There’s something about watching other passengers enter airline lounges you don’t have access to that stirs up a fairly large degree of envy. You just know that on the other side of that door they’re sipping on champagne, freshening up in the shower and enjoying unlimited wi-fi. All in seats far more comfortable than the one you’re sitting in.
British company No1 Lounges has arrived in Australia to solve that problem. It has opened The House, a lounge that welcomes everyone, regardless of airline or cabin class. It’s operating at Sydney Airport’s international Terminal 1 and Melbourne Tullamarine’s terminal 2, and entry is $80 when pre-booked online or $90 at the door ($65 for customers of partner airlines Etihad and Virgin Australia).
No1 Lounges was thought up by Phil Cameron – who was a Tony and Olivier award-winning theatre producer before he turned his attention to travel. He’s already launched lounges at UK airports including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Heathrow; Australia is its first market outside of the UK.
At both Sydney and Melbourne airports, travellers have views across the runway and can pick from more than 120 seats. The lounges have showers, televisions, newspapers, magazines and charging points. There’s white-tablecloth a-la carte dining, a full bar with premium wines, beers, cocktails and spirits, and barista-made coffee, all inclusive of the entry price.
“We’re dedicated to creating world-class service and making the experience available to all passengers,” Cameron tells Broadsheet. “We won’t be for everyone, but we know that the vast majority of passengers don’t have an entitlement to lounge access and that, while some are happy with a standard airport experience, there is a big market for something more.”
The food in the lounges will be a cut above what passengers will be getting from their airline. In the morning, travellers can expect breakfast burritos and omelettes, and for lunch and dinner porcini gnocchi, cheese plates and brisket burgers.
No1 Lounges is operating at Sydney Airport’s international Terminal 1 and Melbourne Tullamarine’s terminal 2 and entry is $80 when pre-booked online or $90 at the door ($65 for customers of partner airlines Etihad and Virgin Australia).