Review: Qantas Club domestic lounge, Alice Springs

Refurbished just prior to the COVID shutdowns of 2020, here's a look inside the Roo's relaunched Red Centre lounge.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, August 20 2021
Qantas Club domestic lounge, Alice Springs
Country

Australia

City

Alice Springs

Airport

Alice Springs

Alliance

Oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Self-serve dining with tasty pre-flight bites
  • Now Alice Springs' only airport lounge
The Bad
  • Opens just one hour prior to each flight, limiting most visits to 30-40 minutes
  • Coffee is DIY, not barista-brewed
X-Factor
  • A fresh look and feel, themed in the colours of the local landscape
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Greeting travellers flying from the Red Centre, the Qantas Club Alice Springs is now the airport's only lounge – and one that's been refurbished and expanded just last year.

Now with seating for up to 105 guests, here's what one of the freshest lounges in the Roo's network has to offer.

Location & Impressions

After clearing security at Alice Springs Airport, walk straight ahead, then make a right turn when you spot the departure gates. 

The Qantas Club entrance is hidden over in the corner, and could certainly use some more prominent signage – a large logo above the door, for instance, to help travellers spot it.

Nonetheless, you'll find a space that's recently been both renovated and expanded, now catering for up to 105 seated guests.

Continue walking through the lounge and you'll find plenty of natural light, along with views towards the tarmac.

They're largely obstructed by trees, but those with a keen eye will spot an array of tails parked nearby at Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage – parked here in the desert waiting for global travel demands to return.

The Alice Springs Qantas Club opens at least one hour prior to each Qantas and QantasLink departure, which can see it close and re-open throughout the day, depending on flight schedules.

Access

At its core, the Alice Springs Qantas Club serves:

  • Qantas and QantasLink business class passengers.
  • Qantas Club members prior to Qantas and QantasLink flights booked on a QF flight number.
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge frequent flyers ahead of Qantas and QantasLink flights (including Emirates and Oneworld domestic codeshares).
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers when their next onward flight that day is operated by Qantas or QantasLink, booked under a QF or other Oneworld flight number.
  • Qantas Silver frequent flyers and eligible credit card customers redeeming one of their single-use complimentary lounge passes prior to a Qantas or QantasLink flight.

Travellers who don't meet the requirements above may instead qualify for entry as below:

  • Air New Zealand Gold and Elite cardholders travelling on a domestic Qantas or QantasLink flight booked on an NZ codeshare flight number.
  • Alaska Airlines' Lounge members prior to Qantas and QantasLink flights, including those on QF flight numbers.
  • American Airlines Admirals Club subscribers before a Qantas or QantasLink flight booked under a QF or AA flight number.
  • China Eastern's Eastern Miles Gold and Platinum members departing on a domestic flight operated by Qantas or QantasLink on a QF or MU flight number.
  • Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO cardholders travelling onwards aboard a Qantas or QantasLink flight booked under a QF or EK codeshare flight number.
  • Passengers connecting to or from a same-day international business class or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if the domestic flight is booked in economy.

Dining

Like most other Qantas Clubs, the airline's Alice Springs lounge offers a variety of complimentary food and beverages.

On the food front, the fresh buffet serves up tasty lounge staples, along with beautiful dolmades, stuffed olives, a basil and corn salad, a delicious ham and tuna mix, and ingredients for toasted sandwiches, with the sandwich press nearby.

From time to time, staff also offer 'tray arounds' – spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce, in this case – which were nice and crispy.

Those with dietary requirements can consult the staff, who have various other snacks hidden away too, like these gluten-free dark choc chip cookies.

Other nibbles and sweets aren't far away, either.

Being a smaller regional lounge, barista coffee service isn't available here, but there's a DIY coffee machine at the ready.

Bar service is available from midday, with a selection of beer, wine and spirits on offer.

With ice, mixers and garnishes not far away, assembling a gin and tonic was easy.

Rounding out the food and beverage offering on this late afternoon visit, a tomato and chive soup.

Work

When there's work to do, the long high tables opposite the buffet area prove a great place to set up a laptop.

They're equipped with both AC and USB power outlets, so make use of these – as if you're departing Alice Springs on the new QantasLink Embraer E190, you won't find power on board.

If you're looking for somewhere quieter, the far corner of the lounge offers a more secluded work bench.

Again, there's power available, although some larger laptop and tablet transformers may not fit in the power outlets due to their limited height above the bench surface.

Many of the other seats similarly provide easy access to power – including USB-A and USB-C sockets – with the location of the main AC outlets also better-suited to some of those larger charging bricks.

Many of these were added during the lounge's 2020 refurbishments, with WiFi speeds here hovering around 19Mbps for both upload and download throughout the visit.

Relax

With most visits here amounting to a quick pre-flight stop, you won't find showers here, and the vast majority of seating caters to kicking back with a drink and snack.

As noted above, most positions provide access to power, either below the seat, or through conveniently-located outlets at the wall.

If your Alice Springs visit has found you cooped up inside for work, the seats over by the windows may bring a welcome change.

With Virgin Australia's Alice Springs lounge now permanently closed, the airport's Qantas Club remains a great pre-flight escape: and could be reason alone for travellers to choose Qantas over its rival.

Also read: On board the new QantasLink Embraer E190

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Alice Springs as a guest of QantasLink.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 11

As a regular visitor to Alice Springs, I find this to be a lovely lounge with super staff. Its closure for refurbishment was perfectly timed with the first COVID outbreak and its reopening coincided with the NT’s internal unlocking in late July 2020, so for a while it was very exclusive!


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