What do you want from Qantas' new Sydney business class lounge?

By David Flynn, February 23 2018
What do you want from Qantas' new Sydney business class  lounge?

TALKING POINT | Sydney's well-worn Qantas international business class lounge is finally getting the make-over it deserves, and which the Flying Kangaroo's business travellers and Gold-grade frequent flyers have been waiting for.

As we've previously reported, renovations will begin in the third quarter of this year and stretch through until the tail end of 2019 – a long timeframe made necessary by the need to keep the lounge open during the multimillion-dollar works.

Qantas designer David Caon is leading the project – which we rate as a plus, because we're generally fans of his clean, fresh and understated aesthetic – in collaboration with Australian architecture firm Bates Smart.

But given that we've got Australia's largest readership of business travellers and frequent flyers on tap, we figured it's appropriate to hear what you want from this all-new lounge.

Qantas has said that family zone will remain, as will the bar – but can either of those be improved from their present state, and what would make them better?

We're fans of the morning juice bar and the lounge-made gelato, so our vote is certainly to keep those.

Neil Perry's Qantas Rockpool team will come to the fore with a 'dining concept' – should this include a dedicated dining area similar to the Qantas first class lounge?

And given Caon's work on Qantas' Singapore and Hong Kong lounges, are there any aspects of those lounges which you'd like to see appear in the new-look Sydney business class lounge? Or anything from Qantas' recently-opened Brisbane international business lounge, for that matter?

Share your thoughts with other AusBT readers (and Qantas, too, because we know they're reading this!) in the comments area below...


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

My top 5:

- lots of powerpoints and usb ports

- wireless charging facilities
- activity based areas (something for families, non families, lounging, sleeping, working, chatting, reading, watching tv etc)
- an area for drinks and an area for food. Having them together creates unnecessary chaos
- more showers and toilets

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 57

1. Continuation of the fresh juice bar service would be awesome.

2. I would love a room to do yoga in (like they have in the USA), though that's probably more an airport infrastructure thing rather than a lounge feature.
3. All of things @smiliemonster listed above.
4. Separate dining tables, lounge seating areas, and desks for working on the laptop (the booths that SQ have in their lounges are pretty good - and have nice level of privacy)


31 Oct 2013

Total posts 13

Like the idea of booths, as they actually restrict the "man-spread" of some users who like to take up space on long "work" counters with laptop bags etc etc to get some privacy.

Instead of taking up 2-3 chair spaces with their gear, a 1.2m wide x 900mm deep pod with privacy screen on sides gives plenty of space for laptop/pod/drink/privacy.
Each one should have a power supply with USB/240V.

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 43

More natural light and a proper view over the airfield, with floor to ceiling windows. Extending the lounge over the current corrugated iron roof so that the edge goes right up to the airfield would be excellent!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 147

Love the idea of an outdoor terrace - especially the view of the city that the northerly facing lounge provides.


05 Sep 2017

Total posts 10

Very simply "more space"! Way too crowded at many times of the day currently. Get the area right then many of the other things mentioned above can follow.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 648

The 'Supplementary Notes' pdf issued by QF last Thursday with their Half Year report indicates that the Sydney Int'l Business Lounge upgrade will accommodate ~30% more people. That would indicate that some expansion of space is imminent.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2516

This may include expansion of passenger-accessible space within the lounge's current footprint - there are some staff areas which might be trimmed back - and of course, one can always optimise existing layouts for more seating. A good example are the Melbourne domestic lounges, where there's quite an increase in seating just by adopting a more efficient layout.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2011

Total posts 37

• A low lit room with day beds like EK has in DXB, would be good for those longer layovers.

• Improved tarmac views from at least some section of the lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Curious. Who does long layovers in Sydney?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2011

Total posts 37

Passengers from Perth (QF568 red-eye) connecting onto other flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2018

Total posts 15

PER to DFW via SYD, PER to LAX via SYD, etc. If I don't overnight at Rydges, I can have a 6-hour layover before a flight to the US.

