Perth Qantas Business Class Lounge Review - Terminal 4
Opened in 2015, the Qantas Business Class Lounge in Terminal 4 ushered in a new era of comfort and service for Domestic Business Class travellers departing from Perth. My how times have changed, I remember back to my first Qantas Business Class flight from Perth to Sydney in 2005, when even though I held a Business Class ticket there was no domestic business lounge, and at that time I was not allowed to use the Qantas Club Lounge unless I first joined the Qantas Club, making it a very expensive cup of coffee. For me, this new Business Lounge is indicative of just how far Qantas' priorities have changed in relation to their domestic pointy end customers. It is also an excellent example of how market competition drives improvements for the customer, as after the collapse of Ansett and before Virgin Australia's entry into the marketplace Qantas pretty much had the business traveller segment sewn up. However, since Virgin Australia's transition to a full-service airline, Qantas' domestic Business Class has improved beyond recognition and is now almost indistinguishable from their international service; lie-flat beds, Neil Perry "Rockpool" food, priority boarding lines and now even dedicated lounges.
The Qantas Business Class Lounge is located on the main departure floor next to Gate 14. The Lounge is identifiable by sliding smoked glass doors with the Qantas logo on them. To the right-hand side of the doors, you will see a sign outlining the dress requirements for entry. The dress code is not too onerous, just do not turn up dressed for the beach and you should be fine. The Business Class Lounge is laid out in a U shape with the tables and chairs set alongside the windows and then the bars, food stations and facilities (toilets/showers) located in the centre. There is plenty of seating; you can choose from armchairs, stools and couches, and in all my visits I have always been able to find somewhere to sit with room to spread out.
The Lounge is a comfortable place in which to relax, the lighting is not overly bright and the selective use of carpets and window treatments mean that the room is relatively quiet, noise does not echo, and conversation is a pleasant hum. Dotted around the Lounge are large information displays showing arrival and departure information and the staff make regular flight announcements.
One of the first refreshment areas that you come across is the coffee bar serving barista made coffee. This prioritisation of coffee over, say alcohol, is illustrative of just how essential the cup of go-go juice has become for your Australian traveller. To hear an order for multiple coffees being placed is sometimes akin to listening to a foreign language and the barista's ability to not only decipher but also to remember all the specific instructions is a remarkable example of working memory. The baristas in the lounge are usually excellent, producing smooth, rich coffees at a phenomenal rate. There is even an app called 'skip', which you can download to your phone to expedite your coffee order.
The next service area you come to is the food station which takes up a large central island and the back wall of the lounge. Whatever time you are in the Lounge there is a hot food selection. As you can see from the pictures, my family and I were taking a morning flight, so eggs, sausages and toasties were the order of the day. However, if you come later, you will find options such as curries and salads as well as the usual selection of cheeses, cold meats and accompaniments. There is also a toasting machine, a sandwich press and a pancake maker which run throughout the day.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, there are deserts on offer; my favourites are the chocolate brownies. The food is excellent, and it never seems to run out, unlike in the Qantas Club where there is practically a stampede when the sausage rolls appear. The wow factor of the Perth Business Class lounge is provided by their freshly cooked pizzas, which are served daily from noon. They are mouthwateringly good, as they are prepared in house using fresh dough and high-quality ingredients. Very much proving the point that you do not have to be fancy to be great, all you need to do is focus on taste and freshness.
Past the food area and on the right-hand side you will find the bar. Now, the most important thing to know about the bar is that it opens at noon. Until then it just sits there looking inviting with condensation dripping off the beer taps and the wine bottles lit up like Christmas tree decorations.
The bar serves a good range of draft beer: James Squires' Fifty Lashes, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Heineken and Hahn Superdry as well as bottles of Kirin, Castlemaine XXXX, James Boag's Premium, Cooper's Pale Ale and Moretti. As far as spirits go you can pretty much choose form Beefeater Gin for a G&T, Bunderburg Rum for a rum & coke, Jack Daniels for a bourbon & coke and Chivas whiskey for a whiskey & coke (unless you are drinking it straight). I have never thought to see if the bar staff can get more creative than a spirit with a mixer, but I am pretty sure that if you asked for a Long Island Iced Tea, you would be politely declined. However, if your tastes do run towards cocktails, then during the week between 4 -5 pm there is Cocktail Hour, when special Rockpool Mixologists appear behind the bar to produce signature cocktails.
The wines, as ever with Qantas, are excellent; they always have a great selection of whites and reds which will generally include a sparkling white, a Semillon Blanc Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, a Cabinet Sauvignon, a Shiraz and a Pinot Noir. So, whatever your preference, you will hopefully find something you like. On my last visit, there was an excellent representation of Margaret River wines from Leeuwen Estate, Voyager Estate and Vasse Felix.
The toilets are always clean and well stocked with paper towels and nice smelling Aspar hand soap and creams. There are also shower facilities if you are looking to freshen up, all you have to is head over to the service counter and say you would like a shower and they will present you with a large plastic-wrapped pack of towels. If you are travelling domestically and you would like a shower, be sure to have one before you leave, as Business Class passengers are not allowed to use the Business Class Lounge upon arrival at their destination city.
The lounge has a couple of iMac computers that run both Mac and Windows operating systems as well as a laser printer. So, you can print off any last-minute documents before getting to your destination. I find it is always so much nicer to be able to hand the hotel check-in a piece of paper with my reservation details, rather than having to try to extract the booking confirmation email that I have buried in my inbox on my phone from 6 months ago. Scattered throughout the Lounge, you will find complementary mobile charging stations, though as there is no way to secure your phone you will probably not want to wander off, just in case. If you have brought a USB charging cable with you then they are pretty much redundant as the 240v plugs have USB charging points built into them.
Qantas has done a great job with their domestic Perth Business Class Lounge; the atmosphere is contemporary and relaxed, the furniture comfortable yet practical and the food and drink excellent. The lounge is a good size; not so large as to feel cavernous and not so small that you feel crammed in. The staff are very friendly and the Lounge is kept spotless, glasses and crockery are whisked away as soon as they are finished with. So whether you are looking to grab a quick cup of takeaway coffee, or if you need to while away a couple of hours with a shower, pizza and glass of red, then the Qantas Business Class lounge is the perfect place to visit. If you have enjoyed this review, I have also written some others you might find interesting:
Qantas Perth to Sydney Business Class Review
Qantas Melbourne to Perth Business Class Review
How to Get an Upgrade on Qantas
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