After being closed for almost a year, the Rex Lounge at Melbourne Airport recently opened to coincide with the launch of Rex Boeing 737 flights to Sydney on 1 March 2021.
As I discovered during a visit last Thursday, it’s a relatively small and basic lounge. But there are at least some snacks & drinks available – and in a pleasant surprise, a couple of massage chairs.
|Airline||Regional Express (Rex)|
|Airport||Melbourne (MEL), Australia|
|Location||Lower level, near Gate 30|
The Rex Lounge in Melbourne is small, and with COVID-19 capacity restrictions, a sign on the door advises that there is only enough space for 12 visitors at a time.
The seating itself is comfortable enough, and there are a couple of couches, benches and work stations available in addition to the regular tables & chairs.
Lounge Food, Drinks & Service
A basic selection of complimentary drinks and snacks were available from the buffet at the end of the lounge.
The snacks available were chips, Shapes, cereal, yoghurt, cheese & crackers, and white bread with butter & jam. There was no hot food (unless you count toast) or anything resembling a meal.
Tea and coffee (from a coffee pod machine) were available, along with water bottles, juice and soft drinks. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble working out how to use the coffee machine and there were no staff on hand to help out.
As I visited during the morning, there was a padlock on the bar fridge with a notice that this is only unlocked between 3-7pm. If you’re visiting during those times, you’ll have access to beers including Furphy & One Fifty Lashes, cider, and a selection of wines.
I was surprised to find that the buffet was all self-service, especially as both Qantas and Virgin Australia have removed their free-for-all buffets since COVID-19. At the Qantas & Virgin lounges, you now have to ask a lounge attendant to grab things for you or order on your smart phone by scanning a QR code.
Rex did at least put up signs asking people to use hand sanitiser before approaching the buffet. Although, the signs subtly asking people not to steal lounge food seemed unnecessary and a bit passive-aggressive to me.
Speaking of QR codes, there was no QR code registration system for visitors to the lounge and nobody scanned my boarding pass before I entered for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes. Instead, there was a simple sign-in sheet of paper at the entrance.
There was a small work area with desktop computers and a printer, as well as a TV and a couple of magazines. Various Rex merchandise was available for sale.
There were no toilets in the lounge, but one plesant surprise which is unique to the Rex Lounge was two massage chairs.
Although it’s a basic lounge, I did appreciate how peaceful and quiet it was. If you’re looking for a quiet place to get some work done away from the crowds in Melbourne’s Terminal 4, it’s not a bad place to wait for your flight.
As there are no staff at the door to the lounge, if you’re flying Business Class you’ll need to head over to the Rex service desk near gate 30 to find someone to let you in.
Rex also sells casual lounge access during off-peak times for $33/visit if you’re flying with Rex in Economy class and aren’t a lounge member, or $16.50 (a 50% discount) if you have a Flex fare. Personally, I would not pay $33 to use this lounge.
Rex lounges are normally available to Priority Pass members as well. However, Rex staff at Melbourne Airport advised me that Priority Pass access is temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions. This will likely be reinstated at some point in the future.
Rex Lounge, Melbourne Airport
The Rex Lounge is probably the least impressive lounge at Melbourne Airport. By comparison, the Qantas and even Virgin Australia lounges are far bigger, with more seats, bathrooms available and better food & drink options.
That said, the Rex Lounge doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a comfortable place to wait for your flight. And it is – even if some people may find it a bit underwhelming.
Have low expectations and you won’t be disappointed.