Qantas First Class Lounges: SYD & LAX
During my recent trips to and from Sydney, I’ve been able to enjoy the Qantas First Class lounges by utilizing my Oneworld Emerald status (AA Executive Platinum). The Sydney lounge is ranked in the Top 10 Lounges in the World so I had high expectations when going for the first time. Below are my experiences in both the Sydney and Los Angeles Qantas First Class lounges.
After clearing customs and security, I proceeded to the escalators to the Qantas lounges just past the shops. The First Class lounge entrance is just at the top of the escalator whereas the Business Class lounge you have to walk an additional ~150m. Once the lounge attendant checks your boarding pass, you proceed to the checkin counter up another set of escalators. Upon checking in, I asked if a spa appointment for a massage was available. Unfortunately, they were fully booked. Qantas First Class passengers have priority and book up to 24hrs in advance therefore during peak times it’s extremely hard to get an appointment if you are an Oneworld Emerald. I even tried to go 1 hour earlier with no luck. We’ll see if the 3rd time is a charm this month. With all of the US-bound flights departing late morning it makes it an extremely busy time in the lounges.
I decided to grab some breakfast in the restaurant area which is full service and all food is cooked to order. The tarmac views from my table were amazing! The amount of sunlight being allowed in given the large glass windows made it a very vibrant lounge. I opted to start with the Yogurt with blueberries, toasted quinoa and buckwheat. Wow! It has to be some of the best yogurt dish I’ve ever had. Perfect amount of sweetness given the honey. I followed it with the Whole egg omelette with leg ham, tomato and cheddar. It was good, but nothing special. I finished the meal with Banana bread with cinnamon ricotta and toasted walnuts. The cinnamon ricotta whip was tasty although the bread was a little dry compared to my Mom’s homemade banana bread. The Orange juice served was fresh squeeze which is what I’d expect from a First Class lounge although I’ve seen others still use OJ from concentrate.
The 2nd visit, I was able to try:
-Seasonal fruit salad
-Waffles with mango, lime, mascarpone and maple syrup
The waffles were a bit too sweet, but overall another excellent breakfast.
The service in the lounge is top notch and there is plenty of seating compared to the overcrowded Business Class lounge. I’d highly recommend showing up early to spend some time in this lounge. I wish I would have an evening flight out of Sydney to really enjoy a dinner here.
Los Angeles (LAX)
The LAX lounge is regarded as the best lounge in the US by many other bloggers. We’ll see if it can beat the Etihad lounge @ IAD. I’ve been able to visit the LAX lounge both for breakfast and dinner. You can gain access with Oneworld Emerald status on your outbound journey as well as your incoming journey if you hold an incoming international boarding pass and an onward boarding pass during your transit.
The lounge is located just above security at TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal), but you can easily walk to it “post security” from Terminal 4 using the new connector. This makes it easy to utilize as the Sydney flight on American departs out of Terminal 4. I don’t have to clear security twice as some other lounges require when departing from a different terminal. There isn’t a spa at the LAX lounge so I’ve only used their restaurant, bar and shower facilities. The restaurant quality is just as good as Sydney’s although the dining area has no windows. Try to get a table with a light above it so you don’t feel in the dark.
For breakfast, I’ve had the Crisp yeasted waffles with berries, whipped mascarpone and maple syrup.
For dinner, I opted for the salt & pepper squid, ahi tuna salad and the fresh fruit. The squid is one of their signature dishes which proved to be worth ordering.
The showers are very large and have a toilet in the room as well. Nothing too fancy, but clean and nice Australian ASPAR products. I do find that a shower attendant isn’t often at the desk so you might have to go find someone to get a shower room.
The service in the lounge is decent and there is plenty of seating compared to the overcrowded Business Class lounge. I’d recommend spending some time in this lounge, but with no natural light or views it feels like you are in an airport. I personally think the Etihad lounge @ IAD is better! The service quality and furnishings were much better at the Etihad lounge than this Qantas lounge.