British Airways changes Sydney lounge from Qantas to The House

British Airways changes Sydney lounge from Qantas to The House

British Airways is now directing its Sydney business class and first class passengers to The House lounge – formerly the den of Etihad Airways – rather than the Qantas lounges which have been BA's longstanding choice.

Lounge-worthy travellers checking in at Sydney airport for the daily BA16 flight to London via Singapore are being handed invitations to The House.

This includes Silver and Gold frequent flyers in the British Airways Executive Club loyalty scheme, along with equivalent Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald card-holders.

However, as savvy travellers would know, the Qantas lounges remain available to BA flyers under the common lounge access rules of the Oneworld alliance to which both BA and Qantas belong.

This is especially the case with the Qantas first class lounge, which is easily the lounge of choice not only for BA's first class flyers but top-tier BAEC Gold, Qantas Platinum and other Oneworld Emerald members.

That said, some travellers will still prefer The House to the Qantas business class lounge due to its a la carte menu.

No1 Traveller, the London-based operator of The House, has been working to improve the lounge since taking over from Etihad Airways, and is keen to woo other airlines, alongside relaunch partners Etihad and Virgin Australian, to make The House their preflight home.

Plans are underway to increase total lounge capacity by 50 percent, with a spokesman for No1 Traveller telling Australian Business Traveller that the lounge's 662m² footprint contains many under-utilised areas, including 'back office' areas such as the kitchen and staff room, although several of these are small stand-alone pockets rather than swathes of contiguous space.

The prayer rooms will remain as a specific requirement of Etihad, but could be relocated – along with the showers – while the usually-empty 'business centre' nook near the front of the lounge may be converted into a private room.

Read more: House renovations as Sydney's Etihad, Virgin lounge seeks room to grow

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

25 comments

  • eminere

    eminere

    27 Feb, 2019 09:37 pm

    What an intriguing move by BA.
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  • Jason Cornford

    jcornford

    1 Mar, 2019 03:32 pm

    Makes sense. Qantas lounge is an old and tacky and should have been refurbished years ago. Surly being the hub of the national airline you would think it would be something they'd want pretty smick
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  • Tony Maddock

    Tonym

    1 Mar, 2019 04:23 pm

    Qantas lounges in Sydney are exc
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  • Fiona  Selimi

    SELRAD

    1 Mar, 2019 03:36 pm

    That braised brisket burger IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF! It is by far the best food item I have consumed in any business lounge world wide! The house is phenomenal and one of my favourite lounges :)
    No member give thanks

  • Anna80

    Anna80

    27 Feb, 2019 09:45 pm

    Hahaha, I was flying out on BA16 on Monday and noticed this too. I decided to try The House because I know the Qantas business class lounge pretty well, and was pleasantly surprised by The House. Nice menu and drinks selection including French champagne, and wasn't anywhere near as crowded as the Qantas lounge. All up it was a more 'refined' experience.
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  • James O'Mahony

    Ourmanin

    28 Feb, 2019 12:35 pm

    I know it’s slightly off topic, and I know I’m going to get shot down in flames, but hey. Describing a sparkling wine as ‘French Champagne’ is unnecessary, amongst other criteria, it can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne region of France. But it’s good to know they serve it. On BA 16 next week to and look froward to trying it out.
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    jcornford

  • CBR boy

    CBR boy

    28 Feb, 2019 02:42 pm

    Devaux is usually pretty good.
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  • L Mck

    Lmc

    28 Feb, 2019 05:16 am

    Must have gone in significantly cheaper per pax for BA to make the move.

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  • anonymous

    anonymous

    28 Feb, 2019 06:19 pm

    Is this really price driven? People can now go to both The House and the QF lounge which actually makes it more expensive for BA.
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  • L Mck

    Lmc

    28 Feb, 2019 06:21 pm

    Most people only visit one lounge, hence one charge.
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  • Timothy Shears

    timothyshears

    28 Feb, 2019 09:13 am

    Sad to see Qantas and British Airways "split up".
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    28 Feb, 2019 12:23 pm

    Calling it a split up is a bit strong. Sure, they are not in the same relationship as when BA held equity but that is a number of years ago and BA sold because, correctly, it decided AU is not its core business. BA's core businesses are short-haul travel into Europe and medium haul travel across the Atlantic.

