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This lounge visit was directly before my first-ever Qantas flight in economy AKL-SYD. I booked the ticket with 10,000 Avios points. After returning the car to Avis, we headed to check-in, fully expecting to go afterward to the Emperor Lounge thanks to my Priority Pass Select card via Amex. I’d get in for free but my “mate” would have to pay $27. I figure $27 bucks for a few drinks, free wifi, and maybe some lunch-type items would be alright.
However, I asked the agent checking us in if I could add my AAdvantage number to the ticket instead of British Airways number (since I have some status with American but nothing with British Airways). I figured if he saw that I was American Platinum/Oneworld Sapphire that it might do something. Sure enough, when he handed me the boarding pass and said, “And the Qantas lounge is right past security…”
Hmmm. “Can I get into the Qantas lounge?” Since I was Oneworld Sapphire, that was enough to grant entry. Maybe others know that, but I sure didn’t. It saved me from having to pay for access to the Emperor Lounge. Score!
The agent at the lounge glanced at my boarding pass that was “Sapphire” on it, and waved us in with no problem. I set my things down and set about exploring/grabbing a rum and coke. 🙂
This was a great, ample, peaceful lounge to hang out in for a couple of hours. I came early to switch around some flights at the last minute. The wifi was fast, and the food was good. I tried the Indian chicken curry which was the hot food offering, and it was pretty good. The other items great for munching: fruits and cheeses, breads, dips, and other snacky items.
There was a self-serve bar and a good selection of cold beverages in the fridge. There were free magazines to take and read, coffee, tea, and a good amount of open seating. The space was open and airy, and the windows afforded views of the tarmac and many Qantas planes.
I really liked the little touches. In the bathroom, they’d stocked Molton Brown products for the guys in musky, woodsy scents. No word on what they have for the ladies. There was also a separate family bathroom with full changing station, which I don’t see much.
And outside the hall leading to the bathroom was a recharging station with every type of charger you can think of. People had their devices plugged in and left to charge in the individual cubbies. I’d never see anything like it, and thought it was a great idea.
In addition, this lounge was clean. There were carts being pushed around and refuse was collected almost immediately. All of the staff were extremely courteous and professional.
Oneworld Sapphire – FYI
I looked up the Oneworld Sapphire benefits out of curiosity while on hold with United in the lounge – just to see what I was entitled to with my economy award ticket on Qantas. Here’s the verdict:
A-ha! So that’s how I was able to get into the lounge. The last bullet point says:
- Access to Business Class and frequent flyer lounges (with one guest) when travelling internationally*, regardless of the class of service flown that day
Very cool. After reading that, I made I was in the priority boarding lane to get first dibs on the overhead bin space in economy. Here’s the website where I found the information. I should’ve researched before I got to the airport, but didn’t. So hopefully this helps someone take advantage of any benefits they might be entitled to. It looks like these benefits would be extremely helpful in South America, where American has many partners, anywhere British Airways has a lounge, Qantas obviously, and generic “Oneworld” lounge locations. The more you know.
Really, couldn’t have asked for a better lounge experience. Qantas economy was also quite good. Review of that forthcoming.
I did have the opportunity to visit the Qantas domestic lounge at SYD, and just want to say… the experience I felt at the SYD hub translated well to AKL. They’ve done a great job with brand standards and keeping it even across the board. I know Qantas has had some troubles recently, so here’s hoping they’re able to keep their standards high. Even the check-in experience was remarkably easy.
Rooting for Qantas. I’d fly them (and visit this lounge again) in a second.
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