Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney Airport

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I spent just one night in Sydney, and decided to head to the airport really early the next morning, even though my flight was just at 12:15PM. That’s because I wanted to review the Star Alliance lounges at the airport, and I always feel more comfortable reviewing lounges if they’re not too full.

Singapore Airlines’ website indicated that the Singapore Airlines lounge would open at 5AM, so I got to the airport at around 4:30AM. At 5AM I was in front of the lounge, but there was no sign of life. At this point I checked the Star Alliance website, which noted that the Singapore Airlines lounge should open at 5:30AM.

At around 5:10AM an Air New Zealand employee showed up to unlock that lounge.

“Are you waiting to get into the lounge?”

“Yes, I thought the Singapore Airlines lounge was supposed to open at 5AM, but it looks like that’s not the case.”

“Well we aren’t supposed to open until 6AM, but you’re more than welcome to come in already. We just won’t have all the food out yet.”

I thought that was an extremely nice gesture. I’m so used to standing in front of a lounge at opening time and watching the employees read magazines waiting until the exact minute the lounge is supposed to open. So the fact that she invited me in nearly an hour before opening time was a very nice gesture.

This lounge had Air New Zealand’s updated branding, which I quite like.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney exterior

At the entrance there was a self-scanning system you could use to get in, and also a wall with several TV screens that had beautiful images of New Zealand.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney entryway


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney entryway

The Air New Zealand lounge was large and quite beautiful. There was a hallway once you entered the lounge that brought you into the main seating area.

To the left there were seats arranged in a pretty traditional manner for a lounge, along with some high-top communal tables.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating

Past that was the bar area.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney bar area


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney bar

This is also where the dining area was, which had some cafe tables and communal tables, as well as the main buffet.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney cafe area

Past that area was yet another seating area, both with seats facing one another, and also with seats facing the windows.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating

Then in the very back of the lounge were more chairs, as well as another communal table.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney relaxation area


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating

In the back corner of the lounge was probably the nicest seating area in terms of design. This had leather seats facing the windows, as well as some nooks.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney seating


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney relaxation area

The entire lounge had great views of the apron and runway in the distance.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney view

There was also a play area for kids in the back part of the lounge.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney play area for kids

The entrance to the bathroom area was near the back of the lounge as well.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney bathrooms

Not only were the bathrooms themselves quite nice, but there were also several shower rooms.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney bathroom


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney shower room


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney shower room

The lounge had two other drink stations with self serve coffee, soft drinks, water, beer, wine, and liquor, to supplement the main buffet.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney buffet


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney buffet


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney soft drinks


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney buffet


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney buffet


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney buffet

The main buffet consisted of a selection of bread, croissants, danishes, whole fruit, sliced fruit, yogurt, and cereal.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection

Much like you’d find in an Alaska Lounge, there was also a pancake machine.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney pancake machine

There were also a few hot dishes, including scrambled eggs with chive, artichoke peas & mint frittata, chipotle tomato cannellini beans with feta, and roasted new potatoes with capsicum and feta.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney food selection

While there are self serve coffee machines throughout the lounge, what you really want to do is go to the bar and order your drink there.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney espresso machine

There’s a tablet where you can order your coffee drink, and then they tell you how long it will be.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney drink ordering system

I ordered a flat white, and it was excellent.


Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney flat white

I ended up spending about an hour in the lounge before heading to the Singapore Airlines lounge (as it turned out, it only opened at 6AM, not the 5AM or 5:30AM that was posted).

Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney bottom line

Air New Zealand has an excellent business class lounge at Sydney Airport, which is accessible by first and business class passengers on any Star Alliance carrier, as well as Star Alliance Gold members. The lounge is spacious, has great views, is nicely decorated, and also has a good selection of food and drinks (especially their freshly made coffee). The lounge gets extra bonus points for letting me in early, which I’ve never had anyone at any other lounge ever offer. That’s true hospitality.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. That’s still one of our favorite lounges worldwide after many visits returning from FT Oz Fest Dos, and I’m happy to read your positive review.

