The Qantas International Business Lounge is a big workhorse lounge and I say that because it caters for guests flying on Qantas, oneworld partner airlines (many Cathay Pacific guests prefer this lounge over the Cathay Pacific one) and non-alliance partners like China Eastern.
I was able to review this lounge as part of the Melbourne Airport 2018 Excellence Awards and here is my take.
Lounge details & location
The lounge is located in the basement Level 1, so you do not get views of the tarmac, meaning the lighting is not that great.
It is open from 5:15am until 11:55pm daily.
The lounge is big and can seat up to 350 guests. There are a number of separate areas, including a business centre with printers, dining and bar-style tables, rest and TV areas, and a kids’ zone.
In my opinion, this is where Qantas excels because all the separate areas allow guests to spread around, so it does not feel cluttered even during peak service.
Qantas also proudly told me that they recently invested in new bar stools and dining chairs at a cost of $1,000 per chair! So next time you are tucking into some food in the dining room, just remember that!
One of the main advantages of this lounge is its kids’ zone. This is one of the few lounges in Melbourne with a dedicated space for children, and both families and other guests welcome this.
Food & drink
The catering offering is average, with a buffet menu, and it is also the only lounge at Melbourne Airport that I have seen that provides specified gluten-free options.
A big plus is the barista coffee. As someone who loves their coffee, there is nothing I love more than a fresh cuppa and a machine just does not cut it.
The alcohol is self-serve and on offer during my visit was Cape Schanck Pinot Noir, The Coldstream Guard Rubeus, a Wolf Blass white wine and a cheap sub-par sparkling white (rather than champagne) on offer. There were about 10 spirits, with the usual suspects of Bundaberg Rum, Kahlúa, etc.
This lounge has seven showers, which lessens the wait time during peak. During my visit, half were in use. Despite becoming very popular during peak hours, the bathroom and showers are kept in immaculate conditions.
Qantas does not keep amenity kits and towels in the showers, so guests need to can request them at the front desk.
Lounge access options
- By class of travel: Business and First Class passengers on Qantas; oneworld partner airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, LATAM, Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines; and non-alliance partners such as China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Sichuan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines
- By airline frequent flyer status: Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members
- By airline partner frequent flyer status: Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members
- By alliance frequent flyer status: oneworld Sapphire or Emerald members departing on a oneworld flight
- By lounge membership program: Qantas Club members
- By day pass: Qantas single-entry passes
Summing up: our take
This lounge runs like clockwork even during peak periods. Dirty dishes and cutlery are cleared away quickly. The bathroom and showers are kept clean and desk agents are helpful with guests.
What is great
- Spacious lounge with lots of separate areas
- A barista coffee service, which is a must in Melbourne
- Rotating ‘dish of the day’
What is not great
- The lounge champagne/sparkling white is on the lower end of the Business Class scale
- No views of the runway and substandard lighting
- Not enough charging ports