Offering free wireless Internet, fresh barista-made coffee and a fair buffet selection throughout the day, Brisbane Airport's Qantas Club domestic lounge is the go-to facility for travellers stuck in economy: whether they're Gold-grade frequent flyers or indeed paid-up Qantas Club members.
With very welcome renovation works flagged for 2016-17, Australian Business Traveller stopped by to see what jetsetters can expect in the Sunshine State until the spruce-up is complete.
- Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers before Qantas, QantasLink, Emirates, Jetstar or Oneworld flights
- Qantas Club members before Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flights
- Qantas Silver frequent flyers and eligible credit card customers redeeming a complimentary lounge pass before a Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar flight
- Oneworld Sapphire and 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 Gold and Platinum cardholders where their next onward flight that day carries a QF or EK flight number and is operated by Qantas, QantasLink or Emirates
- American Airlines Admirals Club members prior to Qantas or QantasLink flights with a QF or AA flight number
- 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, Oneworld Emerald members and business class passengers may also use the adjacent Qantas business class lounge.
Our mid-afternoon visit saw a reasonable spread with ingredients for salads and sandwiches, along with a sandwich press and cheese slices... ... a fresh and mixed salad... ... sliced bread, rolls and apples: Barista-made espresso coffee is available throughout the day – joined by liquorice allsorts and lemon crisps – although your cuppa is unfortunately served in disposable cardboard cups rather than mugs and glassware. The coffee queue can be long in the mornings, so there are also self-serve machines scattered throughout the space with real coffee cups... ... along with a self-serve soft drink dispenser at the bar, and again, self-serve wine from noon. Trumping the beverage list in Virgin Australia's lounges, the Qantas Club also boasts spirits in addition to six beer and cider varieties on tap. Altogether, we assembled a respectable afternoon snack of cheese and accompaniments... ... and of course, paired that with a glass of white wine.
Brisbane's Qantas Club has a well-designed and central business nook with banks of Apple iMac computers running Windows in addition to OS X... ... and a 'Chargebar': handy to top-up your phone's battery if it's running low, although with no way to secure your phone while it's attached you'll want to remain close by. Meeting rooms are available for hire in the same area, while groups of seats nearby are a great place for more informal conversations among colleagues. Towards to the lounge entrance, a long bench suits travellers toting their own tech... ... with AC power points, although not USB slots, tucked away underneath: An ASX board keeps travellers up-to-date with the stock market... ... while free wireless Internet for lounge guests provides the gateway to everything else.
Upload speeds were more than sufficient at 6.8mbps, even on a busy Sunday afternoon, although at the same time downloads hovered around the 0.66mbps mark: that's when the connection is noticeably slow and when I'll whip out my backup hotspot.
As you'll find in Brisbane's international lounge for Qantas Club members, its domestic counterpart has several TV suites with viewer-controlled Foxtel programming... ... a wall devoted to reading material with both magazines and newspapers... ... and comfy seats in which to enjoy the company of others... ...or simply a well-earned glass of wine after a productive day.
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