Review: Qantas Club lounge, Gold Coast Airport

Frequent flyers and business class travellers have a comfortable base in the Qantas Club, but it is showing its age.

Overall Rating

By Chris Ashton, September 14 2022
Qantas Club lounge, Gold Coast Airport
Country

Australia

City

Gold Coast

Airport

Gold Coast

Alliance

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business Class

Notes
The Good
  • Decent internet speeds
  • Zones for business or leisure
The Bad
  • Sub par dining offering
X-Factor
  • Convenient location just after security
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Straddling the Queensland-New South Wales border, Gold Coast Airport is among the busiest transit hubs in Australia. It’s a gateway for those seeking sunshine and surf, not to mention the flourishing local foodie scene and suite of high-end hotels.

With the airport back in the headlines following its new international terminal expansion, now is a perfect time to revisit one of its two frequent flyer hangouts: the Qantas Club.

And while it too could do with an expansion, it’s still worth a visit if you time it right.

Location & Impressions

Squirrelled immediately to the left after security, prior to entering the main departures hall, the Gold Coast Qantas Club entrance is easy to miss, even with signage pointing the way. 

The entrance is tucked away directly after the newly-upgraded security screening point.
The entrance is tucked away directly after the newly-upgraded security screening point.

Last renovated for the return of QF flights to the Gold Coast in 2012, the former Jetstar Lounge – which was originally a Qantas Club long before that – is open from one hour before the first Qantas-operated service until the last Qantas departure.

Once inside the L-shaped space, a left turn takes you to lounges and a workbench with central power points…

Despite the early hour, spare seating options were already starting to thin.
Despite the early hour, spare seating options were already starting to thin.

… and straight ahead to the buffet and a mix of upright benches and low dining tables.

Its position, smack in the middle of the terminal, means there are no windows or view, unlike the nearby Virgin Australia Lounge overlooking the tarmac. High ceilings, white walls and wood panelling throughout do well to counteract the boxed-in feel though, while skylights provide some much-needed natural light.

Contemporary artworks and mismatched lounges in various shades of red, grey, and mint provide welcome pops of colour.

These single seater lounges along the wall feature a small, built-in table.
These single seater lounges along the wall feature a small, built-in table.

Rounding out what we’d consider as requirements of a baseline airport lounge are two showers, along with a small meeting room, which acts as more of a lounge overflow these days.

A mix of magazines were offered, including Holidays with Kids, Jack, and the Qantas Magazine.
A mix of magazines were offered, including Holidays with Kids, Jack, and the Qantas Magazine.

Customer service was friendly, but limited. Aside from an initial greeting at the door, staff didn’t offer much in the way of interaction or assistance.

Access

Gold Coast Qantas Club services both the domestic and international terminals.

On top of Qantas and QantasLink business class passengers, the lounge is open to Qantas Club members, Qantas and Jetstar passengers with a Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Platinum, Platinum One or Chairman’s Lounge membership, and those with Qantas Club Annual Guest Cards.

Qantas or QantasLink passengers holding Gold-level equivalent frequent flyer status or above with a partner airline or alliance – e.g. Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald, Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum – can enter too.

Travellers connecting to a same-day international flight in first or business class on Qantas, QantasLink, Gulf partner Emirates, or any Oneworld alliance member can take advantage of lounge access, even if their initial domestic flight is in economy (Jetstar excluded).

Dining

Our visit prior to a morning flight to Sydney saw a rather limited selection of breakfast choices at the buffet.

Those after something hot could take their pick of bacon, hash browns, roast vegetable frittata and sautéed mushrooms. There were no eggs or baked beans to be seen so, unless you grabbed a spoonful of tomato sauce, it was all a bit dry.

Three slices of bacon and a handful of hash browns does not a buffet make.
Three slices of bacon and a handful of hash browns does not a buffet make.

Cold choices were just as limited, with fruit salad, greek yoghurt with fruit coulis, granola and yoghurt with berry compote, and chia pudding. Apples and carrot cake completed the short list.

The cold buffet, of which three dishes featured yoghurt.
The cold buffet, of which three dishes featured yoghurt.


An assortment of breads and preserves were available too.

It’s a similar story over at the Gold Coast Virgin Australia Lounge, which typically offers a small breakfast spread of mostly pastries and ham and cheese croissants. Lounge dining isn’t what it used to be…

Barista-made coffee and an automatic coffee machine are on hand to put some caffeination in your step, while a drink station with juices and soft drinks will keep you hydrated.

The barista worked through orders at an impressive pace.
The barista worked through orders at an impressive pace.

Bar service with beers, wines and spirits opens from midday.

Work

Those hoping to work or download a few movies before the flight are in luck, with several seating options and complimentary Wi-Fi access beamed throughout the lounge.

Two long workbenches with power outlets, one in the lounge area with low stools and another at the far end of the buffet with high stools, provide a decent workspace for up to eight guests.

Looking to the workbench at the far end of the buffet.
Looking to the workbench at the far end of the buffet.

Single-person lounges and tables can also be found dotted along the perimeter walls.

