Photos: all-new Qantas Melbourne Business Lounge, Qantas Club

By David Flynn, August 25 2017

UPDATE | Qantas will begin upgrading its domestic Qantas Club and business class lounges at Melbourne Airport in November, with construction works to take place over a 12-month period.

Both lounges will remain open during the renovation, with the upgrades – exclusively revealed by Australian Business Traveller earlier this month – being completed in stages.

Business class travellers, Platinum frequent flyers and other Oneworld Emerald cardholders will benefit the most with a 40% increase in seating, with the new lounge promising space for 350 high flyers.

The dining area of the new Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne, with the noodle bar tucked away at the back
The dining area of the new Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne, with the noodle bar tucked away at the back

Qantas confirms that as with the new Business Lounges in Brisbane and Perth, Melbourne will have its own unique dining option that reflects the local culture, which will be formally announced closer to completion – but tipped to be a noodle bar.

Like its Perth and Brisbane siblings, Melbourne's new Qantas Business Lounge will boast a swanky tended bar
Like its Perth and Brisbane siblings, Melbourne's new Qantas Business Lounge will boast a swanky tended bar

Qantas Club members, Gold-grade travellers and other Oneworld Sapphire members will also find more seats available in the redesigned Qantas Club, rising by 10% to 530, and taking the capacity of the combined lounge precinct to 880.

There'll also be a bar at the adjacent Qantas Club
There'll also be a bar at the adjacent Qantas Club

The refit will bring more power points for charging laptops, tablets and smartphones; a 'Quench' hydration station with a selection of premium non-alcoholic beverages, and an all-new look and feel compared to the current space:

The buffet area of the new Qantas Club at Melbourne Airport
The buffet area of the new Qantas Club at Melbourne Airport

Designed by Woods Bagot, the lounges will also share a reception desk but will be relocated to bring the Business Lounge towards the airside windows and the Qantas Club towards the centre of the terminal, allowing for direct-entry into both from the main reception area – avoiding the current detour for Business Lounge guests via the Qantas Club.

Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin.

PREVIOUS [16 AUGUST 2016] - EXCLUSIVE | Qantas is set to embark on an extensive make-over of its domestic business class and Qantas Club lounges at Melbourne Airport, with spanking new lounges springing up in their place.

The much-needed upgrade could begin towards the end of this year, with work being split into three stages designed to ensure that part of each lounge remains open during the renovations.

It's expected the overhaul will be completed around the middle of 2018, a decade after Melbourne's Business Lounge first opened.

A Qantas spokesperson declined to comment on specific plans for Melbourne but said  "we’re on a constant cycle of renewal with our lounges, having upgraded or improved about 30 of them in the past few years." 

But we've seen the blueprints, and here are the key take-outs.

Separate lounges, at last

Floorplans sighted by Australian Business Traveller show the Business Lounge and Qantas Club will each have their own entry and footprint, unlike the current arrangement which sees the Business Lounge nested inside the Qantas Club.

Travellers will ascend the escalators and hook left to enter the Business Lounge, or veer right for the Qantas Club. This will also remove the circuitous exitway of today's lounge layout.

So who gets the view?

The new Melbourne Business Lounge will occupy the entire northern span of Qantas' domestic lounge precinct, taking over a stretch of space currently assigned to the Qantas Club – which means that business class passengers and Qantas Platinum card-holders will enjoy plenty of light plus tarmac views.

The new Qantas Club will roughly mirror the Business Lounge's location but on the windowless southern side of the terminal.

The Business Lounge will no longer dogleg around to the left at the buffet and bar, yielding that space to the Qantas Club.

Both the Business Lounge and Qantas Club are informally divided into east and west zones with a bar in the middle.

More seats? More or less...

Based on comparing the old and new layouts, it seems there'll be more seats in the Business Lounge but slightly fewer for the Qantas Club.

What's most noticeable for both lounges is that there's less clutter: the floorplan generally shows a far more thoughtful composition of furniture and flow, giving travellers a greater variety of seating and tables plus more room to move between them.

In the Qantas Club, the newsagency will be relocated to just near the entry.

Expect some of the furniture to be similar to that of the recently-opened Brisbane domestic Business Lounge – in fact, reflecting on the 'before and after' of that lounge should give you an idea of what's in store for Melbourne.

Food and drinks

Centrally located in both the new Business Lounge and the Qantas Club is a tended bar, with 'Quench' drink stations found in the east and west wings of each lounge.

Adjacent to the Business Lounge bar is a buffet and dining area supported by its own kitchen, while a noodle station marked on the plans indicates the 'food theme' of the Melbourne lounge will be Asian (compared to pizza in the Perth lounge and Mexican food for Brisbane).

The Qantas Club's new dining area is closer to the entry and includes a buffet and 'cake display'.

More to come...

Melbourne's impressive transformation, which comes at the hand of Qantas' long-time lounge partner Woods Bagot, also provides a clue as to what's ahead for Qantas' flagship Sydney domestic lounges, which are said to be next on the to-do list for 2019.

More news on upgrades to Qantas' lounge network could be revealed when the airline opens its books on the 2017 financial year and an expected $1.4 billion profit, which would be the second largest in its history.

