Qantas permanently closes Tokyo Narita airport lounge

Another Qantas international lounge bites the dust, although this closure won’t surprise anyone.

By David Flynn, January 24 2022
Qantas permanently closes Tokyo Narita airport lounge
Executive Traveller exclusive

Long considered more like an upmarket Qantas Club than a true international business class lounge, the Qantas Business Lounge at Tokyo’s Narita Airport is the airline’s latest overseas lounge to vanish from the map. 

It follows the permanent closure of the Qantas Hong Kong lounge in August 2021, although nobody would argue that the delightful Hong Kong facility was leagues ahead of its dowdy Tokyo cousin.

As it happened, in mid-2018 Qantas pledged the Tokyo Narita lounge would be upgraded along the same lines as Hong Kong and Singapore – but that renovation never took place before all the airline’s international lounges were shuttered in March 2020 as the Covid pandemic took hold.

Yet the decommissioning of Qantas’ Tokyo Narita lounge is no surprise. It catered for passengers on just two red-tailed flights, to Melbourne and Brisbane, at time when Qantas was edging towards the more convenient city-adjacent Haneda Airport as its Tokyo hub.

Qantas’ Sydney-Tokyo service – one of the last remaining Boeing 747 runs, until the jumbo’s retirement in July 2020 – already used Haneda, with the Melbourne-Tokyo service earmarked for the same shift from March 29 (another plan scuppered by Covid). 

"We expect the new Haneda service to be particularly popular with business travellers, who will save more than an hour of transit time in getting to the city” noted then-Qantas International CEO Tino La Spina at the time.

Qantas’ lounge options at Haneda

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed the permanent closure of its Tokyo Narita lounge to Executive Traveller, adding that “flights to the airline’s Tokyo hub of Haneda are scheduled to recommence in late March and Qantas is currently undergoing a review of lounge options for flights departing the inner-city airport.”

Those options nominally fall in the lap of Oneworld partners Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific, both of which offer excellent lounges at Haneda, although Cathay Pacific’s Haneda lounge remains closed along with most other Cathay lounges worldwide. 

Japan Airlines maintains two flagship lounges at Haneda – the JAL First Class Lounge and the Sakura business class lounge, with the latter currently closed.

The airline reopened its Singapore Business Lounge, Los Angeles Business Lounge and London Heathrow Lounge as flights to each destination resumed, with the first class lounges at Singapore and Los Angeles expected to roll out the welcome mat in the coming months. 

As for Narita, the downstairs space occupied by the Qantas lounge will soon host a new Aspire lounge from Swissport.

Slated to open by mid-2022, Swissport says its first Aspire Lounge in Asia will be “inspired by Japanese nature, style, and culture” and “provide a unique and relaxing experience for visitors.” 

Features will include a bar and buffet, a business zone for working and a "relaxation room”, with “natural sounds” and the scents of aromatic oils wafting gently through the 720m2 space.

12 Aug 2014

Total posts 14

Have Qantas had anything to say about what's happening with some of the other previously pre-COVID announced lounge upgrades such as Hobart and Auckland?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

No news on either front. Before Covid hit, Qantas had said that of all the overseas lounges to be upgraded, Auckland was top of the list – and as we've previously reported, it's due to become a single 'premium' lounge rather than retain the current split between First and Business lounges, but obviously Covid has slammed the airline's revenue so I would not be expecting to see this new Qantas Auckland lounge for quite some time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jun 2014

Total posts 21

I will miss the automatic beer machine... :-(

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

I love those automatic beer machines, Cathay's Haneda lounge has them as well.

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 318

I once entered the Qantas Lounge at Narita, and regretted it instantly.  I quickly returned to the JAL lounge.

But to be fair, it did at least have a decent window view of the airfield, something that many airport lounges in other locations seriously lack.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2017

Total posts 12

What other overseas qf branded lounges remain? All I can think of is London, Singapore and LAX. 

I'm unsure if Honolulu and Manila remain or if they join Bangkok, Hong Kong and now Tokyo Narita being closed and the lounges outsourced.

Qantas doesn't have a lounge at Manila, so Honolulu and Auckland are the only international Qantas lounges still closed. I can't see why Qantas bothers with the Honolulu lounge, it's the pits much like Narita, Qantas may as well use the American Airlines Admiral's Club lounge.

I'm sure Auckland will come back and eventually get that promised refurb into a single lounge, as Auckland has always been a hugely popular destination for Qantas, of course nothing's going to happen on that front until NZ reopens to Australia and even then it will take a long while for AU-NZ travel to rebuild to 2019 levels. I wouldn't expect to see Qantas spend a penny on the AKL lounge revamp until 2024. I was always surprised Qantas didn't just ditch its current lounge space and more into the old Air New Zealand lounge space once AirNZ opened its all-new lounge.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1036

Feels odd that they close the NRT lounge when it survived long periods of only having a single QF flight and short periods when even that wasn't running every day (such as after the earthquake in 2011).

I guess their forecast numbers of what they make out of other airlines using the lounge isn't worth keeping it open.

I'm surprised the NRT lounge lasted even this long, I always figured that maybe there was enough income from other airlines plus Qantas might have been locked into the lease and they figured they may as well keep it open if it wasn't losing money or was losing so little it was a rounding error, compared to the cost of closing the lounge, having no other airline income and paying for every QF passenger who used the JAL lounges.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 7

The lounge in Narita was awful, I always felt like some toothless women would come out of a side door offering me a quick massage for a small fee.  I remember being in the big JAL lounge after we were at Motogi circuit for the Moto GP and we were all heading to Australia for the next round. I bet there was close to 150 MotoGP people in that lounge before our flight and they stripped it bare . We ended having to stay in the lounge as the flight was over booked, so we were on the next one and the lounge went from a real bun fight to almost silent when they all left. The staff then spent the next hour replacing everything and I mean everything . There was not a single newspaper or magazine left, even the sweetie jar at receptin was empty.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1451

So currently there is no lounge in HND for QF customers, right? Thus anyone knows when Sacura Business will be opened?


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