Review: Qantas Club domestic lounge, Sydney Airport

This bustling lounge may tick all the boxes but it's still waiting for an upgrade to be truly worthy of 'flagship' status.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, September 14 2021
Qantas Club domestic lounge, Sydney Airport
Country

Australia

City

Sydney

Airport

Sydney - Kingsford Smith

Alliance

Oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Any

Notes
The Good
  • A huge variety of zones, many with airport views
The Bad
  • Power points aren't plentiful, except in the working areas
X-Factor
  • Working pods provide a great place to power away on a laptop
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Often one of the busiest airport lounges in Australia, the Qantas Club in Sydney is the go-to for many business travellers jetting to and from the New South Wales capital.

It's far from the newest lounge in Qantas' network, but one that still meets the needs of most flyers – here's what to expect when it reopens.

Location & Impressions

Once you're through security in Terminal 3, make a left turn, and you'll find the Qantas Club entrance along the concourse.

When you see the 'Qantas Business Lounge' sign, ignore it and keep walking, until you encounter the separate Qantas Club bollard.

Make your way up the escalator, scan your boarding pass at reception (along with the Service NSW QR check-in code), and you're inside what would normally be one of Australia's busiest domestic lounges.

Looking for something to eat or drink? There's a bar, barista, and the buffet/service counter to your left after entering.

Although the food and drinks are nestled to that far side, Sydney's Qantas Club is an expansive space – and if you can't immediately find a seat, keep walking and you're bound to encounter a quieter space.

As the lounge sits above the regular departures concourse, Qantas Club guests enjoy the same airport views, but with fewer obstructions:

Those large windows also allow plenty of light to flow into the space – and views aren't limited only to those by the glass, either.

Sydney's Qantas Club normally opens one hour prior to the first Qantas or QantasLink flight of the day, and remains open until the evening's last Qantas/QantasLink flight.

As with all airport lounges across Australia, expect the Qantas Club to be closed when local lockdowns are in effect, or where government regulations place restrictions on 'indoor dining' venues.

Access

With Sydney Airport also home to a Qantas Business Lounge and a Chairman's Lounge, the Qantas Club caters for:

  • Qantas Club and Qantas Gold members prior to Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flights.
  • Qantas Silver frequent flyers and eligible credit card customers tendering a single-use lounge pass prior to a Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar flight.
  • Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers when their next onward flight that day is operated by Qantas or QantasLink, booked under a QF or other Oneworld flight number.

The Sydney Qantas Club is also 'home' for the following travellers:

  • Air New Zealand Gold and Elite cardholders booked on a domestic Qantas or QantasLink flight under an NZ codeshare flight number.
  • Alaska Airlines' Lounge members prior to Qantas and QantasLink flights, booked on the native QF flight number.
  • 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 members departing on a domestic flight operated by Qantas or QantasLink on a QF or MU flight number.
  • Emirates Skywards Gold cardholders travelling onwards aboard a Qantas or QantasLink flight booked under a QF or EK codeshare flight number.

Jetstar passengers, your flight will depart from Terminal 2, although this lounge sits in Terminal 3.

You can still stop by, but will need to allow time for the walk between terminals, and for another round of security at T2 in time for boarding.

Dining

When your journey begins at yawn o'clock, make a beeline for the barista counter. 

Although queues can sometimes be lengthy, staff pump through coffee orders quickly – and if you're pressed for time, use the pause between ordering and pick-up to grab a bite nearby.

On our most recent morning visit, the egg, pumpkin and kale salad was a nice and fresh starter, with the ham, egg and cheese plate also enjoyed with a warmed bread roll.

Beyond breakfast, crudités are a staple of the all-day menu. When local restrictions make buffets possible, you can help youself to tasty treats.

At other times, staff are on-hand to assist: and to speed things up, pre-assembled snack bowls make for a swift handover.