Lounge-related announcements could also include a planned refresh for the Sydney and Melbourne international business lounges plus an all-new Auckland lounge, which is expected  to follow the 'premium' model of Singapore, Hong Kong and soon London, bringing first class and business class passengers into a single space.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 2

Is Adelaide ever going to get a Business Lounge and a makeover?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Adelaide is much newer then both Sydney and Melbourne, the entire Terminal opened in 2005

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 303

According to the article: "It's expected the overhaul will be completed around the middle of 2018, a decade after Melbourne's Business Lounge first opened."... this means that Adelaide's lounge is actually older than Melbourne's...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

But the Qantas Club has been there, unchanged, since the days of TAA. Almost.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 569

The current Qantas Club was opened around 2000 when the extension to T1 was completed.  The previous Flight Deck Lounge was in the concourse and its footprint can still be seen in the cafes near Gate 3.
AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 514

Not exactly. The business lounge was built inside the Qantas club which is a few years older still. So yes the business lounge is about the same but the lounge as a whole is older in Melbourne by a few years. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

A litte too late?  Reducing the size of current Qantas Club lounge is disastrous.  It's already jammed pack during peak hours!  I must admit the business lounge is disgustingly small and crowded at all times.  Food offerings at both lounges were far from satisfactory.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 59

Can you name the architects/designers?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Jul 2013

Total posts 80

Confirmed! Saw a few builders in the QF MEL lounge just after 13:00hr yesterday conducting discreet lighting plan checks against existing ceiling locations. Assumed reno work is coming. Great news!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 569

The lack of any windows and natural light make the revised Qantas Club sound like a fairly depressing place.  I don't even know if they can use a skylight as I think there is office space above the lounge.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

I've been in the Business lounge when it's fairly quiet. You've just got to be flexible when you fly to avoid the busy times.

A lack of windows in the QANTAS Club will mean I'll want to keep my Business lounge access as long as possible.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Any plans to upgrade the international lounges in Melbourne?

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 291

If there was, I am sure it would have been reported in this article.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jan 2017

Total posts 3

It's actually the worst lounge of the entire Qantas lounge network. Even Auckland is better.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

Clearly an assessment has been made that Gold ff don't need natural light :) one slight correction too - the existing club has a family nook at the far end.

Completely OT, but what is the purpose of the news agencies within the lounges and do they ever sell that newspapers that have for sale? Seems like a very odd use of space and I don't think I have ever seen anyone buy anything!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 99

I'd rather they did the Melb International Bus. Lounge first. You'd think they'd want that done for the start of the 787 services.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

If they're not giving natural light for the redesigned QANTAS Club I doubt they'll do what we want with the International Business lounge when they redevelop that either.

For now I'm glad I can access the Domestic Business and International First lounges at the moment.

27 Apr 2017

Total posts 39

Loss of natural lights and fewer seats for the Qantas Club. A massive loss for MEL-based Gold FF members. 

Add on to that the windowless International Business Lounge and fewer J seats available for MEL-LHR upgrades (with the A380 becoming the 787), which arguably impacts Gold FF members the most (ie more likely to lose the ability to secure an upgrade than Platinums).

In sum, Qantas has firmly extended its middle finger towards Gold FF MEL-based members.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

I concurred your statements and feedback Levelnine!

Spot-on reporting AusBT, you guys have great sources. I will add this, the approximate capacity for the new business lounge is 290 up from 230 now, for the new Qantas Club it's 440 down from about 520 now.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

So they're cutting the combined capacity of the lounges? With a growing population this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I would have preferred them to expand the combined capacity to cater for some growth in usage of the lounges.
AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 514

Depends on how the arrange seats and how people use them etc. As it stands one or two people may occupy a 4 seat area and no one challenges them for the spare seats so they go wasted. Design them so less wasted seats and even with a reduction in count utilisation may increase.

27 Apr 2017

Total posts 39

Approximately 15% reduction in seating capacity in the Qantas Club. Absolutely terrible news for Gold FF and Qantas Club members. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

That explains how many Platinums (and perhaps P1s?) are out there on the QF FF Loyalty database now!  Gold is no longer GOLDsssss in the past!  Platinum is the new gold for the future!

11 Jan 2017

Total posts 15

QFFF P doesn't actually give you so much more benefits than Gold. It is actually Gold. 

Qantas doesn't really make it that special for its customers to try to keep the status. The only benefit which makes it standout from Gold is to be able to enjoy First Class lounge... that is all.


What I really don't understand is that why Qantas prefers to give its maximum benefits to CL, but not to its Platinum or even P1 who actually bring real money to Qantas.

Those CL who are the executives of the companies which generate more than 1 million AUD to Qantas annually, I can understand the idea. However, those CL who only get CL because of their governmental titles or diplomatic dtatus, it beyonds my ability to understand why Qantas want to topple them above those loyal P1 and P.


Qantas prefers people with big names and dignitaries than ordinary people with ordinary money I guess.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 514

So other than first class lounge access, domestic business lounge access and priority booking etc what more do you want? Dancing girls maybe? As for CL don't think you understand the purpose. It is not a reward for spending money hence why you have pollies, government officials as well as company execs. It is more about networking. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 569

Chairmans Lounge and its equivalents are loosely termed as networking, some would see it as bribery.

19 Aug 2017

Total posts 3

Great to read about this development - finally!!

I am biased and love the idea of the Asian influenced noodle bar for Melbourne BL - excellent theme

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

Surely we should have had the Mexican food rather than Brisbane ;)

19 Aug 2017

Total posts 3

Will there be s separate entrance for Business like BNE?
Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 396

Why does QF create a seperate lounge for domestic premium class and tier pax but in HKG, SIN, LHR, PER, create a combined lounge for all........I think separate areas at least would be reasonable for P and P1 pax at above lounges.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Supposedly the T3 terminal is meant to get demolished so maybe not worth the effort having a separate lounge and possibly not enough space.

HKG and SIN are no longer used for the Kangaroo route so hard to justify having separate lounges


PER is a stop-gap till direct flights begin (as early as 2022 if QF has their way, though that seems ambitious).

03 May 2012

Total posts 11

A windowless QF club lounge? It will be hole - the economy class of lounges. It will be a tough sell when my membership comes up for renewal.

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 140

No premium entry?

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