Sydney is also a transit hub for passengers from New Zealand, Fiji (connecting from Fiji Airways) and South America travelling to Asia with Qantas: for example, Santiago to Tokyo via Sydney, which is the fastest way to get from A to B on that route.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 137

I've done three in the last eighteen months; one to Fiji, one from the States & one from Europe (though that was less than four hours).

23 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

How about an Aerotel Singapore-style swimming pool?

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

I'm going to go out a limb and ask that they don't "jazz up" the restaurant and dining options with any Neil Perry nonsense. He's just a "human brand" designed to excuse lower quality food.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Oct 2017

Total posts 4

My personal wish list:
- Significantly more space - suggestions from another commenter to expand over the roof may be expensive but really the only logical place to expand.
- bar with bar staff (rather than self serve)
- open kitchen with plated options similar to HKG and SIN.
- activity based area for dining, working, relaxing and finding quiet space
- Less Sky News TVs
- more focus on Australian wines and their backgrounds
- more open space and less physical barriers to walking between areas
- better access to service desk staff
- improved destination boards, ideally with more information about delays, weather, flight times and distance to gates
- quiet zones

With the First Lounge overhead, the wish list needs to be realistic; but if some of these can be included it would help what should be their flagship International Business Lounge come up to a level fitting of its biggest international port.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2018

Total posts 15

1. More showers (this is a MUST for the Domestic Lounge too, especially after coming in from a long international flight and with a connecting domestic flight)

2. More USB and general power charging outlets, at a height where you don't have to move furniture or get on your hands and knees hunting for a power outlet close to the ground.
3. Private single booths (perhaps with a pull-out or side table for plates, laptop?) for the many of us who travel by ourselves. Most Q lounges have seating arranged for 2 or 4 people, and it's hard for singles to 'join in' a seating arrangement that already has people, unless we're forced to.
4. Get rid of the silly little round side tables -- they are awkward to arrange plates and other items on, and useless for a laptop; replace with square or rectangular side tables.
5. A 'nice to have' would be an exercise room with some stationary bikes --- anything to avoid sitting for several hours before a long flight. Of course, this would mean more shower facilities (see point 1).

Put me down for a dedicated dining area, and clearly delineated from the rest of the lounge, as long as passengers don't decide to squat there for long after their meal is finished with their laptop or tablet, instead of moving to another spot in the lounge so that other diners can take the table. This is often a problem at the QF First lounge.

Also, instead of having TVs placed all around the lounge and one quiet zone, swap it around and make the entire lounge a quiet zone with just one corner where there's a TV for people who want to watch it, and surround that area with some sound-deadening walls and materials.

There's not much to be done about the view from the lounge but an outdoor terrace would be amazing, especially if they mounted a few decent tourist-style telescopes or binoculars (like they have at scenic lookouts) so you could look at the city view, the aircraft etc. That would be an amazing attraction in itself.

Of course, plenty of AC and high-power USB ports everywhere. Get rid of the dedicated PC workstation area, or just keep one machine for people who have to do something online and don't have their own device. Turn one quiet corner into a work zone. And make sure quiet zones where you can't use mobile phones, FaceTime etc are clearly marked AND enforced!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2017

Total posts 4

Agree with James wrt reducing the TV everywhere approach. Personal devices have made this redundant. I'm all for quiet zones. Lounge mobile free? Long conversations on mobiles is so 1990's!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2018

Total posts 15

Yes, those workspace chairs are an excellent idea. QF really should spend some time at the newest Cathay Pacific lounges to see how this is done, although the newest CX lounges like The Pier at HKG have a lot of space which is a luxury QF might not be able to afford due to the constraints of the space provided to them by Sydney Airport.

Also there is that strange overflow area which goes from the business class lounge to the bottom of the first class lounge, near the escalators, it's usually opened during peak travel periods like school holidays, I wonder if they could 'formalise' that space and make it more a part of the regular business class lounge?

