Qantas to revamp Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo and Hobart airport lounges

Qantas to revamp Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo and Hobart airport lounges

Qantas will plough some of its record $1.6b pre-tax profit from the 2018 financial year into a revamp of it international lounges at Sydney, Auckland and Tokyo, along with expanding its recently-opened Brisbane lounge, while domestic lounges at Hobart and Tamworth will also see a refresh.

Here's what's in store across the network, although in most cases Qantas has not detailed when we'll see these upgrades.

Qantas First Lounge, Sydney

Qantas' flagship international first class lounge in Sydney will be reconfigured to add 15% more seating – a move that many high flyers and Platinum cardholders will welcome: particularly when jetting off during school holiday periods when the lounge is at its busiest.

This doesn't mean a physical expansion of the space, but rather finding a way to better utilise the lounge's current footprint.

The design and amenities of the lounge will also be refreshed, although Rockpool dining will remain a staple of the lounge.

Qantas International Business Lounge, Sydney

The neighbouring Qantas international business class lounge in Sydney sits at the top of Qantas' lounge to-do list, with planning for a refresh announced earlier this year now underway and a ribbon-cutting by the end of 2019.

In addition to a new look and feel from designer David Caon there's also be 30% extra seating and a new signature dining experience for business class passengers, Gold-level frequent flyers and Qantas Club members.

(Caon's other work for Qantas includes the new Chairman's Lounge in Brisbane, and the International Transit Lounge in Perth for passengers travelling to and from London.)

Also read: What do you want from Qantas' new Sydney business class lounge?

Qantas' Brisbane International Lounge

Also aiming to ease the squeeze at peak travel times, Qantas' Brisbane International Lounge will gain room for an extra 100 travellers in early 2019.

A spokesperson for Qantas confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the airline will take over the space directly below its Brisbane lounge, which was previously occupied by Air New Zealand before the Kiwi carrier opened its own new lounge in the airport's upstairs lounge precinct.

Qantas' Brisbane international lounge will be expanded to add room for 100 extra travellers

Qantas Auckland Lounge

As expected, Qantas will merge Auckland's existing business class and first class lounges – the latter now used only by Platinum-grade frequent flyers – into a single space for all passengers.

The new lounge, however, will be a marked and long-overdue improvement for trans-Tasman travellers, with the format taking its cues from Qantas’ international lounges in London and Hong Kong while tapping into New Zealand for 'regional inspiration' in the design as well as "a new dining experience" featuring NZ food and wine.

An opening date for the combined Auckland lounge is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Qantas' Tokyo Narita lounge

There's been a question mark hanging over the fate of Qantas' Tokyo lounge at Narita, which primarily caters for passengers on just two Qantas flights, to Melbourne (QF80) and Brisbane (QF62).

Despite speculation that the lounge would be closed in favour of sharing the facilities of Oneworld partner Japan Airlines, Qantas has opted to upgrade its Narita lounge.

Travellers can look forward to a new design with improved dining options, including dishes inspired by the region, so that passengers can enjoy dinner in the lounge before drifting to sleep on the overnight flights to Australia.

Hobart Qantas Club

Lounge facilities in the Tasmanian capital will almost double in size when the Hobart Qantas Club moves to a new part of the terminal, offering 80% more seating than the current space.

Taking on a completely new design, barista-made coffee is likely to replace the current machine-made brews, amid other improvements. An opening date depends on the redevelopment of Hobart Airport, expected to be announced in the coming months.

Tamworth Regional Lounge

The final space in for a redesign as part of today's announcement is the Tamworth Regional Lounge, which will be revamped and expanded to offer 20% more capacity.

Again, this work is pending the redevelopment of Tamworth Airport, with a date to be known later this year or in early 2019

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!


  • RK

    Ryan K

    23 Aug, 2018 09:37 am

    Great news about the Hobart lounge. However, if we're relying on Hobart Airport to get its act into gear, my guess is that we'll be waiting for some years to come.
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  • Packetman21


    23 Aug, 2018 09:38 am

    Great news! Glad to see Qantas is investing in some very dated lounges!
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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    23 Aug, 2018 09:41 am

    Nice! I thought QF was planning to close its NRT lounge but looks like it's there to stay.

    Re: BNE lounge, where are they getting the extra space from? Are they planning to use the former NZ lounge space? I thought that space was to be turned into an Amex lounge?
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  • David Flynn


    23 Aug, 2018 09:57 am

    Michael, once we have that info we will share it.
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  • Steve987


    23 Aug, 2018 10:16 am

    It is an interesting call to upgrade NRT rather than just pay JAL more for sending people there. I wonder if there is a high proportion of QClub members on that route? Would seem to be the only reason, at least that I can think of.
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  • Chris Chamberlin


    23 Aug, 2018 10:21 am

    Airlines often lease the floor space for airport lounges for many years at a time (which, I suspect, is why Cathay Pacific still runs its own lounge at Melbourne Airport!), which can also influence decisions on what to do with the space.

