Melbourne - Tullamarine
- Seasonal à la carte dining
- Treatments at LaGaia Day Spa
- Lack of convenient powerpoints
- Bookable meeting rooms
With tarmac views, table service and a trio of premium Champagnes, plus a leafy day spa offering massages and facials, Qantas’ international first class lounge at Melbourne Airport is arguably a very fine way to begin your journey.
In addition to first class passengers on the Red Roo, it unlocks its doors for Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers as well as Oneworld Emerald card holders.
Location & Impressions
After clearing security, passport control and the duty-free maze, follow signs to the departure gates, veer right and head up the escalator near gates 9 and 11 to the Qantas International First lounge.
Inside will be familiar to anyone who’s visited Qantas’ Sydney first lounge, albeit a scaled down version (which actually shares quite a few similarities with the Perth Chairman’s Lounge.)
But though adorned in the same marble and timber, dotted with retro leather recliners, and also home to a lengthy bar and dining counter, there’s enough variety to avoid deja vu.
The rectangular space is split into zones for work, leisure and relaxation, with soaring timber walls and red and grey divider screens creating intimate areas for conversation, dining or reading a book from the library.
There’s also a restaurant and bookable private suites. More on these later.
Open daily from 5:15am till 11:15pm, the Qantas Melbourne international first lounge welcomes:
- First class passengers of Qantas and Emirates
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers travelling on a Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar or Oneworld flight, including non-Oneworld partners such as Fiji Airways
- Qantas Chairman’s Lounge members flying Qantas or one of its partner airlines
- Emirates Skywards Platinum cardholders prior to Qantas and Emirates flights
- Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers prior to Qantas and Oneworld flights
- Single-use Qantas first class lounge pass holders
If you want the true Qantas first class lounge experience, you need to set aside at least a few hours to enjoy its ins and outs. Chief among those is the seasonal à la carte menu, complemented by an extensive wine and cocktail list.
Breakfast is served from opening and typically includes:
- a ‘signature breakfast’ of eggs, bacon and chipolata,
- a light salad of avocado, asparagus and kale salad topped with a poached egg
- egg white omelette served with tomato, ricotta and gruyère cheese.
For my early morning visit I opted for the seasonal buttermilk pancakes topped with mango and coconut yoghurt, alongside a glass of Jacquart Champagne. Piper-Hiedsieck and Pommery were also offered.
With a couple of hours in the lounge, the classic corn fritters with bacon, avocado, creme fraiche and tomato jam caught my eye. Delicious.
All-day dining kicks off at 11am. Highlights of the Summer 2023 menu include:
- crispy braised lamb with cumin, sesame salt and pickled cabbage
- snapper with cherry tomatoes, white beans, lemon, parsley and garlic crostini
- grilled chicken breast with chipotle hummus, asparagus, zucchini and chimichurri
I recommend ordering small serves so you can try a few dishes.
As for the drinks, there’s barista coffee, various Australian native teas, cold-pressed juices and a house lemonade, in addition to beers, spirits and seasonal cocktails.
The wine list on my visit included five whites, one rosé, and four reds: Clare Valley Leo Buring 2023 Dry Riesling, Levantine Hill Pinot Noir 2022 from the Yarra valley, and an Adelaide Hills The Lane Rosé 2023, to name a few.
If there’s work to be done before your flight, you’ll find a few desks where you can set up your laptop. Printers are conveniently provided.
Two private office suites can be booked via reception on a first-come, first service basis.
Equipped with a desk, television and a lounge, they make a fine meeting space though are also useful for travellers seeking more privacy or families looking for a quiet retreat.
Power points are scarce throughout the lounge – they’re predominantly located against the walls and as a result out of reach for many seats. USB outlets are notably absent, too.
However, the overall lounge design does help to avoid distractions while working, as each section is divided into smaller nooks – which means more walls with power points – rather than one open rectangle.
Complimentary WiFi hit speeds of 156Mbps download and 139Mbps upload.
Most of the lounge is rightly given over to relaxing, whether that's watching TV in one of the comfy chairs, reading a newspaper or magazine, or a book from the in-lounge library.
There are some great views to be had by the windows, with the seats here also reclining and offering a leg rest for added comfort.
The most relaxing feature, however, is LaGaia day spa, where you can book a 20-minute spa treatment. I opted for the head, neck and shoulder massage, with the attendant able to relieve a neck crick and leave me feeling refreshed for the flight.
Private shower suites at hand too, giving travellers with a connecting flight a convenient space to freshen up before continuing on to their final destination.
While not on par with Sydney, Melbourne’s Qantas first class lounge still delivers a top-notch experience, in particular its personalised service, à la carte dining, and, of course, that sensational day spa.