Emirates won’t reopen its Australian lounges until late 2022

The Gulf carrier will continue to rely on Qantas and ‘partner lounges’.

By David Flynn, March 10 2022
Emirates won’t reopen its Australian lounges until late 2022
Executive Traveller exclusive

Despite Emirates ramping up its flights to Australia across recent months, the airline will keep its premium lounges across the country closed until the second half of the year.

“Emirates looks forward to reopening our own lounges in line with the continued growing demand for international travel,” a spokesperson for the Gulf carrier confirmed to Executive Traveller.

“Currently, we expect to re-open our lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in the third quarter of 2022.”

The spokesperson added “dates are tentative and will be confirmed closer to the time,” while “the re-opening date of our lounge in Brisbane will be confirmed in due course.”

Emirates was among the first international airlines to tap into the travel surge as Australia unlocked its borders, and now counts a double-daily Airbus A380 to Sydney, along with daily superjumbos soaring into Melbourne and Brisbane, while the Perth-Dubai Boeing 777 toggles from four times a week to daily from May 1.

What are your lounge options?

So what are the options for Emirates’ lounge-worthy passengers ahead of those flights? It’s not as straightforward as you may think or expect.

If you’re flying in Emirates first class or hold Skywards Platinum status, you’re entitled to visit the Qantas First Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne – provided the opening hours of those lounges aligns with the timing of your Emirates flight.

However, Executive Traveller understands that Emirates business class passengers and those with Skywards Gold status will be directed to Sydney’s Plaza Premium Lounge and Melbourne’s Marhaba Lounge until March 27, which is when the Qantas Business Lounges in both cities will reopen.

(If you’re toting the right type of AMEX card, another option for Sydney and Melbourne will be the American Express lounges once they reopen from the end of March.)

Likewise, with Qantas’ international lounge at Brisbane closed at the time of writing and its Perth T1 lounge now permanently shutEmirates passengers are likely to be sent to Brisbane’s Plaza Premium Lounge and Perth’s newly-opened Aspire Lounge.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

Good to see Marhaba Lounge in MEL has reopened at least.  Given it is owned by Emirates, do they share staff?  I notice it is not opening up until 6:30PM each day so I assume it is targetting the evening Emirates A380 flight and not really trying to cater for everyone yet.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 315

I'm flying Emirates F out of Sydney in December and also hold a Platinum AMEX. Would it be best to go to the EK lounge if it is open or would the Amex or Plaza Premium Lounge be better?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 389

Judging from what the Emirates person said in the article, the Emirates lounge at Sydney will be open well before December. But if you are flying in first class then you would be much better off going to the Qantas First lounge. It's better than any of the other options and by December I am sure the Qantas Business lounge will have opened again and the QF F lounge will be back to its former glory with the full menu, spa etc.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

The EK Lounge would be best if it is open.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 315

Whilst not doubting the QF First Lounge I was thinking it would be best to be in the EK lounge close to boarding time as I assume an escort comes and takes you to boarding.  I think that, if that happens, they could only manage it from their own lounge.

25 Mar 2015

Total posts 32

I don't recall ever being escorted from any of EK lounges when travelling in F.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2017

Total posts 7

This is a real bummer.  I'm now departing BNE to DBX from MEL and will have a lot of time to kill with no lounge access.  Small in the grand scheme of things but still disappointing.

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

Melbourne airport is in depressingly bad shape at the moment. I visited two weeks ago and expected to be able to use the Qantas lounge before my Qatar flight back to the UK but was directed to the Mahaba lounge which was crowded and offered extremely little food and drink options so ended leaving the lounge early to find another option but again most restaurants were shuttered.

I do hope it can encourage some tenants to open up soon and surprised to see how much was still closed since travel has resumed, my experience using Heathrow and Hamad airport was just miles ahead of Melbourne which just isn’t right for a city airport if it’s size. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

The Emirates lounge at Melbourne is easily the best lounge. When Qantas business opens again, will it be the new business lounge? What is the timeframe around that?

