- One of Qantas' newest domestic lounges with a distinct relaxed vibe
- Keep your eyes peeled for the morning 'tray around' dish
- Many power points won't accommodate laptop chargers, which limits your seating choices when you need to recharge
- Qantas Premium Lounge Entry is your fast-track through the airport formalities, offering private check-in and security screening
Qantas' Business Lounge at Brisbane Airport is open and buzzing, catering to top-tier frequent flyers and business class passengers jetting across the country.
The lounge sits as one of Qantas' newest, debuting in 2017 in a newly-built space: but how does the experience stack up in 2021?
Location & Impressions
Passengers with access to the Qantas Business Lounge can begin their journey by making a beeline for Premium Lounge Entry at Brisbane Airport's domestic terminal.
Although Premium Lounge Entry opening hours and days vary in line with travel restrictions, the space provides priority baggage check-in facilities, and then a dedicated security screening point attached directly to the lounge precinct.
Once through security and up the escalator, you'll find the Business Lounge directly to your left, at what is the rear of the Qantas Club.
Flash your boarding pass again to glide through those doors, and you'll arrive into one of Australia's best domestic lounges.
It's the second-newest Business Lounge in the Qantas domestic network: trumped only by Melbourne's Business Lounge, which opened around a year and half later.
As you'd expect, there's a good variety of seating zones tailored to work, dining, and relaxing.
Turning left at the entry generally finds the 'quieter' parts of the lounge – great for getting work done, or just avoiding the hustle and bustle.
Down the other end, the dining facilities and buffet.
Brisbane's Business Lounge opens one hour before the first Qantas flight each day, and closes when the day's last Qantas flight is called for boarding. This also makes it accessible to most Jetstar passengers.
- Qantas and QantasLink business class passengers.
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers travelling with Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar.
- Other Oneworld Emerald members when their next onward flight that day is with Qantas or QantasLink on a QF or other Oneworld flight number (no access on Jetstar).
- China Eastern's Eastern Miles Platinum and Emirates Skywards Platinum cardholders departing on a Qantas-operated domestic flight (no access for Jetstar).
- Travellers connecting to or from an international business or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if booked in economy on the domestic leg.
Brisbane's Premium Lounge Entry facility is available to all Qantas Club guests (and Chairman's Lounge invitees), however.
The Business Lounge is a popular haunt on weekday mornings for travellers making day trips to places like Sydney and Melbourne (when permitted) – which makes breakfast central to many visits.
The 'snacking station' finds the day's hot food, with staff on-hand to take your requests.
In addition to a menu, display items are set up to help visualise your options – certain to be appreciated by travellers for whom English isn't their first language, as you can simply point to order.
The snacking station is also where you'll find many items plated and ready to go.
Sampling the healthy salad bowl of brown rice, charred broccoli, edamame, and a poached egg – along with the vegetable frittata – made for a pleasant and light start to the day.
You'll find even more options over at the buffet, with Queensland regulations once again permitting self-service food and drink.
This includes the usual suspects like toast, cereals, salads, machine-made pancakes, and the lounge's signature yoghurts.
Add to that, 'tray arounds' from time to time, for those seated it the dining area.
Previously known as the 'plate of the day', this most recent visit saw travellers offered a delightful Egg Benedict.
Let's not forget the other key element of breakfast: barista-made coffee. When the lounge is quiet, staff regularly offer to bring your brew over to your seat, or even to take your order while seated.
This most often occurs when seated towards the far right of the lounge, in the main dining space nearest the buffet – and when your morning starts by frantically checking emails ahead of a flight, is a most appreciated gesture.
Come lunchtime, the snacking station and buffet area switch to an 'all day' menu, bringing favourites such as crudités and charcuterie plates, along with green, leaf and fruit salads.
Staff also assist with the service of hot dishes – with the most recent selection being between spiced chicken wings with rice pilaf, and Moroccan chicken tagine with couscous.
The bar opens at noon, with a broad selection of beer, wine and spirits on offer.
This is also where you can order barista coffee at any time during the day or evening.
When there's work to be done, the business nook just behind the entrance is a common go-to.
Every seat here provides access to both AC and USB power – although if the power outlets at the benches are too tight to accommodate your laptop charger, those in the centre of the table above will do the trick.
The same observation is unfortunately true of most of the power points in this lounge – they're all very close to the surface below them, which makes it impossible to connect larger MacBook and Microsoft Surface chargers.
When you don't need power, however, the far left corner of the lounge provides a quiet place to work, with the circular table being at a great height for laptop work.
For any private phone calls, look to the space behind what was previously a coffee counter – most travellers forget this area exists, so you usually have the section all to yourself.
Qantas has upgraded the WiFi connection since the lounge first opened, with download speeds now in the region of 79-87Mbps, and uploads around 135-138Mbps during our most recent tests.
Back when the lounge first opened in 2017, the same tests showed downloads as slow as 1.5Mbps and uploads at 11Mbps, making today's speeds 12 to 58 times faster than before – a solid improvement.
As well as being a quiet place to chat, that rear section of the lounge is also a pleasant place to relax.
For a seat with a view, there are many lining the windows.
Those away from the tarmac, however, are more likely to avoiding the blast of the morning sun when travelling in the earlier hours of the day.
Many comfortable chairs fill out each zone of the lounge, with cocktail tables adjacent.
Many of the chairs fixed in place offer power points, too – but again, better for small phone chargers than larger laptop transformers.
Shower facilities are available once again – and while they may not be as popular now as pre-COVID, travellers with longer itineraries will surely appreciate their presence.
All things considered, it's easy to see why this is one of Australia's best domestic lounges, although we'd love to see some action taken on those power points.
Travelling with a laptop isn't exactly uncommon in 2021 – and when you have a lounge designed with the most frequent and high-flying business travellers in mind, being able to plug in and recharge is now every traveller's expectation.
Chris Chamberlin travelled as a guest of Qantas.