Review: Qantas business class lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

Previously known for its overcrowding, there's once again room to move and mingle at Qantas' Lion City business class lounge.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, February 12 2020
Qantas business class lounge, Singapore Changi Airport
Country

Singapore

City

Singapore

Airport

Singapore - Changi

Alliance

oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Meals cooked and served to order
  • Barista and bartender service
  • Ample shower suites given Qantas' flight schedule
The Bad
  • Champagne is reserved only for Platinum One members (and above)
  • Power points aren't available at every seat
X-Factor
  • The days of overcrowding are over, with more seats serving fewer guests
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Qantas first opened its business class lounge in Singapore in 2013, but over time, the space became more popular: particularly when Qantas' flagship Airbus A380 flights to London made the hop from Dubai to Singapore in early 2018.

At its peak, the lounge became so busy that many eligible travellers were simply turned away, and those on the inside were left to battle for seats and space: but more recently, the openings of an expansion to the business class lounge, as well as an all-new first class lounge, have created many more seats to cater for the crowds.

Here's what Qantas' business class lounge has to offer in Singapore, now that the first class lounge has opened its doors and adopted many of the Qantas flyers that previously used the business class space.

Location & Impressions

Passengers beginning their journey in Singapore can find the Qantas Business Lounge by turning left after passport control, and taking the escalator up the stairs.

(Those looking for the new Qantas First Lounge should instead turn right after immigration, as the two lounges aren't co-located.)

If you're merely connecting between flights and are already in the international departures area, the Qantas Business Lounge is nearest the C gates, whereas the First Lounge is closer to the D gates.

In any case, once you're on the terminal's upper level, you'll find the Qantas Business Lounge near the British Airways, SATS and Thai Airways lounges.

Step inside and you'll be greeted by staff at the podiums. Opposite those, a service desk for any flight or seat change requests, upgrades and other enquiries.

The lounge proper has two main spaces – to your left sits the combined working and relaxation area, which isn't far from the bar and barista, while the dining room is tucked away at the other end.

The main space is easily navigated via a walkway running from one end of the room to the other, taking you past your various seating options.

Some seats are designed with solo flyers in mind, being spaced just a little further apart than your other options.

These cover much of the lounge, although there's no shortage of communal seating either, particularly towards the end of the lounge.

That's because this section was added as part of a recent extension, to help ease the squeeze at peak times: something the recent opening of the separate Qantas First Lounge at Changi has also accomplished, being the new home of first class passengers and Platinum-grade frequent flyers.

Qantas' Business Lounge in Singapore opens daily from 2:30pm until midnight, or later if any Qantas flights are delayed.

However, the lounge doesn't open earlier to accommodate eligible passengers on other flights, such as Qantas codeshares on Emirates to Melbourne or Brisbane (until late March 2020), or on Jetstar services departing before the 2:30pm opening time.

The Qantas First Lounge also opens at 2:30pm.

Access

This lounge primarily welcomes the following guests:

  • Business class passengers of Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Jetstar (Business Max fares only), Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines.
  • Qantas codeshare business class passengers travelling on flights operated by other airlines such as Air France and KLM, but only when travelling on that QF codeshare flight number.
  • Qantas Gold frequent flyers travelling with Qantas or any Oneworld airline; or, with a QF flight number on their ticket on any airline; or, with Emirates on a QF or EK flight number; or, with Jetstar on a Qantas or Jetstar flight number.
  • Qantas Club members travelling with Qantas or Jetstar on a Qantas or Jetstar flight number; or, on any airline when booked on a Qantas QF codeshare flight number, such as QF4235 to Amsterdam operated by KLM.
  • Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers travelling with Qantas or another Oneworld airline.
  • Emirates Skywards Gold cardholders travelling with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number.
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue Gold, Platinum, Skipper and Club 2000 members prior to flights operated by Qantas only.
  • American Airlines Admirals Club members travelling with Qantas on a QF or AA flight number.
  • Qantas lounge passes can also be used here when travelling on a Qantas or Jetstar flight number. These are awarded to Qantas Silver members and selected credit card users, among others.
  • Connecting passengers transferring from a Qantas or Oneworld business class flight onto a Qantas or Oneworld premium economy or economy class flight also have access here under Oneworld alliance rules: but only when both flights are on the same day (or the next departs before 6am the following day), the business class flight had a scheduled flight time of five hours or more and the premium economy or economy flight is blocked at less than five hours.

