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Qantas will open the doors to its new business class lounge at Brisbane International Airport on Thursday October 20, but not before Australian Business Traveller stopped by for a sneak peek at the slick split-level lounge.
From the outside there's very little difference to what was here before: the lounge is at the same location as before, and up the same escalator.
But once you step off those moving stairs, the world has changed around you, starting with a new art installation named The Pulse of our Ancient Land by Jenna Lee of Indigenous design company Gilimbaa.
Immediately to the right, podiums where staff will stand as they welcome you inside.
Some travellers will recognise this as the space previously occupied by Qantas' separate first class lounge, but with Qantas first class long departed from Brisbane skies, the single lounge here is shared between all travellers.
While some Platinum-grade flyers may miss having their own space, there's still a quiet nook immediately behind the entrance with semi-private seating hidden behind a living wall...
... although most travellers will meander straight ahead towards the bar and coffee hub, serving fresh barista-made espresso, spirits, wines and cocktail at all hours of the day:
That's a significant upgrade to the 'pour it yourself' approach of Qantas' previous Brisbane lounges, with a selection of beers also on tap and served by the friendly staff...
... or if you prefer sparkling wine, Seppelt is offered here at the bar and at self-serve locations throughout the lounge:
(There's also Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV Champagne on hand for top-tier Platinum One frequent flyers and Chairmans Lounge members and other VIP travellers.)
Prefer something non-alcoholic? Try the 'ginger refresher' of a morning or a short macchiato in new Queensland-themed espresso cups:
Continue your journey into the lounge and you'll pass a new dedicated dining table, which sure beats balancing your plate on your lap.
Also nearby, an array of individual cocktail tables...
... each with AC and USB power points nearby to recharge your gadgets as you enjoy a meal...
... plus a more casual relaxation space with cocktail shelves in between each seat (again fitted with convenient access to power) and styled carpet in a nod to Queensland's reefs.
That's echoed nearby the terminal-facing windows with seats suited to solo travellers, duos and groups, plus some single seats facing those windows for travellers to enjoy the view.
Continue wandering and you'll spot this 'secret seat' in the corner, behind a privacy screen. We'd expect this to be the go-to space for VIPs and celebrities who appreciate that privacy, but also families with children who prefer their own space.
If somebody beats you to it, there's another small group of seats just behind with similar screens, along with one iMac computer and a printer for good measure.
Crank open that dark door above and you'll emerge in the bathroom and shower area, with towels easily found...
... and with several private shower suites awaiting your visit, each offering en suite bathrooms and amenities by ASPAR. The regular restrooms are also found in this area, although could use with better signage to point you in the right direction.
The real treat comes when you discover the new staircase, taking you up to a zone previously off-limits to the public but which has now been kitted out as a loft area.
Boosting the lounge's overall footprint by almost 30%, it carries a similar look and feel to the main space below it...
... but with innovative new food and beverage options for brekky, including 'Brisbane Breakfast Hatch' and 'Quench'.
Quite literally a hole-in-the-wall, the Breakfast Hatch serves up Rockpool-inspired dishes until 10:30am each day...
... such as Neil Perry's Bircher museli, fresh and plated up ready for travellers...
... or the breakfast bowl with a poached egg, halloumi and avocado, which proved particularly tasty:
From the Quench counter, a selection of non-alcoholic beverages including syrups from Bickfords and Buderim Ginger, and a signature tisane blend again designed by Rockpool.
As you'll find in many of Qantas' other lounges, working benches which also double as solo dining tables are also at-hand (and yes, with more power points)...
... but if you're travelling off-the-clock, stake your claim to these coastal-looking seats to the side...
... or follow the path to this little observation deck, delivering sweeping views across the tarmac.
Then, when it's time to say goodbye, you won't need to trek all the way back to the entrance: a convenient walkway from the centre of the lounge takes you to the downward escalator and onwards to your flight.
From Thursday October 20, the new Qantas international lounge welcomes business class passengers of Qantas and its partner airlines including Cathay Pacific and Fiji Airways, plus Emirates business class travellers who choose to use this lounge in lieu of Emirates' own facility.
Jetstar Business Max flyers are also invited, as are Qantas Club and Admirals Club members; Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge frequent flyers; Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald cardholders and Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO passengers.