The overcrowded Qantas lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport is set to improve – and not a moment too soon. Qantas is supplementing its existing business class lounge with a stunning new first-class lounge due to open in late November 2019. It will mean fewer people in the existing lounge, a better chance of finding a decent seat, a relaxation of temporary entry rules, and an all-round nicer environment for everyone.
A busy lounge at a busy airport
Singapore has always been a major port for Qantas. But the current Qantas Singapore lounge opened around six years ago when the Qantas A380 Europe services were bypassing Singapore in favour of Dubai. It has always been a well-regarded lounge and the preferred lounge option for many travelers who choose it over other Oneworld airline lounges.
But when A380 services starting swinging by Singapore once again, the 460 seat capacity lounge began bursting at the seams.
Qantas has multiple daily departures from Singapore including two A380 services. These flights cluster around the late afternoon and into the evening. There are also several Jetstar flights and an abundance of Oneworld partner flights. With a reputation for good food and a generous bar, the Qantas lounge was a popular retreat for a lot of travellers. Too popular in fact.
So the lounge staff had to get choosy about who they let in.
At peak periods, lounge staff were allowing access for Chairman’s Lounge members, Qantas plats, first and business class passengers.
But lesser lounge lizards – Qantas Club members, Gold frequent flyers flying in economy, and single-pass holders were often been turned away and sent to the less salubrious SATS lounge where there is no cooked to order food or tended bar. I know…
Gold frequent flyers could head to the BA or Emirates lounge, but Qantas Club members were stuck at SATS. Single-pass holders were stuck in the terminal loungeless. Eligible passengers on other Oneworld airlines with lounge hopping habits were also often denied access.
None of this went down particularly well with affected passengers.
The situation is set to improve
But the overcrowding problems should abate when the new Qantas First Lounge opens in late November in Singapore. Passengers familiar with the swanky Qantas First Lounges in Melbourne, Sydney, and Los Angeles will know what to expect. First-time visitors will be in for a treat.
Designed by David Caon and in a separate part of the terminal from the business class lounge, the lounge will offer an espresso bar, cocktail bar, work areas, shower suites, seating familiar to those lucky enough to haunt the Chairman’s Lounges, and dining areas where Neil Perry will oversee the all-important Qantas First Lounge a la carte menu.
You can bet your last buck you’ll be seeing plenty of well-heeled travelers hoeing into the famous Qantas First Lounge standards of salt and pepper squid and chasing that down with a serving or two of the deconstructed fairy floss pavlova.
While the business class lounge in Singapore is nice, and will be even better once the crowds thin out, lounges of the calibre of the Qantas First Lounges tend to destroy you forever.
Open to Chairman’s Lounge members, Qantas first-class passengers, Qantas plats and platinum one members, and Oneworld Emerald equivalents, the Qantas First Lounge will be an added attraction at one of the world’s best airports.
And all the more reason to shoot for Emerald status and stopover in Singapore.