Qantas’ all-new Brisbane domestic business class lounge is the centrepiece of a revamped Qantas lounge precinct at the airport, with passengers also enjoying a ‘premium lounge entry' to fast-track their way to the upmarket digs.
Brisbane’s new Qantas business lounge follows a fresh design concept which debuted at the Perth business lounge in mid-2015.
Rather than the corporate identikit approach of the Sydney and Melbourne business class lounges, the Brisbane lounge draws inspiration from the lounge’s home city to give it a distinctly Queensland feel.
Long-time Qantas design partner Woods Bagot tapped local materials and a colour palette inspired by Moreton Bay at twilight, with plants and natural light reflecting the bright outdoor Queensland lifestyle.
The Brisbane business lounge plants its dress-code shoes in an extension to the domestic terminal, making it 30 percent bigger than the previous lounge with seating for more than 350 travellers – but those numbers don't convey how much larger the lounge feels.
The lounge’s L-shaped floorplan, while retaining a contemporary open flow, is subtly zoned to suit different types of travellers: from solo flyers wanting to work or relax, to couples and larger groups who’ll congregate around tables or bars as social spaces.
These benches have handy AC and USB power sockets.
New to the Qantas business lounge dining mix is The Cantina, serving freshly-made Mexican dishes including empanadas, soft corn tacos, roast sweetcorn and quesadillas.
Qantas chose not to extend the pizzas of the Perth business lounge to Brisbane because it didn't want to be known as "the airline with the pizza lounges."
Qantas' superchef Neil Perry tells Australian Business Traveller that one reason he chose Mexican cuisine was its versatility over pizza, which when you get down to it is always a doughy base with different toppings.
This Cantina menu from the lounge's official opening hints at some of the variety that the lounge can prepare throughout the day, from substantial dishes to lighter snacks.
(Ironically, the Brisbane lounge actually has a double-layer pizza oven installed to help prepare large quantities of the dishes.)
If any type of Mexican's simply not your thing, there's a buffet selection of hot and cold food.
There’s also a tended bar serving premium Australian wines, cocktails and craft beer...
... an all-day barista pulling Vittoria coffee, and a Quench hydration station first introduced in the Brisbane International Lounge.
As is par for the course with other Qantas business lounges, the Brisbane lounge includes wireless printing, fast and free WiFi, plenty of handy AC power sockets, and shower suites stocked with ASPAR botanical skincare products.
Downstairs, the new Premium Lounge Entry is a time-saver for the busy traveller, with its own check-in area with baggage drop and security screening, before you step onto an escalator to glide up to the lounge precinct.
Qantas will also open a ‘communal coffee bar’ within the general lounge precinct, which connects the business lounge with the Qantas Club (and the Chairman’s Lounge, although we doubt many Chairman’s Lounge guests will be tempted out of the five-star haven which is being built in the footprint of the old business lounge).
Service desks line the precinct's semi-circular reception area.
A light and glass artwork called Rhythm of Our Stories, created by Jenna Lee of Brisbane-based Indigenous design agency Gilimbaa, provides an eye-catching cultural touchpoint for the lounge precinct.
Created by capturing a dance performance by the Ruska family – with bloodlines descending from the Yuggera, Quandamooka and Yugambeh people of South East Queensland – the artwork represents the teaching, learning and sharing of culture between generations, with colours are inspired by the fire lit at the beginning of the performance and patterns representing the dancers’ strong connection to the land.
The new Qantas Brisbane domestic business lounge is now open for all business class passengers, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents, as well as Platinum members of Emirates Skywards and China Eastern’s Eastern Miles rewards schemes.