British Airways operate the only oneworld branded and operated lounges at Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. Amongst the multitude of contract lounges used by various oneworld carriers, BA’s Galleries First and Club lounges are probably the best option for oneworld travellers.
Review: airport lounge
Emirates’ network of over 30 lounges across six continents represents a significant investment by Emirates in consistency around the world. We visited the Sydney lounge to see how Emirates is delivering that consistent customer experience down under.
Update: Air New Zealand have opened a new international lounge in Auckland, which we have reviewed here.
Qantas opened a renovated and expanded Qantas Club in Darwin on 30 September 2014. When we visited, we were impressed by the size of the lounge. While the lounge was furnished in a similar manner to other Qantas Club domestic lounges, it certainly feels ‘fresher’. Perhaps that is because, in contrast to most other state capital cities, there is no separate Qantas Business Lounge here.
In September 2014, Etihad opened its arrivals lounge at its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). We stopped by to freshen up after an overnight flight. We’ve previously written about how Etihad puts a lot of emphasis on the style of its products in the air and fails to deliver when it comes to service on the ground. We are pleased to say that those comments don’t apply to this arrivals lounge – which is excellent.
Qantas currently operate a pair of lounges at Auckland International Airport, one ‘Business’ and one ‘First’. Despite the name this ‘First’ lounge bears very little in common with it’s far superior Australian cousins in Sydney and Melbourne. Instead, it is more aligned with Qantas’ offering in Brisbane’s International terminal, as a lounge that is ‘First’ only in name.
Airside at San Francisco’s International Terminal G gates is a very dated Singapore Airlines lounge, which stands in stark contrast to Singapore Airlines’ recently renovated lounge in Sydney, or its flagship The Private Room in Singapore. We used this lounge prior to an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.
Hamad International Airport (DOH), Doha’s ‘five star gateway to the world’ (as Qatar Airways refer to it) is the long delayed replacement for the old airport in Doha, which was noteable in that it had no aerobridges. Hamad International Airport opened for passenger operations on April 30th, 2014, with Qatar Airways moving operations from the May 27th. At the time of writing, Qatar Airways have still not completed their ‘Al Safwa’ first class lounge, so the ‘Al Mourjan’ lounge is their premium lounge in the new airport.
Inside London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 is Qatar Airways’ Premium Lounge. Open only to oneworld business/first class passengers, this lounge is off limits to economy class passengers irrespective of their frequent flyer status. Given that the only other alliance member operating out of T4 is Malaysia Airlines, this lounge is almost exclusively used by Qatar’s own passengers.
The Private Room is the pinnacle of Singapore Airlines’ (SQ) airport lounge offerings globally. Its creation had the effect of removing top-tier Solitaire members of the exclusive PPS Club flying business/economy class from being able to access SQ’s flagship lounge. There is only one, at Singapore Changi’s (SIN) Terminal 3.