- Zoned seating with multiple power outlets
- Showers temporarily closed
- Lounge access whenever and wherever you’re flying
Brisbane travellers venturing overseas now have five lounges at their disposal within the city’s increasingly-busy international airport. Three are linked to airlines and their partners, while the other two are independent and welcome passengers on any airline.
The Plaza Premium Lounge is one of the latter. It’s likely the one most people are familiar with as well, as its extensive guest list includes seven airlines plus several credit cards and lounge membership programs, on top of pay-per-use entry, of course.
Location & Impressions
You’ll find Brisbane Plaza Premium Lounge up on the mezzanine level opposite Air New Zealand’s own pre-flight hangout, just up the escalator opposite Gate 81.
Behind its sliding glass doors is a fairly standard though beautifully-styled lounge, with floor-to-ceiling views of the runway on your right, followed by a well-stocked buffet and barista coffee station to the left.
Seating ranges from low and high-backed lounges to private work pods and dining tables, all divided by attractive vertical timber slabs. It’s what Plaza describes as an ‘indoor/outdoor’ look.
It’s a warm, inviting space beneath high ceilings and bathed in natural light, and a nice spot to kick back before departure.
However, there are two notable absences: trees. Large pots between the work pods were once home to real trees, which broke up the timber and cream colour scheme with pops of greenery. They’re now empty, resulting in a somewhat incomplete feel.
Previously-offered showers are also temporarily closed. While not surprising since Brisbane is still below pre-pandemic departure levels, other lounges including Qantas and the newly-opened Aspire both have showers open and available for use.
Open most days for the morning and evening rushes, though closed for a long stretch of the afternoon, Plaza Premium welcomes walk-ins flying on any airline in any class at a cost of $63 per person for two hours or $71 for stays of up to five. This can also be pre-booked online.
Exact opening hours can be found here.
In addition, several airlines provide complimentary access for their eligible frequent flyers and business class passengers, as below:
- Cathay Pacific
- China Airlines
- Fiji Airways
- Korean Air
- Malaysian Airlines
- Vietjet Air
The lounge also welcomes members of the Priority Pass and Lounge Key programs, as well as select holders of the following credit cards: American Express, Ambank Group, Capital One, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank, and OCBC Bank.
A stream of tables flows along a dividing wall between the lounge and dining tables, each with access to handy yet easy-to-miss AC and USB power ports. There’s also a casual bench for those after a quick bite.
My morning visit sees a hot breakfast spread of bacon, beans, mushrooms and scrambled eggs, pancakes and porridge. For a lighter option, there’s a mix of cold cuts, salads, wraps and cheese, as well as fresh fruit, sago pudding, and pastries.
It’s a solid selection with greater choice and variety than the Aspire Lounge, its newly-unlocked pay-per-use rival down by Gate 77. Just like at Aspire, it serves up complimentary beers and Australian wines, plus spirits. All the usual suspects are present.
Juices, soft drinks and tea are all self-service, while a barista is on hand to whip up your coffee of choice.
Although there’s only two staff, one manning at the entrance and another at the bar, there’s no real wait for service.
Immediately as you enter you’ll spy a group of dedicated workpods. Beyond the dining area and a small study nook (previously home to two Windows PCs) with two high stools, these are your chief area for getting a bit of work done in private.
Positioned away from the noisier dining area, each one contains a small angled bench, reading light and dual power outlet featuring two AC and also two USB power ports.
We put these to the test and unfortunately found laptop work on the bench a tad uncomfortable as leaning on the seatback means your arms are stretched out more than normal, so we’d like to see cushions make an appearance to even things up.
Plaza Premium provides free WiFi access, as does the wider Brisbane Airport. While we didn’t connect to the Plaza network, the free terminal-wide network delivered over 200Mbps.
Brisbane Plaza Premium Lounge formerly offered complimentary showers for all guests, with reservations for the single shower suite taken at the main reception desk. Fluffy towels and toiletries were all part of the deal. This is closed during my visit.
The rest of the space is given over to relaxation, with a sea of high-backed chairs (all with power outlets in between) and low-set lounges, the latter of which face the windows overlooking the departures area to the runway beyond.
Help yourself to a range of newspapers and magazines by the entrance, which you can enjoy in peace as boarding calls aren’t made here – just remember to keep an eye on the flight information screens to see when your flight’s ready to board.
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge at Brisbane Airport feels more akin to a true airline business class lounge than pay-in facility: appropriate, given seven airlines now call this space home.
The well-stocked buffet also gives it a slight edge on its rival independent lounge, and while showers are a notable absence, they’re not exactly a deal breaker either.