Apart from that I don't see the need for relaxing rooms, yoga rooms, nap rooms etc, they would be vastly under-used especially as SYD is less of a transit hub than say HKG with long layovers, and making best use of the limited space available is the #1 issue here for QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Just more space. It is so populated that occasionally I have taken refuge in the terminal. Huge space over the corrugated roof outside so can that be used? I don't think day beds or extensive sleeping quarters are needed. We are the end of the journey for most folk so not a layover destination. Just more space please.

25 Jan 2018

Total posts 3

- All day a la carte dining tables rather than the high chairs, not only for limited hours during the day such as breakfast only. They do it very well in HK so why not in Syd.

- A real bartender to make cocktails + a separate self-serving area for spirits, wine etc.

- A "sleeping area” dark and quiet, with staff coming to wake you up close to boarding time.

- Individual booths with power points, ideal to work in Privacy.

- No flight announcement at all, to preserve the quiet atmosphere.

- Separate sound proof kids and family area, physically separated, again to preserve a low noise level in the lounge.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 154

- Work pods

- Chairs with decent back support
- An outdoor area

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 183

A big YES to an outdoor area, expensive and would need to be covered for both sun and rain but look at the Star Alliance lounge at LAX, it's even got tables and chairs with AC and USB sockets plus gas heaters for winter. This would be a real feature of the lounge! Dining room at one end of the lounge, light meals buffet and snacks at the other. A quiet zone where people aren't allowed to use mobile phones. Make the family room a fully-enclosed soundproofed space similar to those in the BA LHR T3 and Etihad lounges, with seating outside so parents can keep an eye on their kids. Wireless charging outlets too would be a great idea.


17 Jan 2018

Total posts 88

How about a telephone so international guests can make local calls (beleive it or not Brisbane does not have it)

A self service bar so you dont have to queue and wait for all the coffee drinkers to be served.
Some international newspapers suxh as Times, Herald Tribune, China Daily & South China Morning Post. The Aussie tabliods are just awful!

A lot to expect i know.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 147

The bar is already self service


16 Nov 2012

Total posts 60

I add my vote to those saying more space - and more seats, especially provision for solo travellers. Preferably I'd like more flights from Melbourne, if Qantas continues to desert Adelaide: anything to avoid the atrocity that is Sydney Airport.

23 Jul 2012

Total posts 21

Extend the fresh juice do it yourself. Lose the little round tables. More provision for solo travellers so that we don't take up so much space. More booths and comfortable desk chairs. Something to stop pacing mobile users/shouters.


03 May 2013

Total posts 622

A special zone for families with children away from everyone else. A lounge is meant to be relaxing, getting work done, not suffering boisterous kids on a high before a flight , esp those kids with parents who don’t care to control their children. That said some children are superbly behaved but even then they’d have more fun in a kids area meeting and playing with other kids.

23 Feb 2018

Total posts 3

- please stay committed to fresh, light food – from start to finish. The salads and plates of day are great but the buffet mains and desserts are often dissapointing.

- more premium wines. I recognise this is a busy lounge, but for a business class traveller, the wines are a little too average for my taste so I generally refrain, even though i love a good drop. Smaller vineyards.
- i like the timed meals, like in Hong Kong.
- in general, more exclusivity. It sometimes feels like a food court in the sydney lounge. I’d rather it was more like a hotel lobby/bar, where there are areas to both relax and be social.
- lightening fast internet would be a dream.
- last, i would be very happy with smaller amounts of super high quality food and wine than larger amounts of average.
- make the space beautiful, with high quality finishing, finishes and furniture.
- make the showers more luxe. More showers in general. Annoying to wait.

23 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

Power and high speed USB outlets EVERYWHERE!

Bacon on the breakfast menu .. Always!

30 Oct 2014

Total posts 12

The Singapore lounge is a great template, particularly the dining area and meal choices. The bar area in LAX is also a good example of what can be done. Get rid of the carpet as well and provide healthier meal options at breakfast.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jul 2017

Total posts 14

I'd recommend a redesign of the seating to allow carry-ons to be "slotted/stored" next to/under/inside of the seat to improve walkways and stop muppets using their bags to block fellow travellers from taking advantage of adjacent empty seats.

