opens October 23.
Sydney Airport's new American Express lounge opens October 23.

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.

Seating in the American Express Sydney Lounge.
Seating in the American Express Sydney Lounge.
A lounge with a view: keeping an eye on Gate 58.
A lounge with a view: keeping an eye on 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.

These banquettes are comfortable nooks for couples or larger groups.
These banquettes are comfortable nooks for couples or larger groups.

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.

Business travellers will appreciate the laptop-friendly workbenches.
Business travellers will appreciate the laptop-friendly workbenches.

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.

Dining area in the American Express Sydney Lounge
Dining area in the American Express Sydney Lounge

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 cooking station serves up freshly-prepared meals.
The cooking station serves up freshly-prepared meals.
Some of the pre-flight bites at the new American Express lounge.
Some of the pre-flight bites at the new American Express lounge.

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.

Espresso martinis are on the American Express Sydney Lounge bar menu
Espresso martinis are on the American Express Sydney Lounge bar menu

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).

The American Express Sydney lounge will finally have three shower suites.
The American Express Sydney lounge will finally have three shower suites.

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.

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

Damn, used all my visits up for this year

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 120

Do they have plans for amex lounges in brisbane or melbourne?

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 67

They have one in Melbourne international, it been open for about a year now. It's a bit larger than the Sydney one, although doesn't have natural light.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 120

Sorry, i had no idea! The sydney one is the one that is always in the “news”.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Apr 2016

Total posts 9

I believe this response is incorrect. Melbourne does NOT have an American Express lounge but lounges operated by other operators such as "Plaza Premium". These are not Amex affiliated lounges but you may get access if you have Priority Pass etc.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Gold

04 Jul 2014

Total posts 132

No, there is an AMEX Lounge in Melbourne. It is near the Qantas Bus Lounge.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

Well, that was quick! The new lounge was only just recently announced right?

So does the old lounge close?

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 59

About time. The old Amex lounge was too small and nothing special.

11 Jan 2019

Total posts 1

I hope in the new Amex lounge they come up with some healthy food options which are more exciting than an apple and a lettuce leaf. Just because I don't want to carb load before a 16 hour flight (five sorts of pizza, fettuccine, sliders and sweet, greasy stir fry) it doesn't mean I don't want something tasty. Fingers crossed Amex have lifted their game and paid attention to some of the more exciting food offerings available in other international lounges.

09 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

This is a welcome upgrade.

The old Amex lounge was an absolute zoo when I was there a few weeks back and even my 11 year old son was disgusted by the poor behavior of some of the "exhibits".

At least now there will be more room to escape them, and hopefully the staff will be a bit more vigilant on acceptable dress and behavior standards in an attempt to look after their new lounge...

28 Jul 2018

Total posts 20

Wish they had one in Brisbane.

From Melbourne I always use Qantas for International there I have the Qantas Business Lounge. But from Brisbane I use other airlines sometimes that are not part of OneWorld.

18 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

Brisbane has the plaza premium lounge. Accessible if you use your priority pass.

If you present the actual AMEX Platinum Charge Card or Centurion Card at the Plaza Premium Lounge (instead of Priority Pass), you can bring in two free guests rather than one, and you also get a voucher for complimentary drinks at the bar - whereas entering with Priority Pass means you have to pay for drinks, and only get one free guest.

CX

07 Dec 2013

Total posts 2

Not a minute too soon, either. Many a time have I been requested to kindly use the adjacent SkyTeam lounge due to overcrowding - which was no hardship as it's a lot more spacious!

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 158

I'd be interested in knowing how much time to allow to walk to the gates that are in close proximity to the original lounge.

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

I would allow at least a 10 minute walk from Pier C back to the 20-30s gates (the old lounge is Gate 24 and new lounge is near Gate 58)


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2387

Yes, I'd suggest allowing a 15 minute stroll at average speed and with a cabin bag in tow.

28 Jul 2018

Total posts 20

Thank you for your reply. I decided to go with AmEx Qantas Ultimate Card. It doesn't come with Plaza Premium visits. Only Amex Lounges. Wish they had one in Brisbane international.

15 Oct 2019

Total posts 9

Although I use the Qantas First lounge in Sydney, I did check out the American Express lounge. Very nice. What gets up my nose is that if there's no airline lounge in several cities, holders of Australian issued cards can't have access to American Express lounges in the USA without paying quite a lot of money, and it's definitely not worth the expense. Why is American Express doing this to its customers, particularly ones carrying a higher level/premium card?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

If you mean the Amex Centurion lounges in the US, then Amex Platinum and Centurion card holders with Australian cards DO have access.

From their website:

If my American Express Card is issued outside of the US or by another bank, am I eligible to enter The Centurion Lounge?

Yes, all Platinum Cards® and Centurion Members, regardless of country of issue, are eligible to enter The Centurion Lounge.


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