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Lounge Review: Qantas Lounge Auckland Airport

Qantas Lounge Auckland Entrance

This was my first chance to visit the Qantas Lounge Auckland Airport since I last visited 11 years ago in 2013. Today, I am flying to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific so had access through my oneworld Sapphire status (British Airways Silver). Unfortunately for me, Taylor Swift was performing in Sydney and so the airport and the Qantas Lounge was exceptionally busy at the time of my visit.

Unfortunately, I can’t say much has changed in 11 years. The lounge is finally set to be renovated this year, and should be reopening to the same Qantas International Business Lounge standard you see at Singapore Changi, London Heathrow, or Hong Kong International. And this renovation can’t come soon enough. This renovation is to accommodate the additional transit passengers on the Sydney to New York via Auckland service onboard Qantas’ 787 Dreamliner. Do note that the old Qantas International First Lounge at Auckland Airport has been closed and will be merged into the existing International Business Lounge.

So here is possibly (and hopefully), the last review in 2024 of the very busy Qantas Lounge Auckland Airport in it’s current state.

Qantas Lounge Auckland Location

Where is the Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport located?

After passing through security and duty free, to the right are escalators going up to the mezzanine floor. There is also a “Lounges” sign next to the escalators if you get lost, with the Qantas, Emirates and Strata Lounge logos.

On the mezzanine level, the Qantas Lounge Auckland is located straight ahead. Opposite the Strata Lounge and next to the Emirates Lounge.

Through the sliding glass doors, the friendly staff will check you in and give you the Wi-Fi password.

What are the Opening Hours of the Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport?

The Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport is open from 4:30am to 8pm daily. 

This early morning opening accommodates the 7am continuation of QF4 from New York onto Sydney, as well as the daily 6am Sydney and 6:10am Melbourne flights as well. If you do have lounge access through your Qantas Club membership, flying business class, or you hold Qantas or oneworld elite status, it probably would be best to avoid these flights as this early morning peak will almost certainly guarantee a very full Auckland Qantas Lounge.

Qantas Lounge Auckland Seating
Qantas Lounge Auckland Seating

Seating Options

Firstly, this lounge is small. There are a variety of seating options to suit all types of travellers including solo travellers, duos and groups, but it does feels cramped. The Qantas Lounge was also rammed at midday on this fine Auckland Thursday so that definitely didn’t help to make the space feel any larger.

There are a selection of high tables with bar stools, arm chairs with low tables, and groups of seating for larger families or business groups. There are no dining tables or communal tables which would be good for dining or as a work surface if needed. Hopefully there will be some in the new lounge after renovation.

The seating does feel very dated and worn out, desperate for a revamp.

Lack of Runway Views

The Qantas Lounge features large windows on one side of the lounge letting in plenty of natural light. Unfortunately, the lounge is basically situated on the roof of the airport, facing the opposite direction to the runway and apron side of the airport. With all the current construction going on at Auckland Airport, there is only a view of the roof.

The Auckland Air New Zealand Lounge absolutely wins here for spectacular runway views. And if you don’t have access to the Air New Zealand Lounge, the main terminal has much better planespotting views.

Qantas Lounge Auckland Buffet
Qantas Lounge Auckland Buffet
Qantas Lounge Auckland Kapiti Ice Cream Freezer
Qantas Lounge Auckland Food Menu

Buffet Food Options

The Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport has a small buffet area, with a selection of salads, cheeses, crudites, cold cuts and desserts. In a similar fashion to the much-in-need-of-renovation Qantas International Business Lounge in Sydney, as well as most of the other Australia lounges. It’s more a nibbles selection than a meal selection which is a shame, especially if you are flying QF3 on the ultra long-haul Auckland to New York route. There was one hot main and rice, and a soup available. Bad luck if you are vegetarian. The food wasn’t overly appetising either.

Here was the menu at the Qantas Lounge Auckland on my visit:

  • Pork Goulash
  • Steamed Rice
  • Cream of Pumpkin and Chive Soup
  • Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad with Tahini Dressing
  • Roasted Potato and Corn Salad with Salsa Verde
  • Coleslaw
  • Hazelnut Chocolate Brownie
  • Assorted Cake
  • Vegetable Crudites
  • Hummus
  • Selection of Cheeses
  • Selection of Cold Cuts
  • Kapiti Salted Caramel Ice Cream

There is also an espresso bar tucked away in the corner of the lounge, for all your coffee needs with a wide selection of alternative milks available too. There was no iced coffee available, however the attendant said I could get some ice from the main buffet and bring it over. Hopefully the new Qantas Lounge will have an ice maker available directly at the barista station. Barista made coffee is available from 4:30am to 7pm daily.

Qantas Lounge Auckland Beer, Wine and Soft Drinks Selection
Qantas Lounge Auckland Liquor Selection
Qantas Lounge Auckland Red Wine Selection

Qantas Lounge Auckland Beer, Wine and Spirits Selection

Usually at all of Qantas’ Lounges worldwide, they showcase Australian beers, wines and spirits. This usually includes an Australian Sparkling Wine instead of Champagne. On my most recent visit to the Hong Kong Qantas Lounge, Qantas offered Counterpoint Brut NV, a perfectly drinkable Australian Sparkling.