    The refrigerator full of New Zealand Marlborough sauvignon blancs always lifts our spirits. 😉

  2. One thing Air NZ does very well: choosing staff for Lounges ( at least those in Australia). ALL the staff are great: charming, personable, efficient. Melbourne, Sydney both. It makes a difference to the lounge experience ( and is so much better than QF , with the boring , pretentious menus, including F ( and the rubbery squid)and the plastic clones serving there, and the miserable cerberus-like types on the desk

  3. Apropos to this review, the lounge also had a man making omelets and other egg dishes to order a la carte. Very nice.
    Wish your review was available last week, as I felt ill informed by another blogger. My first time in Sydney. I read a review by another blogger prior to my trip stating the food was better at Singapore lounge but coffee better at New Zealand’s. I disagree. New Zealand’s better on all counts I value: quality of food, coffee/drinks, service, and ambiance (view from Singapore was nice)

  4. How did you get your boarding pass? I thought SQ desks at SYD don’t open until 3 hours before the flight?

  5. Wait till you see the lounge filled to capacity during the midmorning time. You would then feel you are better off in the terminal instead.

    When the lounge area was first opened , we flew TG F SYD-BKK and were told to go to NZ lounge… The lounge was filled to the gill with people mulling around to find seats while holding plates of some pitiful foods. We finally found 2 empty seats opposite to each other between a tiny round table among many other passengers already seated. Only to be scolded at by a woman who claimed those seats were theirs and her husband just got up to get foods.

    Alright then. Instead of doing the endless search for a place to sit we promptly exited and turned to the SQ lounge which we passed on our way to NZ’s. Our TG F BPs were more than adequate to give us access to the wonderful SQ F lounge – a small but extremely tranquil place where both hot and cold breakfast foods were served, together with Krug, plus items from an a la carte menu. Between our entering the lounge to the time we left to board our TG flight, there were only 3 more passengers came in the SQ lounge. At the NZ lounge there must have been over hundred persons inside.

    We truly miss the Koru club in the old days. The Koru clubs in Sydney, Auckland and even Christchurch domestic terminal, were heads and shoulders above the current NZ offerings.

    If you have star alliances lounge access via class of service, head to the SQ lounge instead. Day and Night experiences.

  6. Just as an FYI, when I flew back from Sydney a year ago on Delta, they gave me a pass to use the Air New Zealand lounge. I agree it’s a real nice place to spend a few hours!

  7. Good for Air New Zealand staff.

    Speaking of special treatment in a lounge… Years ago when I was flying SEA-SFO-LHR-TLV (don’t ask about the routing, it’s complicated) on a regular basis, I got to know the VS station manager. One one trip I was in Israel during a particularly ugly attack. When I got off the plane at SFO the VS station manager was waiting for me because he had been concerned about me when he’d heard about the events (as had the world). He informed me my connection on AS was delayed, escorted me through immigration and customs and to the VS departure lounge where he allowed me to stay until the staff was literally ready to lock the doors and go home and then sent me on my way to my connecting flight. And he wasn’t the only one who was wonderful – it was the entire staff at the station at the time including everyone working the lounge. On another occasion they escorted me to the gate to see my girlfriend off when she was traveling to LHR and I was staying in SFO. People make the airline.

  8. Mid-morning, some two weeks ago in the AirNZ Melbourne lounge, the staff were walking around offering seated guests a champagne cocktail. Not the first time I have seen that from AirNZ.

  9. Lucky, I think you should review some Air New Zealand flights too, especially premium economy and Business, which as far as I have head, is a fantastic product

  10. I agree that sometimes the lounge can be incredibly busy–what lounge isn’t these days? But I have been there a few dozen times and my experiences were always great with food, drinks, and staff. The old lounge was good, too, but I like the make-over better I think.

  11. Love the ANZ lounges, great dedicated kids areas and the iPad to order your coffee – the best in the larger lounges such as Auckland a little less so in BNE

  12. No other customers. No wonder you enjoyed it.

    The issue with this lounge is that it is usually rammed to the gills with people (during sociable hours for travel).

    The lounge is simply not large enough…

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