Of course, Qantas and Oneworld first class passengers are welcome here but will likely prefer the separate Qantas First Lounge: ditto Qantas and Emirates Platinum cardholders and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.

ET review: Qantas First Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

Some of the airlines above – including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qatar Airways – also operate their own lounges at Changi Airport, which adopt different entry requirements.

Dining

In search of a pre-flight bite? Rather than veering around to the left as you enter the lounge, keep following the walkway forwards, and you'll find the dining area around to the right.

Take a seat, and a moment, to peruse the day's fresh dishes. Staff will take your order, and deliver your choice when it's ready.

As nice as noodle soup can be, sometimes there's no beating a well-cooked piece of protein with rice, with the five-spice pork hock a deliciously light dinner.

The dishes on offer change regularly for the benefit of frequent visitors, but if you're after something more, graze past the buffet where you'll find hot favourites like chicken, rice and vegetables.

A staple in many airport lounges around the globe, soup is no stranger here, served with bread and fresh fruit to follow.

Nearby, you can also expect to find a variety of salads blending Australian flavours with local favourites, such as dragon fruit.

For dessert, there's no looking past the mango glasses:

Most of the seats in the dining area are communal – a nod to Singapore's street food scene, while also saving space in a busy lounge – but for a spot right near the action, take a seat at the open kitchen:

In any case, there's a selection of Australian wine at the ready to pair with your meal.

After dinner – or a late lunch, depending on your schedule – meander around the corner and you'll reach the bar.

For a business class lounge, there's a reasonable selection of spirits here – many of which are above entry-level pours such as Absolut Vodka in place of the typical Smirnoff, and Bombay Sapphire gin joining Gordon's.

There's also barista-made coffee, with a latte hitting the spot – although the lounge's Espresso Martinis are normally terrific, too.

One final thing: in the absence of a first class lounge in Singapore, Qantas had long kept a 'secret Champagne' tucked away for the first class, Platinum One, Chairman's Lounge and VIP set.

Although there's now a Qantas First Lounge at Changi Airport to cater for these guests (and Platinum members, who aren't on the Business Lounge's Champagne list), bubbles do remain in the Business Lounge for those eligible. The current pour is Taittinger Brut Reserve NV.

This comes in handy when travelling in a large group, where some guests may be eligible to visit the First Lounge, with others only having access to the Business Lounge.

Rather than splitting the group up, everybody can then visit a single lounge, but those highest-tiered travellers don't miss out on their pre-flight Champagne. Guests below the Platinum One rank, however, are instead served Australian sparkling wine.

Work

Have some work to tackle before you depart? These long benches suit laptops and keep power outlets tucked away underneath the table.

Many other seats provide access to power as well – and more visibly so – including these chairs which are perfect for solo travellers.

Otherwise, power points are commonly found built into the cocktail tables around the lounge – perfect for a quick recharge, rather than a longer work session.

Whether the lounge is bustling or bare, the free WiFi is lightning-fast. At its zippiest, we recorded download speeds of 288Mbps and uploads of 301Mbps, but even during peak times, those figures never dropped below 102Mbps.

(100Mbps, for example, is the highest theoretical speed possible on a top-of-the-line household NBN connection in Australia – so even at its 'worst', the WiFi here trumps what many Australians consider 'best'.)

Relax

Before the Qantas First Lounge opened its doors here in Singapore, the business lounge became known for one thing: being incredibly busy, to the point that some travellers were being turned away and sent elsewhere.

Fast-forward to today, however, and the lounge is much more serene, thanks to both fewer passengers stopping by and a recently-opened expansion adding even more seats.

The result? Passengers won't only be able to find a seat, but can also choose which type of seat they'd like, as should be expected.

