The definitive Point Hacks guide to Qantas lounges

GUIDE: Program Guide
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 7 minutes
POSTED: March 29, 2018
UPDATED: June 13, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

With the largest lounge network in Australia and a respectable offering overseas, Qantas lounge access is a valuable perk to passengers travelling in Business or First Class, higher-tier frequent flyers, and those lucky enough to have one of the credit cards that offer complimentary access.

In this guide, we outline the six different types of Qantas lounges, where they are located, which ones are the most basic and which are the best, our experiences of select lounges, and the methods to gain access.

The six lounge types in Qantas’ lounge network

Qantas really wins out against Virgin Australia’s meagre offering of 12 domestic and no international lounges (you can read our overview of Virgin Australia’s lounges here).

However, it is a bit more confusing with Qantas, which has six different types of lounges (which we have ranked in order of service quality and facilities):

  • Domestic Qantas Club: the most common type and lowest-tiered Qantas lounge, with 24 across the network, in all capital cities as well as far afield as Karratha, Devonport and Mackay
  • Domestic Business Lounge: a step up from a Qantas Club, it has better food and drink offerings, and is quieter and smaller. There are five Domestic Business Lounges, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra
  • International Business Lounge: for departing international flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, plus a number of overseas locations in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Auckland, Wellington and Tokyo Narita
  • International (Premium) Lounge: there are currently four of these combined Business and First Class Lounges, in Brisbane, Hong Kong, Singapore and London
  • International First Class Lounge: for First Class passengers and elite frequent flyers in Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Auckland
  • Chairman’s Lounge: invitation-only lounges in major Qantas hubs such as Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, for members including politicians, high court judges, CEOs and celebrities. Number of members is said to be around 7000.

You can see a full list of Qantas lounges here.

Eligible Qantas customers also have access to associated lounges run by partner airlines (such as Emirates, American Airlines and British Airways) in key airports where Qantas does not operate its own lounge, such as London Heathrow, Dubai, New York, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Johannesburg and Bangkok.

Key lounges which the Point Hacks team has reviewed

Sydney International First & Business Lounges

Consistently ranked as one of the world’s top ten airport lounges, we gave the First Class lounge a five-star rating.

This lounge goes above and beyond by allowing you to tailor your experience, with table service either in the restaurant area or at your lounge seats, a good menu, spa offerings and a full bar.

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The Sydney International Business Lounge is disappointing and thankfully due for an upgrade by late 2019.

Melbourne International First Lounge

The Melbourne lounge is like a mini clone of the Sydney lounge but has a bit less of a ‘wow’ factor.

Having said that, the Melbourne lounge is more intimate than Sydney’s, and we found it a more relaxing, personal experience, with staff members really willing to interact and give decent personal service.

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Melbourne Qantas Club Lounge and Domestic Business Lounge

Melbourne’s Qantas Club Lounge is the go-to lounge for many of Qantas’ frequent flyers and lounge members plus their guests, with well-utilised spaces, good distinct zones for relaxing and working/eating.

While the food options are certainly nothing to write home about, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about either.

Qantas Club Lounge Melbourne

Qantas Club Lounge Melbourne

Qantas Club Lounge Melbourne

The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge is nestled within the Qantas Club Lounge in Melbourne. It is an exclusive area which caters to Business Class guests, Platinum frequent flyers and higher.

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge Melbourne

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge Melbourne

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge Melbourne

Both of these lounges are due to be renovated by late 2018.

Perth Qantas Club Lounge and Business Lounge

The Perth Qantas Club is the main lounge for the majority of Qantas’ frequent flyers and lounge members flying interstate from Western Australia, which means it can get quite crowded at times.

Qantas Club Perth

Qantas Club Perth business centre

Qantas then opened the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in 2015, which was a welcome relief that provided a more exclusive space for Business Class guests, Platinum frequent flyers and higher.

Qantas Business Lounge Perth

Qantas Business Lounge buffet

Los Angeles International Business Lounge

We gave this lounge a solid four-star rating for its spaciousness, fast wifi and well-stocked bar, but it is let down by dark lighting, some disappointing food and no tarmac views.

It is run by Qantas in partnership with oneworld partners British Airways and Cathay Pacific. As such, complimentary passes cannot be used at this lounge, nor can Emirates Skywards frequent flyers gain access as it is technically a oneworld, not Qantas, lounge.

Passengers eligible for access include those travelling in Qantas Business Class, higher-tier Qantas and oneworld Frequent Flyers, and Qantas Club members.

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Auckland International Business Lounge

Whilst functional and conveniently-located, this lounge is old and tired, and one of the more disappointing in the Qantas network.

Partner airline Emirates’ lounge is a good alternative in Auckland, if you can gain access.

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Hong Kong International (Premium) Lounge

This is the type of model Qantas is moving towards by combining First and Business Class passengers in one space, including Singapore, Brisbane and London.

In Hong Kong, Qantas operates this mixed lounge to service their daily flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with some table-service dining options and a full-service bar.

To be honest, this lounge is a massive improvement over the Sydney and Melbourne International Business Lounges.

You can read our full review of the lounge here.

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The new International lounges also keenly highlight how Qantas needs to invest in their domestic Business Class lounges to bring them up to the same level.

What to expect when you use the Qantas lounges

Obviously, with six different types of lounges, you’ll receive quite a different experience in each.

Starting at the bottom, at most Qantas Clubs, you can expect:

  • Snacks
  • Tea, coffee and beverages
  • Barista
  • Toilets
  • Wifi
  • Computers
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Family zone

In addition to the above services and facilities, Domestic and International Business Lounges will also tend to offer:

  • Lounge dining
  • Bar service
  • Showers

Moving up, the International (Premium), International First and Chairman’s Lounges will have more attractive interior design and more personal service from staff, as well as wider food and drink offerings.

Credit cards that offer Qantas lounge access

There are currently a small selection of credit cards that each offer two entries per calendar year to Qantas Clubs or International Business Lounges as a perk.

All credit cards have transitioned to digital lounge passes, however, existing paper passes with a valid expiry are still, of course, able to be used until they expire.

You can view as well as transfer your digital invitations to any other Qantas Frequent Flyer member on the Qantas Complimentary Lounge Invitations website.

Note that you cannot use these passes for shared lounges (such as the one in Los Angeles) or associated partner lounges (such as Emirates lounges).

Whilst the annual fees differ, other perks such as sign-up bonuses, ongoing points earning through spending and trip protection do also, so it is worth clicking through to decide which offers the best value to your circumstances.

*Note that with the Qantas American Express Ultimate and Premium cards, you will receive digital lounge invitations which will be assigned to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account after your first spend with Qantas

Accessing Qantas lounges through other methods

Obviously, whether paying in cash for a flight or redeeming an award in First or Business Class, you will have access to the lounge corresponding to the cabin in which you are flying.

Higher-tier Qantas (starting at Gold status) and oneworld Frequent Flyers (starting at Sapphire status) also have access to these lounges, regardless of the cabin in which they are flying.

Buying a Qantas Club membership will give you a year’s access to Qantas Clubs, International Business Lounges and associated lounges.

And, Qantas is running a trial to give lower-tier frequent flyers the opportunity to buy a day pass for Qantas lounges in Australia and overseas from $49.

The definitive Point Hacks guide to Qantas lounges was last modified: June 13th, 2018 by Matt Moffitt