Sydney Airport boasts no less than seven business class lounges in its international terminal – and with some travellers able to access two or even three lounges with the one ticket, it pays to know all your options.
For example, Qantas business class passengers, Gold and Platinum-grade frequent flyers can choose between the Qantas International Business Lounge and The Emirates Lounge when both are open, or could stop by the American Express lounge if they've got the right credit card in their pocket or purse.
Similarly, Delta’s business class passengers can choose between the brand new Air New Zealand lounge and the also-new SkyTeam Lounge before their flight, each with a different look and feel.
And of course, both the Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounges are available to travellers on any Star Alliance airline.
So here’s what you’ll find waiting for you at Sydney Airport, regardless of which airline you prefer to fly with.
Air New Zealand, Star Alliance lounge
Where it is: Among gates 50-63
When it’s open: 6am to 9:30pm daily
Who gets in:
- Business and first class passengers of Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia (excluding to Abu Dhabi), Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Asiana, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Solomon Airlines, Thai Airways and United
- Air New Zealand Airpoints Gold, Elite and Elite Priority One before Star Alliance and Virgin Australia flights
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and The Club before Virgin Australia, Air NZ, Delta and Hawaiian Airlines flights, and before Etihad flight EY455
- Star Alliance Gold, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club and United Club cardholders prior to any Star Alliance flights
- Etihad Guest Silver and Gold members prior to Etihad flight EY455 when booked in economy
- Air New Zealand Koru Club guests before Air NZ flights or NZ codeshares on Virgin Australia trans-Tasman flights
- Virgin Australia Lounge members before Virgin Australia flights to New Zealand – includes codeshares on Air NZ but excludes all other destinations
What’s so special: A staffed cocktail and espresso bar plus power points galore.
Recently opened and with space for around 300 guests, Air New Zealand’s new lounge features different zones for different moods with defined areas for relaxing, dining, working and for children.
Chefs also dish up tasty treats at the ‘food theatre’ station, and as with any international business class lounge worthy of the title, you’ll too find private shower suites to freshen up before the long flight ahead.
American Express lounge
Where it is: Adjacent to gate 24
When it’s open: 6am until 11pm daily
Who gets in:
- American Express Platinum, Business Platinum, Centurion and Business Centurion cardholders from any country: unlimited yearly access
- AMEX Velocity Platinum, Qantas Ultimate, Corporate Platinum, Qantas Corporate Platinum, Platinum Reserve and David Jones Platinum cards issued directly by American Express: two free visits each calendar year and $55 per entry thereafter
- ANZ Frequent Flyer Black, ANZ Rewards Black, Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards, Westpac Altitude Black and Westpac Earth Black American Express cardholders: also two free yearly visits, after which the same $55 charge applies
- No access for any other American Express cardholders, even if you’d be willing to pay
What’s so special: Perfectly-crafted barista coffee and bartender service in a contemporary space.
While not officially an airline lounge this classy little nook remains a great option for AMEX cardholders flying in Scoot’s ‘ScootBiz’ cabin to Singapore or on the least-expensive Jetstar business class tickets, both of which don’t come with lounge access.
It’s also a great move to have up your sleeve if your usual lounge of choice is a little noisy or crowded, as you can instead retreat to the AMEX facility and sip a lovely latte, delivered to your seat.
If you’re travelling on your own time, there’s also a quasi-living room at the far end of the lounge, great tarmac views, TVs and comfy chairs nearby the buffet spread.
The Emirates Lounge
Where it is: Near gate 58
When it’s open: Currently 4:15am through 9am and also 3:15pm until 8:15pm daily, and switches to 4:15am until 10am and then 4:15pm until 9:15pm outside of daylight savings periods.
Who gets in: Business and first class passengers of Emirates and Qantas plus Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO and Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge cardholders prior to Emirates and Qantas flights.
The lounge also welcomes Citibank Emirates World MasterCard customers travelling with Emirates on an EK flight number and using one of their two free yearly Emirates lounge passes.
What’s so special: Veuve Clicquot champagne is practically on-tap.
The shining star of this lounge is very much the food and beverage service: there’s made-to-order omelettes in the morning and a good selection of hot dishes of an evening such as chicken and beef mains with rice, plus the expected wines, spirits and (French) champagne.
Complemented by proper dining tables that double as a great place to plonk your laptop, you can be both productive and well-fed before your flight.
