As you know, I love airport lounges! – Almost, just almost – as much as I love flying. Recently I had a guest pass to visit any Domestic Qantas Club Lounge, so before I took off on my first Jetstar 787 flight to the Gold Coast, I visited the Melbourne lounge, What a great way to start this special day! – Review: Jetstar Airways – Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Melbourne to Gold Coast Business Class
Located airside (after security) and up a set of escalators between gate piers, the Melbourne Qantas Club is a rather large square shaped space divided into working, eating, drinking, lounging and service areas with the oddity of having a shop in the centre selling newspapers, magazines and airport souvenirs. I found this quite strange as usually everything once you’re inside is complimentary – (I wanted to walk up to the store and just take something as if I didnt realise I had to pay 😉 ) not to mention the daily newspapers and a variety of magazines are already available throughout the rest of the lounge. There is a seperate Business Class lounge for Business Class passengers located next to The Qantas Club. – Lounge Review: The Qantas Club – Gold Coast
The lounge has all the usual business facilities including internet access through wi-fi and apple iMac’s which overlook the apron, meeting rooms are also available.
One of the things I loved about this lounge was the large floor to ceiling windows that give a wonderful view of the apron, taxi ways and runways of Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. It was over in one of the lounge chairs, against the window, that I spent my time watching the incoming and departing aircraft with a few rounds of drinks and bites to eat.
The lounge has a variety of refreshments on offer, water, juices, with teas and coffees made by an on duty barista. A full bar serving spirits and mixed drinks are available as with a self serve area with red, white and sparkling wine which opens daily at midday.
There were a few charcuterie items available from the buffet such as ham, spicy salami and sliced tasty cheese with a few varieties of crackers, as well as salad items such as mixed leaves, potato salad and olives. From the the bain marie, the hot dish ‘Harissa Chicken’ had nice chunks of chicken meat and vegetables in a tomato based sauce although I didn’t really find it very ‘harissa-ish’ and was slightly bland. There wasn’t the greatest of variety I had remembered from visits to the Melbourne club previously.
As I was enjoying my ‘lounge time’ I noticed an aircraft undergoing wheel change – something you don’t see often at airports as its normally done behind the scenes. Upon striking up conversation with a fellow passenger sitting near me, she said she thought the club ‘s food offering had declined in variety and volume over the years as a result of a large amount of the outback mining FIFO workers (Fly In – Fly Out) being signed up by their company as part of their contract. She said its become known as “The Qantas Pub”.
Still, I enjoyed my few hours in the Melbourne Qantas Club. The food, although not plentiful, the wine was and both were delicious. The best part was the fantastic view of the aircraft movements – especially when the Jetstar Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed and other aviation enthusiasts, along with myself, ran to the windows to take a few photo’s – It was a FreakyFlier moment 🙂 – Review: Jetstar Airways – Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Melbourne to Gold Coast Business Class