Staying Competitive? QANTAS Lounge Review

syd-int-first-05A review for Ultimate Travel Magazine – Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney set the bar high when it first opened about 10 years ago.

However, with little or no changes, the influx of people entering the lounge to congregate and not leave the limited tables is a little off putting and does not resonate a ‘First Class’ feel.

PopIntel Group advises companies to always stay competitive – be on top of your game – never let the bar drop.


FULL Review @ Ultimate Travel Magazine 


The Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney threw its doors open to guests just over a decade ago, and on my recent return it was clear that little, if anything had changed.

  • The Airline: Qantas.
  • The Lounge: The Qantas International First Lounge, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.
  • Location: Terminal 1, Airside, on Level 4. 
  • Other Airlines: Emirates and oneworld airlines, travelling in First Class.


More Champagne is said to be consumed in the Sydney International First Lounge than anywhere else in Australia (per capita) on a weekday night. With that in mind, it is no surprise celebrities like Justin Theroux, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift have graced the Qantas International First Lounge in Sydney. I first experienced the lounge back in 2007, a year after it first opened, and in the 11 years which have since passed, very little changed. The large space, which is spread over 2000 square metres, offers a range of zones for guests to sit in comfort and relax before a long flight out of Australia. The original design was conceived by the internationally acclaimed Australian industrial designer, Marc Newson, using top quality furnishings, and encompassing ultra-contemporary design and materials from Australia. 

Food & Drink

The main focus of the lounge is a 48-seat restaurant which offers cuisine from the Aussie chef and Qantas partner, Neil Perry. Perks include chair-side waiter service throughout the lounge, however, during busy times, food can take a long time to appear, and it can be difficult to find a table for breakfast. The menu is extensive, offering typical Aussie café favourites like smashed avo on toast, corn fritters and also quinoa bowls – all prepared well, as expected under Aussie celebrity chef, Neil Perry. I was in the lounge for breakfast and although it is a fully-functional kitchen, some of the items did seem pre-prepared; the mushrooms were soggy, but that’s being super picky. The food is very ‘clean’ which is a nice surprise for mass-catering kitchens – not heavy on grease or oil. The coffee takes a long time to come to the table so be prepared to wait for your soy-latte with extra foam. 


The lounge was designed using Feng Shui principals, and having no corners from floor to ceiling is a bit of interesting trivia. The library is stocked with newspapers, luxury magazines and plasma televisions line the lounge area. There are also 11 PC workstations and complimentary wireless internet access. Private rooms can be reserved in advance, as I was told to leave one of them to make way for a VIP guest. There is also an onsite spa which offers complimentary 20 minute treatments, but on both occasions when I visited, a small note at the front indicated there were no appointments available, which stopped me from enjoying this amenity.


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