Etihad Airways First and Business Class Lounge
Where it is: Adjacent to gate 51 and the National Geographic store
When it’s open: Three hours before all Etihad and Virgin Australia flights to Abu Dhabi
Who gets in:
- Business class, first class and The Residence passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi with Etihad and Virgin Australia (EY451, EY455 and VA29, as offered)
- Etihad Guest Silver members booked on EY451
- Etihad Guest Gold and Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and The Club frequent flyers prior to EY451 and VA29
- Etihad Guest Platinum and Exclusive cardholders before EY451, EY455 and VA29
(Frequent flyers booked in economy on EY455 not included above can instead use the Air New Zealand lounge.)
What’s so special: A dining room that’s more ‘first class’ than business.
What we like about Etihad’s Sydney dining room is that the dishes are relatively small – allowing travellers taste a number of different things during the same sitting, or to simply eat something light before partaking of the inflight meals once on-board.
There’s also a buffet for more casual grazing, along with bartender service, comfy leather armchairs, tarmac views, a kids room and a small business centre housed within this relatively cosy space.
Qantas International Business Lounge
Where it is: In the centre of the terminal near gates 9 and 10
When it’s open: 5am until 10pm daily
Who gets in:
- Business and first class passengers of Qantas, Emirates, Fiji Airways and Oneworld airlines including American Airlines (from December), British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways (from March 2016)
- Travellers flying with Jetstar on a Business Max fare
- Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge frequent flyers prior to Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates or Oneworld flights, or when travelling with other airlines such as Asiana and Fiji Airways with a Qantas or Jetstar flight number on their ticket
- Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO members prior to flights with Qantas and Emirates.
- Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers such as AAdvantage Platinum and Executive Platinum and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold and Diamond prior to a Oneworld flight
- Qantas Club members prior to a Qantas or Jetstar flight, or when travelling on a Qantas or Jetstar codeshare flight operated by another airline
- American Airlines Admirals Club members travelling with Qantas on an AA flight number, or flying with American Airlines from December
- Qantas Silver frequent flyers using their free once-yearly lounge pass, along with customers who receive these passes from their credit card company such as with ANZ Frequent Flyer Black and Qantas-earning Westpac Altitude Black cards
- First class passengers and Emerald-grade frequent flyers can also relax in the Qantas First Lounge
What’s so special: ‘Island Dining’ with table service and plates of the day.
While not quite the Rockpool-inspired restaurant in the Qantas First Lounge one floor above, being able to order breakfast and a barista-made coffee to your seat in the mornings makes a wonderful change to the traditional buffet fare: just perch yourself on a stool and look for a waiter:
Elsewhere in the lounge you’ll also find a gelato counter, a business centre with computers and power outlets for your own tech and a selection of reading material to while away the time.
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
Where it is: Next to the Air NZ lounge in the pier for gates 50-63
When it’s open: 5am until 7pm daily
Who gets in:
- Business and first class passengers of Singapore Airlines plus those of Star Alliance airlines Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, Asiana, Thai Airways and United if desired
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members before Star Alliance fights, along with other Star Alliance Gold cardholders, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club and United Club members
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers prior to Singapore Airlines flights
What’s so special: Productivity pods make for a great place to work.
Whether you’re intent on working or relaxing, the SilverKris Lounge has you covered – taking on more of a ‘living room’ style but still providing business-friendly amenities such as wireless internet to complement those productivity pods.
In the food department, keep your eyes peeled for tastes of Singapore such as laksa and mee siam alongside meals from around the world:
Where it is: Adjacent to gate 24 and next door to the AMEX lounge
When it’s open: 6am to 10pm daily
Who gets in:
- Business and first class passengers of SkyTeam alliance airlines including China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines
- SkyTeam Elite Plus frequent flyers when flying with any SkyTeam airline
- Passengers of any airline, who can pay $77 for visits up to two hours or $132 for up to five hours
What’s so special: A separate TV room allows holidaymakers to relax while business travellers aren’t disturbed by blaring TV sets.
After taking the escalators or lift down one floor from reception, you can choose between chairs by the windows enjoying enviable tarmac views, curved seating for groups, single chairs for solo travellers, an oval table for collaboration or even a spot near the wine bar:
As you’d rightly expect, there’s also a buffet area which reminds us of SkyTeam’s London and Istanbul lounges.
Have your say: what's your pick of Sydney Airport's best business class lounges?
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