07 Jun 2016

Total posts 29

This would be at godsend. There ought to be a nifty way of coming up with a bespoke chair/bench+side table combination that allows for luggage storage underneath.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget coat hooks - plenty of them and near every seat. And hooks to hang small backpacks or ladys’ handbags unterneath the bar counters and tables

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 46

That is where I love the ANA lounge at Haneda. They have built in side tables with bag space underneath, plus the coat hooks. Must have in all lounges Imo.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jun 2017

Total posts 6

I would love some way to have a private phone conversation. The Singapore lounge lacks this too (since they removed the business centre booths). Always find myself in phone meetings where no one on the other end can hear me, yet I feel like everyone in the lounge probably can.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2017

Total posts 4

Good suggestion billposters. A soundproof booth would both shield other flyers from you conversation and ensure the privacy of you conversation. Are you old enough to remembers Maxwell Smart's 'Cone of Silence' - a possible solution?

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 26

An outdoor area is a must.

Get rid of the Televisions, one Television area would do it, and change channels.
Get rid of those annoying small tables.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2011

Total posts 20

More and larger Zoned space. Food / dining zone. Better bar / relaxing area. Ok its called the Q Pub for a reason maybe that's a way to manage the people influx at times, stools, high tables and standing Wine Bar type atmosphere

Better views of tarmac and if possible covered outdoor with out the Kero smell.
Redesign the entrance, closer to the escalator and initial seating area its so messy and uninviting. Keep the kids area - away from the non kids, even a teenage area as thet are prominent at times.
More power, USB and connection space.
I don't mind the TV's to catch up on the day, last chance for some. but different channels on each.
Change to a 2 story next to the Platinum F lounge with an entrance :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1392

Can't be two stories. F lounge is above.

Entrance could be shared with the F Lounge. Have a podium just round the bend. F/Plat/Emerald directed up again, J/Gold/Saph/Club directed straight ahead

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Apr 2013

Total posts 57

The QF Hong Kong lounge is a great inspiration to draw from. My top 5:

  • Wireless charging points
  • dedicated barista and bar
  • More healthy/vego options
  • Business area to take calls and connect for work
  • Quiet area away from call-takers and kids

24 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Just some general cleaness would be nice. No dirty and unclean tables. Staff that really looks after it.

24 Mar 2015

Total posts 18

Regular cleaning - this lounge really is the pits. It’s a zoo most anytime because of the number of people trawling through. Each time I’ve been in, there’s mess everywhere and staff rolling out carts etc. with roped off food stations, yet the floor is littered with paper serviettes, straws, food scraps... not to mention the dirty tables. Forget spending all that money on the design, invest instead on much better service and presentation of food etc.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 109

Simple answer, model it straight from QF's Brisbane's International Terminal Lounge and you have a winner. Then add an outdoor terrace for both the smoker and non-smoker, and please, please, for the sake of all, retire Neil and his Rockpool catering. It is time for something new from the F&B division.


10 Jan 2014

Total posts 9

- Better bubbles. The Seppelt presently on offer is feral & is an embarrassment compared to the current French offerings in other Oneworld business lounges (especially Emirates & QATAR)

- As stated by others, higher, more practical tables, the little round ones are useless for eating & drinking

- more plated meal options like Singapore

- more staff clearing plates & crockery

- better magazine offerings

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 44

Maybe some refurbished skybed II for a quick nap

18 Feb 2018

Total posts 10

Totally agree with the removal of TVs (I’m currently sat waiting for the Perth to Sydney Redeye and the constant noise and drivel from the TV is draining).

How about changing it around and having dedicated ‘solo-traveller’ areas; rather than family areas.

How do we stop the relentless march of people listening to social media without headphones - The genie is definitely out of the bottle (Answer - Large Quiet Area: Enforced)

This one will be novel (and won’t happen) - Make access less open to all - Only allow access to the Business Lounge for those actually travelling in Business Class (Expand Qantas Club accordingly) - Same should apply for the First Class Lounge perhaps....?

