Review: Qantas domestic business lounge, Brisbane Airport

More than half a decade since its last update, this high-flying hangout is still among the best in Qantas’ domestic network.

Overall Rating

By Sid Raja , November 13 2023
Qantas domestic business lounge, Brisbane Airport
Country

Australia

City

Brisbane

Airport

Brisbane

Alliance

Oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Rotating ready-to-go menu and buffet
The Bad
  • Location of many powerpoints restricts use for laptop chargers
X-Factor
  • Qantas Premium Lounge Entry a great timesaver
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

With Brisbane Airport embarking on a $5b upgrade ahead of the 2032 Olympics, the experience is set to be very different in the near future: carry-on-only security and upgraded gate lounges are a tease of what’s in store.

Until then, the current iteration of the airport still has plenty to offer. That includes the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge which, though six years since its last revamp, still ranks among the most modern in the airline’s local network.

Booths, benches, lounges and dining tables mean there's a seating choice to suit your mood.
Booths, benches, lounges and dining tables mean there's a seating choice to suit your mood.

Designed by Woods Bagot, the same architectural firm behind hotels The Londoner and soon-to-open The Standard Melbourne, it’s one of just five domestic business lounges. So what’s it like?

Location & Impressions

Rather than proceeding through the standard check-in area, passengers with access to the Qantas Business Lounge can make a beeline for the Premium Lounge Entry on level 1.

Qantas' Brisbane Premium Lounge Entry is a real timesaver.
Qantas' Brisbane Premium Lounge Entry is a real timesaver.

Unlike its Virgin Australia counterpart, which is for those with carry-on only, Qantas’ Premium Lounge Entry includes bag drop and self-serve tag kiosk facilities. A security screening checkpoint and escalator later brings you to the Qantas Lounge precinct.

You’ll find the Business Lounge directly to your left.

If you visit outside the premium entry’s standard operating hours (5am-5pm on weekdays, or 6am-5pm weekends), the main lounge precinct entrance is on Level 2, near Gate 22.

The entrance to the Qantas Business Lounge.
The entrance to the Qantas Business Lounge.

Our midweek 2pm arrival sees us from kerb to the lounge in less than two minutes.

Inside, the lounge is light, bright and spacious. Extensive use of timber, indirect lighting and abundant greenery creates an inviting feel, with the lounge sharing more than a few similarities to its Brisbane International Airport counterpart.

Seats by the window rarely remain vacant for long.
Seats by the window rarely remain vacant for long.

As you’d expect, there’s a solid variety of seating zones tailored to work, dining, and relaxing, with space for up to 350 guests. It’s not overly busy during our visit.

Beers, wine and spirits are available from midday.
Beers, wine and spirits are available from midday.

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.

Upright dining tables are ideal for informal catchups.
Upright dining tables are ideal for informal catchups.

Access

A broad guest list welcomes travellers seated in business class on a Qantas or QantasLink flight, as well as those connecting to a same-day first or business class flight on Qantas, Emirates or one of its Oneworld Alliance partners.

Platinum or Platinum One Qantas frequent flyers, as well as Oneworld Emerald holders, are also invited to pass through its sliding doors when flying on Qantas, Jetstar or QantasLink.

The standard guest rules apply: two for Platinum or Platinum One, and one for those seated in business class, holding Oneworld Emerald or Emirates Skywards Gold/Platinum status (the latter must be flying on a same-day QF or EK-operated flight).

Dining

Two dining options are available in the lounge: The Oven (formerly known as the Mexican Cantina) which offers an array of pre-plated meals that are ready to go, in addition to the obligatory buffet.

During our visit, The Oven’s menu featured a shepherd's pie, fattoush salad and green leaf salad, while the buffet had pork stew with vegetables, rice and soup, alongside sweet treats and the makings of a toasted sandwich.

Salads, cakes, and a small selection of hot meals round out the buffet offering.
Salads, cakes, and a small selection of hot meals round out the buffet offering.

Though the presentation left a bit to be desired, the shepherd’s pie was a hearty, tasty dish.

Shepherd's pie and a green leaf salad hit the spot.
Shepherd's pie and a green leaf salad hit the spot.

A broad selection of beer, wine and spirits are available from noon. You can also order barista coffee at any time during the day or evening.

