LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport and smoking patio
- TRIP REPORT: Pointless New Zealand double status credit run to requalify as Qantas Platinum 2023
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas Double Status Credits trip to Auckland – Sydney to Melbourne
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas Melbourne International First Lounge. My first time – I was treated gently.
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas QF153 Melbourne to Auckland in Business Class. Perfectly uneventful.
- HOTEL REVIEW: Hotel Debrett – friendly, quirky gem of a hotel in the centre of Auckland, New Zealand
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport and smoking patio
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Strata Lounge, Priority Pass lounge at Auckland International Airport
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas A330 Auckland to Brisbane, Business Class
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Brisbane Qantas Business Lounge. Packed to the gunnels!
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Brisbane to Sydney on Qantas Business Class in a Boeing 737-800
Time to leave the Hotel DeBrett and head back to Australia. We would be making use of the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland Airport, and popping into the Strata Lounge, which is accessible through Priority Pass. Then it was on to Sydney via Brisbane to finish this Qantas Double Status Credits earning trip to New Zealand. I should point out that the Qantas First Lounge and the smoking patio are completely separate.
I have previously reviewed the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland, which you can read here.
Content of this Post:
The Qantas First Lounge, Auckland, is nothing too special and has required a serious update for about the last ten years. It was slated for a revamp just before COVID-19 hit. The refurbishment will involve combining and expanding the two current lounges into a single premium lounge for everyone from Qantas Club to Chairman’s Lounge members. It has been announced again and is slated for staged completion by the end of 2024.
Back in June 2022 I wrote:
From next week, they [premium passengers] will be corralled back into Qantas’s totally outdated product, which CEO Mr Joyce has been promising to refurbish into one large premium lounge for Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmen’s Club members and business passengers since way back in 2015. Work was announced to commence in 2018, but apparently never did.2PAXfly 23 June 2022
At the Airport
Auckland Airport is undergoing substantial renovations after the floods it suffered back in January 2023. This is evident in some of the customs and immigration areas, which look a little temporary but have not substantially affected the lounge zone, which is located on a higher floor.
Location of the Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport
After security customs and duty-free shops, the Qantas Lounge zone is located upstairs (Level Two). You access it by escalator outside what is currently the Adidas shop. The lounge is currently open from 4 am until the final Qantas departure of the day.
The Qantas lounge is part of a lounge zone consisting of an Emirates Lounge, the Qantas Lounge, and the Strata Lounge, a Priority Pass lounge.
This lounge is pleasantly designed, albeit in an outdated Qantas design language. It missed the Marc Newson design era and looks closer to an outdated Qantas Sydney Business lounge.
The furniture has been slightly updated since I first visited this lounge back in 2019. You can see the contrast in the two images below. The first two images are pre-COVID in 2019, and the third from my latest visit in 2023.
Note the carpet (the same) and the black leather armchairs (the same), but the tatty, worn green cushions have been removed, as have the green swirly upholstered chairs that were definitely showing their age.
The current look – substantially the same, ex green chairs and cushions looks fresher.
There are a few more contemporary furniture pieces like the brown leather covered lounge/bucket chairs below, but the catering area is much the same as back in 2019.
Food & Drink
Food and beverage is modest in this lounge. It usually has a choice of two or three hot dishes, and then a selection of charcuterie. Wine and soft drink selection is modest as well, and all is self-serve. What has been retained is that freezer to the far left of the picture above marked ‘Kapiti‘, which houses an excellent collection of their ice creams.
Here are a few more images from the food selection.
The lounge bathrooms are still the same, although the non-working shower has been repaired. About the only thing that has changed is that the amenities are not XXX rather than Aspar.
WiFi & Business Centre
Connectivity is offered in the lounge via WiFi. It’s a perfectly reliable signal, but there’s nothing special to comment on.
There is a small four-desk business centre in addition to the lounge area for those who need privacy.
This almost feels like an anachronism, but one of our party still likes a drag or two. He discreetly exited the Qantas lounge to pursue his indulgence beyond these glass doors. The deck is on the same floor as the lounge zone adjacent to the Qantas and the Strata lounge. To identify the location, look to the map at the top of this post.
We had deliberately arrived a little early in the Qantas First lounge so we could also spend some time at the Priority Pass, Strata Lounge. So we didn’t depart as much as swap lounges.
I particularly like the ‘Relax’ instruction under status for flights before boarding on this departures board.
This is a dinosaur lounge in terms of design language. In reality, it is perfectly comfortable, although it lacks a little in service and food options. It can get busy when Qantas flights are about to depart, but spending an hour or two in here is quite pleasant.
The new combined premium lounge scheduled to open at the end of 2024 will be most welcome unless you prefer the exclusivity the current First only lounge affords