The House Sydney lounge overview

This is a great place to kick off your journey with Etihad or Virgin Australia

This is essentially an Etihad lounge that provides eligible Etihad and partner Virgin Australia passengers a place to relax before departure.

From 23 October 2018, this lounge will be taken over by third-party lounge operator No1 Lounges and rebranded from Etihad First & Business Class Lounge to The House, with renovations coming in 2019. From 28 October 2018, all Virgin Australia international passengers will be directed to this lounge.

Following all the publicity around the cuts Etihad has been making lately, I was curious if these would impact the service at the Sydney lounge and on my flight to Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt.

Lounge location

The lounge is located in the Sydney International Terminal Pier C, adjacent to Gate 51.

Lounge seating

The lounge is located downstairs from the welcome foyer. Despite a relatively full A380 service the evening I visited, the lounge did not feel too busy, with enough lounges and dining tables for all guests.

The main lounge area has clusters of four single leather seats facing each other, single seats facing the tarmac and others located alongside the curved hallway wall.

A bar table separates the dining area and the main lounge, where you will find power points to charge your devices.

In 2019, this lounge will be expanded to create a new entrance, reading room, private room and lounge area, increasing its capacity by over 50 per cent.

Food & drink

A tendered bar serving wines, cocktails and spirits is located on the furthest wall of the lounge providing views to the tarmac for those sitting on the far-right stools. Coffee is also available, with freshly-prepared juices and smoothies coming in 2019.

Despite the well-publicised cuts to the Etihad service and amenity offerings, Etihad has retained the à la carte dining in the Sydney lounge. Unlike previous visits, staff no longer serve beverages to the dining area, so make sure you grab a drink from the bar or self-serve buffet before you take a seat.

The staff working the dining area did not seem overly attentive to the mess left by the previous guests and did not clean the tables between sittings for the entire duration of my dining.

Considering I had an onboard supper service coming up, I opted for the Flinders Island Lamb ‘Slider’, which I assumed would be small, however, it came out as a full-sized burger.

The self-service buffet has a selection of hot and cold dishes as well as desserts and drinks on hand.


Along the hallway from the dining area to the bathrooms, there is a children’s playroom full of toys, games and a TV with games console to keep the kids occupied.

Showers are available within the bathrooms.

The business centre features Apple computers and complimentary WiFi is available throughout the lounge, however, I clocked speeds at 0.24/0.11 Mbps download/upload, rendering it pretty much unusable.

Secure hand luggage storage and cloaking facilities located on the foyer level.

Separate male and female prayer rooms are also available.

Lounge access options

  • By class of travel: The Residence, First and Business Class travellers on Etihad flights and Business Class travellers on Virgin Australia; as of February 2019, there are unconfirmed reports that British Airways passengers can also access this lounge (I would recommend The House over the Qantas International Business Lounge for Business Class passengers but First Class passengers would be better off going to the Qantas International First Lounge)
  • By Etihad Guest frequent flyer status:Gold or Platinum members travelling on Etihad or Virgin Australia
  • By Velocity Frequent Flyer status: Gold or Platinum members travelling on Etihad or Virgin Australia
  • By Virgin Australia Lounge membership: when travelling on Virgin Australia flights to New Zealand
  • By day pass: $80/40 for adults/children aged five and above when booked online; children four and below are free; add $10 when paying at the door

Other The House/Etihad lounge reviews

Other Sydney lounge reviews

Summing up: our take

Overall, The House at Sydney Airport is a great place to kick off your journey. It has ample seating, great food options, a room to play for the kids and views across the tarmac for aviation geeks.

Although the service has declined compared to previous visits, it is still the only Business Class lounge to offer restaurant-style à la carte dining at Sydney Airport.

Considering the ‘conscious uncoupling’ of Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand, this lounge may become more crowded as more Virgin Australia passengers are granted entry.

The House Sydney lounge overview was last modified: May 3rd, 2019 by Greg Stone


  1. Lucy

    I visited the House last week and it’s really terrific. The internet speeds weren’t bad. The al a carte breakfast of smashed avocado and peas on toast was delicious (although they could improve their coffee making skills). The service was a bit slow at first but to be fair, it was very busy when I arrived. As the lounge emptied around 11am, they were very attentive and very friendly and polite. My main criticism is that they need more women’s toilets. They also need an alternative goods delivery access point – dragging massive crates of drinks and supplies through crowded seating areas and making guests stand up and move their chairs mid-meal is not very practical.

  2. *Miss Mel*

    Service is very slow and staff seem genuinely unhappy being here. Food options are not overly great. Ive been three times in the last two weeks and I actually prefer the food at the domestic lounge (well, on a good (pie or bosciaola day). Missing the virgin flair for great service and need more food variety with the food options.

  3. Kyle

    Just checking if access to this lounge would be available to virgin lounge members who do not have status if travelling on virgin economy internationally?

  4. Simon

    No Patricia, it’s not The House. But it does give those who haven’t been in the space an idea of what to expect. I’ve been in Syd’s Etihad lounge a number of times. Wow, service levels really have dropped off over the years that’s for sure. It’s a nice space, but crowding could well be a problem.

  5. Patricia

    This lounge is still not the House, as such it’s really not an accurate review as until the end of month it’s still the Etihad Lounge as the menu photos show. A review when the actual lounge is rebranded and the changes happen would be appreciated as this misleading readers

  6. Steve

    Noted your comment in your review “WiFi is available throughout the lounge, however, I clocked speeds at 0.24/0.11 Mbps download/upload, rendering it pretty much unusable.”

    I was in the re-badged Etihad lounge at Heathrow the other night and the wifi was practically useless and I couldn’t even log in.

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