The Emirates Lounge, Brisbane

Review: The Emirates Lounge, Brisbane

Country:
Australia
City:
Brisbane
Airport:
Brisbane
Cabin Class:
Business & First
Alliance:
None
Airline:
EK (Emirates)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Dedicated zones for business, dining and relaxation
  • Charging stands throughout the lounge supporting multiple plug types
  • Real champagne (Veuve Clicquot) and à la carte egg dishes available
  • A spacious feel with sweeping views

What's Not

  • No desks for laptop work, unless you're occupying the dining room
  • No service differentiation for first class passengers

X-Factor

  • Board the aircraft directly from the lounge

Introduction

In 2004 Brisbane played host to the first Emirates lounge ever built outside of its global Dubai hub, which has since been expanded to include a dedicated VIP aerobridge for passengers to board directly from the lounge.

Whether flying with Emirates or on any Qantas international flight, eligible Qantas Frequent Flyers can now access The Emirates Lounge – so step inside... you might just find your new favourite lounge in Brisbane Airport!

Location & Impressions

Located above gate 75 in Brisbane's international terminal, it's about a five minute trek from outgoing passport control.

As you ascend the lounge escalator from the terminal concourse, it's a very classy affair – Emirates' traditional wooden adornments are found throughout the space, as are the fancy golden Rolex clocks:

Beyond reception, the lounge is quite airy and curves around to form a U-shape with window views a plenty.

Showers are also available, although if you're flying in first class on the Emirates Airbus A380 you could instead opt to shower on board, as we've tried and tested.

Access

Passengers travelling with Emirates or Qantas in business class can step inside on their lonesome, with first class passengers also able to enter with a guest from the same flight.

Even if flying in economy, Gold and Platinum members of Emirates Skywards and Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members of Qantas Frequent Flyer can access the lounge before an Emirates or Qantas departure, along with one guest who must also be travelling on the same flight.

Once inside, you'll be able to hang your coat and store your bags near reception before enjoying the lounge:

Dining

A dedicated dining room occupies the middle of the lounge, with food and beverage options close at hand.

While the closest (yet smaller) tables are best for couples and solo travellers, families and groups of colleagues are catered for towards the rear.

Given the traditional Muslim beliefs of the airline's home country, all food in the lounge and on board is Halal – you won't find bacon, pork or ham here.

Without these meats, there's still a wide selection of hot food to choose from, both well-suited to the time of day and providing enough choice for even the fussiest of flyers.

I was able to fashion a delicious turkey Eggs Benedict, although omelettes are also available on request.

Cold selections include yoghurt, fruit, and juice...

... along with salmon bagels, turkey and cheese plates, crackers and smoothies.

Across from the servery are breakfast cereals and nibbles, with both regular and soy milk available.

If you're so inclined, spirits and liqueurs stand ready at all hours with ice and citrus garnishes close by...

... although with Veuve Clicquot on ice, the decision to enjoy a champagne breakfast was an easy one.

For dessert (or just to complement your bubbly), a huge bowl of Lindt chocolates awaits!

Work

Not travelling with your laptop or iPad? A business and computing centre can be found just behind reception.

Wi-fi is available throughout the lounge, with telephones, printing, fax and photocopying facilities also available in this space.

Despite the wide-ranging business facilities, the lounge falls a little short if you travel BYO – unless you're taking up space in the dining room or plonk your laptop on the already-full computer desk, there's nowhere to sit and work.

While it's not an issue on this quiet Sunday morning, you'd risk denying other travellers access to the computers or dining tables on busier travel days.

If you don't mind balancing your laptop, well, on your lap, you'll find a number of charging stations throughout the lounge with input support for multiple countries.

Without a television in this part of the lounge, the 'relaxed working area' features comfortable chairs and the airline's iconic cushions, although it's perhaps better-suited to casual browsing on an iPad than anything seriously productive.

Relax

If you've got time to unwind before your flight, you'll find a huge selection of magazines... ... with plenty of space to read them.

Yes, that's a massage chair in the corner...

We took it for a spin, and while the controller looks rather impressive and the massage can be customised in great detail, it's got nothing on Qantas' day spas in the Sydney and Melbourne First Class lounges.

After you've loosened up, there's plenty of room to relax next to an indoor waterfall...

... although I'd suggest the even more comfortable chairs closer to the lounge's boarding gate, which also come with a TV in the far corner.

Summary

Catering to both business and first class passengers, the lounge feels a little more 'business plus' than something that's truly first class.

Naturally, that's not a problem if you're travelling in business class – but if you're travelling at the pointiest of pointy ends, it's missing a few of the finer things.

There's no barista coffee or service differentiation for passengers travelling in First, and unlike the ultra-luxe Qantas first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne (which Emirates passengers can access), the Emirates Lounge in Brisbane only boasts a very limited a la carte menu, and a massage chair as opposed to a full day spa.

Small differences aside, the lounge is a great place to unwind and to get a little work done – especially when it's quiet and there's plenty of space.

There's one final touch, which does make this lounge a stand-out... as offered in Dubai, passengers can board directly from the lounge, which means that once you've passed reception, you won't spend another moment out in the public terminal.

The lounge's glass aerobridge drops passengers off just before the great divide between first class, business and economy – so even if you're down the back of the bus, you'll still be able to board in style.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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!
 

21 comments

  • eminere

    eminere

    9 Jul, 2014 01:18 pm

    Great review, and that last photo is so useful to see what the "boarding directly from the lounge" concept looks like implemented outside of DXB.