A word of warning though, the built-in power outlets at the workbenches do not fit a standard Macbook charger, as the sockets within are on an angle. It’s a rather annoying oversight.

The lounge offers a good mix of seating options for business or leisure.
The lounge offers a good mix of seating options for business or leisure.

Unlike the workbenches in larger Qantas lounges including the Sydney domestic business lounge, where some of the AC sockets have been offset by 90 degrees so they sit horizontal and allow room for the Apple plugs. No such accommodation has been made here.

Thankfully there’s no shortage of powerpoints mounted along the walls of the lounge and within cable-reach of most chairs.

This beautiful timber-lined wall added some much-needed warmth to the stark white interior.
This beautiful timber-lined wall added some much-needed warmth to the stark white interior.

Alternatively, there’s the old ‘business centre’, which has seating for two plus a couple of power outlets. Now stripped of the iMacs that once graced the space and with a printer wrapped in plastic, it’s essentially just a long work desk.

Internet speeds were reasonable during our visit: 28.4Mbps download, 23.4 Mbps upload, While not as fast as the nearby Virgin Australia Lounge, speeds were more than sufficient for streaming video.

Verdict

All things considered, the Gold Coast Qantas Club does a fair job with its very compact space, but the dining needs an overhaul… and it may be time to find a bigger location too, particularly as the airport continues to grow in capacity and footprint.

The nearby Virgin Australia Lounge runs rings around the Qantas Club at present, with better seating and lighting, a more inviting feel and more approachable service from staff.

Covid is frequently used as an excuse to scale back lounge offerings to the bare minimum. But with passenger traffic fast-returning to pre-pandemic levels both here on the Gold Coast and at airports around the country, that excuse is wearing increasingly thin.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1140

Like lots of Qantas Clubs, it looks a bit unloved.  Qantas is making some very nice domestic Business Class Lounges but the more lowly Qantas Clubs are all a bit tired and/or uninspired.

I wonder if the chairs are meant to be mismatched or if that is just reflective of rolling in some spares from elsewhere as some of the older seats wear out.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 353

3 stars max. Silly the lounge only opens an hour before each Qantas flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 316

3 stars is very generous, most of their regional lounges are in poor condition and the hour thing actually only gives pax 30 mins or so in the lounge before boarding is called, pathetic really. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 349

And still 1000 times better than the embarrassment that is the Hobart Qantas Club. Please do a review on that one!

06 Sep 2019

Total posts 26

On my last visit, I didn't realise it opened an hour before the first flight and even though my flight was at around 10am, it was the first one for the day. There was a big queue to get in when the doors finally opened 5 minutes late. By the time we got in about 20 minutes later, there was barely enough time to get a coffee and we were called to board.

I liked the old days of the Jetstar lounge when you could pour your own beer or sparkling wine even at 6am. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Nov 2020

Total posts 2

not a patch on the virgin lounge 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2013

Total posts 25

Being my "local port", I try to fly out of OOL rather than BNE where I can (not always an option depending on destination). I much prefer the VA lounge, as Chris has noted, it is a much more inviting space with far better customer service. I find it really annoying that they only open the QF lounge 1 hour prior to a QF departure. There are a lot of JQ flights well ahead of that time, which means no lounge access prior to those flights. And more often than not, there is a que waiting to get into the QF lounge each morning, with the opening times not being strictly on time. The other issue with the QF lounge, depending on when the doors open, is that there can be only a small window before you need to get to the gate, meaning a very quick gulp & bite before having to head straight out.

08 Jul 2015

Total posts 22

It is very ordinary, usually overcrowded and badly in need of a refurb…..

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 27

Lounge dining isn’t what it used to be…

I was in the Brisbane Business lounge and the food was limited and very, very ordinary at dinner time. Ended up going back into the terminal to find something from a cafe. 

Just part of the general disappointment of Qantas at the moment I guess. I'd suggest now that the VA lounges are better.

14 Sep 2022

Total posts 1

You cannot have decent customer service without enough staff...when you chase your tail all day it's hard to look ahead to see if there is anything extra you can do.

Looks like a US bus station! I thought the VA lounge was ordinary; I need to lower my expectations.............

QFF

03 Sep 2014

Total posts 14

a few of the lounges are getting very tired,and the food offerings are woeful at some, even in the business lounges, pretzels just don't cut it. 

Some of the lounges have become the local sandwich shop.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

This is qantas’s poorest lounge in their network and being gold for life not my choice to fly out for work or holidays. We all hoped with the new terminal extension at Coolangatta qantas would look to see the opportunity to build a new qantas club home, however on the GC airport update no lounge change. The review is extremely generous, unfortunately the lounge experience is over crowded, dark, poor food selection, worn furniture and depressing. The competitor offers light, space, food and overall for its brand a good experience. Not sure why you would review such a poor example of how great qantas lounge experience can be.

Hopeful for change on the Goldie.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Poorest lounge in the network? That's a bit of hyperbole, or you've never been to Hobart then and Hobart is a capital city.


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