My flight back to the states out of Sydney was on American Airlines, a oneworld partner. Having a first class ticket gave me access to the world renowned Qantas first class lounge. Having been to the Qantas first class lounges in Los Angeles a couple of times as well Melbourne there was no doubt in my mind Qantas knows how to operate a great lounge. This visit would be no exception.
After clearing security and walking a short distance through the maze of duty free shops a sign directs you to the upper level of the International terminal where both Qantas premium lounges are located. At the top of the escalator you show your boarding pass for admittance.
There are no corners in this lounge, everything is curved including the plant lined walkway to the lounge entrance. The lounge was designed using Feng Shui principles. The wall garden hold 8,500 plants and is self-watering.
Soon you reach an escalator that takes you up to the lounge which overlooks the tarmac. At the top I was met by a welcoming attendant who greeted me by name and offered to store my carry-on bags.
The Marc Newson designed lounge is striking. No expense was spared as design elements include Carrara marble from Switzerland and American Oak as well as fine leather chairs and tables by Cappellini and Tai Ping wool rugs from Hong Kong.
The lounge has a spectacular view of the airport.
I guess if you must...
At the far end of the lounge is the dining room which is full-service.
Apparently the Qantas Sydney lounge is known for the amount of Champagne it serves, tops in Australia on a weekday. I was offered a glass once seated (I had to wait a couple minutes as it was a busy breakfast time) but declined. The breakfast menu was extensive and I understand they will customize and order for you.
I simply had poached eggs and a long black. Restaurant quality, fine restaurant quality.
You could self-serve a few items, but other than a muffin or snack most food is served off the menu.
The lounge has a Spa where you can get a 20 minute treatment consisting of a back, head and neck massage. Qantas first class ticket holders can reserve a treatment 24 hours in advance, otherwise you have to ask for an appointment when you arrive. There was no availability when I arrived so I didn't get to experience the spa treatment.
Of course the lounge had full shower facilities.
Without question this is a fantastic lounge. It is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, has great views, delicious food and a spa. What more could you ask for? How about easy access. Rules for entry are (based on same day departure ticketing):
- Qantas first class (Spa appointments 24 hours in advance)
- Emirates and oneworld (AA,CX,JL, etc.) first class
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One status fliers (any QF, EK or oneworld class ticket)
- Emirates Platinum status fliers (any QF, EK class ticket)
- Oneworld Emerald status fliers (any oneworld class ticket)
In addition one guest is allowed. So oneworld Emerald members traveling in economy is granted access to this lounge. Pretty incredible.