Qantas domestic business class lounge, Brisbane Airport

Review: Qantas domestic business class lounge, Brisbane Airport

Country:
Australia
City:
Brisbane
Airport:
Brisbane
Cabin Class:
Business
Alliance:
oneworld
Airline:
QF (Qantas)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Brand new space with a distinct Queensland feel
  • Plates of the day, barista-made coffee
  • 'Cantina' serves up fresh Mexican-inspired meals to order

What's Not

  • Entry is via the Qantas Club for passengers in transit

X-Factor

  • Take advantage of the new Qantas Premium Lounge Entry: a privacy check-in area and security screening point with direct access to the lounge

Introduction

High flyers jetting through Brisbane, prepare to be spoiled: Qantas' new domestic business class lounge at Brisbane Airport isn't simply a revamp of the old (and admittedly, crowded) space: it's a brand new lounge in a new zone altogether, and comes complete with an also-new Qantas Premium Lounge Entry facility for a fast-tracked and private entrance.

Once inside, travellers can expect a significantly upgraded lounge experience – retaining key features like a breakfast 'dish of the day' and barista-made coffee, but mixing in a wine bar, Quench beverage station, dedicated working areas, plentiful access to power outlets, and of course, significantly more seating.

Join Australian Business Traveller as we explore the Roo's newest airport lounge and you'll soon understand why it's now considered the best domestic business class lounge in the country.

Location & Impressions

You'll find Qantas' new lounge on the upper level of the airport's domestic terminal in a new lounge precinct.

But first, you'll need to clear security. Forget the ordinary queues or trekking your way through the terminal: instead, look out for the Qantas Premium Lounge Entry doors adjacent to the main airport security checkpoint, wander through, flash your boarding pass or frequent flyer card and clear security in a private room.

Have a bag to check, either for a domestic flight or with an international connection? No dramas, there are staffed check-in counters and automated bag drop facilities here too.

Behind a small queue of fellow travellers, we were through in under three minutes with only carry-on baggage – but at busier times, many flyers will be wondering why Qantas installed only one security checkpoint here rather than two, which the space would more than allow.

If transiting between Qantas flights or stopping by after your journey, you'll have to instead make a less glamorous entry via the Qantas Club lounge upstairs, before walking through to reach the business class lounge.

In any case, once done with the formalities, guests are greeted upstairs by an expansive new space designed around the colours of a Moreton Bay twilight, giving the lounge a distinct Queensland feel.

The area comes divided into a variety of zones for dining, working and relaxing...

... and offers plenty of natural light throughout, plus tarmac views towards Brisbane Airport's main runway along with the new parallel runway currently under construction.

Overall, this proves a much-needed and very welcome upgrade to the previous Qantas business class lounge in Brisbane, which would often see Platinum-grade flyers opting for the less-crowded Qantas Club lounge instead.

Access

  • Passengers flying onwards in Qantas or QantasLink business class
  • Travellers connecting to or from an international business or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if booked in economy on the domestic leg
  • Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers before or after a same-day Qantas, QantasLink, Emirates, Jetstar or Oneworld flight
  • Other Oneworld Emerald members when their next onward flight that day is with Qantas or QantasLink and carries a QF or other Oneworld flight number (no access when flying Jetstar)
  • Emirates Skywards Platinum cardholders where their next onward flight that day carries a QF or EK flight number and is operated by Qantas or QantasLink
  • China Eastern's Eastern Miles Platinum members departing on a Qantas-operated domestic flight

Paid-up Qantas Club members, Gold-grade frequent flyers and Oneworld Sapphire cardholders can still use the Premium Lounge Entry facility but have no access to the business class lounge when flying in economy, so can follow a pathway and emerge inside the adjacent Qantas Club lounge instead.

Dining

First things first: after passing through Premium Lounge Entry but before entering the Business Lounge proper, you'll spot a coffee station:

It might be tempting to ignore this and walk straight towards the Business Lounge, but the queues for coffee once inside can be long in the mornings – so to save time, grab your cuppa here instead before darting through.

If you prefer your morning kick-start served in mugs or glassware instead of a take-away cup, however, do order it inside the lounge proper:

Beyond espresso, travellers passing through the Business Lounge during the 6am-7am rush can start their morning with a 'plate of the day' delivered to their seat in the main dining area.

During our visit, a tasty bacon and egg muffin was the morning special served with tomato relish and avocado. The menu also varies from week to week, with Croque Madame toasted sandwiches one of the other rotational items along with various seasonal breakfast bites.

As in the previous Business Lounge, a juicer stands at the ready for a chilled morning smoothie...

... while further hot items are available from the buffet such as baked beans, scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and both 'regular' toast and toasted sandwiches...

... joined by boiled eggs and your choice of cereal...

