Hobart set for all-new and much larger Qantas Club lounge

Frequent flyers welcome the promise of a fresh lounge, but ‘when’ remains to be seen...

By David Flynn, March 6 2023
Hobart set for all-new and much larger Qantas Club lounge

Qantas’ announcement of “a brand new Hobart Qantas Club” was almost lost among the headliners in the $100-million loungescape spree.

A dedicated first class lounge for London! Long-awaited makeovers for the international Sydney and Melbourne business class lounges! The return of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge!

But frequent flyers to and from the Tasmanian capital welcomed the promise of an all-new and significantly larger Qantas Club lounge for Hobart, even if it was the only lounge announcement without a date attached.

Qantas say the project will be delivered “in line with the overall terminal redevelopment” taking place as part of Hobart Airport’s 2022 Master Plan.

That Master Plan, in the words of airport CEO Norris Carter, “outlines Hobart Airport’s vision and strategic objectives for the next 20 years”, although the terminal’s expansion falls into an initial “eight-year implementation plan”.

And it can’t come soon enough says Jenny Plummer, a Hobart anaesthetist and Platinum-grade Qantas Frequent Flyer who travels to various capital cities on the mainland at least once a month.

“The Qantas lounge is desperately in need of an update and additional floor space,” Plummer tells Executive Traveller.

“It’s small and full of furniture which is not overly comfortable, and it's standing room only at busy times” – so much so that sometimes “it’s better to not go in, but to go sit somewhere else in the terminal.”

Jordan Rowland, who runs a Hobart-based commercial window cleaning company with seven staff, echoes that capacity – or lack of – is the biggest drawback of the current Hobart Qantas Club.

“There’s a good reason why we call it ‘the cupboard’!” he laughs.

“It's very small – when you get a lot of passengers ahead of a flight it can get busy real quick – and it’s very tired.”

A larger Hobart Qantas Club

He and Plummer are reassured that Qantas says the new Hobart Qantas Club lounge is “targetting a 50% increase in capacity from 96 to approximately 150 seats.”

The new-build lounge could also deliver more AC and USB outlets where they’re needed, Plummer hopes: today’s Hobart Qantas Club. “has a small wall space, where the power points happen to be, but there’s nothing in the centre where the majority of the seating is.”

Rowland averages one flight a fortnight, with those flights currently split 60% to Qantas and Jetstar and 40% to Virgin Australia: “it’s mainly whoever’s got the right timing and direct flights for my schedule, although I’m favouring Qantas more.”

Yet, like Plummer, he sometimes skips the lounge when his schedule is tight “because it’s so small, so what's the point of visiting?”

But not every Hobart frequent flyer considers a lounge as a must-have.

“The airport's only 20 minutes from the city, there’s very rarely any traffic and from the drop-off zone to the terminal is no more than two minutes,” relates Danielle Crismani, executive assistant at a large Australian company with a head office in Hobart.

As a result, Crismani can confidently arrive close to the departure time for her regular ‘carry-on only’ flights to the mainland – flights which she now makes on Virgin Australia, having moved across from Qantas some years ago.

When a lounge is not a deal-breaker

“The airport has a bar, there’s a couple of food options which seem okay to me… even if there was a Virgin Lounge at the Hobart airport, it’s unlikely that I would use it that often.”

For Crismani, it’s more important there are lounges in the other cities she flies to and from, “where I have the concern of how long it's going to take me to get to the airport.”

“I'm more likely to make my way to the lounge in one of the other cities and have a drink or snack there, relax and check emails. And if there happens to be a delay, I prefer there to be a lounge there.”

On the other hand, should her flight from Hobart be delayed “can track it on FlightRadar24 or get a notification… and because I only need to allow 35 minutes from my door to the departure gate, I don't have to worry about getting there in time.”

However, Rowland considers lounges are a vital element in the business travel mix.

“I think lounges are very important. I'm a Velocity Platinum with Virgin Australia and it’s very frustrating there’s no Virgin lounge in Hobart – you don't want to pay for an overpriced awful coffee, you want a nice relaxing area to wait around before your flight (instead of) being in the terminal and dealing with everything out there.”

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1209

VA (pre-administration) had asked for space at Hobart for a number of years but the airport owners said no space was available.  I assume they would still like a lounge there but whether space can be made available is a question for the airport management.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 372

So we still don't know when this will happen, where it will be in the terminal and how it will look. Hobart Airport management really need to kickstart this whole terminal redevelopment, it's been crying out for it for many years now. It's a sad state of affairs when the better and more modern airport in Tasmania is not located in the state capital, but rather Launceston.


22 Jan 2013

Total posts 96

That's what happens when airports are privately owned, most return for as little expender as possible.

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 4

One of the issues with Hobart is that it's overwhelmingly serviced by Jetstar rather than Qantas.  So you wind up on a Jetstar flight as that's all that's available, and the Qantas lounge is shut or won't let you in.  Often this can be later at night when all the other airport venues are closed too.  It'd be great if they provided access for Jetstar passengers, not just at Hobart but other airports where Jetstar is the dominant airline.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Apr 2016

Total posts 4

In the recent 'New/upgraded lounges' announcement by Qantas, Hobart was the ONLY one that didn't have a time line against it.  With good reason.

The HBA 'master plan' appears to be heavily dependent on securing very large amounts of cash for its runway project from government.  As that is unlikely, the redevelopment is also unlikely.  I can confidently say there will be no "new and much larger Qantas Club Lounge" at Hobart for a good 5 to 10 years.

The new owners Schiphol are still recouping their purchase moneys at as high a rate of return as it can.  No money for foibles such as passenger comfort!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2020

Total posts 8

Yes a new lounge is overdue (and some business food).

However, the #1 isue is on the Qantas link flights operated by National Jet, the streaming doesn't work (even if connection does sometimes), and in business they still haven't turned the electronic Business seats back on (no recline).

For goodness sake, on top of the appalling (non) reliability of flight time -  what is the Qantas business offering.  Virgin outperform even without a lounge!


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