Cathay Pacific changes Sydney lounge from Qantas to The House

Sydney’s Qantas lounges are no longer the go-to for Cathay Pacific.

By David Flynn, November 2 2022
Cathay Pacific changes Sydney lounge from Qantas to The House

Cathay Pacific has a new lounge of choice for business class passengers and frequent flyers in Sydney, and it’s not the long-favoured facilities of Qantas.

Instead, the Hong Kong airline is directing its lounge-worthy travellers to The House lounge – formerly the den of Etihad Airways, and now run as an independent lounge by Aspire.

However, as savvy travellers would know, the Qantas lounges remain available to Cathay Pacific flyers under the common lounge access rules of the Oneworld alliance to which both Cathay and Qantas belong.

That said, there’s one notable exception: Cathay Silver members, who are not eligible for the same access under Oneworld rules as their Gold and Diamond siblings, will find The House is their only option.

Business class passengers on Cathay’s daily 3.15pm CX100 flight – along with Cathay Gold member and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents – can still of course head to the Qantas Business Lounge, while Cathay Diamonds and Oneworld Emeralds will naturally make a beeline for the delights of the Qantas First Lounge.

Cathay Pacific now directs passengers to Sydney's The House lounge.
Cathay Pacific now directs passengers to Sydney's The House lounge.

However, on those days which sees the 10.20pm departure of CX138, the Qantas lounges have already locked their doors ahead of the 9.35pm departure of QF25 to Tokyo – so “Hie thee to The House” is Cathay’s cry.

Of course, passengers can still make the most of some Qantas lounge-time up until the final call for QF25, and then make a short stop at The House until CX138 starts to board.

The House is also home (no pun intended) to British Airways, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Philippine Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, as well as welcoming Priority Pass members (upon payment of an additional $20 ‘Premium Lounge’ fee).

It’s also open to passengers on any airline for $77 as a walk-up rate or $66 if they book online.

Just note that at the time of writing, à la carte dining has still not returned to The House, with only a relatively limited buffet spread on offer.

As previously reported, Cathay Pacific now has only two lounges open at its Hong Kong hub, with The Pier Business for travellers in transit though Hong Kong and The Wing First if you’re starting your journey from Hong Kong or transiting through Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

It's not as if the Qantas International Business Lounge at SYD is particularly great.  The nicest thing I can say about it is that it is better than its sibling in MEL.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 605

The House at MEL's T2 is pretty darn good too.  That cocktail bar and the tarmac/runway view !!   

Worth every last cent (IMHO).

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 105

I'm wondering if this is a sign that they might be starting a refurbishment of Qantas business lounge they were supposed to do a couple of years ago? 

Maybe getting all the partner airlines out of there as the lounge was easy to fill up pre covid is what Qantas is doing as I'd imagine the floor space will be cut in half when they make any alterations. And with Cathay having a stronger partnership with Cathay in the recent period might point to them just reducing the demand on the lounge so the works can go ahead. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

As Qantas Gold, do I have access to The House if flying on Cathay? Do I have access to The House if flying on Qantas?

28 Jul 2018

Total posts 21

No if you're flying Economy. Because it's not a OneWorld lounge. But, Yes if you're flying Business or First with Cathay.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Sep 2015

Total posts 17

I recently used The House as an Etihad business class passenger, what a terrible lounge, we had to queue to get in as they were busy selling access to non  Business class flyers.Inside was a nightmare no seats anywhere , terrible food selection.I am amazed that airline use this lounge when the lounge is selling  space to anyone , yet there was no space at all.A terrible start to our long journey .So never will I travel Etihad again as the lounge was terrible and then their aircraft should have been retired a long time ago.

British Airways - Executive Club

06 Sep 2022

Total posts 1

I was (aggressively) directed to The House by the check-in staff when travelling First on BA ex Sydney. It was appalling. Food was poor, wine was rubbish, ambience was lacking, understaffed. Entry to the Lounge was delayed whilst walk-ups were processed by the single staff member on duty. It beggars belief that BA thinks this is an acceptable alternative to the QF First Lounge; one can only assume that BA Execs haven't actually seen it. The photos above are extremely flattering

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 10

Cathay is working with Aspire in a number of locations around the world. Aspire in general are poor quality lounges and you have to pay for certain items.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 173

I haven't used The House since the pandemic... It used to be a nice lounge (I used it as a VA gold pre HK and Bali flights and with Etihad)... A la carte service meant it was over and above typical business lounges, and there always seemed to be seating available. Sad to hear it's gone downhill.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 47

Most criticisms of "The House" are front of house (lack of) staff and food and beverage quality. This indicates poor administration and bean counter focus. Apart from lack of space, the other factors are more about choices rather than simply cost issues. For example, even seasoned frequent flyers often prefer a delicious well prepared Hamburger to a overcooked  steak. 

08 Nov 2022

Total posts 2

I had the opportunity to experience The House lounge in Melbourne on a recent trip abroad. I was incredibly impressed by the hospitality, the quality and variety of food options and the overall calm ambiance. Everything was immaculately maintained and presented, and I can see the staff had great attention to detail. On that note, the staff were incredibly helpful, and I truly appreciated their kindness and personalised customer service. I wish I took down the name of the lovely lady in the lounge that day, but will reach out to the company so she can be recognised. I seldom provide any feedback but felt like my positive experience needed to be shared on this platform.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 111

Not sure why anyone would prefer the QF SYDi J lounge. It is execrable.

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