Sydney - Kingsford Smith
- All-day barista coffee
- Wine, beer and spirits from noon
- Zones for doing business or just relaxing
- Power points are relatively scarce
- Bathrooms need a refresh
Lounge access is one of the most highly-appreciated perks for frequent and business class flyers. At Sydney Airport T3, the Qantas domestic business lounge is the go-to for many – a sanctuary above the hustle and bustle downstairs.
Whether travelling for work or a well-earned holiday, the lounge has you covered with a variety of seating zones to suit your needs, in addition to buffet dining and, of course, WiFI.
But there are some glaring issues. More on those later.
Location & Impressions
After clearing security, equipped with upgraded baggage scanners, turn left and continue walking. You’ll soon spot the glass-doored entrance to the Qantas business lounge opposite Gates 4 and 5.
Proceed through them and take the escalator up, where you’ll be greeted by reception staff.
Just beyond the entrance is a conveniently-placed buffet area, with business seating to your right, dining facilities to your left, and comfortable lounges with hangar views straight ahead.
Screens showing arrival and departure information are dotted throughout the lounge, with useful info including weather at the destination and the time required to walk to the gate displayed.
Sporting a varied mix of seating options, liberal use of timber and marble-look benches, as well as a recurring Indigenous wall motif, the lounge is vast, wrapping around a central core, accessible from all sides. Within is where you’ll find bathrooms and showers... and it’s here that one of the lounge’s biggest issues is most apparent.
The bathrooms are far below the standard they need to be, both in cleanliness and facilities – particularly for such a highly-trafficked lounge with the word ‘business’ within its title.
While the lounge didn’t appear overly busy during my mid Tuesday afternoon visit, the bathrooms weren’t in the best state, and I can only imagine what they would be like in peak times. Maintenance really needs to be stepped up in this area.
Beyond the ablutions though, the cleanliness of the lounge fared much better, with tables wiped and staff quickly taking away empty plates.
- Passengers with an onward Qantas or QantasLink business class flight
- Travellers connecting to or from an international business or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if the domestic leg is booked in economy
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers before or after a same-day Qantas, QantasLink, Emirates, Jetstar* or Oneworld flight
- Other Oneworld Emerald members when their next onward flight that day is with Qantas or QantasLink and carries a QF or other Oneworld flight number (no access when flying Jetstar)
- Emirates Skywards Platinum cardholders where their next onward flight that day carries a QF or EK flight number and is operated by Qantas or QantasLink
Gold frequent flyers, Oneworld Sapphire members and Qantas Club cardholders can instead use the nearby Qantas Club lounge when travelling in economy.
*Jetstar flights depart from Terminal 2, rather than Terminal 3. Jetstar passengers should allow enough time to check-in at T2, walk to T3, clear security and access the lounge before returning to T2 in time to board.
Our mid to late-afternoon visit saw a variety of self-serve fare offered: a tight menu of antipasto, salad and sandwich fillings, and an assortment of cakes and fresh fruit.
Hearty minestrone soup with bread rolls and butter chicken with steamed rice were the two hot options. It would have been nice to have some additional choices.
Adding to that were self-serve juices and soft drinks, complemented by barista-made coffee.
From midday, the drinks counter doubles as a bar, with self-pour white, red and sparkling wine, together with a good selection of beers, spirits and mixers available from the staff.
Near the entrance is a second barista station, though this was closed during our visit.
A self-service coffee machine and snack counter are also available. Given the lounge itself is rather large, these make a great addition for travellers with limited time but who still need that morning hit, or for when the 'normal' coffee line is quite long.
The nearby island dining area was a popular perch for diners, with stool seating and ample space to spread out, though it did get rather crowded as the afternoon wore on.
Clearly designed with the business traveller in mind, you’ll find everything here from group seats for jet setting colleagues...
... through to armchairs for solos and duos, as well as work desks for those who brought their laptop.
Longer benches are ideal if you’re looking to collaborate with multiple visitors or simply prefer a higher perch.
Power points are rather scarce though, mostly found at the dedicated laptop desks and sporadically along the bench seats lining the walls. There are also no USB ports, only AC outlets.
While not a major issue, it would be appreciated if there were more power outlets, particularly as travellers have become accustomed to relying on their own devices for entertainment.
Elsewhere in the lounge are cafe-style lounges and bench seats, plus additional workspaces with central powerpoints.
Rounding out the amenities, guests can enjoy fast and free Wi-Fi internet access.
Speaking of the internet, visitors can also enjoy free digital access to The Australian, Financial Review and The Monthly by connecting to the lounge Wi-Fi and navigating to each site. Those who prefer physical magazines are in luck too, with a multi-tiered stand near the main entrance.
A decent business lounge to spend a couple of hours in, and one significantly better than its Sydney T1 international counterpart, but it’s not without issues. The space is showing its age and could really do with a refresh, particularly in the bathrooms.
Revamp the amenities, install some additional power points, and whack in some USB outlets while you’re at it, and you'd have a solid improvement.