Review: Qantas International Lounge, Brisbane Airport

Sporting a relaxed design and bartender service, this pre-flight hangout is well worth a visit.

Overall Rating

By Chris Ashton, March 21 2023
Qantas International Lounge, Brisbane Airport
Country

Australia

City

Brisbane

Airport

Brisbane

Alliance

oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Barista and bar service
The Bad
  • Only one of three levels open during our visit
X-Factor
  • Bright, Queensland-centric design
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Qantas is embarking on a significant refresh of its domestic and international lounges in the coming years. Sydney, Melbourne and even Hobart are all earmarked for a much-needed glow up. Brisbane, on the other hand, is already looking particularly fine.

Spanning three levels, with access to those spaces toggled during peak and off-peak hours, the lounge sports a warm and inviting aesthetic. It’s filled with white shutters and sleek wall panelling, abundant greenery, and a myriad of seating choices to suit your mood.

Whether you’re a Oneworld business class passenger, Qantas Club member, or perhaps have a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card in your digital wallet, here’s what the Qantas Brisbane Lounge has to offer.

Location & Impressions

After clearing security, passport control and emerging from the duty-free maze, continue walking forward and you’ll find the Qantas Brisbane Lounge foyer at the end of the departure hall. It’s right next to the News Travels convenience store.

Walk through that doorway and either enter at level one or ride the escalator up to the second floor, which is home to the main entrance and the bulk of the lounge’s facilities.

Levels one and three boast a variety of seating choices including armchairs and upright tables, in addition to a buffet, bar and family zone. Both floors are sadly closed during our visit – though Qantas has since confirmed to Executive Traveller that levels one and two are now welcoming flyers full time.

Level one of the Qantas Brisbane International Lounge.
Level one of the Qantas Brisbane International Lounge.

Opening hours for the Brisbane lounge are generally 5:30am to 11am daily, remaining open up to one hour longer on certain days, before then returning between 3pm and 11pm. A simple check of the Qantas website will alert you to the variations.

Entering the lounge on level two, you’re greeted by staff at the main reception, followed by a few private seating areas hidden behind chest-height screens topped with peace lillies and devil’s ivy on your left, and the bar directly in front of you.

Guests arriving at level two are greeted by the bar, as well as a few seating choices.
Guests arriving at level two are greeted by the bar, as well as a few seating choices.

Turning right, there’s a lengthy upright dining table – place settings ready for whoever chooses to sit there – as well as some lower dining tables and chairs, leading on to the main buffet station. More on this later.

Grab a chair at the main dining table, or find your way to one of the lower tables.
Grab a chair at the main dining table, or find your way to one of the lower tables.

Beyond is an impressive, floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking the departures hall and tarmac – much like the one in the Air New Zealand and Plaza Premium lounges at the opposite end of the terminal.

Seating choices are varied and plentiful, with an AC and USB power outlet within reach of most.

The Qantas Lounge looks down across the main departures hall.
The Qantas Lounge looks down across the main departures hall.

Level one is home to a similarly-designed and stocked bar, as well as low-set seating and a lengthy bank of upright work desks fitted with power outlets at arm’s reach. We’d recommend this floor for those looking to do some work during their visit.

There's ample power to go around at this level one work desk.
There's ample power to go around at this level one work desk.

It’s a similar work-ready story on the top floor, although it opens during peak times as required. The smallest of the trio, it sports a broader selection of furniture, including a semi-private nook in the far corner, and what is arguably the best view of the tarmac.

Level 3 is the smallest of the trio and only opened during peak times.
Level 3 is the smallest of the trio and only opened during peak times.

Something to be mindful of is that only levels two and three have internal access. Those hoping to stop by level one and then peruse the others need to exit the lounge and then head up the escalator.

Access

  • Business class passengers of Qantas or Oneworld partner airlines.
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers travelling with any Oneworld airline; with a QF flight number on their ticket; or with Emirates or Jetstar.
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members travelling with Qantas or partner airlines.
  • Qantas Club members and Qantas Club Annual Guest Card holders traveller on a QF or JQ flight number.

Dining

Hot menu items consist of a zingy pumpkin and ginger soup, together with a flavoursome Mediterranean braised lamb and spice pumpkin and coconut curry. Steamed jasmine rice is provided to accompany the curry.

Salad options are roasted cauliflower with chickpea and pistachio drizzled in balsamic vinegar, in addition to quinoa tabbouleh lavished in a lemon dressing, and basic mixed green leaves.

Cauliflower and chickpea salad, mixed green leaves and a zesty tabbouleh.
Cauliflower and chickpea salad, mixed green leaves and a zesty tabbouleh.

Desserts are chocolate brownies, almond and apricot cookies, and fresh cut fruit… as well as self-serve pineapple lollies and pretzels over at the bar.

It’s a fairly limited assortment, but all dishes are tasty. The Mediterranean lamb is the standout.

