10 Best Airport Lounges In Sydney (SYD)


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Sydney Airport SYD is located 8 km south of the Sydney city center. The international terminal at Sydney International Airport has many Business Class lounges. We review which lounge is best, whether you are flying Business Class or if you are a Priority Pass or Lounge Pass member.

The lounges at Sydney airport are not the best in the world, but knowledge is power, and we have reviewed these lounges to help you choose the best lounge pre-flight. You may have the choice between a couple of lounges because you may be able to access more than one lounge with your ticket, so it is important to choose the best one.

If you are flying Qantas, Business Class passengers can choose between the Qantas International Business Lounge and the Emirates Lounge. Delta’s business class passengers can choose between the Air New Zealand lounge and the new SkyTeam Lounge. These latter two lounges can be accessed by passengers traveling on any Star Alliance airline.

I have reviewed the Qantas International Business Lounge and the Air New Zealand lounge and found them to be mediocre at best. I tried the Qantas lounge before my flight on Qatar Airways in Business Class on their Boeing 777-300ER To Doha. I visited the Air New Zealand Lounge before flying Air New Zealand. You can read my lounge reviews below to find out what you will experience.

Which is the best? If you have a Platinum American Express Card, you can access the American Express lounge and the Plaza Premium lounge. Both are very good, and both are modern and two of the best airport lounge choices at Sydney airport.

Once you arrive in Sydney, we have reviewed the best hotel executive club lounges in Sydney.

Free Airport Lounge Access

If you have not paid for Business Class or First Class, you can access lounges at this airport for a fee or for free if you have a Priority Pass. Get an unlimited Priority Pass with the Amex Platinum card, or you can also access most Priority Pass lounges for free using the free American Express Gold with its two free Lounge Club passes. To get extra referral points and advice on these free-lounge-access cards and more, have a read of our best credit cards for luxury travel.

Sydney airport has three terminals: Terminal 1, which is the international terminal; Terminal 2, which is the domestic terminal which includes airlines including Jetstar, Tigerair, and Virgin Australia; Terminal 3, which is a domestic terminal used by Qantas.

Most of my readers will be flying in and out of Terminal 1, so we will focus on lounges in this terminal first.

1. Qantas International First Lounge, Terminal 1

This is the Qantas premium flagship lounge at Sydney airport and should soon be refurbished (currently, refurbishment is expected later in 2020). Qantas has some of the best first-class lounges in the world, and they can be accessed by Oneworld Emerald elite members. This Qantas lounge can also be accessed by First Class travelers flying on either Qantas-operated flights or Emirates flights with an EK flight number along with one guest.

The lounge feels a little dated, with pine dividers and a good view of the tarmac. The food is much, much better than the look of the lounge and offers a full menu that you can select from. There is a huge variety on the menu at each meal. The breakfast menu has salads as well as a Signature Breakfast which is not so healthy, with two eggs, bacon, pork chipolata, hash browns, and roast tomato.

There is plenty of seating, including the window seats, workbenches, etc., but the look does feel tired, and although the food in this lounge is probably the best lounge food throughout Sydney airport, the look lets this lounge down. If you are flying in Qantas First, you can book a 20-minute spa treatment for free, which is a nice bonus. Be sure to make your appointment online before you arrive, as these treatments get quickly booked up.

2. American Express Lounge Sydney, Terminal 1

The American Express Lounge is open to Platinum American Express cardholders who can usually enter the lounge with a guest. This lounge is really smart with classy navy carpeting and dark oak wood furnishings, including high tables and partitions. There are floor-to-ceiling windows down one side that offer great views of the planes and the tarmac. Little brown leather single sofa seats are set up in two’s by the window and are a great place to sit.

The food on offer is also very good. The buffet has bacon, sausages, eggs, toast, and bread. You can also order soft and alcoholic drinks from the bar at any time, as well as barista-made coffee.

Unlike Centurion lounges, there are were no showers in this lounge, but in all other aspects, this is a great lounge, and I particularly liked the style and upkeep of the lounge. Some lounges at Sydney airport have food left out all over the place, but this one did not, making it one of the best airport lounges at Sydney Airport.

3. Air New Zealand Lounge, Terminal 1

If you are flying Qantas, Business Class passengers can choose between the Qantas International Business Lounge and the Emirates Lounge. Delta’s business class passengers can choose between the Air New Zealand lounge and the new SkyTeam Lounge. These latter two lounges can be accessed by passengers traveling on any Star Alliance airline.

In my opinion, the Air New Zealand lounge is the best Star Alliance lounge at this airport with a great array of food, a pleasant eating area, and food, and they serve great cocktails on request too.

The lounge is located one level above the departure concourse and adjacent to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge. It has a relaxing color scheme of black, cream, and purple and has a nice ambiance.

You can access this lounge if you are a Business Class or First Class passenger flying on Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Asiana Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, United Airlines.
Equally, if you are an elite member of a frequent flyer scheme, you get access, e.g., Air New Zealand Airpoints Gold, Elite, and Elite Priority One before Star Alliance and Virgin Australia flights. Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum, and The Club.

The lounge itself is split into different zones so you can work or relax or drink and eat, according to which zone you choose.

The views onto the tarmac are particularly decent in this lounge, and you can see some of these above, so there is always something to watch.

The food is also good with salads and fruits (an array giving you more than enough choice) along with lite bites and more comprehensive meaty dishes. There is something for everyone so you will not be disappointed on the food front, either.

4. The House Sydney, Terminal 1

The House airport lounge, pictured above, is situated after security in Terminal 1. After passing through security, follow signs for airport lounges. The lounge is located on Pier C towards Gates 51 – 63. Access to this lounge is available to Priority Pass Cardholders using a standard visit allocation and an additional upgrade fee of $20 AUD per person, payable directly to the lounge at the time of entry.

