LOUNGE REVIEW: Strata Lounge, Priority Pass lounge at Auckland International Airport
- 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
Some lounges sweep you off your feet, like the Qantas First lounges in Sydney or Melbourne, and others just do their job well, without all the trumpeting. The Strata Lounge at Auckland Airport, accessible under Priority Pass, is one of those. Nothing fancy, but it does the job.
Content of this Post:
We were on the final two legs of our return from Auckland to Sydney via Brisbane as part of the Double Status credit trip I had taken with Seat 2B to New Zealand. You can read about our flights between Sydney and Melbourne, my first time at the Qantas First Melbourne Lounge, our flight onward to Auckland, our stay at the Hotel DeBrett and our visit to the Qantas First Lounge at Auckland airport in earlier instalments.
At the Airport
We had just spent an hour in the Qantas First Lounge and decided to try the Strata Lounge, which I could access via Priority Pass membership granted through one of my credit cards.
Qantas, Strata, and Emirates are part of the same lounge complex on level two. So we only had to walk a few metres between them, although Seat 2B also entered the Smoking Deck, which we mentioned in the review of the Qantas First Lounge.
Opening times and who can get in
The Strata Lounge is open between 4:30 am and 12:30 am – basically the same hours as the airport. Well, OK, if you are going to be picky, the airport is open 24 hours a day.
The lounge is available if you book and pay, but is also to members of the following programs:
- Priority Pass
- Diners Club International cardholders
- Dragon Pass
- Lounge Key
- Lounge Pass bookings
The lounge is also used by a range of airlines for their premium passengers and loyal members:
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- China Southern
- Fiji Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Korean Airlines
- Malaysian Airlines
- Qatar Airways
Qatar is interesting because wouldn’t you prefer the Qantas First Lounge if you had OneWorld status? Maybe this cost or feud-induced division will be resolved now that Alan Joyce of Qantas and Akbar Al Bakar of Qatar Airways have moved on.
Paid access is divided into four and eight-hour periods, and costs vary according to your choice of general admission or relaxation room:
This lounge ain’t going to win any innovation or design awards. It’s pretty straightforward. Think Ikea rather than Standard Hotel. ‘Utilitarian’ as a descriptor would be harsh but not far from the truth. Above all, it’s spacious, and when we were there, it was uncrowded, which can only be good.
The decor is in safe dark blue and white. Not groundbreaking but perfectly adequate and inoffensive.
Food & Drink
There is a limited selection of food and beverage choices. The accent is on cold options, ease of preparation, and storage longevity. In other words, don’t expect more than two hot options. This is a low-service lounge. It’s basically serve yourself, with enough staff to keep up with restocking and clearing people’s detritus. They do those functions well, too.
The bathrooms are modern, clean and serviceable. Following are some images of the shower area. Functional and contemporary, although a bit ‘display home’ in its design aesthetic. Or am I being harsh?
WiFi and power
The WiFi is good, but power points are not convenient or plentiful. There is not a lot of built-in furniture which could house power points. They are mostly wall-mounted – so you need to choose your seat location well.
The lounge is entirely comfortable. It lacks any views of the runways, although you can while away a few minutes watching other passengers purchase their duty-free or dine on the lower floor. Sorry about the out-of-focus image above – but at least you get the idea of the openness of the airport’s public spaces.
We headed down to our gate at about 3 pm, ready for our next flight. Boarding was meant to commence at 2:45 pm, but was delayed for half an hour.
If the Auckland Qantas First Lounge isn’t at the cutting edge of branded lounge design, then the Strata Lounge is on a lower rung to mix several metaphors. However, it is a perfectly pleasant place to spend your time while waiting for a flight. It had lots of space and was not crowded when we were there.
Food and beverage are above sustenance level but don’t bank on having a substantial three-course gourmet meal. Seating is comfortable, and you have choices ranging from lounge chairs to communal table seating. The bonus is a large, although under-provisioned, kids’ room, on the downside, there is a lack of easily accessible power outlets.
I’d hit the Qantas First lounge even in its present state over the Strata, but if it were the only offering, I would be satisfied.