Melbourne gets pay-to-access Marhaba airport lounge

Melbourne gets pay-to-access Marhaba airport lounge

Melbourne Airport's international terminal will see its first pay-to-enter lounge with the opening of the new Marhaba lounge on September 12, 2017.

Part of the Marhaba lounge network operated by the Emirates-owned Dnata air services group, passengers who lack access to an airline-specific lounge – most likely because they're not travelling in business or first class, or don't have appropriate frequent flyer status – can pay their way into the lounge for A$65 for up to four hours.

Some airlines will offer access to selected travellers who hold membership in that airline's lounge program but not the appropriately lofty frequent flyer status, and Australian Business Traveller understands the lounge could be added to the Priority Pass network in the future.

With room for 200 travellers, features of the lounge include a buffet, shower suites and a quiet zone.

The wine list boasts "a selection of Australia’s finest wines', according to Dnata, or a shot of Hudson Coffee fro the barista bar for that morning wake-up.

The Marhaba Lounge is open daily from 6am to midnight.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

20 Comments

  • Dean

    deanr

    8 Sep, 2017 12:37 pm

    Fingers crossed Virgin Australia can sort out access to this lounge for premium passengers flying to Fiji. It's a bit ordinary having to use the VA domestic lounge here in MEL before these flights, compared to the Etihad lounge for those flying to LA and HK!
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    8 Sep, 2017 12:59 pm

    Where exactly is this located to be able to have windows?  I thought that only available space was being taken by the new AMEX lounge in the old MH lounge space.  It's also interesting how Melbourne is going from no priority pass lounge to having 2 of them in a matter of months.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • Joshb

    Joshb

    8 Sep, 2017 01:22 pm

    It's the old EK lounge, upstairs next to QF F lounge
    No member give thanks

  • Monarch

    Monarch

    8 Sep, 2017 03:04 pm

    There's a relatively unhelpful map at https://www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/service/lounge/mel/ which points to the access escalator!

    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    8 Sep, 2017 01:20 pm

    Congratulations Marhaba for setting this up in Melbourne, I'm sure it will do well.
    Member who gave thanks

    ssmith3104

  • sgb

    sgb

    8 Sep, 2017 01:22 pm

    The hours of operation are also amazing.
    No member give thanks

  • tonbo

    tonbo

    8 Sep, 2017 01:41 pm

    This would appear to be the lounge that JAL is directing passengers to for their Melbourne -> Tokyo flight.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    8 Sep, 2017 02:26 pm

    Is this documented anywhere? I assumed they would've used the QF lounge like in SYD.  JAL J pax can still use the QF lounge under OW rules but I guess JAL W pax will be restricted to this lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • tonbo

    tonbo

    8 Sep, 2017 02:41 pm

    Yes, the JAL website. Given the summer departure time of 00:45, and the Qantas lounge closing at 23:30, Qantas may not work. The Cathay lounge probably also isn't ideal as it would be full at this time.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    8 Sep, 2017 03:26 pm

    Thanks,  I recently booked premium economy on the new route back in July and I couldn't find it anywhere when I looked back then.
    No member give thanks

  • Kin Ho

    KinHo

    8 Sep, 2017 01:46 pm

    Looks like this concept is being rolled out progressively by airlines. Great to see this happening and to have this option. 
    At times even when flying J class with free access, and was pressed for time, there is not enough time to use the lounge. A total waste. 
    So any class passengers with ample time, this pay-to-access (for pax without free access) will be worth it. 
    No member give thanks

  • Maggie

    Maggie

    8 Sep, 2017 03:41 pm

    Great location compared to poor old QC in the bowels of the building. For the infrequent overseas traveller it takes away to need to remain loyal to any particular airline/lounge. 
    Member who gave thanks

    KinHo

  • MIKE HOOD

    waikato

    8 Sep, 2017 03:48 pm

    My question is where is the "new" Emirates lounge or are they sharing with Qantas?

    No member give thanks

  • Alistar Chinn

    Alistarch

    8 Sep, 2017 07:23 pm

    $75 sounds quite reasonable for 4hours if you don't have the appropriate lounge access with the airlines...at least it has windows that allow direct sunlight and a view of the runway, something the Qantas lounge doesn't offer.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    8 Sep, 2017 07:52 pm

    Good to an independent lounge option for MEL, but will reserve judgement until we've got actual photos of the food plus a hands-on review.
    No member give thanks

  • lionelhutz

    lionelhutz

    8 Sep, 2017 09:18 pm

    Nice to have a Priority Pass lounge in Melbourne! Between this and the free meals in Sydney, PP is actually useful domestically now.
    No member give thanks

