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November 24, 2013 / oneworld82

A real oasis – Qantas First Class Lounge in Melbourne

And so, time to go back home finally arrived. I am sad. Super sad. I love Australia to death – I am pretty sure I will move here someday, hopefully soon. But my sadness is smewhat mitigated by the fact that I would be returning home on Qantas First Class… on the A380!
After flying on the Big Bird in Business Class last year on this very same MEL-LAX route, I became obsessed with flying QF First. The quiteness of the airplane, the service I received… everything made me want to fly QF again.
As anyone who has ever tried to book QF First Class using AAdvantage miles knows, well, the task of finding a Trans-Pacific seat is quite daunting. In fact, I was able to snag this seat 331 days prior to departure… and I built a vacation all around it! 🙂
But let’s go in order.
I had booked a 5am pickup through qantas.com, so to have 3 full hours to enjoy the First Class lounge in Melbourne – supposedly one of the best lounges in the World. My car was ready to go when I left the hotel, and in no time I was at the Tullamarine Airport. One surprising thing of this airport is that QF doesn’t have a separate check-in area for First Class passengers – either that, or I wasn’t able to find it. Check-in was fast, and I was handed a fast-track card to go through immigration. After walking through the usual maze of duty-free shops and miscellaneous restaurants, I finally got to the lounge area. Finally, here I am… Qantas famed First Class lounge. Granted, everyone talks about the FC lounge in Sydney… But I have no doubt that the Melbourne lounge be just as good!
I was greeted by a front desk agent, who checked my documents and then proceeded to escort me into the lounge. The first impression was very positive: the lounge is modern, clean, with great views of the tarmac. I was literally the first guest of the day, which was awesome. The agent asked me whether I wanted some breakfast, and after I said that I certainly would like some he brought me to the restaurant area. One thing that many people don’t know is that all the Qantas First Class lounge staff is professionally trained by Sofitel. Hence, the level of service you get is really superior. The agent introduced me to the restaurant host, who welcomed me and asked me where I wanted to sit. I picked a table near the window, and the host proceeded in bringing me a menu and taking drinks ordered (I went with a safe orange juice and cappuccino). The breakfast menu looked extensive and complete – and read as shown in the photo below.
Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

Dining area

Dining area

IMG_1812

First customer of the day!

First customer of the day!

While it was early in the morning, I felt like it would have been shameful not having a proper brekkie! I consequently ordered eggs benededicts and a cup of fresh fruit.
Some water and cappuccino to start

Some water and cappuccino to start

The food didn’t take long to arrive – perhaps 10 minutes. Let me tell you: both presentation and taste were exceptional!
Brekkie

Brekkie

Eggs benedicts properly done

Eggs benedicts properly done

The eggs benedict were neatly poached, and with right amount of a not-too-buttery sauce. The salmon was fresh, the english muffin toasted to perfection. The cup of fruit was surprising as well. It wasn’t “just a cup of fruit”… it was a cup of fresh, seasonal fruit cut that very same morning, tasting very fresh and ripe, and presented with style (note in the picture the passion fuit seeds sprinkled on top… small things like this one make all the difference!).
After indulging in a second cappuccino, I decided to walk around the lounge a bit to check it out. Considering that there are only 2/3 flights a day with First Class on Qantas out of Melbourne, it’s truly remarkable that the company decided to invest in such a beautiful lounge. Like I mentioned earlier, the modern tones and furniture, the spotless ambiance, and the magnificent views over the tarmac make this place the perfect avenue where to spend a few hours before a flight.
Cathay Pacific's 77W

Cathay Pacific’s 77W

Lovely red tones

Lovely red tones

Still early in the morning

Still early in the morning

One of the real highlights of the lounge is the complimentary, 30-minute massage that QF First Class customers get. I had proactively called the day before my flight to book a spot about 90 minutes prior to my flight, but usually the lounge attendants would call customers 24 hours in advance to do the same (I just didn’t have a working phone in New Zealand).
I proceeded to the spa area – small but really nicely appointed – and checked-in. A menu with 5-6 different treatments was handed to me, and I decided to go with a back massage. The treatment room was actually very nice, with a closet to hang clothes up.
Treatment room

Treatment room

The therapist – a jolly, mid-aged Australian woman – was friendly and very professional. The massage was a blast, and it surely beat the similar services offered by British Airways and Etihad Airways.

After the massage I had the change to check the lavatories out – again, I was impressed by the size and style. I didn’t check the showers, but I am sure I wouldn’t have been disappointed if I had done it.

Sophisticated

Sophisticated

Qantas First Class Lounge Melbourne

Nice amenities in the lavatories

Nice amenities in the lavatories

I then sat down and browsed the internet for some 25 minutes, before boarding announcements for my flight started to be made.

Mac's!

Mac’s!

Quick bites

Quick bites

Super excited to be trying Qantas First Class, I left the lounge (picking up my weekender bag that I had left at the reception desk to store) and proceeded to the gate to board what is hands down my favorite airplane in the World; last year, on this very same flight I sat upstairs. This time, I would be downstairs. In the pointy end of the plane. I can’t wait to tell you how it went…!

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Em / Nov 24 2013 11:47 pm

    There is a separate First Class check in area. It is kerbside so if you entered the terminal through the main doors, you would have missed it. I am a little suprised the driver didn’t know to drop you off in front of it.
    Love that lounge, it is the best place to spend time before a flight.
    Looking forward to your flight review.

  2. Em / Nov 24 2013 11:48 pm

    There is a separate First Class check in area. It is kerbside so if you entered the terminal through the main doors, you would have missed it. I am a little suprised the driver didn’t know to drop you off in front of it.
    Love that lounge, it is the best place to spend time before a flight.
    Looking forward to your flight review.

  3. Deo / Nov 27 2013 10:16 am

    Superb review of the lounge. The breakfast looks mouth watering as well !
    Btw, is it really a Cathay 77W? Looks more like an A330..

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