Qantas promises all-new Sydney international business class lounge

By David Flynn, February 22 2018
Qantas promises all-new Sydney international business class lounge

Qantas is set to splurge on its lacklustre Sydney international business class lounge with a multimillion dollar upgrade taking the crowded space from drab to fab.

Staged construction work will begin in the third quarter of this year and stretch through to the end of 2019, resulting in "a completely new design" offering more than 30% extra seating and what the airline promises will be "a new signature dining experience" from resident chef Neil Perry.

The new-look lounge itself will developed by David Caon – whose recent work for Qantas has included its Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabins, lounges Singapore and Hong Kong, the Brisbane Chairmans Lounge and the upcoming International Transit Lounge in Perth – in collaboration with Australian architecture firm Bates Smart.

“Our Business lounge in Sydney is one of the most visited on the international network, so we look forward to upgrading the space with a completely new design and a lot more capacity,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in announcing the project.

“Our customers have told us that ample space, privacy and ambience are what they value most in their lounge experience, so the overall design of the new lounge will be tailored with this in mind.”

This will obviously leave Melbourne's international business lounge as the odd one out, with travellers no doubt hoping the dungeon follows Sydney in receiving its own makeover ahead of the Flying Kangaroo's 100th anniversary in 2020.

What do you want to see in Qantas' all-new Sydney international business class lounge? Click through to this article and have your say!


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.

22 May 2011

Total posts 74

Q3 2018 to end of 2019? That's around 15 months to build a lounge??? Are they building a whole new building for it!?

22 May 2011

Total posts 74

to think we would laugh at Malaysia Airlines attempt to relaunch their lounge and that was just 6 months (and counting...)

27 Nov 2014

Total posts 7

Yes this lounge will me a complete new rebuild


22 Oct 2012

Total posts 318

They must be using the same builders that did the new Qantas Lounge at Heathrow. I think that it took much longer than 15 months.

21 Jan 2015

Total posts 2

And I hope it's better than how that's turned out, I think it's awful

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 362

...and how will they cope in the interim while the lounge is being renovated?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2545

It's a staged construction, hence the extended timeline (would be quicker if they just shuttered the whole lounge) and one imagines it'll be rather crowded in the interim. That said, there's a lot of under-utilised space in the current design and if the staging is done right (which one assumes will be the case) it'll be short-term pain for long-term gain.

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

I wonder if there will be restrictions on using complimentary invitations and guesting restrictions for QANTAS Club members during the renovations.

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

Probably won’t be finished till 2020 sometime. These things always have delays. Keeping the lounge open during renovations will make things go much slower than if they closed the lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 216

Some day I hope my great-great-grandchildren will witness Qantas finally refurbish the MEL int'l business lounge.

On the bright side, at least Marc Newson won't be around to inflict his ugly retro-futurism on anything.

27 Aug 2015

Total posts 26

I'm with all the negative-nancys who've commented above - 15months is faar too long.

Solution: Lets leave the lounge as it is, make no changes at all and complain about how bad it is instead.

Just a bit of positivity would be nice once in a while people...sheesh!

02 Nov 2017

Total posts 35

Brings a bit of short term inconvenience sure, but I'm sure the new lounge will be absolutely fantastic if any of David Caon's previous lounges are anything to go by. Hopefully MEL's next!

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

Would love to see the MEL Int J lounge move to an upstairs space with tarmac views. They could do the existing space up but no natural light is a disappointment. But seeing the domestic QANTAS Club won't have natural light I can't see this happening.

At least the SYD International J Lounge has natural light. It's a better international J lounge than the one in MEL.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 16

Gotta love Australia.

1.5 years to refit a lounge.

Meanwhile Singapore has built a whole new terminal in next to no time...

24 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Its one of the worst lounges I’ve seen. So its good that they do something about it. However 15 months seems way too long.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 221

The lounge can get very busy at times and so extra seating would be good. Some demarcation of areas is also necessary. At the moment moment it al feels like one long sardine tin. Looking forward to the new one

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Nov 2016

Total posts 25

Just from personal experience (Feb 2018), Y or C + QF Gold + Travelling on QF marked int'l flights, EK lounge in MEL did let me in and kindly asked me to leave after the EK406 boarding announcement (if you try to access when there's no EK marked flight, EK's support staff would refuse entry due to 'lounge being closed down') can use all 5 lounges in HKG (1 QF + 4 CX/KA) and was refused entry to PEK Emirates lounge (Qantas did try to negotiate with Emirates upon relaunching SYD-PEK service for QF members' access rights and was refused).

Btw, Skybed I wasn't as horrible as originally thought, a comfortable sleep could be easily achieved with some adjustment.

Hope the above is relevant for some travelers.

22 May 2011

Total posts 74

That could be a suggestion, moving some overflow to Emirates lounge to speed up the renovation of the QF lounge?

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