The new Business Lounges at Perth and Brisbane are on the right path.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2018

Total posts 3

I agree with HarrierGR7. They let half the airport into the current Business lounge.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Apr 2016

Total posts 24

A little pretentious I know, but I would just LOVE to see a Business Class Lounge enforce business class attire. I see David and Chris's reviews on AUSBT and they always look impeccable. Not stuffy or overdone - just smart casual clothes that reflect their style.

The best technology, contemporary fitout and luxury wines will never bring a Lounge into credibility if it is going to be filled with guests who continue to push the boundaries of good taste and bad manners. Dressing for an occasion at least tells the world you made an effort.
A bare minimum should be no singlets, thongs or rugby style sports shorts please, whatever class you are flying.

real champagne. I usually go to the Emirates lounge at Sydney airport when flying Qantas because they have it there (and the food is better)

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 271

a Concept I would love to see QF apply to all lounges (and most of the above are general improvements rather than sydney specific) is to make the IFE available in lounge. When I am travelling solo, both internationally and domestically, being able to start movie in the lounge on a BYO device would be awesome. I have no doubt there would be some live diving issues to work through, but this would address both pre flight boredom and (especially domestically) address getting half way through a show.

Other than that, the Sydney specific enhancement I would like to see is zoned eating spaces.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2516

A big "thank you" to everybody who's shared their thoughts on what they would like to see in Qantas' new Sydney International Business Class lounge. There are so many fantastic and very practical traveller-friendly ideas here!

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 25

Champagne. Not Piper.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 131

I disagree with people who say "real champagne". I want the opposite from a beverage product - a place to showcase the absolute best of Australian wine/spirits/beer (and seriously, Moet or Veuve are fairly average products, I don't get why everyone has a boner for them. And Piper-Heidseck that Lufthansa uses even moreso). I thought the gin bar in London was a fantastic concept and would love to see that kind of thing, but focusing on what Sydney does best. Lots of great breweries, plus wines from Canberra District & Orange punch well above their weight. Showcase Australian drinks.

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 25

I would be very happy with Arras or another good Tassie sparkling but frankly I don't trust Qantas not to slide back into Fleur de Lys, which they serve in HKG.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 131

Yes, absolutely - they need to spend the same on Australian wine as they would on French wine. Arras Vintages & Jansz from Tasmania are good options. Symphony Hill in Queensland sent me a sample of their sparkling and I tried it last night - it was phenomenal.

Fleur De Lys costs about $12 base wholesale price (before volume discounts or whatever, they'll be paying much less than that).

Arras, Jansz, Symphony Hill cost ~$20-30 per bottle wholesale before discounts (very few good, or even semi-decent true champagnes at that price point). Qantas could and should put an emphasis on high-quality Australian product in their flagship international lounge and they can do so simply by jumping up a price tier.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 81



Anything would be better than now, except MEL and AKL...!!!

On the real list: more showers and improved bathroom facilities, direct access from 'outside' like BNE, an open (mezzanine) area like BA Galleries First at LHR T5 which is really relaxing.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jan 2017

Total posts 2

Like someone posted above areas for phone calls. In most of the Japanese lounges phone conversations are frowned upon and there are private phone booths. Must be getting fussy however hate having to listen in on people having phone conversations and have never understood why call is made using the speaker and not earphones. Lounges used to be a bit of a refuge... now often as noisy as any concourse. Apart from that retain the barista - love my coffee. Rant over

29 Jun 2016

Total posts 7

What I have asked for many times, but never have received, is access to a Qantas Lounge on arrival.

Often I am pressed for time and rarely use the lounges prior to departure.
But after a long haul or red eye, I would delay love to have shower, some breakfast before heading to my appointments.
I am no longer a Qantas Club member, due to this rule; and although I am entitled to use the lounges when I fly business class, I still cannot gain admission on arrival at my destination.
So to answer the question, ALL I want from any lounge is access either before departure or on arrival. Simple really isn't it ?

14 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

Redesign of Qantas First Lounge lights in Sydney so the house lighting doesn't get reflected into camera lens. If MEL gets a refurb find a way to make the tint in windows more friendly, the blue tinted windows in MEL lounges just doesn't feel right.

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