  • Michael Kao

    Michael Kao

    8 Sep, 2017 09:30 pm

    This lounge is in the international terminal right? Mightn't be that useful for domestic flights. 
    No member give thanks

  • clarkysdonga

    clarkysdonga

    13 Sep, 2017 09:51 am

    Just need a MEL DOM option now
    No member give thanks

  • jeff slack

    jeffinsydney

    9 Sep, 2017 02:28 am

    Great idea but really looks ordinary.......
    Like an old Greyhound bus station in Atlanta........the food court in Westfield has more style.
    No member give thanks

  • deany83

    deany83

    9 Sep, 2017 07:45 am

    But it has windows!
    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    13 Sep, 2017 09:33 am

    Highly unlikely you will be mugged at the Melbourne Marhaba, not so sure about the Greyhound Atlanta bus depot though. The food and drinks on the news last night looked magnificent, likewise with all the brand new facilities and the very attentive staff, seems like money well spent for the flying public not eligible for Airline lounges.
    No member give thanks

  • Descending

    Descending

    10 Sep, 2017 11:19 am

    Bear in mind that check-in normally opens 3hrs before departure. Reduce time to make your way through the maze that is MEL T2, and also 20min or so that you need to leave the lounge for boarding. Might leave you with just over 2hrs of lounge time for $75. That is unless you're in transit or have no baggage to check in and have done online check-in to allow you to pass through immigration with a boarding pass before check-in has opened. 
    No member give thanks

  • DBPZ

    DBPZ

    10 Sep, 2017 12:54 pm

    I used to spend > $10,000 extra a year to maintain the access to lounges, until I realized that I can buy booze at a much lower price.
    No member give thanks

  • twiningb

    twiningb

    11 Sep, 2017 06:10 pm

    Anyone know whether this might be accessible with Diners Club? The Marhaba Lounges in DXB and DWC are.
    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    13 Sep, 2017 08:58 am

    According to Channel 7 news last night it's only $65 to get in, and seems to be swarming with cashed up back packers. The old EK lounge was a great size and heaps of windows, so they have a great location.
    No member give thanks

  • Monarch

    Monarch

    13 Sep, 2017 10:08 am

    The question is was the 7News footage an official opening with staged 'users' for media? Or was the footage of actual paying users? It will be "interesting" to see who the clientele is. 
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Sep, 2017 10:43 am

    That's a question you'd have to ask Channel 7. The pricing information we've published in the article is as quoted on the Marhaba website, where access can be pre-purchased in Emirati Dirhams (AED), which we converted into AUD at the XE.com exchange rate as of Friday September 8. :)

    It's possible that rates for walk-up customers may differ, so last week, we asked the lounge's PR team to advise if that was the case, and if so, what those rates would be: but for whatever reason, they weren't able to provide that information.
    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    13 Sep, 2017 11:11 am

    Herald Sun also reporting a $65 entrance charge.
    No member give thanks

  • 346

    346

    14 Sep, 2017 02:44 pm

    Good to see a priority pass lounge in Melbourne. Now we need an AMEX one too.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    15 Sep, 2017 09:03 am

    there's an amex lounge coming and will also be available for priority pass access
    No member give thanks

  • worktravelnomad

    worktravelnomad

    15 Sep, 2017 12:22 pm

    The amex lounge is not available to priority pass in Sydney so doubtful they would do this in Melbourne 
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    16 Sep, 2017 12:42 pm

    I could've sworn I read somewhere that it was but now I can't find it anywhere.  Oh well not a problem since I expect this lounge to be better than the AMEX anyway and can just use my AMEX if I was really bothered to check it out
    No member give thanks

  • worktravelnomad

    worktravelnomad

    15 Sep, 2017 12:24 pm

    The offical statement from Priority pass says this is not a PP lounge
    No member give thanks

  • Johnny Huang

    Senhsiu

    15 Sep, 2017 11:03 pm

    Nah, got turned away with my Priority Pass tonight.
    No member give thanks

  • paulf

    paulf

    16 Sep, 2017 08:45 am

    I tried to enter on Priority Pass this morning and was denied. The friendly woman behind the counter suggested I wasn't the first to turn up with a PP card. I was offered $65 entry but declined.

    The lounge is upstairs next to Qantas First lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    19 Sep, 2017 09:41 pm

    If one doesn't have lounge access with an airline, A$65 for two hours' access is not great value even though it offers a respite from the boring general waiting areas..

    The only time it becomes good value is if a flight is significantly delayed, but still highly likely to operate.

    Why can't this lounge have an agreement (interim?) with Priority Pass?


    No member give thanks

Guest

27 Sep, 2017 07:33 am

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