Rex to open Brisbane lounge

Brisbane will soon join the Rex Lounge network as the airline continues its campaign against Qantas and Virgin.

By David Flynn, September 13 2022
Rex to open Brisbane lounge
Executive Traveller exclusive

Regional Express plans to open a lounge at Brisbane Airport’s domestic terminal to strengthen its position on the highly-competitive ‘golden triangle’ between Australia’s east coast capital cities.

The challenger, which began flights from Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne in December 2021, is understood to have leased an area next to gate 50, with fit-out already underway.

The space was previously used by Virgin Australia as a temporary ‘overflow’ lounge when its primary lounge was packed to capacity; prior to this, it was home to the airline’s meeting rooms.

Rex first flagged its desire for a Brisbane lounge in December 2020, with Deputy Chairman John Sharp telling Executive Traveller it would “accommodate our flights between Sydney and Brisbane, between Brisbane and Melbourne, and then obviously to other parts of Australia in time.”

As with its siblings in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, the Rex Brisbane lounge will offer complimentary access to business class passengers and travellers in any class holding Priority Pass membership (included with American Express Platinum cards), along with members of the paid Rex Lounge program.

Executive Traveller has approached Rex for comment, and will update this article on the airline’s reply.

Rex's Adelaide lounge will give Brisbane flyers a hint of what to expect.
Rex's Adelaide lounge will give Brisbane flyers a hint of what to expect.

Rex has become a thorn in the side of both Qantas and Virgin Australia since launching intercity Boeing 737 flights in March 2021, with highly competitive fares in both economy and business class on a fleet of jets previously leased by Virgin.

Earlier this month the airline welcomed a seventh 737 into its hangars to boost the number of flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Our seventh aircraft allows us to meet the ever-increasing demand for Rex’s services, given the shocking reliability on both Qantas and Virgin Australia,” said Sharp, taking a shot at the delays and cancellations which have hit those airlines over recent months.

Sharp aded that Rex intends to bring on another two 737s in the coming six months.

Also on the runway is an all-new Rex frequent flyer program which is expected to spark a loyalty dogfight with Qantas and Virgin.

A 2020 presentation to investors and sighted by Executive Traveller listed the launch of the Rex Frequent Flyer program as a ‘strategic milestone’, with an eventual value between $1 billion and $1.6 billion “in 3-4 years” after capital city flights commenced.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Aug 2017

Total posts 11

Rex sending their flights off from gates 32 and 38 in BNE, so it's only a short walk from 50 to there.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Aug 2022

Total posts 9

Rex’s hard product is simply not good enough to be a major AUS airline. Their business is just a bigger seat than their completely mediocre economy compared to QF and VA. They are more understaffed than QF 2 months ago so their service is horrible. Their food tastes like it was found in a dumpster outside a cheesecake store. Everything is just disgusting compared to the class of QF.

31 May 2013

Total posts 27

I do feel sorry for Rex - they have potential, but sadly because of uncompetitive slot allocations they will never get slots into SYD, MEL and BNE in the peak business traveler periods. They do need to refresh their SYD lounge (even cheaply!) to be competitive, and last time I tried to use my priority pass for the MEL lounge staff recommended using a bar upstairs where I'd get a $35 voucher! 

I personally find them refreshing to travel with! Simple relaxing atmosphere -  without the overly dramatic VA flair, or pretentious QF flair.... but that could also be down to the passengers as much as staff lol!


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 966

What about the “New Sydney Lounge” not going to happen…

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 12

Rex are doing a great job, keeping things fair and airfares competitive, certainly would support them if located on the East Coast as 1-1.5 hour flights for many is simply in Y with a good price.    

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 35

flew rex in economy recently. great price, very friendly service, was very happy with the experience. 

My preference would be Virgin 1st, Rex 2nd, Qantas 3rd.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2022

Total posts 9

I fully support Rex as this is clearly great for all passengers whether you fly with them or not, however, their Melbourne lounge is like walking into a small boardroom, it really doesn't cut it in my view.

Although in saying this, perhaps it doesn't need to be as flashy as the others if they are aiming for a different demographic, whatever that may be?

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