However at the Qantas Lounge Auckland, they offer a selection of New Zealand beer and wines instead (with the exception of the Penfolds Shiraz), and even L&P.

Here was the bar selection available at the Qantas Lounge Auckland Airport on my recent visit:

  • Brancott Estate Sparkling Cuvee
  • Matua Pinot Gris
  • Kopiko Bay Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kopiko Bay Chardonnay
  • Oyster Bay Merlot
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz
  • Kopiko Bay Pinot Noir
  • Steinlager Pure
  • Heineken
  • Heineken Light
  • Heineken 0.0
  • Chivas Regal 12 Years Old Whisky
  • Gordons Gin
  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Jameson Whisky
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Captain Morgan Rum
  • Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Chatelle Brandy Napoleon VSOP
  • L&P
  • Selection of soft drinks and juices

It’s an interesting point to highlight, and it will be interesting to see if and how this beer, wine and spirits selection changes after the newly renovated Auckland Qantas Lounge opens later this year.

Qantas Lounge Shower Suite, Auckland Airport

Qantas Lounge Auckland Showers

Especially for those transit passengers on QF3 (or QF4 in the reverse from New York to Sydney), the chance to freshen up with a nice hot shower is a great way to spend the quick 2 hour stopover in Auckland.

Luckily, the Auckland Qantas Lounge offers 4 shower suites, featuring Li’Tya shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and fluffy bath towels. There were no other toiletries available that I could see, like you get at the Cathay Pacific The Pier, Business Lounge in Hong Kong.

I can imagine during the QF3 and QF4 stopovers that these shower suites are constantly full back-to-back, but even during my visit around midday with a full Qantas Lounge, all four shower suites were unoccupied.

How to Access the Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport

Access to the Qantas Lounge Auckland is reserved for the following passengers:

  • Qantas Business Class passengers
  • Qantas First Class passengers
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum or Platinum One elite status holders (who can also access the Emirates Lounge when flying EK or QF) (+1 guest)
  • oneworld Business Class passengers
  • oneworld First Class passengers
  • oneworld Sapphire status holders (+1 guest)
  • oneworld Emerald status holders (+1 guest)
  • Qantas Club members (+1 guest)
  • Complimentary Lounge Invitation Holders (must pre-register)
  • LATAM Business Class passengers
  • LATAM Pass Platinum, Black and Black Signature elite status holders
  • Emirates Business and First Class passengers (although you should go to the much better Emirates Lounge next door instead)
  • Emirates Skywards Gold or Platinum elite status holders (when flying QF or EK)

In all, a fairly generous access list for such a small lounge. It’s no wonder why this lounge is packed.

If you do have access to the Emirates Lounge next door, you should head there. Air New Zealand’s codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific allows for Cathay Pacific passengers to use the much better Air New Zealand Lounge as well. Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines passengers can use the also-fantastic Strata Lounge.

Can I pay to enter the Qantas Lounge?

If you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer member and booked your flights through Qantas, you may receive an invitation to purchase a lounge access pass 2-5 business days before departure. Prices depend on dates, anticipated capacity, the specific lounge you are booking for (Qantas Lounge Auckland in this case) and number of passengers.

Unfortunately, this is the only way to pay for entry to the Qantas Lounge without a Qantas Club membership, and walk-in passes are not purchasable at the door on the day.

If you don’t ordinarily have access and are looking to purchase lounge access at Auckland ahead of your flight, I can strongly recommend the Strata Lounge, which had a fantastic food and beverage offering (including for breakfast), great views and plenty of space to relax on my last visit.

Brand New Qantas Lounge at Auckland Airport in 2024

Now the very exciting news. The Auckland Qantas Lounge is set to be entirely renovated this year. Hopefully, this will upgrade the service offering to the same standard found at the fantastic Qantas International Business Lounges in Hong Kong, Singapore and London Heathrow.

Long overdue, and in the works since 2015, but better late than never.

As reported by Executive Traveller, the new Auckland Qantas Lounge merges the old Qantas International First Lounge into the main space, increasing capacity from 244 to 340 seats. The renderings of the new lounge look absolutely stunning too. 

This should also mean a much better food and beverage offering too. Less nibbles and snacks, more proper pre-flight dining.

I would also love to see the new Auckland Qantas Lounge get the same fantastic Sofitel service you find at many of the flagship Qantas International First Lounges and Qantas International Lounges (including Hong Kong, London and Singapore). If it does, I’m sure the Auckland Qantas Lounge would be a new favourite for trans-tasman frequent flyers.

Jean Batten Model Airplane at Auckland International Airport


The very dated Qantas Lounge Auckland Airport is well-past its’ hey-day, and in desperate need of renovation. It’s small, and showing wear-and-tear, and nibbles and one hot main dish at the buffet just doesn’t cut it in 2024 for an international lounge with this many daily flights and passengers with lounge access.

I’m extremely excited to pass back through Auckland once the renovations are done to re-review this lounge. And if the amazing Singapore and Hong Kong Qantas Lounges are anything to go by, I’m sure Qantas will absolutely nail it.