SYD: Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

 

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge
The Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge is rather like the normal Qantas Club, but one step beyond. It has one unique selling point: space. And it is well worth while gaining entry because although food and drinks are similar, there is acres more space than in the club, and on a busy Friday night, you'll be grateful.

There is a separate entry to the Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge in Sydney too. Once you are through security, turn left, and also immediately left again through the sliding glass door and up the escalator up to the rear corridor behind the club (where the Sydney Chairman's Lounge also hides away, through the door marked private).

There is a desk here, but it also serves as the ticket servicing desk and is often crowded, so with just a wave of your boarding card as you enter, you're in.

Don't depend on it though: when the desk is quiet or if they see a BA Gold card, you'll be pulled over for a full boarding card check: the main issues is always that a British Airways Gold card gains entry, but a Qantas Gold card doesn't.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge
You need a full Emerald oneworld certification or a full Business Class ticket to gain entry here: mere Qantas golds are shuffled away to the Qantas Club.

The Qantas Business Class Lounge at Sydney's domestic airport has recently received a refresh with a load more seats to more closely align the lounge to its international counterparts. It helps, but it's sort of a half-way house: in International the food always seems a little better.

There is a large central section of the lounge, with the bar and food counter around one side, then as you follow the windows around you'll get to three separate seating areas, down a corridor there is a magazine rack & coffee bar, plus a long white marbled worktop, the only TV with sound on, and then at the far end of which is the working area with the few computers that remain, before you loop back to the reception desk.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

You can sum up the lounge in one word. Seats. The Qantas Business Lounge in Sydney sports a very bespoke lounge chair from Sydney designer David Caon, and very comfortable it is too. It's part of a set of four other chairs, that come in two colours and leather: consistent in design this lounge is not, but it does work to vary the areas at least.

Centrepiece of the lounge is the vast white marble table, over which hovers lights by Dutch collective studio Moooi. It's so cutting edge, it says art with capital letters. This island dining features 20 high seats around the table, which is laid for dining with proper knives and forks.

The quietest area of the lounge is always at the far end by the windows, past the wooden slats, which boasts a quite remarkable view of the Qantas hangers and aircraft undergoing full maintenance.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

Also further around by the white marble worktop is the only TV in the lounge with sound that plays, and so this area turns into a kind of sports watching area on days when Aussie Rules is on.

Incidentally, you'll often hear people talking about the 'new' Domestic Business Class lounge, and that's because it is very much a new invention by Qantas. For decades Domestic Business Class had no lounge access at all! Then there was access to the Qantasclub, and finally, when Virgin started making inroads onto the scene, Qantas created the new Business Class lounges.

Food

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge
Alas the food in the Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge isn't that different to the main Qantas Club, although there are more hot options.

The menu may have been designed by Neil Perry, but most of the time it's the usual Qantas fare of ham and cheese salad, which is in the fridge by the door. There's the usual hot soup, and desert of hot pies or cheesecake.

However three times a day there are hot meals.Until 8.30am the breakfast spread includes a full English with mushrooms, eggs (scrambled) beans and pork sausages. Slightly healthier are Greek salads and Bircher muesli (with spiced nuts).

At lunchtime 12pm-1.30pm and dinner 5pm-6pm the salads are boosted by roasts and hot meat dishes in the tourines. Often it comes in an Asian style. Don't miss the pizza bread at the end of the counter by the soup. It comes from Sydney boutique bakery Bowan Island. They also do the open-faced sandwiches and terrines in the evening, which can be made on request.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

A nice touch is the 'tray around' service in the evening, when staff will attend to you on the big art table with hot nuts or olives.

Bar

The Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge bar is really quite good, although again virtually identical to the Qantasclub next door. However, the bar opens slightly earlier, just in time for an early lunch, reflecting the 'slight' upgrade from 'next door'.

The bar itself is right on the corner of the lounge. Wine is in the trough, and is free pour, however you have to ask for beer or spirits to be poured for you. The bar staff seem to really hate pouring cocktails, if only because they like to get through the queue of customers as fast as they can.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

In the weekday mornings there is also a barista service from 5am to 11am. Alas, there isn't at weekends, which is a major shortcoming.

One thing you shouldn't miss - and indeed, you can't as it is by the entrance to the lounge - is the Qantas premium wines dispenser, where you pay with frequent flyer points rather than cash.

The Qantas epiQure wine club self-serve wine dispenser pours either a 25ml taste or 75ml glass of one of eight wines. Three white and three red wines and normally in the rack, although the selection does change. IT can be expensive though - starting at 800 points up to 6,500 points for the Penfold Grange.

Bathrooms

There are two crossways corridors in the middle of the lounge, which lead to the bathrooms.
Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

These are pretty ordinary, but at least there are four showers - one of which has disabled access and also doubles as a baby change room.

Business Facilities

The Qantas Business Centre in the Sydney Business lounge is now a PC free zone - instead, there are just Apple iMacs. Alas, most of them have been removed, giving a lot of empty workstations, and there are now just six computers.

Thankfully, when you fire them up, they ask which operating system you would like, and you can start it either in class Mac OS X or in Windows 7. There are also two print-copy-fax stations, a small coffee bar in the business centre, and Telstra provides free wireless Internet.

Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge Sydney
Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge

In the main lounge, and in the quieter area towards the southern corner, there are large screen TVs which are almost continually tuned to SkyNews. Oddly, there is another screen on the wall of the sideways corridor near the coffee bar, but you have to stand in the corridor to view this.

The newspaper and magazine racks are either to the left of the wine dispenser at the entrance, or at the far corner. However, the magazines are much poorer of late, with only a few freebies and of course plenty of copies of Qantas' own magazine.

Access

You need a full Business Class ticket to gain access to the Sydney Qantas Domestic Business Class lounge, or oneworld Emerald status. Qantasclub membership just doesn't cut it, and nor does Qantas / Emirates Gold.
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