Qantas: Bigger Business and First Lounge for Singapore Changi
Qantas currently has a nice, but now slightly dated business lounge at Singapore Changi. I know, since I have scuttled in there to be first in the shower queue on flights between Sydney and London. Last time I visited the lounge, I think was back in June 2013, just after it had been launched in April the same year, seating for 460, 20 showers, and managed by Sofitel. It was pretty good – especially since we managed to nab showers in the first wave.
I was travelling on British Airways, and the break at the Qantas lounge was the only thing that made that flight bearable. My partner forbade me from ever booking BA Business Class (or ‘Club World’ as they brand it) long-haul flights ever again.
Mystery dish since there were no menus. I particularly love the gravy boat.
It may have been the food that put him off – doesn’t that look yummy! Or it may have been the seat – we had opted for the overly cosy ‘honeymoon’ seats. Or perhaps it was the service ‘No, you can’t have another amenity kit. You should use the one you got on the last leg.’ Anyway, I digress.
BA Club World 8 across spacious seating with direct aisle access if you don’t mind climbing over reclining passengers
Enough about that BA train wreck of a business class – let’s turn to the good news.
New Qantas First Lounge at Changi
The development is set to start in April 2019 – so let’s give them a year to get it finished – although the Qantas release talks of ‘towards the end of 2019’. Given the delays that seem inevitable in airport constructions, let’s call it early 2020.
“With the return of our A380 service to Singapore we’ve got more passengers transiting through our existing lounge and strong demand for travel in premium cabins.”
It will be the usual team of Neil Perry for the catering, and interior by David Caon, in collaboration with Akin Atelier. The focus will be on transit passengers in the First lounge – so showers, cocktail bar, open kitchen with a Singapore focus.
This new First Lounge in Singapore will join dedicated First lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and LA.
I suppose the good news, given this investment, is that Qantas is going to maintain Singapore as a transit point. I was afraid everything would go into the no-international-transit-stop direct flights to Europe from Perth. Singapore is currently the largest hub outside Australia for Qantas, servicing more than 50 return services each week.
The new First Lounge promises 240 seats.
Greater capacity for Business Lounge too
Although there is no indication that the business lounge will get bigger (that’s my hope!), Qantas is promising more seats. With a combined capacity of 800 seats, that means that the Business Lounge will expand from 460 to 560 – if my maths is correct (Business was 460 + 240 (first) = 700. 800 (total capacity of First and Business lounge) – 700 = 100 extra seats in Business)
“Our top tier Frequent Flyers tell us their pre-flight lounge ritual is one of their trip highlights and the Singapore First Lounge will be no exception. For people taking an onward flight it will be a place to refresh, dine, make calls and catch up on emails before continuing their journey.”
Other lounges get upgrades – some well overdue
Qantas has also announced in the recent past that it will be upgrading the following domestic and international lounges:
- Brisbane (I’ll be experiencing this next week
- Melbourne (new domestic lounge precinct to open end of October)
- Sydney (not before time!)
Happy, Happy, Happy at this news, and even happier when I achieve Platinum Frequent Flyer status which is on track for the end of April 2019.