    There are also lots of partner and non-partner airlines that use the Qantas Narita Lounge for their passengers (there's a long list near the lounge's entrance), on which Qantas would collect an entry fee for every passenger sent their way - closing a lounge would end that revenue as well.
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  • Steve987


    23 Aug, 2018 10:42 am

    Aha - thanks Chris!
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  • David Flynn


    23 Aug, 2018 10:26 am

    Qantas has now confirmed that the expansion of Brisbane will be achieved by taking over the old Air New Zealand lounge space downstairs, and we've updated the article to reflect this.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    23 Aug, 2018 10:36 am

    This presumably will mean that the reception area will move downstairs. It will give QF a 3-level lounge, which will be unique. I always thought it was strange, when they opened the new lounge, that they didn't take over the space vacated by NZ, as it basically forms the entry point to the QF lounge.
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  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    23 Aug, 2018 01:23 pm

    I don't think Qantas would relocate the reception area, they went to a lot of trouble to fit this out, I think they will open a staircase or lift to the lower level lounge.
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  • Dean


    24 Aug, 2018 12:39 pm

    Went to a lot of trouble? The current reception desk is right in the middle of a support beam (shown in the photo at the top) and you're scanned in on the left you have to navigate your way around to the right to get into the lounge. That and there's another doorway to the right that practically sits open to join a different part of the lounge to the main lobby area: it'd be silly and a great waste of space to make people go upstairs to scan in and then go downstairs again by having to build a new lift or stairs inside the lounge itself, when they could just move reception to the downstairs lobby area that's currently unused, and once you're through, you're free to go wherever you feel like.

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  • bmc


    23 Aug, 2018 10:53 am

    IMHO, QF have been stalling to prevent VA getting a HBA lounge. Good to see some news in this space.
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  • Austline


    23 Aug, 2018 12:50 pm

    Sad that mebourne Internal J lounge not getting a make over.
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  • mviy


    23 Aug, 2018 01:43 pm

    That'll probably come in the next round or two after this list is done.
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  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    23 Aug, 2018 03:34 pm

    It's interesting to read that the Sydney First Lounge will gain 15% more seating by re-configuring the existing space. The three 'bays' used for the dining areas are full, as are the other 'bays' with normal seating. The only way I could see Qantas fitting in more seats would be to
    a) get rid of the Library area and convert it to normal seating.
    b) get rid of the Apple Mac desktops near the Library and replace that with normal seating.
    c) add some chairs and tables downstairs in the area under the escalators where the 'green wall' is, and have a barista station there with snacks.
    If Qantas did all three it could free up a lot of space and I think the downstairs area would be good for shorter stays as long as staff can also take orders for drinks and maybe even dishes from the dining area.
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  • Tim Johns


    23 Aug, 2018 06:42 pm

    Brisbane certainly needs the extra space. Was there on a Saturday a couple weeks ago mid morning and it felt like one of those box-ticking generic lounges you get shuffled to at an AP with no QF or OW lounges. So crowded and poorly laid out. Modern decor was about the only redeeming feature.
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  • gjspectre


    23 Aug, 2018 06:44 pm

    Was in the Auckland "First" lounge today, it's currently on par with the Kalgoorlie Qantas club lounge. Can't wait.
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  • eminere


    24 Aug, 2018 05:16 pm

    First in name only.
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  • Ric OSHEA


    24 Aug, 2018 05:53 pm

    The J lounge is even worse. The last time I used it I also had access to the Emirates lounge which was a no brainer for me.
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  • Colster


    24 Aug, 2018 09:14 am

    What about a First Class expansion in Singapore?
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  • David Chan


    24 Aug, 2018 03:33 pm

    Disappointed to lose a 1st class lounge in Auckland. Just want somewhere quiet and away from the crowds. Singapore and Brisbane are too crowded and I wish they were not being used as a model.
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  • Ron Bird

    Ron Bird

    24 Aug, 2018 03:47 pm

    Current Auckland lounges are a dump but it is disappointing that the intended solution is to combine the two lounges. Agree with David that the one-class lounges in Singapore, London and elsewhere are poor models to use.
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  • Ieuan1


    24 Aug, 2018 03:50 pm

    Agree with David Chan above. The QF AKL First Class lounge is much maligned. It doesn't have much 'bling' factor, but it's quiet and peaceful, you can get work done there and I personally like the food and drink offering. Based on QF's Singapore lounge, the new AKL lounge is likely to be much noisier without much improvement in F&B.
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  • Jeffrey FRANCIS


    24 Aug, 2018 04:02 pm

    Let’s hope with all the profit that Qantas has made they will now invest in Townsville and stop the ridiculous blocking of the airport upgrade
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  • poopbunny


    24 Aug, 2018 05:27 pm

    Any idea how long the SYD FLounge reconfigure will take? Do QFP/OWE use Business or CL in the meantime?
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  • Go travel

    Go travel

    24 Aug, 2018 05:44 pm

    Pity they didnt spend a few dollars on a lounge in Bangkok The alternative there at the moment is the pits
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  • patrickk


    26 Aug, 2018 01:54 pm

    Bangkok has Emirates lounge which is great as well as Cathay which is not quite as great, but ether is a good choice.
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  • David Cross


    27 Aug, 2018 08:41 pm

    So I am wondering if the Tamworth upgrade points to Tamworth in the top running for regional pilot training base?
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  • Ant Har


    14 Nov, 2018 10:30 am

    Just asking if anyone has any update about Sydney Int. Business class lounge. Has work begun? Is it a construction mess? Has anyone visited recently?
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18 Jul, 2019 03:00 am


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