With Air New Zealand's Perth Airport business class lounge now open for travellers, what's in store behind that frosted glass door?
In short: an impressive pre-flight experience for the Kiwi carrier's business class passengers, top-tier frequent flyers and Koru Club members – and their equivalents on other Star Alliance airlines – before their six hour trek to Auckland.
The lounge is located past Perth Airport's duty-free retail zone, just before you head down the escalators towards the recently refurbished and extended part of the airport, with windows overlooking an internal atrium.
A variety of seating provides room for some 110 travellers across the lounge's 441m² footprint, which is divided into well-defined areas such as the dining space...
... open lounge areas...
... and many quieter nooks.
However, a lot of the single couches seemed to me to be a little close to one another.
There are no surprises in the design: black, grey, white and purple punctuate the lounge, leaning on Air New Zealand's own palette and taking cues from its cousins in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and of course Auckland.
Special fixtures including a 'wave rock'-inspired lighting feature complement images of the New Zealand landscape.
A full buffet is available in the dining area, with an extensive selection that changes four times each day, from breakfast through to supper and menus cycled monthly throughout the year. The lounge also serves up Christchurch's home pride Hummingbird Coffee.
AC and USB power sockets are liberally sprinkled throughout the lounge...
... along with wireless charging points to top up the latest smartphones from Apple and Samsung, among others. This is a particularly tech-forward approach from an airline which regularly trumpets itself as an innovator.
Internet speeds blaze at around 14Mbps in both directions.
There's no dedicated room for members of Air New Zealand's by-invitation Elite Priority One tier, although the airline says it can make available a reserved area to keep VIPs at arm's length from the rest of the lounge crowd.
Need to freshen up before your flight? Head for the roomy shower suites, which boast Antipodes amenities.
Air New Zealand tells Australian Business Traveller that its Perth lounge will open at 4am – three hours before the 7am departure of flight NZ178 to Auckland – and close after the departure of the final flight for the day, which will nominally be 7pm for NZ176 to Auckland or 11.30pm for the seasonal NZ162 flight to Christchurch.
Alongside the SilverKris lounge of Singapore Airlines, this means there are now two Perth international airport lounges for Star Alliance members to choose from.
This includes business class passengers on the Perth flights of Star Alliance members Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Thai Airways, and Gold-grade frequent flyers travelling in any class on any Star Alliance airline.
Additional material by David Flynn