... ingredients to enjoy on their own or to combine in one of those toasted sandwiches, plus single-portion snacks (our favourite tends to vary between the Bircher Muesli and the raspberry yoghurt):

As first seen in Brisbane's new Qantas international business class lounge, a 'Quench' counter proves a good alternative to your typical juices and soft drinks...

... opening for breakfast and remaining so throughout the day.

Whatever you choose to eat, there's plenty of space to sit nearby...

... with individual tables available along with a communal dining bench that's perfect for solo travellers.

You can also multi-task by eating and recharging your gadgets at the same time – just opt for one of these booth seats which provide handy AC and USB power outlets near the ground.

Later in the day, the main bar serves alcohol from 12pm including beer, wine, spirits and Australian sparkling, but you'll also need to queue here for something simple like a Diet Coke as there are no self-serve soft drink fountains in this new lounge.

(The bar also pours non-alcoholic drinks before noon and is where you'll find the lounge's main barista coffee station.)

Elsewhere, digital water taps are scattered about which produce both chilled and sparkling water, and if you wander to the far end of the lounge, you'll uncover a dedicated wine bar with a printed beverage list:

Barista-made espresso coffee can also be ordered here when the area is staffed.

Of course, typical lounge fare may be sourced from the buffet for both lunch and dinner or just a quick snack...

... but for something different, stop by the Cantina counter for a freshly-made and Mexican-inspired dish.

As with breakfast, the options rotate from week to week with one dish offered at a time from a list that includes nachos, soft tacos, empanadas, sweet corn and more.

Nachos were the order of the day during our visit, and while the staff will happily customise them to your tastes using a range of 'condimentos', we opted to mix and match the flavours ourselves and weren't disappointed.

Cantina opens at 12pm with food served throughout the day and into the evening.

Work

When your lounge visit calls for productivity there are plenty of spaces to choose from – beginning with a cosy business area in the centre of the lounge featuring a working table with AC and USB power built-in, wireless printing facilities on-hand and an iMac computer (soon to be computers, we're told)... ... plus a sea of laptop benches on either side which double to create a privacy wall around the area and again come complete with handy power outlets. They're also a great place to stand and work, particularly if preparing for those longer flights to Perth or Darwin:

For more collaborative meetings, comfortable bench seats are too nearby...

... and, you guessed it, with no shortage of power points:

For conversations that require more privacy, particularly in the morning, head to the very end of the lounge and you'll find a little nook tucked away behind the wine bar, seldom passed by other guests:

WiFi in the lounge proves acceptable without being lightning-fast, with download speeds measuring between 1.49Mbps and 13.43Mbps during our stay.

Upload speeds were more solid, ranging from 11.11Mbps through to 17.5Mbps.

Relax

Once any work is taken care of, a variety of spaces are at your disposal: beginning with high tables near the main bar...

... continuing with seats adaptable for solo flyers, duos, trios and foursomes...

... plus seats lining the windows, either with views out to today's tarmac...

... or across to the gardens, and eventually, towards the tail end of Brisbane's new runway:

Keep exploring and you'll uncover even more seating...

... whether that's the benches above or the more collaborative spaces below:

Unisex private shower suites are also at-hand with amenities by ASPAR (combined shampoo/body wash plus hair conditioner)...

... with a look and feel more akin to a high-end hotel bathroom than a typical airport facility.

All things considered, we'd now rate this as Australia's best domestic business class lounge, and while there are a few final touches to be ironed out such as peak wait times at Premium Lounge Entry (shared between guests of all three Qantas lounges), the Business Lounge itself is a true knockout.

Have you had a chance to experience the new Qantas Business Lounge in Brisbane? If so, share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

18 comments

  • Joseph Booth

    Avgeek123

    21 Mar, 2017 02:17 pm

    Lounge seems to be even better than the International Buisness lounge in Sydney 
    No member give thanks

  • russell

    russell

    21 Mar, 2017 03:17 pm

    That's not difficult....

    But back on topic, looks like an awesome lounge and really like the new design themes. Will be interesting to see where they take this when it comes to doing the Melbourne and Sydney lounges.

    No member give thanks

  • Teejay Cal

    Theresnormissin

    21 Mar, 2017 03:54 pm

    I don't see having to use the Qantas Club entry if transiting though Brisbane as a major drawback. Even given the current building works, it's already a more glamorous exercise than what one experiences when walking through the middle of the Melbourne Qantas Club to get to the business lounge, and I expect it will improve further by the time the entire precinct is finished. 
    No member give thanks

  • Nathan Jordan

    nathanjordan

    21 Mar, 2017 04:05 pm

    Chris - it's spelled 'Moreton', rather than 'Morton'. 
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    21 Mar, 2017 04:13 pm

    You may wish to tell Qantas that... ;)

    (Click to enlarge:)

    No member give thanks

  • Teejay Cal

    Theresnormissin

    21 Mar, 2017 04:43 pm

    I hope they made a few hundred of these!
    No member give thanks

  • Nathan Jordan

    nathanjordan

    21 Mar, 2017 05:09 pm

    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    21 Mar, 2017 08:00 pm

    Embarrassing indeed!
    No member give thanks

  • bmq747

    bmq747

    21 Mar, 2017 04:33 pm

    Was there last Friday. Super spacious and a great feel to it.
    Minimal toilets might be an issue (particularly in the morning), and the food nook might get a bit squashy, but other than that I loved it. 

