Review: Emirates Brisbane first, business class lounge

With its elevated dining, Champagne and in-lounge departure gate, this is a lounge you’ll want to step inside.

Overall Rating

By Staff Writers, February 27 2024
Emirates Brisbane first, business class lounge
Country

Australia

City

Brisbane

Airport

Brisbane

Alliance

N/A

Airline

Emirates

Cabin-class

Business & First

Notes
The Good
  • Buffet and pre-plated dining
The Bad
  • No dedicated first class area
X-Factor
  • In-lounge departure gate
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

People say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. That was certainly the case for Emirates passengers flying out of Brisbane, where the Gulf airline’s lounge was shuttered by the pandemic – and remained so for an agonisingly-long wait.

But, almost four years later, Emirates’ first and business class lounge in Brisbane is finally open once again. And it’s sporting a new look thanks to a broad refurbishment.

The revamped Emirates Brisbane lounge.
The revamped Emirates Brisbane lounge.

That said, it will still be familiar to anyone who’s visited before, with the trademark sand and tan colour scheme still flowing throughout, but overall it’s more contemporary – and that’s a very good thing, given it first opened more than two decades ago.

Location & Impressions

After security screening and passport control, follow the signs towards gates 69-79.

Continuing along the concourse, keep your eyes peeled for the Emirates lounge. You’ll see the entrance opposite gates 73-75. Just take the escalator up, or use the nearby lift.

Once through the double doors, there’s no mistaking where you are – or, more importantly, where you will soon be, with the lounge taking liberal design cues from the Middle East.

Present your boarding pass to reception and let the relaxation begin.
Present your boarding pass to reception and let the relaxation begin.

Featuring new furnishings throughout, the 183-seater lounge is bright and airy with some of the best views of the tarmac. 

That’s by design, with the space sitting in a purpose-built facility above the main terminal and surrounded by windows on all sides. 

However, the biggest advantage of the lounge has to be its boarding gate. It’s a feature also found in Perth, and a very handy one indeed.

Travel from lounge to gate in record time.
Travel from lounge to gate in record time.

It means, when it’s time to fly, there’s no need to venture out of the lounge and join the regular queue – the Emirates lounge aerobridge takes you straight to the plane.

Access

Emirates Brisbane lounge is open daily from 5:30pm-1:30am (yes, really) and welcomes the following travellers – and where applicable, their guests – prior to Emirates-operated flights:

  • Emirates first class and business class passengers, excluding those on Business Class Special fares
  • Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and the invite-only iO
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members, plus Qantas business class on a QF or EK codeshare flight number
  • Paid lounge access is USD$155 (~AUD$237) for non-Skywards members and USD$125 (~AUD$191) for Skywards members, plus GST. 

Dining

Given the lounge pulls double duty for both first and business class travellers, the food and beverage offering is more elevated than you’d typically find in a straight business lounge.

That extends to the Champagne offering, which includes both self-serve Moët and Veuve Clicquot.

Spirits, wine, beer, soft drink and juice are all available at the self-serve counter.
Spirits, wine, beer, soft drink and juice are all available at the self-serve counter.

Multiple drink stations throughout feature automated coffee machines plus a wide range of spirits, as well as other wines and beer – and having several places to refill your bubbles certainly makes that task easier. 

Some of those counters provide machine-made coffee as well, but given Emirates’ evening flight schedules from Brisbane, we suspect the bubbles would be more popular than the brews.

A limited selection of reading material is also at hand.
A limited selection of reading material is also at hand.

On the culinary front, there’s little chance of going hungry with a variety of pre-plated bites, in addition to an extensive buffet.

The buffet-side dining area.
The buffet-side dining area.

As an appetiser, pre-made savoury dishes include salmon blinis, smoked chicken lettuce cups and watermelon with olive and walnuts, alongside sweeter options such as lemon meringue pie tart and dulce de leche.

Pre-plated sweet and savoury bites.
Pre-plated sweet and savoury bites.
Smoked chicken lettuce cups with cous cous, and watermelon with olives and walnuts.
Smoked chicken lettuce cups with cous cous, and watermelon with olives and walnuts.

Over at the buffet you’ll find a broad spread of dishes such as chicken stroganoff, braised beef cheeks and harissa-marinated fish pastilla (cigar-shaped like a spring roll).

The buffet spans Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisine.
The buffet spans Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisine.
A tasty assortment of buffet bites.
A tasty assortment of buffet bites.

When you’ve got your meal in hand, there’s a sizeable dining room that stretches from the buffet right through to the windows, with a select few offering excellent airport views.  

The wider dining area.
The wider dining area.

Work

Hopefully, your visit provides time to relax – but if there is work to do, your only options are finding a table in the dining area or balancing your laptop on your lap, as the previous business zone has been removed.

Thankfully, there are ample power outlets available, including two USBs and an AC (there’s both an Australian and a type-G plug, which is used in the UK and UAE).

Seating at the rear of the lounge has the most convenient power.
Seating at the rear of the lounge has the most convenient power.

Rather than having its own dedicated WiFi connection, the lounge utilises the wider Brisbane Airport network. Speeds on my visit hit an impressive 262 Mbps download. 

Relax

A total of six shower suites are available within the lounge, each one stocked with toiletries and fluffy towels, and housing a walk-in shower. 

Showers can be booked at reception.
Showers can be booked at reception.

Verdict

Emirates’ Brisbane lounge reopening has been a long time coming, and I have to say it feels good to finally be back inside. Though its layout is much the same, refreshed furnishings have given the space a completely different feel to the lounge which came before. 

Wherever you set up, you’re safe to relax – it’s impossible to miss a boarding call. The in-lounge gate means your journey really begins at the Emirates Lounge itself: because once you’re inside, you’ve already taken your last steps in the terminal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2016

Total posts 3

Was so looking forward to checking this out next January, but for some strange reason no awards flights seem available ex BNE.  I can and have booked BNE SYD DXB, and could also have booked via MEL and ADL but no direct flights were available on QFF points even though there are two leaving daily. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Mar 2018

Total posts 16

Emirates Perth lounge also has boarding from the lounge?

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 202

Yes indeed it does - used it last September.

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 47

The article didn't say unless I missed it but can you use this lounge when you land after the DXB/BNE flight ??

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 34

I can't seem to find a straight answer - can you use emirates lounges in Australia if you are flying Qantas Business with a QF flight number?


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