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Please excuse the blurry photos – apparently my camera was freaking out!
I flew from Sydney to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef, and because of that got to see the Qantas Lounge that’s free for all Business Class passengers. Note that you can also bring a guest into this lounge. I booked this flight using Avios and it was a great deal because domestic travel within Australia is generally very expensive if paying cash.
I was very curious to see how this lounge stacked up against the lounges we have in the US. Qantas has recently been going through a lot of financial difficulty so I was wondering if that would be noticeable with the food options. In my opinion, it wasn’t.
The domestic lounge here was pretty great. It was huge for starters – plenty of seating in various different sections of the lounge. It was kind of designed in square shape, with the middle being the bathrooms and showers. There were all kinds of seating areas for work, food, and leisure sitting, and there were computers available to use at private desks and at more open-space desks.
I mentioned shower rooms were available, but I didn’t take advantage of them. It’s generally a pretty rare thing to see these available at domestic lounges in the US so I was impressed to see them here.
Food choices were not plentiful, but were still really good in my opinion. There were a couple of hot dishes including rice and a chicken curry. There was also a soup station with bread and croutons available. The main food selection was actually a do-it-yourself sandwich area, and that’s what made this lounge awesome for me.
There was a selection of breads and sandwich fillings that you could use to make your own sandwich. The meat options were corned beef and ham, and there were all the toppings you’d expect to make a sandwich (onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mayo, Dijon mustard, etc.). But at the end of the line was what made this experience amazing for me…two Panini machines!
I know I’m not alone when I say a toasted sandwich is far better than a non-toasted one. The versatility of the machine makes it very useful as well. I saw a guy make himself a grilled cheese sandwich, while others simply toasted their bread slices to eat with other foods. The sandwich I made myself was so delicious I decided to make another!
There were also plenty of sides including a beet root salad, potato salad, and a full salad bar. I saw plenty of people taking the beet root salad but didn’t give it a try myself (I was enjoying my sandwich too much).
There were plenty of drinks available as well. There was a soda fountain (including coke zero!) and juices that were self-serve. There was also a bar for the free beers and other alcohol, and three different coffee/cappuccino areas.
Wi-Fi was free and simple to connect to, and the view wasn’t really great but not terrible. This lounge was really great compared to domestic US lounges, so I definitely recommend checking out the Qantas Lounge if you’re traveling on a Qantas Business Class ticket.