The House has taken over Etihad’s Business and First Class lounge space. This means you can access this lounge with your Priority Pass, or passengers from their airline partners may be eligible for complimentary access based on their class of travel or status. It has really nice windows overlooking the planes, which is a nice feature of this lounge.

The lounge is classy with lots of white leather seating, and a restaurant-style dining area that comes complete with white tablecloths (very classy!). There is a buffet and an a la carte menu and both are delicious. On the menu when we visited was:

  • Today’s Soup
  • Warm Goats Cheese Crostini
  • Porcini Gnocchi
  • Chicken Misukhhan
  • Braised Brisket Burger
  • Cheese Plate

There are also desserts like lemon meringue. The selection of wine and spirits is excellent and served by friendly and efficient staff. Bathrooms are modern and stylish.

5. Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 1

Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 1, is located opposite Gate 25, Pier B. This light and airy lounge with lots of greenery was slated to open in early 2020. The lounge can be accessed by paying passengers and American Express Platinum cardholders. Priority Pass and DragonPass members also get access.

It offers food either from a self-service buffet or an a la carte menu. AeroBar (sounds like a bar of chocolate) is the main bar area that serves Australian beers, wines, cocktails, spirits, coffees, teas, and milkshakes.

Because of the good food and drinks and fun and modern look, this is one of our favorite lounges a Sydney airport as so many are rather dated.

6. Qantas International Business Lounge, Terminal 1

Before my flight on Qatar Airways in Business Class on their Boeing 777-300ER To Doha, I visited and reviewed the Sydney Qantas Business Lounge at the airport. Qatar Airways is part of the One World Alliance.

This lounge tends to be too crowded with a motley selection of chairs. The lounge had not been cleaned properly when we visited, and there were crumbs on the floor and dirty dishes on the tables. Not the luxury experience one would hope for.

The room itself was a large oblong with sub-sections not divided from one another. It was light and airy as there were huge windows along one side, but the view was mainly of the airport terminal roof.

There was a reasonable selection of food with 3 hot dishes, mint and pea soup, lasagne, and Thai chicken curry plus cheddar cheese with assorted crusty rolls and 5 dishes of assorted salad. Desserts were fresh fruit and lemon cheesecake, which was delicious. The restocking of the food was excellent, and the staff were working hard. There just weren’t enough of them to find the time to clear the tables or floor.

Drinks were plentiful with self-service beverages and an area with chilled beers and assorted wines. There was a smart, light area with stools and bottles of wine down the center of the bar (self-service). We liked the super lampshades above the bar.

The restrooms had a central desk with towels/toothpaste and toothbrush/comb sets. About 12 compartments, each with a private toilet, washbasin, and shower. Sadly those who visited had messy basins and dirty towels on the floor. Again not enough cleaners to keep the place tidy…

7. Emirates Lounge, Terminal 1

The Emirates Lounge at Sydney airport is a somewhat dated lounge with mustard seating, blue carpets, and floor-to-ceiling windows. It is fine but is a long way from the stylish Emirates lounges you will find elsewhere…

The buffet seating area is also old fashioned with high-back chairs around tables, but the food on offer is good with lovely plates of cut fruit (melon, strawberry, kiwi), yogurts, muesli, and hot dishes containing baked beans, hash browns, sausages, fried mushrooms, eggs, and omelet, cold cuts, and boiled eggs,

There’s a huge array of self-serve spirits and beers and wines as well as Veuve Clicquot. You can pick up soft drinks from fridges, and there’s a coffee machine, plus there are some slightly dated showers within the lounge too.

You can access this lounge if you are flying Business or First Class on Emirates or Qantas, and premium members of the Qantas and Emirates frequent flyer schemes can also access this lounge.

8. Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge is a Business Class lounge for those flying on Singapore airlines, and frequent flyers also get access. The lounge is located on the second-floor mezzanine level near Gate 59. There is also a small area for First Class passengers, which has a bar, a Western and Asian buffet, and à la carte dining.

The look of the lounge isn’t overly special, although there is a nice high table area with stools by the window, where you can watch the planes.

Most travelers with access to this lounge will also have access to the Air New Zealand lounge next door, which is marginally better, although not outstanding. If you have a Platinum American Express card, you might want to try the Plaza Premium or American Express lounges which we have reviewed above.

9. Skyteam Lounge, Terminal 1

Located on the Terminal 1 departure level at Pier B, this Sydney airport lounge offers everything you need to unwind in comfort, do some work or grab a bite before your flight.

All First and Business Class passengers traveling on or connecting to/from a same-day international flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline have access to a lounge. SkyTeam member airlines include China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, and XiamenAir.

Skyteam Elite Plus members can access this lounge if flying on a same-day departure on Skyteam in any class. The lounge is located on the mezzanine level near gate 24.

There’s a food buffet and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available throughout the day.

10. Regus Express Office Lounge Sydney, Terminal 1

The Regus Express Office Lounge Sydney T1 lounge is near the T1 international arrivals area (outside security) at Sydney airport. It provides an area to work and shower with meeting rooms. It is not a departures lounge. It is more like a business and work area.

Sydney Airport Terminal 2 also has a number of decent lounges, including the Virgin Australia lounge. This big lounge offers a bar, a buffet, barista coffee, seating, and showers. There is also a Regional Express Lounge available to paying passengers of Australian domestic airline Regional Express. The lounge offers basic snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, and views. Entrance is a fee at the door, or you can buy an annual Rex Lounge membership. Priority Pass members also get access.

In Terminal 3, there is a Qantas Domestic Business Oneworld Lounge, and there is a buffet, barista coffee, free Wi-Fi, and views in this lounge. There’s also the Qantas Club with similar facilities.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.