Qantas First Class Lounge – Sydney
Loud, noisy, bustling, throbbing and not relaxing is how I normally start my international flights. Sitting in a sterile departure gate lounge on uncomfortable seats of any given airport.
This time however, being the last trip of the year, I splurged and bought myself a Business Class ticket for a flight from Sydney to Bangkok. I purchased a special deal on www.qantas.com so the price, while certainly more than economy, was not that bad for a 9 hour flight.
I arrive at the airport and smile at the lack of queues at the Business Class check in area. Walking through the meandering, tapped channels, I line up second from the front. This is good! I am ushered to the next available counter, pop my bag on the conveyor belt. The check-in attendant was nice enough, efficient and fast – I could not say polite though. I collect my Express Immigration Card and off I go.
Looking forward to enjoying my relaxing pre-flight time in the luxurious surrounds of the Qantas Business Lounge I follow the signs up the escalator. The Business Lounge didn’t happen, instead at the last minute, I was invited to the First Class Lounge as a guest of an old travel colleague who was travelling at the same time. I may have mentioned my flight to him and he was kind enough to invite me as a guest. So sometimes it is good to tell people what you are doing!
A Warm Welcome
So Qantas First Class Lounge here I come.
Waiting “for me” at the door was Nester. A warm smile, open greeting and a genuine welcome, “Welcome I have been expecting you” with some friendly chat and questions about my trip and what I was doing. Thanks Nester I was feeling at home already.
Passing through the frosted privacy doors I walk by the curved vertical, floor to ceiling garden wall and onto the escalators that whisk me up a level to the reception area. Talking about good first impressions!
There I am meet by Isabella, Head Concierge. Another warm welcome, we have a table by the window for you. Isabella shows me to my table and asks if I would like a champagne or a coffee. A glass of sparkling mineral water is poured for me.
Wow – OK – this is not the airport experience I am used to! Hate to say it, but I could get used to the Qantas First Lounge very easily!
I wander off to take a few photos and I am probably gone for 5 minutes.
Great Food and Service
On my return my coffee turns up – fantastic! It wasn’t sitting there waiting for me and getting cold, they waited for me to get back – observant! That’s good!
Next Anna and Louie offer to take my order. Fresh fruit salad, full egg, ham and cheese omelette and another coffee. Alacarte service expertly provided by Elaine and just the right amount of chatty interaction.
The fruit was straight from the market fresh too. Not your usual fruit salad you get at airport cafes. Raspberries, Blueberries, Mango, that wonderfully sweet pineapple that I thought you could only get in Thailand with some watermelon and rock melon.
My omelette, straight off the cook top was fresh and hot with generous amounts of ham and cheese. I was asked if I wanted sourdough but I politely declined.
OK so now I am full and very relaxed. Congratulations to the morning crew who can make breakfast so inviting.
Spa before you Fly?
Isabella, silently appeared next to me and asked if I was aware of the spa service. I took a while to comprehend what she had said. I thought to myself “a spa service at the airport – you must be joking!” I was probably a little in shock so I said “maybe next time” but in hind sight I should have indulged as a pre-flight treat.
Not quite a spa treatment but I was looking forward to the Club bathrooms compared to the public ones on the concourse. They were big, plenty of room and spotless. If I had one comment to make and that was that the bathroom lacked some finishing touches. Personally I like the paper toilet seat covers that you can put down for loos that multiple people use. Also some flowers may have been a nice touch too.
It was getting close to boarding time so I asked to to see Lounge Manager David Holder.
David was a delightful young guy, very tall and I am 6’ 2, who showed my around the lounge. I asked David if I could have a look at the spa room and he kindly showed me the way. I walked into this hush, lush environment, more vertical gardens, a few degrees warmer than in the lounge and for the life of me I could have been in a resort spa somewhere in Thailand – another WOW!
Time to go but hope to be back soon
It was time to leave unfortunately, my flight was being called. Isabella and David bid me farewell with a lovely small gift from the Qantas First Class Lounge. So thank you to all the crew at the lounge and congratulations to Sofitel Hotels for orchestrating such wonderful service.
My review of my experience may seem a little glowing but that is only because the experience was quite special. I paid for my ticket and I was lucky to be invited to the First Class Lounge as a guest of a colleague. I am sure the Qantas Business Class Lounge would have been very enjoyable too. Maybe next year.