Review: Qantas First Class Lounge Auckland

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Getting to the Qantas lounges at Auckland International Airport first means navigating your way through the maze of duty free shops you’ll find after you clear airport security.

Once though the duty free zone look for a sign pointing to the right that looks like the one below and follow the direction of the arrow.

a sign in a building

The signs will lead you to a set of escalators where you’ll see the “Emperor Lounge” (a Priority Pass lounge)…..

a sign on a building

…and another sign by the escalators guiding you to the Qantas Lounges:

a sign in a room

Qantas has First & Business Class lounges in Auckland and both share the same entrance and check-in desk.

a glass door in a buildingQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

Entry Criteria & Times

The lounge is open daily between 04:00 and 20:00 (or the last Qantas departure if it’s later).

The entry criteria are as follows:

  • Oneworld Emerald status card holders + 1 guest
  • Travelers with a oneworld First Class boarding pass + 1 guest

Qantas First Class Lounge Auckland

As you walk through the sliding doors of the lounge the reception desk is straight ahead, the Business Class lounge s to the right and the entrance to the First Class lounge is to the left.

As soon as you walk thought into the First Class lounge there’s a small Business Center on the left….

a hallway with a suitcase in itQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

….and shelving for carry-on baggage on the right:

a shelf with blue carpetQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

The Business Centre is made up of 4 booths (2 empty desks and 2 housing iMacs)…..

a sign on a wallQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

a room with a printer and office cubiclesQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

a desk and chairs in a cubicleQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

a desk with computers and a trash canQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

…and a couple of small and more private booths on one side:

a chair in a roomQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

Further into the lounge is a magazine rack which separates the main part of the First Class lounge from the hallway and the washrooms:

a display of magazines on shelvesQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

Walking past the magazine rack you come to a small seating area on the left….

a room with couches and chairsQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

…complete with flat-screen TV…..

a room with a television and couches

a room with chairs and tables

a room with chairs and a table

a room with chairs and tablesQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

As with the Business Class lounge next door, the lounge has a few large-ish windows at its far end but, once again, there is absolutely no view to look out on to.

On one of the walls of the First Class lounge is where you’ll find the food and drink that’s on offer….

a counter with drinks and glasses on itQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

…but, on my visit at least, food-wise there really wasn’t all that much of a selection.

There were some cold cuts, salad items, some sushi and mixed mini-sandwiches:

a buffet with different food itemsQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

The “hot food of the day” was teriyaki lamb rump with roast potatoes, mushroom and thyme:

a trays of food in a containerQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

And the soup of the day was “kumara & vegetables”:

a black pot with a lid on a counterQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

The greatest variety of options was for the dessert course.

There was a selection of cupcakes….

a tray of cupcakes on a tableQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

….a choice of 3 cheeses with crackers….

a table with plates of food and plates of foodQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

…or ice cream:

a refrigerator with a glass door

a group of packages of ice cream on a shelfQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

On the drinks front there was the usual selection of juices, sodas, mixers, beers and white wines in the chiller cabinet….

a glass case with bottles and cans in it

a shelf of beer bottlesQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

….with Lanson champagne too:

a group of wine bottles on a shelfQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

Out on the counter there was a selection of 3 red wines…..

a group of bottles of wine and straws

…and a few spirits that I’d describe as “entry-level”:

a group of bottles on a counterQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

The First Class lounge offers the same tea/coffee making facilities as the Business Class lounge next door….

a machine with a screen and a screen on topQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

…but here the selection of teas is far more impressive:

a shelf with cups and saucers

a row of black boxes with different colored labelsQantas First Class Lounge Auckland

The last part of the lounge you probably need to know about are the shower facilities.

The First Class lounge had a sum total of 6 people in it for the entire time I was there so there was no line for the showers (of which I think there are 2…I forgot to check!).

The shower rooms are a good-enough size…

a glass shower in a bathroom

a bathroom with a round mirror and a sink

a sink in a bathroom

…and the toiletries are the Aspar toiletries you’ll find in most Qantas lounges (although I wish they’d provide miniatures rather than the large sharing bottles).

a couple of black bottles on a shelf


On the positive side of things the lounge was quiet and relaxing while on the negative side it wasn’t very big and the food & drink offering was hardly inspiring.

I can imagine this being a nice place to escape if someone has let their offspring run amuck in the Business Class lounge but, as a First Class facility, it’s found wanting.

A synonym for the phrase “First Class” is “premium” but there wasn’t very much that was premium about this First Class lounge.

The food was fine if not offering all that much choice but the alcoholic drinks selection was poor.

The wines were of a marginally higher grade than those in the Business Class lounge and there was a cheap champagne on offer which you won’t find next door….but that’s about it.

Yes, the tea selection was impressive and I guess having a few pieces of sushi is nice too….but none of that makes me think that travelers in the Business Class lounge are missing out on anything.

They’re not.

I realize that Qantas treats its Auckland lounges more like domestic lounges than international lounges but, if you’ve flown a long way and you’re used to Qantas First Class lounges like the one in Sydney or LA, this one is going to be a bit of a disappointment.


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