Chairman’s Lounge: Behind the smoked glass door marked “Private”

Have you every wondered what behind that smoked glass door marked private between gates 23 and 24 at the Qantas terminal in Brisbane? Perhaps you noticed the odd person turn right instead of left at the escalators in Sydney and Melbourne. Chances are they are heading for the very exclusive Chairman’s Lounge.

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The Chairman’s Lounge membership has no set criteria for joining. You could fly every day for a year and still not get an invite. Membership is said to consist of people who hold considerable influence in the business world, or are senior members of Parliament. It’s also said if you decide on $2M or more worth of flight expenditure a year, you might get a look in. Each new applicant is approved personally by the Qantas Chairman, before any welcome kit is sent out.

So what is behind those doors? If you have been lucky enough to visit the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne, you would have some idea what to expect inside. In fact the Sydney Chairman’s lounge is almost a copy of its first class cousin across the tarmac, with similar styling and furniture, albeit in a shade of lime overall. Food offerings are superior to that found in other lounges, as is the drinks choice, with your choice available in the form of a self service bar.


Late last year it was announced that the Melbourne Chairman’s lounge would be closing for renovation. Our members were somewhat impressed with having to share the business lounge with such exclusive brethren. In fact they rather hoped optimistically the favour could be returned as the Business lounge closed over Christmas.

Neil Perry provided a sneak peak just before Christmas as to what the new lounge had in store. Pictures showing a cook-to-order section much like the First Lounges and the new Singapore lounge soon emerged. But what else had changed, did it still look like a first class lounge.

Fast forward to last week, when one of our members posted a series of images showing more than just a kitchen. Nothing has been overlooked in the styling of this new and bold lounge. We even have pictures of the restrooms, with the extensive stonework and showers. Not to mention the finest toiletries should one feel the need to freshen up.

While many of us may never have the benefit of Chairman’s Lounge membership, we at least know what we are missing. And hope is not lost, you might get a guest invite from a colleague one day. You might also get an invite to one of the regular AFF exclusive Rockpool lunches with Qantas Loyalty, where our interstate members flying home after the event have sometimes been guested in to the local Chairman’s Lounge.

In the meantime why not join the conversation covering the new and the old, perhaps you have an experience to share. Are they better than the First Lounges, have you been to a better lounge, join in HERE.

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