    Really enjoyed the fresh new food and beverage ideas (as noted above).

    With the dedicated check-in area, coffee bars, space and F&B, it leaves its rivals for dead...

    Well done #QF
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    21 Mar, 2017 05:46 pm

    Passed through yesterday afternoon. Feels huge and there was plenty of seating options from low tables, work bars, to the lounge areas. 

    The different zones seem to be working really well. I was tucked in behind the entrance and aside from the odd phone call from those around me the lack of stupid banter from non-workers was really appreciated. 

    The northern end - up near the wine bar looks like it'll be the goto part of the lounge for quiet work (or quick bar service!). 

    As my home port I'm pretty damn happy with the upgrade
    No member give thanks

  • traveller99

    traveller99

    22 Mar, 2017 01:14 am

    Will Qantas ever get rid of the ridiculously small tea cups in their lounges (and on their planes in Business and First)?

    They are ridiculously small and awkward to hold.  I find myself making two cups for myself at the same time and that's barely even enough when compared to a normal sized mug.
    No member give thanks

  • Bill

    Dsd

    23 Mar, 2017 12:20 am

    Hi Chris , Great review thank for pointing out the access condition as below : 

    • Travellers connecting to or from an international business or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if booked in economy on the domestic leg

    Question : I got an award booking with CX157 HKG - BNE in J which arrived around 11PM with a domestic transfer with QF BNE - SYD paid fare in Y next morning around 6h30 AM . do i get access to the Business lounge as those are 2 separate ticket

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Mar, 2017 08:15 am

    Hi dsd, being two separate tickets doesn't present an issue (you just show both boarding passes or the business class itinerary for access), but this rule usually applies only on the same calendar day or a few hours after midnight. Your best bet is to contact Qantas for a specific answer.
    (However, if you'd landed in Brisbane on the morning arrival Cathay Pacific flight in business class and had a domestic flight in economy with Qantas later that day - either on the same ticket or different tickets - you'd most certainly have access.)
    Member who gave thanks

    Dsd

  • Bill

    Dsd

    23 Mar, 2017 09:15 am

    Thanks Chris for clarify this , given that my flight landed after 11PM in BNE and the last connecting flight to SYD left at around 8PM with QF , i think i got a good chance to access the lounge given that the earliest connecting flight is 5AM next morning .

    I will report back after my trip mid April . 
    No member give thanks

  • kamere

    kamere

    24 Mar, 2017 12:48 pm

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the article. Can gold grade frequent flyers bring a guest into the premium entry security area before entering the lounge?
    Thanks 
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    24 Mar, 2017 01:03 pm

    Premium Lounge Entry is open to anybody who has access to the Qantas Club, as members or guests.
    No member give thanks

  • Dr Al

    Dr Al

    18 May, 2017 11:25 am

    Passed through the new business lounge yesterday. Definitely a nicer feel to the place, light and airy. The Barista (small bar) to the far left is a great idea, far less crowded. I have to say, after having read this review I was quite excited to try the cantina, but was sourly disappointed. It was just a qantas staff member (I can't call him a chef!), who's job was to put an empanada (like a pastie) on a plate and hand it to you. They could have just had this self service really!  I was really hoping I was there for Nachos but as stated in the article they rotate their dishes, so the only option was the vegetarian pasties. Apart from that let down, the overall lounge experience was pleasant, the Aspar products in the showers were lovely. Only hand wash in the very small gents toilets. I was told by my travel buddy there was also aspar hand lotion in the ladies. The bar staff were friendly and made up a cocktail of the day which was interesting. It's no first lounge, but along with the Perth lounge, makes the Syd and Mel business lounges look a far inferior product. 
    No member give thanks

  • Charlie

    Charlie Brodie

    3 Jul, 2017 06:00 pm

    Anyone know if changing from Qantas flight from CNS-BNE onto BNE-CBR (in Business) with different PNRs :( whether I will be able to check in oversized luggage at the Premium Lounge Entry? This would make life so much easier and the Premium Lounge Entry nonsense more worth my while as I usually travel with a bike.
    No member give thanks

Guest

25 May, 2019 03:35 pm

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