Qantas opens new Brisbane International airport lounge

By David Flynn, October 18 2016
Qantas opens new Brisbane International airport lounge

Brisbane is now host to Qantas’ best home-grown international business class lounge, with an all-new 'premium lounge' concept which makes its Sydney and Melbourne counterparts look more than a little dated.

Split across two levels, the new-look Brisbane International Lounge replaces the previously separate business class and first class spaces and adds nearly 30% more space into the bargain.

But while frequent flyers will welcome the larger footprint they’ll be wowed by the lounge’s fresh design, which takes its cues from the Queensland landscape.

It’s an approach already evident in the Singapore and Hong Kong lounges as well as Perth’s domestic Qantas Business Lounge, where a corporate ‘identikit’ approach to lounges is replaced by a decidedly local feel.

In the case of the Brisbane International Lounge this means furniture inspired by a relaxed approach to living in the tropical north, including low-slung lounges and timber café seating.

Even the floor rugs pick up notes reminiscent of the reef, sandbars and waterways of Queensland’s coast and inlets, while the loft-style mezzanine level brings in natural light to enhance the lounge’s airy open feel.

A standout feature is a custom-made glass and light art installation called The Pulse of Our Ancient Land, created by artist Jenna Lee from Brisbane indigenous design agency Gilimbaa.

Visitors to the lounge should take a moment to study the work and ponder the abstract interpretation of the Queensland region as viewed from above, brought to life through glass, watercolour and lights.

The new Brisbane lounge “reflects the natural beauty of the Queensland landscape through natural light, furniture and design, offering a new standard in premium travel from Queensland’s capital,” says Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans.

“Queensland is where it started for Qantas and we are proud to maintain such a strong presence after 95 years of flying.”

That presence will extend to locally-sourced produce for the seasonal menus delivered by Qantas Chef Neil Perry's Rockpool team.

A breakfast nook on the mezzanine level will offer breakfast bowls, bircher muesli and French toast alongside the hot and cold buffet.

The new Quench hydration bar – which the airline says will be rolled out “across future lounge developments” – will provide passengers with some pre-flight hydration through a range of non-alcoholic beverages.

Want something a little stronger? Hit up the tended bar for a barista-pulled Vittoria coffee, a craft beer or a glass of wine. 

Travellers wishing to freshen up before their flight can duck into the shower suites stocked with Aurora skincare products.

Brisbane domestic lounges to follow

The Brisbane International Lounge is the first part of a multi-million dollar upgrade to all of Qantas’ Brisbane Airport lounges.

Up next are the trio of Qantas lounges at Brisbane Airport’s domestic terminal, with a new Business Lounge opening in early 2017, followed by a refreshed Qantas Club and the invitation-only Chairman's Lounge.

Click here for AusBT's extensive and exclusive 'photo tour' of the new Qantas Brisbane International Lounge.

The Qantas Brisbane International Lounge will open to the public on the morning of Thursday October 20, 2016 for business class travellers, Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers and their OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents, along with Qantas Club members.

Join other AusBT readers talking about the new Qantas Brisbane International Lounge in our Qantas discussion group 


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.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 273

I love how much natural light there is - I feel that's something many many airports (and lounges) lack around the world, but Qantas seems to do it well.

Some of the chairs do look kind of.. old school though (3rd pic from the top i)


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 729

Yes, very old school 1950's contemporary retro look and colors, can't wait for the first few Premiums to trip over those splayed legs, could be refurbished sooner that we think.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 645

QANTAS cant be responsible for some peoples stupidity..regardless of their 'Premium'ness lol. This also applies to those who choose to blame others for their 'issues' in life in general :)


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 585

It is a drawing, not a picture... Reality is always different.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1197

Natural light in a lounge is a great advantage but it is more a function of where the airport is granted space.  QF Int'l MEL has no natural light and is a depressing place but QF is not alone here and until a new complex of lounges is completed above the main concourse, this will continue.  

Likewise MEL Qantas Club gets darker and less inviting as you get away from the front windows.  This is not helped that the lounge is about 16 years old and in need of a thorough revamp including all-new lighting.


03 May 2012

Total posts 121

Looks fantastic.  All this leads me to think that if you live in Brisbane or Perth and are not fighting for first class seat points upgrades or seeking access to a First Class Lounge, there is little point to shooting for Platinum over Gold, just for the advantage in Award seats. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2011

Total posts 186

Agreed PK.  I am Adelaide based.  For paid tickets to Europe in Business my best option is Qatar given the timmings etc.  And by flying J I get a better lounge in Doha than my OWE status gets me.  If I fly Emirates at least I can use the Dubai First Class lounge.

