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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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