Qantas’ First Class Lounges are some of the best airline lounges in the world.  Its First Class Lounge at Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport is reputedly the best of the lot.  I have been to the Qantas First Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX).  It was wonderful as are the Cathay Pacific Pier and Wing first class lounges at Hong Kong.  Would this lounge be better?

Post about the Bali trip:

Korean Air 747-8i Upper Deck Business (Prestige) Class – Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Seoul/Incheon, Republic of Korea (ICN)

Korean Air A330-300 Business (Prestige) Class – Seoul/Incheon, Republic of Korea (ICN) to Denpasar, Indonesia (DPS)

Hotel Review – The Stones Hotel, Legian, Bali, A Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

Wings Air ATR 72-500 Economy Class – Denpasar, Indonesia (DPS) to Labuan Bajo, Indonesia (LBJ) 

Komodo National Park, Rinca Island, Indonesia – Trip Report

Economy Class Trip Report – NAM Air 737-500 Labuan Bajo, Indonesia to Denpasar, Indonesia 

Priority Pass Lounge Review – Premier Lounge, Denpasar, Indonesia (Bali)

Qantas 737-800 Economy Class Trip Report – Denpasar, Indonesia to Sydney, Australia.  My worst ever travel mistake 

Qantas A380-800 Economy Class Trip Report – Sydney, Australia to Dallas, TX

Qantas First Class Lounge


The entrance to Qantas’ First Class Lounge is located in Terminal 1 post security on the 3rd floor, one level up from the duty free shops.  A rather plain lounge entrance belies the beauty that awaits.

The entrance leads to a large curiously vacant space behind it.

There is nothing behind the doors except an empty room that just leads to an escalator to the 4th level.  With terminal space at a premium, it is surprising Qantas has not put this area to good use.

The Qantas First Lounge enjoys a privileged position atop Terminal 1.


Check-in is at the top of the escalator.  For anyone who is unsure if they have access, it is a long walk from the entrance to find out.  Some say Qantas stations a representative behind the entrance door to check access eligibility.  No one was there when I entered.

Four groups of passengers have access to this lounge:

  • passengers flying first class on Qantas or Emirates,
  • Qantas Platinum One or Platinum members,
  • Emirates Platinum Skyward members, and
  • Oneworld Emeralds or passengers flying first class on a Oneworld airline.

To be eligible to enter, members of these groups must have a next flight that day that meets the following requirements:

  • Qantas first class passengers must be on a Qantas marketed flight.
  • Emirates first class passengers must be on a Qantas or Emirates operated flight.
  • Qantas Platinum One and Platinum frequent flyers must be on a Qantas, Emirates, China Eastern, Jetstar, or Oneworld operated and marketed flight.
  • Emirates Platinum members must be on a flight with an Emirates or Qantas flight number.
  • Oneworld Emeralds and first class passengers on other Oneworld airlines must be  on a Oneworld operated and marketed flight.

Even though I was travelling in economy on my next Qantas flight to Dallas, I was able to experience the First Lounge thanks to Oneworld Emerald status.

Each eligible passenger may bring one adult guest into the lounge.  Any children under age four can be admitted with an eligible guest.  Two children between ages four and 18 can be admitted per eligible guest.  Anyone 18 and over is an adult.  The lounge has a family room to accommodate youngsters.

Purchasing access to the Qantas First Lounge is not an option.  That could cause problems when traveling with more than one associate or several children.

The First Lounge is open daily from 05:00 to 22:00.

Boring nitty gritty details out of the way, take a look at this spectacular lounge.

Lounge Layout

The First Lounge is one long room with a central passage separating the interior and exterior spaces.  The curving wall of windows angles outward providing excellent views of the ramp and the Sydney skyline in the distance.  The view is almost like looking through a wide-angle lens.  The gently arching exterior creates a visually appealing space as do the decorative support beams and high ceiling.  20190420_233714

Beams divide the room creating separate areas for eating, lounging, and relaxing.


A380s from Qantas and other airlines park below the lounge.

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Three jet bridges latch onto a Korean Air A380 to pump in and suck out human payload.  Gates near the First Lounge get lots of A380 traffic.

Food and Beverages

The First Lounge is renowned for its a la carte restaurant.  And the kicker is there is no charge for anything in this lounge.  A long layover afforded the opportunity to try the menus for breakfast and all-day dining.

Dining areas are located in the center of the lounge and have outside views.20190421_005125 (1)

The bar is located across the central passageway from the dining areas.

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The bar features a large selection of premium alcoholic beverages and self-service snacks.  A barista is on duty.  Other beverages include several types of tea, Cinque Stelle by Vittoria coffee, juice and soft drinks.


Beer, wine and soft drinks

Neil Perry serves as Qantas’ culinary creative director.  Perry, his Rockpool restaurant, and Qantas collaborate to develop menus for the First Lounge and Qantas flights in first class and business class.  Menus change seasonally and strive to incorporate locally sourced ingredients

Here is the breakfast menu from my visit:

The summer menu was puzzling until I remembered I was in the southern hemisphere.

I sat down in the restaurant.  A waiter appeared and took my order.  About 10 minutes later, he delivered an omelette, toast and a mimosa.20190420_235142

A few hours later, I came back for lunch/diner. 20190421_000443                                                                   20190421_000546

Guests can order any combination of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  I was in a seafood mood.

Salt and pepper squid with green chili sauce and aioli
Humpty Doo barramundi with summer peas and fregola

The food and service were outstanding.  My only issue was a minor one – the silverware.  Maybe the cutlery is actually really expensive or boasts a designer pedigree, however the knives and forks reminded me of my high school cafeteria.

Guests in seating areas are not overlooked.  Wait staff circulate refilling champagne glasses and asking for requests.

The Spa

The First Lounge has an outstanding spa.  It is located to the extreme left as one leaves the check-in counter.  Two attendants are on duty.  Appointments must be made at the check-in desk.

The spa offers a greater range of services than most spas in airline lounges. 20190421_000218

In contrast to massage facilities in American Express Centurion Lounges in the U.S., the First Lounge spa has the aura of a bona fide spa.

I first had a relaxing back massage here.  A few hours later I returned for a foot massage that was performed in the room below.


I give both treatments an A+.  They were good enough to greatly improve my attitude and take some of the sting out of my travel mistake in Bali.

Library and Meeting Rooms

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Books and magazines are available in a quiet location to the far right of the entrance.

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Qantas supplies Apple computers for anyone needing a machine to get online. 20190420_234343

Well-equipped meeting rooms fill the needs of executives wanting a private location to discuss business.20190420_233358


Every lounge worth its salt that serves long-haul international flights must have  showers.  The First Lounge meets this requirement with spacious facilities that come stocked with amenities.  There are spa showers and showers outside the spa. I used one of the showers that are located behind the bar.

The shower is more than adequately sized but not huge. A toilet is a must in a shower room IMO.
Seat and hangers not just pegs.
Amenities for personal hygiene.

Overall Impression

All in all, the Qantas First Lounge is one of the best airline lounges I’ve visited.  The restaurant and spa make this lounge standout.  Heavy wooden beams, views of the tarmac and the Sydney skyline, and the arc of the window wall create a pleasant and soothing feel.  In this case, a layover of eight hours and 10 minutes was a pleasure even if it did require spending $40 for an Australian visa that I did not use – yet.