    No member give thanks

  • stewardnurse

    stewardnurse

    9 Jul, 2014 01:26 pm

    Have used a couple of times now,staff helpful and friendly,great food selection. Only complaint I have is that the leather chairs are slippery and I keep sliding off.hehe

    No member give thanks

  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    9 Jul, 2014 02:04 pm

    I have used this lounge on multiple occasions.And it shore beats the absolute crap that is the Qantas club lounge in the BNE Int terminal,which for those that have not used it is similar in size and deco style like the AKL crap lounge.It is the same Qantas club constructed at the same time as the main BNE terminal.As Qantas choose not to up grade its BNE lounge nor to privide space to sit..can you please just close it down and let us use the Emirates lounge.Extream Shame on Qantas.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    9 Jul, 2014 02:09 pm

    Hi Robert,

    If you're flying in business class with Qantas or are in economy or premium economy with Gold or Platinum status, you already can use the Emirates lounge whenever it's open. :)

    -Chris

    No member give thanks

  • slim

    slim

    9 Jul, 2014 02:06 pm

    Hi there,
    Quick question: on the EK website, lounge hours are not stated.  Does anyone have operating hours handy?

    Cheers! 

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    9 Jul, 2014 02:12 pm

    Hi Slim,

    I don't have the exact lounge hours at hand, but Emirates' lounges usually open around three hours before any of its flights depart.

    The doors are closed when the last one has boarded if there isn't another departure within around three hours.

    They also don't stay open for codeshares on Qantas, but in Brisbane, you'll find it open before the morning flight across to Auckland, again before the evening flight to Dubai, and also very late at night for the 2:30am flight to Singapore. :)

    -Chris

    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    9 Jul, 2014 10:05 pm

    The Lounge opening hours are

    6:00am-8:00am (For AKL)

    6:00pm-9:00pm (For DXB)

    11:30pm-2:30am (For SIN)

    These are for the EK Depatures

    Member who gave thanks

    1 guest

  • Ozkid

    Ozkid

    9 Jul, 2014 10:15 pm

    Bummer. Not open then for QF97 to HKG (depart 1030hrs)?

    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    9 Jul, 2014 10:26 pm

    No the only way it could be open for QF97 to HKG is if the EK434 A388 to AKL was delayed 2 hrs

    You could checkin 3hrs prior to depature then race down to the EK lounge for an hour before heading back up to the QF lounge

    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    9 Jul, 2014 10:29 pm

    Its best to see how EK434 BNE-AKL is running 

    On some days the flight leaves at 8am

    but on others it can leave at 8:30am or 9:10am or even 12am meaning the lounge open till then

    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    9 Jul, 2014 10:33 pm

    Sorry meant 12pm!

    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    9 Jul, 2014 04:07 pm

    Assume that the direct boarding only works for EK planes (assuming they always use the same gate)

    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    9 Jul, 2014 09:53 pm

    Yeh its direct boarding to Gate 75

    Which means if a Qantas flight was departing for gate 75 and they decided to use the direct boarding then they could use it but then there would also have to be an EK flight within the next 3 hours

    No member give thanks

  • DB

    aussieboyaussie

    10 Jul, 2014 06:24 am

    One of my favourite lounges. The staff are great, the food is excellent and I love the views from the lounge overlooking the tarmac.  I really enjoy using it.

    No member give thanks

  • Madison

    Madison

    27 Jan, 2016 11:29 am

    Is the Emirates Brisbane Lounge available for the use of disembarking passengers?  I am coming in from Dubai with a 6 hr wait for a flight and would prefer to use it rather than the Qantas or Virgin lounges.  I do understand of course that there would be no boarding calls for my connecting domestic flight.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    27 Jan, 2016 11:31 am

    Nope, it's only available to departing international passengers. When you arrive you'll need to clear passport control etc, make your way to the domestic terminal and make use of a lounge there. Both the Qantas and Virgin Australia lounges have showers etc though, so you'll be able to freshen up after the long flight.

    No member give thanks

  • Madison

    Madison

    27 Jan, 2016 11:40 am

    Thanks Chris.  Much appreciated.

    No member give thanks

  • Jay S

    Jay S

    26 May, 2017 07:52 pm

    Hi Chris, 

    I was recently flying on QF57 to Port Moresby which leaves Brisbane at 09:25 and wandered down to check out the Emirates Lounge at 07:00 before my flight as it was still open for the Auckland flight departing at 08:10 and I'm a QF Gold member but I was told by the Emirates Front Desk Lady that I was not eligible to use the lounge unless I was flying on a Emirates or Qantas Code Share flight.

    Can you confirm if this is now the case or was a told wrong information?

    I couldn't find any information about QF Gold and above members access to Emirates lounges while flying on Qantas on the Emirates website except for a vague statement in a FAQ about which lounge to use if both are available: 

    "We recommend that you use the lounge of the operating airline to ensure convenient gate proximity and access to boarding calls and other flight information."

    Member who gave thanks

    stoffel

  • stoffel

    stoffel

    24 Oct, 2017 09:03 pm

    Same information was given to me when travelling through Melbourne the other day. Seems like a new poilcy, although not written anywhere.
    No member give thanks

  • aatuti

    aatuti

    22 Nov, 2018 10:01 am

    Is access permitted for QC members travelling on QF/Emirates codeshare flights?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Nov, 2018 10:06 am

    Hi aatuti, no, but if you’re booked on a QF flight number as a Qantas Club member, you can use Qantas’ lounge in Brisbane (although it’s not open late enough to serve the 2:35am Singapore/Dubai flight, but the others are fine).
    No member give thanks

Guest

20 May, 2019 09:15 am

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