23 Mar 2018

Total posts 2

3 observations. 

Holders of Priority Pass get into “The House” lounge in SYD. So much better than Plaza Premium and closer to the EK gate.

I have never been escorted from the EK lounge to the gate - 1 floor up and about 40 meters away. 

Amex lounge serves Reschs on tap. A tip for the connoisseurs. 

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2017

Total posts 7

So am I correct in assuming entrance to Brisbane’s Plaza Premium Lounge will be complimentary for EK passengers?

SMM
SMM

01 Feb 2013

Total posts 21

travelling on EK plane, QF ticket and as P1 can always access either First lounge. The day of my flight, there is no QF flight to LAX so they dont open and all pax have to use the sub standard Mahaba lounge. If I had paid for a First Class flight I would not be happy that no suitable lounge was open in Mel. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jul 2017

Total posts 2

I'm on the 6.00am flight in June (7th). It's not a day where the Qantas lounge opens early for Delhi. So basically no lounge at all?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 389

You haven't mentioned if you are flying out of Sydney or Melbourne, but whichever it is, I would double-check the Qantas schedule for that day. Now that NZ is opening up in April, you might find one of the earliest flights is to Auckland. So I'd go to the Qantas website and pretend you are booking a flight for June 7, enter Sydney (or Melbourne) to Auckland and see what comes up on that day. But if the Qantas lounge isn't open your 6am flight then I suppose you will be sent to whatever third-party lounge Emirates is using for this 6am departure, assuming any of those is open.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jul 2017

Total posts 2

Sorry, I am departing Sydney, careless of me. Now NZ has brought forward opening, perhaps I might be lucky that an early QF flight there may be useful. I have to say I am surprised Emirates isn't opening their lounges in Sydney or Melbourne to cope with a lot of passengers on very early flights, but hey ho.

A good way to get an estimate of when the Qantas lounge will open is to go to the website of Sydney or Melbourne airport, they always have a list of all flights arriving and departure on that day and the next day.

Select International Departures, look at the first Qantas flight of the day, do this for both today and tomorrow, and you will get an idea of what the first destination is and what time the lounge will be open.

Obviously some flights are only every 3-4 days and NZ has not reopened yet so you will need to do this for a several days and closer to June, but you will get an idea of where the first Qantas flights depart to on average and you can then check the Qantas website for June 7, enter the where you're flying from and those early departure destinations and you will quickly be able to work out what and when the first Qantas flight on June 7 is.

28 Mar 2022

Total posts 1

I'm flying on a QF flight number,  Emirates operated flight EK407 in Business late May and my Qantas app is still saying to use the Melbourne Qantas First Lounge, even though the QF Biz lounge is allegedly now reopened 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

10 Nov 2015

Total posts 8

Can confirm that EK departing pax out of Perth are sent to the Aspire Lounge (I was sent there when flying a week ago)

15 May 2022

Total posts 1

I was extremely disappointed with the Plaza Premium lounge when I departed Sydney on 25th April to return to the UK.   Very cramped with no comfortable seating, poor bar selection and simply dreadful food presentation with only two hot dishes to choose from, neither of which was particularly appetising, cheese and biscuits but no butter.  This was for a 9pm flight and although I had planned to eat in the lounge before boarding, the lounge offering was so poor that I decided to wait and eat on board - the fact that it was a totally full 380 meant that even in Business Class the service was slow.  Emirates should inform those who are paying good money for a business class ticket that there is no decent lounge facility currently open at Sydney and should also inform pax that they are able to use the Qantas Business Lounge - a fact that is kept quiet.  I have travelled this route many times in the past and have always used the Emirates lounge -with 2 x a380 departures daily now and hopefully another coming soon, there really should be a comparable alternative available to those who have paid for and expect Business Class service.


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