Qantas’ worst lounge destined for refurbishment?

The little-loved lounge has been on ice since March 2020, yet the Red Roo promises it will indeed return.

By David Flynn, August 8 2022
Qantas’ worst lounge destined for refurbishment?
Executive Traveller exclusive

The great Qantas Lounge Cull appears to be over, with the airline promising its Honolulu lounge – often considered the worst in the network – won’t meet the same fate as its siblings at Tokyo Narita or Hong Kong.

However, the airline declined to comment on reports that the well-worn Honolulu International Business Lounge will be refurbished or at the very least refreshed before its doors swing open once more, as well as seeing a timeframe for when the lounge will be back in action.

Honolulu remains a popular destination for Qantas, which until early 2020 flew a Boeing 747 from Sydney, and its low-cost arm Jetstar.

Until the Qantas Honolulu Lounge returns, the airline is issuing to “eligible passengers and their guests” – including business class passengers, Qantas Club members and Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers – with vouchers to spend on food and drinks at the airport’s retail outlets.

Adults receive a US$20 voucher, with US$10 for children.

That said, savvy business class passengers and frequent flyers on QF104 can also make their way to the shared Admirals Club / Sakura Lounge of fellow Oneworld members Japan Airlines and American Airlines lounge, which rolls to the welcome mat to eligible Qantas flyers.

That lounge is located on the third level of Terminal 2 – above The Local @HNL restaurant – in the central lobby of the Overseas Terminal, across from Central Security Checkpoint #3.

Earlier this year, while the JAL/AA lounge had restricted opening hours Qantas was redirecting lounge-worthy travellers to the excellent Delta SkyClub lounge, but this temporary arrangement has since ended now that the JAL/AA lounge’s hours align with the late morning departure of the Qantas flight to Sydney.

Qantas has been steadily reopening its international lounges since November 2020, when overseas travel resumed from Sydney and Melbourne.

Both the Singapore Business and Singapore First lounges are now in full swing, along with lounges at Auckland, London and the Los Angeles Business Lounge – the Los Angeles First Lounge is now tipped to unlock its frosted doors later this month.

Auckland has also been flagged for an extensive upgrade ahead of Sydney-Auckland-New York flights jetting off from June 2023

But the highly-regarded Hong Kong lounge was an early casualty – when Qantas eventually returns to the Asian metropolis, it will direct travellers to the lounges of Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific.

Also for the chop was the Tokyo Narita lounge, a sensible move considering that Tokyo Haneda will now be Qantas’ new hub, with excellent lounges available from JAL.


21 Jul 2011

Total posts 88

Petstar sends you to the DL lounge (but only when you press the point because none of the JQ outstation peeps know how to deal with their J pax). Anyway, the DL lounge makes you realise the old QF HNL lounge wasn’t half bad. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 147

The Honolulu lounge is the worst? I haven't been there but it must be pretty bad if it's worse than the Auckland lounge.

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 13

lol. Y'all should have gone to the "lounge" in NW Western Australia [Broome] when I went to Cable Beach Resort back in the late 90s/early 2000's. Completely empty (no staff), just a few seats and a little bar fridge with little to nothing in it. LOL  A few biscuits/cookies.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1042

I always considered the (now gone) NRT lounge or the MEL T2 J lounge to be the worst.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 432

Just out of interest what is the lounge in Melbourne for international like these days.It's been way too long since I last went in there,my earliest memories of the place was given it was early afternoon just after lunch there was a fridge of mostly soft drink(Diet Pepsi handy for those of us with a tween and teen of your family)and their parents plus a few sandwiches.I am sure there were some hot food offerings as well.

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 61

$20 USD in place of lounge access for business class passengers ????

Should be at least $50 USD!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 28

I travelled QF104 from HNL to SYD yesterday and confirm that QF still giving the $20 vouchers at check in in lieu of lounge access.   No mention at check in of the ability to access the JAL/Admirals Club lounge as an eligible OW pax.

I went to the JAL lounge and they were most welcome to let me in after a scan of my boarding pass (OWE travelling Economy).   A nice minimalistic space to wait out the time before flight. Simple, functional food & drink options.    a solid 10-15 mins walk to the C-gates used by QF103/104.

At the gate waiting to board was in line with other “premiums” who were lamenting the lack of any lounge access, even travelling on J tickets.  I mentioned that I went to the JAL lounge and they said “Did they tell you about that at check-in” and I mentioned that no, that I read about it here earlier in the week.

I also mentioned that it’s likely QF don’t mention it to eligible QF pax as they get billed a reciprocal lounge access fee by JAL every time someone uses the JAL lounge on a QF ticket.  (speculation by me)

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 27

This lounge was so sad - dark, cramped, mouldy, with only small packets of biscuits for food. The world is better off without it.

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