Work

When there’s work to be done, the business nook 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 (a common issue for MacBook chargers), those in the centre of the nearby table will do the trick.

The lounge has a small work zone.
The lounge has a small work zone.

If you don’t need power, the far left corner of the lounge provides a quiet place to work. There are also numerous seats lining the windows, for travellers who like a view.

WiFi speeds reach just under 100Mbps – that’s more than adequate for HD streaming or downloading large files. However, the requirement to watch an advertisement prior to connecting was a tad annoying and something that should be reconsidered.

Relax

Shower facilities are conveniently provided. They’re clean and modern, with towels and a selection of toiletries provided for those needing to freshen up before the flight (or after one for Platinum and Platinum One members, who enjoy on-arrival lounge access).

Verdict

All things considered, the Business Lounge is a solid part of the Qantas domestic lounge network – and miles ahead of its Sydney counterpart, even six years after opening.

While it’s common to expect a fair degree of wear and tear after that time, I was pleasantly surprised to see the lounges in good condition. 

Given Qantas’ is embarking on a significant overhaul of its lounges, including much-needed upgrades for Sydney and Auckland, it will be interesting to see if they continue this aesthetic or switch it up. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 377

The breakfast in this lounge a couple months back was basic at best. No bacon, just sausages and egg.

Not good enough for a business/platinum lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2017

Total posts 13

When I was there last month (BNE QF dom J lounge), it was an absolute pigsty. Embarrassingly filthy. Chairs stained, crumbs all over the floor.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 98

Maybe because I'm a long time user of the Brisbane Business Lounge, if the worst that can happen is no bacon at breakfast, I'm doing well! There are plenty of alternatives.

I find the staff welcoming and friendly without being cloying. Some I'd go so far as to say they're chums as we've known each other so long. I do believe everything about this lounge beats the tar out of that in Sydney in every way (although on 22 July 2020 it was different. I was one of only eight there that day. It was the farewell to the Queen of the Skies day. Talk about personal service then. Super, but that was exceptional).

A big cheerio call from me to all in the Brisbane lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 377

While there was no bacon, the quality of the other food was average at best. I also agree with William it was looking dirty.

Agree the staff are pleasant, especially those making the morning coffee.

But as far as food goes, it needs more options and better quality, especially for the prices QF are asking.

FmD
FmD

25 Jun 2019

Total posts 6

The BNE Business Lounge looks nice, but needs more/better trained staff. At busy times on Monday Mornings, and Thursday and Friday evenings, tables will go without being cleaned/emptied for hours. 

Try gettting a coffee in the morning... you better have 30mins before boarding (and patience to walk around a line snaking around the lounge, blocking the way for people with lugagge)! Their baristas need a serious training/coaching session the Sydney lounge ones!

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 7

Excellent idea (check in and security via Business Class Lounge). And for Business Class travellers, at least those based in NZ who have to wrestle with the Entry debacle that is known universally as “AKL Customs and Bio-Security”, let’s have a Business Class Re-Entry facility too. Good, fixed. Now let’s fix Business Class Lounge overcrowding. Let’s bin all this silliness that allows/encourages passengers who have never seen the inside of a Business Class cabin to crowd into Business Class lounges around the planet (Air NZ … looking particularly at your noisy, hard surfaced, noisy, late night dirty food areas (devoid of food) noisy, late night dirty toilets (bring your thigh waders), noisy AKL International Lounge here). Let’s make Business Class Lounges a “nice” place to relax before a flight. Think “cocktail lounge” rather than “tradie’s  pub”. Let’s make Business Class Lounge entry conditional on holding a Business Class boarding pass … purchased or award ok. By all means reward Economy and PE travellers for their low travel budget, but frequent, loyalty. The concept of Gold or perhaps even Kryptonite status is a commendable badge of loyalty and should be appropriately rewarded. I’d suggest that, perhaps, whenever a Gold or Kryptonite traveler checks in for their umpteenth Economy flight of the week that the check in staff press a special “loyal passenger” button which automatically plays, via the public check in area p.a. system, the first four lines of “Freeze a jolly good fella” … at the conclusion of which all the check in staff cheer wildly (and encourage the general public to join in). Bravo! Far more fun than a (now) quite and relaxing (as it should be) Business Class Lounge.


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