Following extensive redevelopment works over the past 12 months, Melbourne’s new-look domestic Qantas Club lounge is now open, retaining staples like all-day barista coffee while also providing 10% more seats in the revitalised and also partially-relocated space.
Australian Business Traveller put the new Qantas Club lounge through its paces on a recent visit to Melbourne to bring you this review.
Location & Impressions
As before the renovations took place, you’ll find Melbourne’s Qantas Club after security screening and to the right-hand side in Terminal 1, through the door and up the escalator, shared also by the Business Lounge.
However, its location has changed somewhat: rather than being wholly in the space straight off that escalator, you now turn right at the top...
... which means no more tarmac views from anywhere in the lounge.
There are some windows towards the far end of the space, but these now face back into the terminal, not outside.
On the plus side, the overall seat count in the lounge has increased 10% to 530, helping to ease the squeeze at peak times, and with the previous guesting restrictions for Gold frequent flyers and Qantas Club members no longer in place.
Designed by Woods Bagot, Qantas says the lounge’s new colour palette is “inspired by the Great Ocean Road using natural timbers, cool greys and pops of turquoise.”
Given both the move and the extensive redesign, this feels like a brand new lounge, even though Melbourne obviously had a Qantas Club before. For example, the buffet areas are more approachable with prominent use of those natural timbers…
… and rather than having the bar tucked over against the wall as in the ‘old’ Qantas Club, it’s now an eye-catching central feature here, and as in other major Qantas lounges, the staff in Melbourne pump out espresso all day: fitting for Australia’s coffee capital:
Those with an eye for design might also notice that the furniture layout here and the lounge’s custom lighting give a nod to the road grid system of Melbourne’s CBD.
With a separate Qantas Business Lounge also available for domestic passengers in Melbourne, this Qantas Club primarily serves:
- Qantas Club members prior to Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flights booked on a Qantas or Jetstar flight number.
- Qantas Gold frequent flyers prior to Qantas, QantasLink, Jetstar, Emirates and Oneworld flights (including domestic codeshares).
- Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers when their next onward flight that day is operated by Qantas or QantasLink with a QF or other Oneworld flight number (no access when flying Jetstar).
- Emirates Skywards Gold cardholders travelling onwards aboard a Qantas, QantasLink or Emirates flight booked under a QF or EK flight number (includes access for domestic Qantas flights booked as an EK codeshare).
- China Eastern's Eastern Miles Gold members departing on a domestic flight operated by Qantas or QantasLink.
- American Airlines Admirals Club subscribers before a Qantas or QantasLink flight booked under a QF or AA flight number.
- Qantas Silver frequent flyers and eligible credit card customers redeeming one of their single-use complimentary lounge passes prior to a Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar flight.
The following guests are also welcome here, but will likely prefer the Qantas Business Lounge next door:
- Qantas and QantasLink business class passengers.
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers and other Oneworld Emerald cardholders.
- Emirates Skywards Platinum and China Eastern Platinum frequent flyers.
- Passengers connecting to or from a same-day international business class or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if the domestic flight is booked in economy.
For many business travellers, the first port of call will be the barista station, where staff serve espresso coffee...
... and unless you're in a rush, these come in mugs and glassware: thank you, Qantas, for doing away with disposable cups as the 'default' here, as had previously been the case:
From the same counter, alcohol is available from midday...
... with a selection of wine, beer, cider...
... and spirits:
… while the buffet changes throughout the day. A recent morning visit found fresh fruit salad, muesli…
… hot dishes like baked beans and hard-boiled eggs...
… the ingredients for a DIY toasted sandwich...
… and the requisite toasters, plus a pancake machine:
A selection of nibbles can be found towards the end of the buffet...
... while a separate station provides fruit, cereal and juice:
Down the far end of the space is also a self-serve coffee machine, if there's a long queue for the barista or you don't feel like walking back to the bar:
There are various types of dining tables spread throughout the lounge, such as these along the wall...
... others further along...
... and some high seating too:
Most other seats also provide at least a cocktail shelf to nurse your drink and snacks:
When there’s work to do, you can set up at one of these benches, which provide access to both AC and USB power...
... or, plug in at one of these more relaxed seats – handy if you're just wanting to charge your phone:
While these tables also look like a good place to work, they don't provide access to power, nor do many of the other types of seats here, which is unfortunate.
Tucked away behind reception, there’s also a computer station with wireless printing from your own device also possible, but this remained in use for the duration of my visit.
Tests of the lounge’s WiFi network showed average download speeds of 40Mbps, and average uploads of 9Mbps.
When there’s time to unwind, there are plenty of places to make yourself comfortable…
… with a variety of reading material provided, although Qantas no longer provides complimentary access to PressReader to download publications on your own device, to printed material it is:
As in the previous Qantas Club, there’s also a space for children to play – fortunately away from the lounge’s main working areas, which keeps everybody happy (although no photos, as the space was in use).
Several private shower suites are available too, and come as a significant upgrade to the relatively basic showers these replace:
For regular Melbourne travellers, this was a much-needed revamp of the Qantas Club space, with an inviting and modern design, and of course, 10% more seats than before in one of Qantas’ busiest domestic ports.
However, it's unfortunate to have lost airside views here to make way for the new Business Lounge, when the previous one already had this feature, but at least there's some promise of natural light near the Qantas Club bar.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Qantas.