Travellers can never have too many airport lounges at their disposal, especially when one of those is a pay-in lounge which welcomes flyers regardless of their airline or if they’re sitting down the back of the plane.
And so it is that Perth Airport – and more to the point, passengers heading out from Perth – welcomes a new independent pay-per-use lounge at its T1 international terminal when the Aspire Lounge opens its doors on 10 March – a timely one week after the state reopens its borders to the rest of Australia and the world.
Boasting views over the airfield and Perth skyline, Perth’s Aspire Lounge will be located between Gates 53 and 54 on Level 3 of the International terminal.
This area was previously used as an observation deck thanks to its panoramic views, giving the new Aspire lounge a premium position in contrast to the Qantas, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounges on Level 2, which are all nestled inside the terminal.
Entry will cost $66 per person if you book ahead online, or $77 at the door (with entry on that basis subject to capacity).
Members of the Priority Pass program can access the new lounge dependent on their tier, while entry is also included for holders of eligible credit cards such as the American Express Platinum or Citi Prestige cards (both of which open doors to Aspire’s 1,300 lounges worldwide).
Aspire parent Swissport says the lounge’s initial opening hours "will reflect the airlines’ schedules, and will extend as the routes pick up."
A spokesperson for Swissport tells Executive Traveller the timetable will start at 6:30pm to 10:30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with longer hours and more days added as international flights return to WA.
Guests can expect a ‘hosted buffet’ that’s staffed rather than being self-serve, with a menu along the same lines as The House by Aspire lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, which on recent visits have been offering up the likes of meatballs, spanakopita and lasagna with beef ragu, along with salads and cakes.
To wash that down, the tended bar will be pouring local beers, regional wines and non-alcoholic drinks.
To get some work done before boarding, make a beeline for a work zone near the entrance where a series of spacious desks are loaded with power points to ensure your kit can be juiced up; and if the kids need to be kept busy, steer them towards the family-friendly area with booth seating.
And if you didn’t get to Rottnest Island for that iconic quokka selfie, there’s a giant one here named ‘Captain Quokka’ to help you convince family and friends.
Interior design takes on a distinctive local flair, reflecting the nature and colours of Western Australia, with landscapes from nature photographer Michael Haluwana and two installations from local Indigenous artist Barry McGuire.
“International travellers from Perth Airport have never had a pay-per-use lounge option, but the wait will be more than worth it” says Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown.
“ We believe this will be the best lounge of its type in Australia. Western Australians deserve it.”
Along with the Aspire lounge at Perth’s T2 domestic, Swissport has also reopened The House by Aspire at Sydney and Melbourne international terminals, with My Lounge by Aspire at Brisbane ’s international terminal also on the roadmap, Swissport tells Executive Traveller.
Additional reporting by David Flynn