Honestly the only two reasons left to maintain QF Platinum is for availability of award seats and the domestic business lounges.  Oh and a distant third would be for the rare opportunities that I have long layovers in SYD/MEL/HKG.

Dont get me wrong this new lounge is fantastic, but it seems that the paid QC members get a roaringly good deal, and heavy flying Platinums get no differentiation of service....perhaps Qantas could take an idea from BA and have the 'Kangaroo Bar' as a more secluded seating section for OWE/Chairmans Lounge memebers to relax.  There is definately space within all of these premium lounges.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 141

The Kangaroo bar! I love it haha that would be a great perk. 

What is the arrangement for CX pax?

I believe they currently use the QF Business and First lounges.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

Why would it change?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2015

Total posts 43

So from this i read that the Domestic Lounge upgrade is behind schedule.

This article states

On the domestic front, Qantas will overhaul Brisbane's Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge and invitation-only Chairman's Lounge in what it terms a 'new lounge precinct' with a staggered opening  planned from early 2017.

With previous articles stating

Work on all three domestic lounges will be carried out in stages so that each can be partly open, in a staged process across the second half of this year, while a second stage of expansion continues into 2017

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

Yes, we're looking into this...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2015

Total posts 21

Hmm, BNE airport redevlopment site states "Work on each of the lounges is expected to start in early 2016, with a completion date of early 2017"

And Qantas' BNE J lounge page states "Works on all of the new lounge facilities will begin before the end of the year with a staged completion throughout 2016 and early 2017"

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 121

I actually really don't like the name. I hope they don't stick with 'premium'

I feel like they should continue naming these combined lounges after the city. For example: 'The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge' and 'The Qantas Singapore Lounge'. In this case then, it should be 'The Qantas Brisbane Lounge'.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Mar 2014

Total posts 73

I was thinking the exact same thing. I associate the word "premium" with premium economy when realting to Qantas and not their number 1 lounge at this airport.

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 227

Not sure I can discern anything regional that screams Brisbane or Queensland in the design. Maybe the fruit crates on the wall? It still looks great and if it reaches the high standard of the Perth domestic business fit-out it will do the job nicely.

I agree with tmsmile on the naming. Just call it the Qantas Brisbane Lounge and keep it simple.

09 Oct 2015

Total posts 3

Let's hope they also revamp the air conditioning or add an extra layer of glass to the northern wall - as soon as the sun hits, the heat on that side of the lounge makes it barely tolerable. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 473

Checked in for the final time this afternoon for my flight to Auckland - 18 years of visiting this lounge - I'm actually going to miss it whilst also looking forward to the upgrade

Kudos to quite a few of the front desk regulars - the lovely Qantas ladies who have been a staple of this lounge - always smiling, always helpful. 

Hopefully Qantas will find a way to do a launch event in the lounge before the public opening! 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 143

I'm so happy :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 473

You will by djcz - Qantas has done a great job. 

The amount of light and space is fantastic. 
  • I sat in pretty much every chair and all feel really comfortable
  • The amount of double GPO AND double GPO + USB points will be really appreciated. 
There's also a number of smart little hideaway corners which i'm sure will be used by regulars. 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2015

Total posts 36

Yes a premium bar that still serves Tattinger would be wonderful, I'm going to miss that part of the old first lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 317

Can't wait to try it out in 2 weeks time.  Hopefully they will have ironed out any quirks by that time :)

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

18 Oct 2016

Total posts 1

Can this lounge be used if flying with emirates? Would like to see what the new lounge looks like as opposed to the old Emirates lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 94

Huge disappointment. Natural light is great. No moving air. The rest is very crowded. Having been through LAX and Melbourne I was expecting more. One thing i expect in lounges is space. Upstairs is cramped downstairs is a maze of people walking in circles. I dragged my partner from our hotel to see what this new lounge would be like. Not impressed.

14 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

The new lounge is nicely fitted out. Other than that it's a huge disappointment. In terms of service, it simply does not come close to the standards of other business class lounges in Sydney, HK, Singapore, etc. In fact the food and bar situation is well below the standard of even the Qantas Club domestic lounges. And don't use this lounge on a last/late flight. The staff are so desperate to get home they will kick you out 30 mins before the flight boards, and let me tell you they are not polite about it. Get your act together Qantas!

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