Qantas to reopen Sydney first class lounge on November 1

Australia’s best airport lounge is ready to roll out the welcome mat.

By David Flynn, October 21 2021
Qantas to reopen Sydney first class lounge on November 1

Qantas will unlock the doors to its swish Sydney international first class lounge on Monday November 1 as the airline recommences its flagship flights to London and Los Angeles.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, speaking at today's Illuminate 2021 business travel forum, confirmed that not only would the lounge at Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal roll out the welcome mat, but the airline was preparing to reopen its network of 35 domestic lounges as lockdowns and and travel restrictions ease.

Qantas' Sydney international business class lounge is likely to remain closed, which means the first class lounge will offer access to business class travellers, Gold-grade Qantas Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members, along with the usual Platinum and Platinum One-tier frequent flyers.

This was the same approach used during the short-lived Australia-New Zealand travel bubble, and as Joyce said at the time, "if you're making a comeback, you should do it in style."

"That's why we've decided to open our First lounges ahead of our other lounges and give more of our customers the opportunity to experience them."

Status-based access will also extend to eligible frequent flyers of Oneworld partner airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways with a Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire card tucked into their travel wallet.

Qantas' Sydney first class lounge will be open prior to the airline's QF1 flight to London and QF11 flight to Los Angeles, both of which will now depart Sydney in the evening under a revised timetable designed to minimise the time aircraft spend on the ground at Heathrow and LAX.

With QF1 leaving Sydney around 6.30pm, and QF11 following at 10.30pm, this will also allow access for lounge-worthy passengers on the evening flights of Oneworld partner airlines, such as Qatar Airways' 10pm QR909 to Doha and Cathay Pacific's 10.20pm CX138 to Hong Kong.

The lounge's full set of opening hours have yet to be revealed, but it's likely to be tailored to suit Qantas' schedule.

As was the case during the trans-Tasman bubble, the first class lounge's à la carte menu is expected to be reshaped to what Qantas' consulting chef Neil Perry previously described to Executive Traveller as "more of a premium lounge menu like we have in London, while also recognising the importance of the First experience."

If the trans-Tasman dining experience is any guide, this will mean a mix of familiar Qantas First Lounge favourites alongside some dishes drawn from previous seasonal menus plus several 'crowd-pleaser' newcomers, and perhaps a cocktail or two alongside the selection of beers, wines and bubbles.

Read more: Sampling the new Qantas first class lounge menu

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 230

Excellent news, "the green shoots of life returning" etc! I agree that opening hours will be aligned to the QF flights, so expect opening at 3 hours ahead of QF1 which would be 3.30pm, and then a single shift of staff through to 10pm so as soon as the last QF11 passengers leave, they close the doors. Then see what happens later in November and across December as more international QF flights come back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 691

I wouldn't be surprised to see a 'wider' daily opening period, within the first week or two, @Gold4Life. 

Given that Fiji Airways has bumped up its start date and with the eventual return of American Airlines, the potential need for a lounge for these passengers will undoubtedly create a morning shift opportunity for QF to show off the First lounge. It will also be interesting to see how Emirates, Malaysian and JAL return, and on what type of timetable.

AA is supposed to be coming back in January 2022 but that was announced before NSW dropped quarantine, so it could join other airlines in coming back sometime in November or December. I think once AA comes back, as a JV partner Qantas would want to open the lounge for them. Not sure Fiji Airlines has as much 'clout' for Qantas to open the lounge just for its 737 planeload of passengers. So I think it'll just come down to which partner airlines are flying out of Sydney in the morning or early afternoon, as well as if NZ travel resumes in December which is what Qantas has been saying it expects.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

It'll be interesting to see the new menu for this, very much a summer menu and for at least the first month it will only be an evening or dinner menu. No corn fritters :(

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

And now we wait for a bunch of over-entitled Platinums and P1s to whinge that this isn't the 'real' QF First Lounge because it doesn't have the full menu, spa etc etc. Saw some entitled rants like that on social media last time. Time for some people to get over themselves!

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 35

@QFP1 I love that you are already crtiticising the not-yet-in-existence complaints hahaha. 

Hahahaha, I remember the same criticisms being levelled at the F lounge when it reopened for the NZ bubble! PS if QFP1 is a Platinum One at least he isn't one of the entitled ones!

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 209

@QFP1 - why do you personally care? And are others not entitled to an opinion ?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 May 2019

Total posts 29

Will certainly be avoiding the first lounge for a while. It will be like that awful few months last year when only business lounges were open domestically - couldn't find a seat, jammed full of qantas club members stuffing the finger food into their pockets etc. At the very least the spa should be reopened to those who are actually entitled to be there.

(Felt like I couldn't disappoint @QFP1)

Hey, I resemble that remark! LOL

I think most Platinums and P1s were not just very understanding of the temporary changes to the F lounge, they were also happy to have it back open and also see so many of the staff back, starting with the famous Nestor at the door!

17 Feb 2020

Total posts 12

By late January Qantas could have both international lounges open. With the amount of international flights expanding by then, and other One World airlines expanding their flights into Sydney.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 175

Hi all. Quick question if I could. I’m flying back to Europe with emirates in business class connecting from Sydney to Dubai on the 19th at 9.45pm. (So excited to see my family after 2.5 years apart). I’m a Qantas platinum. I plan to get into Sydney about 6pm. Am I able to access the Qantas first lounge (I used to but just confirming) and will it be open for me to enter about 6pm. Thanks everyone  

Yes, the lounge is open to anybody who would usually qualify for access such as Qantas Platinums on Emirates. As to the opening hours, these are said to be -4hrs before departure of any Qantas flight, so check the schedule for that day, if you're talking about November 19th then these would flights to London and LAX.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 175

Thanks for the reply AsiaBiz Traveller. My flight will be the 19th of December (sorry should have said that). Thats great the lounge will be open for me to use. Been so long since iv been in a QF F lounge, all be it a semi F offering, but it sure beats my home office in Melbourne for the past year and a half. 

Ah well by December 19th more international flights will be back, I have no doubt the lounge will be open for you at 6pm, what pleases me is that it will once again be open in the mornings too, for flights to Singapore for example, now they just need to get those corn fritters back onto the breakfast menu. Small steps!

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