Next on Qantas' lounge to-do list: Brisbane, London, Auckland...

By David Flynn, August 4 2016

Qantas is set to bolster its lounge network over the coming 12 months, with new international and domestic lounges where business travellers and frequent flyers can escape the crush of the airport terminal.

The airline – which analysts expect to report a full-year profit as high as $1.5 billion when the company files its preliminary FY16 results at the end of this month – has six lounges on a works list which could see further additions before the year is out.

International lounges will follow what Qantas refers to as its 'premium lounge' model, with a single facility for all flyers rather than splitting the space into separate business class and first class lounges.

That template has been successfully applied at Singapore and Hong Kong, and will make its first local appearance in the all-new Brisbane International Lounge (below).

On track for to open in October, the spacious lounge will – like its Asian siblings – offer seasonal menus with a 'plate of the day' selection, plus a tended cocktail bar.

On the domestic front, Brisbane's local Qantas lounges will be grouped together into a single 'lounge precinct' which will incorporate a 'refresh' of the existing Qantas Club and an all-new Qantas Business Lounge (below) extending further out above the valet parking area.

The business lounge will sport design influences already seen in the Qantas Business Lounge at Perth (below), which represents a bold new look for the airline's domestic business class lounges compared to the 'classic corporate' vibe of its Sydney and Melbourne siblings.

AusBT review: Qantas Business Lounge, Perth Airport

Those lounges will open in stages from early 2017, Qantas says, along with a new invitation-only Chairman's Lounge to complete the make-over.

London calling

March 2017 will also see a ribbon-cutting at Qantas' new flagship lounge at London's Heathrow Airport.

While all Qantas passengers will share the same premium lounge it's expected that additional services – such as free clothes pressing, 'off the list' wines and champagne, and first dibs on shower bookings – will be offered to travellers in first class along with members of the exclusive Chairman's Lounge plus Platinum One frequent flyers.

The split-level lounge will seat 230 travellers, with "a Rockpool menu and dining experience" featuring seasonal menus with a British bent, and potentially changing throughout the day to reflect the lunch and dinner departures of Qantas' Airbus A380 flights to Melbourne and Sydney.

Read more: Qantas plans ahead for London Heathrow lounge menu

There's also be tended wine and cocktail bars on both levels, with the upper floor affording views over the runway.

Qantas currently shares the Heathrow Terminal 3 lounge of British Airways, but sees the substantial investment in its own lounge as a marker for the airline's long-term commitment to London and the Kangaroo Route.

The Qantas London Lounge will flank new business class and first class lounges from Cathay Pacific, which are due to open by September 2016.

The CX lounges will be open to Qantas passengers as part of both airlines' membership of the Oneworld alliance.

Read: What to expect from Cathay Pacific's new London Heathrow lounges 

Auckland

Also lined up on the to-do list is Auckland, which currently makes do with what many travellers regard as among the worst lounges in Qantas' international network.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has previously stated "we have Auckland on the plan, it's a question of when we'll do it."

Joyce has told Australian Business Traveller that a new Auckland lounge would be "like the other (international) lounges... we'd like to have the best lounge in NZ, but these things take time."

It's expected that a new Auckland Lounge would also follow the 'premium' model, bringing first class and business class passengers into a single space, while also playing the same cards such as a Rockpool seasonal menu and a tended bar serving beer, wine, cocktails and barista-pulled coffee.

Auckland is Qantas’ most popular international destination due to high trans-Tasman traffic, but is anchored by a lounge experience which now pales by comparison to the all-new flagship lounge of competitor Air New Zealand (below). 

Read: Photo tour – Air New Zealand's new Auckland flagship lounge

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

The Qantas Lounge Domestic and International in Melbourne are terrible, in particularly the domestic lounge.  I am not going to renew the Qantas Club membership next year, knowing how terrible, old and inferior over the years and cheapy foods they serve in the lounge.  Event the ones in Brisbane and Adelaide are much better!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

The Melbourne and Sydney Domestic Club/Buisness and International Buisness Lounges should get a refurb after Brisbane

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

They have been saying this for a while but no actions.  Disappointing as always.  The food was terrible/inferior.  More distubring is no clear labels for the food items to cater for people with special dietary requirements.  Often, when enquired about the ingredients of the foods, staff cannot answer.  Forgot to mention the QF lounges in Perth and Canberra (even in Darwin) are also much better than Sydney and Melbourne.  Among all the QF lounges in Australia, Melbourne is the worst (in terms of space and quality of food on offered)!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

The lounges still hold up fine at themoment im just saying it would make logical sense that from say by mid 2018 that they would need a refurb and maybe another year after that the international first lounges. 

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Would you be satisfied if the qf lounges were better in Sydney and Melbourne than the rest of the country?

I find most of the Qantas pubs to be pretty much the same, expect for Adelaide, which has better food... Probably due to the fact there is no dom qf business lounge and it's also the international lounge.

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

I too would like to see the Sydney and Melbourne lounges get refurbished (hope it wouldn't mean there is no lounge to use for a while though).

QANTAS doesn't fly internationally from Adelaide so no need for a lounge at the international terminal until/unless that changes. But one lounge for all in the domestic section (sure some international passengers would use it, but having to clear customs etc. after leaving the lounge would probably mean few would use it one would think) would provide incentive to make it better than the typical QANTAS Club.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 158

London is interesting because:

- T3 in the medium term will be demolished once T2 north is complete, which is currently estimated at 2020

- The rental cost for the space once occupied by SAS/Air Canada can't be high, as almost all users are OneWorld (except VS and EK which have their own lounges), and AA and BA serve them adequately.

- QF I expect thinks it can woo plenty of AA/BA FFs over to its lounge, which will easily beat both, so this is more about earning money from OW E and S/business class customers enjoying the superior experience, which maybe only CX will rival when its new lounges open.


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