Anyone who has flown out of Sydney International Airport in the last year or so will know major works are on the go. I fly in and out of SYD International (T1) every eight weeks or so and each time I visit it’s different. Just when I think I have it figured out, they go and change it on me again. Airports are normally chaotic at the best of times, but all this construction just adds to the drama. I usually fly in the cheap seats and end up in killing time in Maccas (McDonalds for the non-Aussies!) so I was thrilled to have lounge access en route to our week long road trip around New Zealand’s stunning North Island. I’m no stranger to an airport lounge and I had high expectations that the Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport would be a cut above the rest. So did it live up to my expectations? Read on for all the details …
Let’s Get Social!
Finding Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport
Given the renovations currently underway we weren’t taking any chances and asked at check in where the lounge was located. High 5 to us for being ahead of the game right? Well you would think so … Our server advised the lounge was down the stairs near gate 57. Perfect. We would be departing from 58 so it should be pretty hard to miss. We walked around all the gates in the 50’s twice before admitting defeat and asking for directions again at the currency conversion kiosk. She mumbled something about a glass elevator and vaguely waved us off in the other direction. We finally located the elevator that would take us down to the elusive lounge near the entrance to the Heimann Duty Free (not the first one straight after X-ray the one further along near the departure gates). Annoyingly, we had been in the store 15 minutes beforehand stocking up on essentials (booze!) and had we glanced up we would have seen the signs. C’est La Vie.
Even if you can find the lounge, entrance to the Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport is sadly not open to everyone. We got our ticket to the game by virtue of blowing a bunch of frequent flyer points on our business class tickets on the Emirates flagship A380. They do check your boarding pass at the door so don’t even think about sneaking in! It was a little after 9am when the glass sliding doors parted and we were greeted by a very compact space. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting as a virgin visitor to an Emirates lounge, but given Emirates’ reputation for being one of the worlds premier airlines I expected a ‘wow’ moment I didn’t get. The lounge was on par, although a lot smaller, than a Virgin Australia domestic lounge and felt somewhat unworthy of being reserved for Emirates’ very best customers. I swallowed my initially disappointment and checked out the rest of the facilities. A functional business centre, lavish bathrooms and comfy seats were all squeezed in to the limited available space. The wi-fi is free and all your favourite mags are on offer.
Food & Drink
After a quick scan of our surroundings we decided to make a bee line for breakfast. There was both a hot and cold buffet serving all the breakfast staples and a dedicated dining area set out restaurant style. Not being a big breakfast eater, I went for a simple plate of sausages, pancakes and fruit toast followed by some fruit. Again I was underwhelmed and failed to finish everything on my plate. I wasn’t too worried though as I was anticipating a fabulous lunch to be served in business class as we sped across the Tasman shortly.
A full bar is offered including a large selection of spirits and of course top shelf champagne. Veuve Clicquot anyone? This is one area that the Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport has it all over the competition. But did I mention it was 9am? I opted for the water instead. I know right? Turning down free Veuve … Lightweight!
The Final Word
I’ve been in many an airport lounge in my time and I was expecting my very first visit to an Emirates lounge to be a little more ‘wow’, but save for the premium booze the Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport is on par with every other lounge I had been in up until that point. Don’t get me wrong, it was way better than than hard plastic seat at Macca’s, but I was expecting more. That said, Emirates redeemed themselves big time when we visited the Emirates Lounge at Auckland International airport before we flew home on Emirates A380 in first class. Auckland’s lounge is streets ahead of Sydney and has a fabulous atmosphere that encourages you to linger.
Have you been to the Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport? Do you think I’m being too harsh? Feel free to bring me down a peg or two in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I paid for my business class ticket on Emirates which afforded me access to the Emirates lounge Sydney International Airport with frequent flyer points. As always, all opinions are my own.
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