Menus change over time, but another signature tends to be a substantial salad – seen here as a potato salad, plated up by staff and ready to go.

Depending on the setup, you may also be able to pick and choose from individual ingredients.

During the evening peak, a hot item often joins the lineup, with tasty sweet potato chips one of the regulars.

Particularly on weeknights, chicken wings are another frequent headliner – although aren't as easy to eat with cutlery, particularly if trying to multitask.

Back to the bar – from noon each day, you'll find a broad selection of beers, wines and spirits.

A number of those beers are on tap, with others seen in the display fridges behind. 

If you're mainly stopping by for a quick after-work refreshment, there's plenty of seating adjacent to the bar.

Barista coffee remains available throughout the day and into the evenings, too.

Work

Particularly in the afternoons as travellers check-out of hotels and arrive at the airport early for their flight, the working spaces in the Qantas Club prove very popular.

Towards the 'buffet end' of the lounge, these working pods fill up fast – each with AC power, although with the outlets unfortunately mounted close to the bench, which won't accommodate some laptop chargers.

Where power isn't essential, the lounge has many long tables suited to laptop work.

These are great for teams working collaboratively, but they're typically near walkways, which puts them in slightly noisier locations.

Heading towards the 'not buffet end' of the lounge often finds things a bit quieter.

Over in the very far corner – closer to the Business Lounge – you'll also find a few larger working pods:

These are terrific when there's serious work to be done, as they're in a secluded place with lots of privacy. Plus, the power outlets don't have size constraints, so you can safely plug in transformers large and small.

You'll also find power-equipped seats at the long tables opposite the bar, although the lounge would certainly do well with more power points in more places overall.

WiFi speeds here are super fast, with downloads averaging 164Mbps, and uploads on-par at 157Mbps, during our most recent visit.

Relax

Much of Sydney's Qantas Club is given over to relaxation: and in particular, unwinding with a drink after work. 

Almost every seat throughout the space provides a cocktail table, for that very purpose.

Groups travelling together will ALSO find collections of seats.

Parents with kids may instead gravitate towards the Joey Club corner, around and behind the buffet. Here, there's seating for those supervising, and toys and games for the kids.

Or, if you just need some quiet time, you'll find other seats to suit. Shower suites are also available in the Qantas Club.

All in all, while this certainly isn't the newest lounge in Qantas' network, its design still brings character to the space – and with Sydney's unique airport views, is anything but 'cookie cutter'.

With purpose-built working pods, other areas to eat and relax, and appreciated amenities like all-day barista coffee and spirits at the bar, there's a lot that regular guests will value.

However, if nothing else, getting more power points installed would make the lounge more accommodating for modern travellers.

Also reviewed: Qantas Boeing 737 'extra legroom' economy

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Sydney at his own expense.

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 196

The QF domestic lounges in SYD are the worst in the network

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 954

No, I think the renovated MEL QF Club can safely claim the title as the worst.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 352

Absolutely. It's like a crowded, noisy, windowless food court.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 623

The QF domestic lounges in SYD are the worst in the network

As are the Domestic Business lounge and International Business lounge. Even the International First lounge is showing ware and tear on the lounges and tables and chairs in dining area

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 352

So, all of them?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 954

No, the MEL International Dungeon is worse with few if any redeeming features apart from generally good desk staff; I hope they survived the pandemic cull.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 352

I quite like this particular Qantas Club, but just can’t understand why Qantas makes us endure the Sky News ‘after dark’ right-wing opinion programmes on the big screen. It’s not a pleasant experience and could easily be replaced with something else more appealing and less controversial.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 56

Plenty of negative feedback. Not sure what so many expect. It's a place to freshen up before or after a flight. The QF domestic lounges are fine for this purpose and certainly better than many I have tried overseas 

23 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

I actually don't mind the SYD domestic Qantas club.

It is much better than sitting in the food court !

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 81

Melbourne business lounge is great with it noodle bar and tarmac views 


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