Travellers can swing by the barista station for a bit of pre-flight caffeination, as well as pick up a glass/bottle of beer or Australian wine from the bar. On tap you'll find the likes of Heineken, Hahn Super Dry, and a James Squire cider.

The bar features a variety of Aussie wines, in addition to an extensive selection of beers.
The bar features a variety of Aussie wines, in addition to an extensive selection of beers.

An Australian sparkling wine is available for all guests (over the age of 18, that is), while Champagne is kept under the bar for Platinum One and Chairman’s Club members.

Those who don’t fancy returning to the bar will be drawn to the drinks station, featuring an assortment of T2 teas and juices.

Self-service drinks stations are an appreciated addition.
Self-service drinks stations are an appreciated addition.

Judging by glassware and wine bucket, it looks like there would ordinarily be a wine option too, though it’s empty this time around.

Work

The first thing most travellers tend to look for in any good airport lounge these days isn’t merely the presence of WiFi, but fast WiFi, and on that front, Qantas delivers.

Our test shows average 93.4Mbps download and 95.5Mbps upload – more than enough for even the most data-intensive tasks, such as streaming video, sending and receiving sizeable files like WeTransfers, and so on.

When there’s work to do, you’ll find one desk in a ‘business nook’ near the entrance to the bathrooms on level two. It also has a printer, if required.

The Business Nook has a single work desk, with reserved seating for VIPs directly behind.
The Business Nook has a single work desk, with reserved seating for VIPs directly behind.

Besides this solitary pew, you’ll need to make do at one of the low dining tables or balance a laptop on your lap.

The first and third floors, both featuring lengthy work benches and ample power outlets, are better suited to business.

Relax

If your pre-flight visit provides some relaxation time, there are plenty of places to unwind here, though it’s the window seats that appear to be the most highly-prized by guests. And you can’t blame them, as the view is rather impressive.

The people-watcher's seat of choice.
The people-watcher's seat of choice.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a cushioned bench seat perfectly angled for social chats, on top of an abundance of dining tables and chairs. Departure screens are conveniently located.

One of the most appreciated perks of the lounge is the ability to freshen up before the flight. To that end, four shower suites are conveniently provided for guests – no booking required. Simply grab a towel and find an available stall.

Inside, the spacious suites are stocked with Li’Tya amenities, including shower, conditioner and body lotion.

Verdict

While not all levels of the lounge are open during our off-peak visit, the one that is is more than adequate.

Seating options are plentiful, food regularly restocked and staff pleasant in our brief interactions. It’s likely a different story when it fills up for the morning peak-hour rush, but for now it’s quite pleasant.

Although some years since its 2016 upgrade and 2019 expansion, which saw the addition of the ground floor, the lounge is holding up well. And if this is a taste of what we could expect from other lounges as they’re updated, both in terms of style and amenity, we’d be happy indeed.

The writer visited as a guest of Qatar Airways.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Nov 2011

Total posts 25

Great review!  Glad to see the lounge is holding up well.  It was mentioned in the review that P1 and Chairmans members have access to champagne - do they subtly show their card or how is that access known to the bartenders?  I believe this was also the case when SIN only had the business lounge as well as at the lounge in LHR.  I always wondered how this was managed.

Thanks Oneworldflyer. Correct, Platinum One and Chairman's members would just need to show their card when requesting a glass of Champagne. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 386

Agree with your rating for the food. It is just not up to standard and those standards have dropped even further post Covid.

Hopefully Qantas take note of the feedback especially considering their exorbitant airfares.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 571

The lounges are a lot smaller than it looks in the pictures, and I have never have the opportunity to use any other level other than level 2, for flights departing before 12pm. Just takes a few families-visitors and the place feels crowded, there are times I struggle to find any seats other than those at the bar table, 

Toilets are fairly clean but uses the ridiculous paper towel unpacked on open container rather than dispenser; this means when you grab them from the top of the pile you tend to pull off more than you wanted while also dripping water from your wet hand onto those left on the pile.

Might be picky but I rather be at the SIN QF business lounge T1 any day.

I wasn't aware Level 1 or 3 lounges even existed!  I've only ever entered from Level 2 which has been quite satisfactory for my needs but I guess the others haven't been open during the times I've visited which have been  early morning for a 9.15am departure or mid afternoon for a 6.30pm departure.  On both occasions seating hasn't been an issue.  What level are the showers available?  I don't think I've seen them on L2, not that I've needed to use them.  On one occasion I did ask for champagne, not the sparkling you can self serve, but the one in the fridge.  They gave it to me without issue and didn't ask for credentials but perhaps that's dependent on who the bar person is or how many guests are frequenting?  Regardless food and beverage is quite adequate however its overall size is quite small compared to many Qantas Club domestic lounges.          

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 46

I think your review was a tad too kind! 

My pet beef with this lounge as with others and particularly Virgin is that one has to queue for coffee. By all means have a 'barrista' if you think people find that 'cool' but also provide good coffee machines (with good coffee) for those who are averse to queing in loungess.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas International Lounge, Brisbane Airport