Business & First
- Buffet and pre-plated dining
- No dedicated first class area
- In-lounge departure gate
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the culinary front, there’s little chance of going hungry with a variety of pre-plated bites, in addition to an extensive buffet.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.