When sharing the travel experience with others, there's no shortage of communal seating throughout the space, such as long benches with opposing chairs.

You'll also find seats tailored for pairs and groups, with some pews also designed with solo flyers in mind.

Although there are no airport vistas here, guests who enjoy people watching can overlook the terminal's check-in area from one side of the lounge.

A long line-up of shower suites are also available. During peak times, these may require an appointment, but it's often as simple as approaching the shower attendant and being directed straight into an available suite.

Overall, having visited the Qantas Singapore business class lounge both before and after the opening of the new First Lounge, there's a significant and noticeable improvement to the Business Lounge's atmosphere following the opening of that first class facility.

Fewer people jockeying for space ultimately translates into a better Singapore experience: whether in the fresh First Lounge, or here in the Business Lounge, where there's once again room to move and mingle.

Also read: Qantas First Lounge review, Singapore

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 599

I was there last week and it was definitely quieter but Singapore was pretty quiet as an airport and a city with very few people around generally.

I don't dislike the SIN lounge but can't say I love it either. It can be quite noisy when busy and the staff can be abrupt at times. The HKG lounge is miles better but, then again, it doesn't have to cope with the numbers that use SIN.

Hey reeves35, for what it's worth, the visit for this review was in late 2019 after the opening of the First Lounge, back when passenger numbers were 'normal' (and it was still much quieter in the evenings than before). Obviously right now, things will be quieter still.

I've always enjoyed the meals and drinks at the lounge but the design, with the hard floor and walls and exposed ceiling and large spaces does make this a bit noisy during peak times. HKG is quieter but as you say, doesn't have nearly as many passengers and also doesn't have that 'rush hour' of the QF1 and QF2 transits. If you get a chance, check out the Qantas First Lounge at Singapore, it's fantastic, but again you just want to avoid crush hour if you can.

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 172

We were in this lounge the other night on our way to Tokyo.

Whilst QF1/2 was not in yet and only a Melbourne departure, the lounge was pretty quiet and very very spacious. It did not resemble any of the overcrowding that was previously an issue from other commentators. I spoke to one of the staff members and he mentioned that since the First Class Lounge opened, the Business Lounge has been relatively quiet ever since.

We tried both of the dishes on offer and they were very under whelming. Tiny portion and average presentation. All the other buffet food looked ok/standard QF, however the deserts choices were amazing.

25 Oct 2019

Total posts 1

If travelling in Qantas business, I simply use the Emirates lounge instead. Infinately a better lounge with a great view! Otherwise even the BA lounge is a better option than using the Qantas business lounge at Singapore.

10 Apr 2016

Total posts 18

Have used this several times and the staff are exceptional.

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 144

On my previous SIN flight with QF I used the new Singapore Qatar lounge instead which was great. If flying in business and are not a Platinum, it's a much nicer option.

The food choices are better at the Qatar lounge and more made to order options.

The Qantas business lounge will only win out on better coffee and seating capacity.

Isn't the Qatar lounge great! As you say, only if you are in QF business of course. Buit it's great that QF passengers have the EK and QR lounges to choose from, in addition to QF's own lounges, and even the BA lounge if you want to be generous LOL

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 20

Its just another generic lounge with no character or Australian feel/theme. I was in there on Grand Final day and i asked them to put it on TV. Nobody had a clue what i was talking about and its goes without saying they didn't have the OZ TV channels available.

Also the newspaper selection is appauling. Only OZ newspapers! What about a few decent international publications for those who like to read world news.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 599

ABC Australia is usually always on in the Lounge. Unfortunately, ABC only took the 7 coverage of the actual match but didn't take much of the prematch etc.

iM
iM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2016

Total posts 53

What are Platinum Ones doing in the Business Lounge accessing champagne? They'd be in the First Lounge quaffing the real stuff...

If I was travelling with a few colleagues but I was the only Platinum One and couldn't guest them all into the First Lounge, I would be with them in the Business Lounge. But I think the point Chris is making is also that there's no real Champagne unless you happen to be P1, compared to say the EK or QR lounges where every guest gets French bubbles.


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