    They now have a mature relationship where they use their Oneworld tie-up where it makes sense but they understand they have more critical bilateral relations with other airlines.

    EK made sense for QF because ,whilst BA had lots of connections into Europe and Africa, they didn't really make sense for QF due to the amount of backtracking involved. BA likewise sees is relationships with airlines such as AA and, more recently, QR as more critical.

    In some respects, we should be grateful BA continues it service to AU at all. Many expected that eventually they would join all the other European airlines and abandon AU services and instead use codeshares via ME or Asian partners. It is no secret that Kangaroo route services have been marginal for years for all airlines; I assume BA has chosen to continue SYD so it can remain in the fairly exclusive "serves-every-continent" club.

    In relation to their move of lounge in SYD, I would guess it is a combination of price, customer dissatisfaction with the often crowded QF lounge and location as BA typically uses gates at the opposite end of the int'l terminal complex from the QF lounges and the majority of QF flights.


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  • Tony Maddock

    Tonym

    1 Mar, 2019 04:25 pm

    BA needed the money and at that time Qantas was in a position to buy BA just btw
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  • James Zhang

    pkjames

    28 Feb, 2019 10:47 am

    they split when QF hooked up with EK.
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  • Timothy Shears

    timothyshears

    28 Feb, 2019 10:53 am

    They're still had a lot of joint ventures until now. Its been a long divorce.
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  • RK

    Ryan K

    28 Feb, 2019 11:24 am

    The recent terminal change for Qantas in New York also means that QF passengers no longer use the British Airways lounge at JFK.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    28 Feb, 2019 11:27 am

    Price will have been a factor, as well as convenience - BA flights generally depart from the western pier, which is where The House is. It's a long walk from the QF lounge to the gates normally used by BA.
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  • Chris

    flychrisfly

    28 Feb, 2019 01:15 pm

    Are you sure about the western pier? BA have departed from the eastern pier everyday for the past week. Used to 'always' be gate 24 but it varies more these days.
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  • plutekplutek

    plutekplutek

    28 Feb, 2019 12:57 pm

    The House and the Qantas Club in Sydney are like chalk and cheese. The QF club is pretty average in my opinion, although I don't think that was the reason for the move.
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  • bsb

    bsb

    28 Feb, 2019 08:36 pm

    They have a QF JV in LAX which intrigues me.

    But even more interesting is that BA pax will head to a lounge with the Virgin logo on the door in SYD. Someone is very happy in London.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    1 Mar, 2019 09:00 am

    It is possible that the signage on the door will change to also include the BA logo very soon.
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  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    28 Feb, 2019 09:59 pm

    Worth a go next time I do it, although QF First is still likely to beat it, until the QF business lounge is upgraded this is an improvement for those not in First or with Emerald status. When QF opens its First lounge at SIN, I'll bet that quite a few Emeralds on BA will choose that over the BA lounge.
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  • Geoff J Booth

    GMG

    1 Mar, 2019 03:35 pm

    The House is a better lounge, but there are space issues. Last time I was there for a VA flight it was standing room only, I saw the comment on expanding the space, but at the moment if you are on a flight that's sharing a time slot with other carriers it isn't a good move. $ talks though obviously.
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  • gnhansen29

    gnhansen29

    1 Mar, 2019 03:39 pm

    I thought BA split up with Qantas because the latter set up a low cost carrier.
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  • Sr Batrill

    Sr Batrill

    1 Mar, 2019 07:59 pm

    I was in Beirut recently and BA directs it’s pax to the the tiny North American style basic LAT lounge. Modern but basic! RJ uses the beautifull large MEA lounge and Qatar has a plush dedicated lounge in BEY for its F class pax only( No BA or RJ pax allowed regardless of class of travel or OW status). BA are misers. I guess this lounge change in Sydney and BEY lounge choice iare both in keeping with its pathetic in-flight experience.
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Guest

24 May, 2019 05:16 am

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