In this Sydney airport lounges guide we will review every single lounge available to passengers at the airport – from airline and alliance lounges to independent paid-for entry lounge.
Sydney Kingsford Smith airport (IATA code: SYD) has 3 terminals and is the busiest airport in Australia. It is located in the suburb of Mascot on Botany Bay about 8km south of the Sydney CBD.
If you are looking for lounges from major airlines or a paid-for-entry VIP lounge at Sydney then please read on…
We will explain access rules for each Sydney lounge. The lounges are also marked by alliance and whether entry is possible by payment, via the Priority Pass or DragonPass annual lounge access programs or directly by American Express Platinum cards.
Click here for a special Black Friday 2019 15%-40% discount on annual Priority Pass membership which provides access to some 1,300 lounges worldwide. This includes 2 Sydney lounges and credit at 8 airport bar-restaurants.
We will look at each Sydney airport terminal:
Terminal 1 – This is the T1 international terminal which serves all international departures and arrivals.
Terminal 2 – This is a domestic terminal which was formerly the home of the old Ansett Australia. It serves the likes of Jetstar, Tigerair and Virgin Australia.
Terminal 3 – This is a domestic terminal used by Qantas and Qantas Link flights.
See here for detailed official maps of the airport by terminal.
Sydney T1 Lounges
Air New Zealand Lounge
[STAR ALLIANCE] – This modern and spacious lounge facility is 1,450m2 and seats 300. It features different spaces including a ‘food theatre’ station, cocktail/espresso bar, business area, quiet zone, shower suites, newspapers/magazines and some views of the runway/apron. There are plenty of charging points for devices.
Access is granted to Business Premier passengers on Air New Zealand and business class/first class passengers on Star Alliance carriers (including Air Canada, ANA, Asiana and Thai Airways).
Entrance is also granted to Air New Zealand Airpoints Elite/Gold and Star Alliance Gold members travelling on Air New Zealand or any Star Alliance airline. Air New Zealand Koru members also get access if flying on Air New Zealand. Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (worldwide) and United Club members can also access if flying on Star Alliance.
The lounge is located near gate 56 on the mezzanine level above the departure gates, next to Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge.
American Express Lounge
[AMEX PLATINUM/CENTURION] – This contemporary lounge was renewed and expanded in October 2019 and is operated by Plaza Premium Group.
The 600m2 lounge features a range of comfortable seating, long work tables, a full service bar, barista coffee, a food buffet with live cooking station, dining area, 3 shower suites, free WiFi and newspapers/magazines.
Access is generally granted to Australian and international American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders. Card members can bring up to 2 guests plus children 0-17.
Other selected high-end Australian-issued Amex cards (such as Qantas Ultimate Card and Westpac Altitude Black Card) offer 2 lounge visits per year. Additional visits are charged at AU$55.
The lounge is located near gates 50-63, on the mezzanine level above the departure gates.
Qantas International Business Lounge T1
[ONEWORLD] – The Qantas lounge features a bar, barista coffee, dining area with waiter service, gelato station, children’s playroom, showers, business area, newspapers/magzines, free WiFi and restricted views of the apron. The lounge does look a little bit dated and Qantas plans a staged refurbishment and expansion which should be completed in 2020.
Access is available to business and first class customers flying Qantas, Qantas codeshare flights or Oneworld carriers and Jetstar Business Max passengers.
Qantas Gold/Platinum/Platinum One get access if flying Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates, China Eastern or Oneworld airlines. Qantas Club members get access if flying Qantas or Jetstar.
Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald elite members get access if flying on any Oneworld carrier on the day.
The lounge is located on level 3 (one floor above departures) near Gates 9/10 with entry via escalators.
Qantas International First Lounge T1
[ONEWORLD] – This is the Qantas premium flagship lounge at Sydney – although opened back in 2007 it remains one of the world’s best airline lounges. Like the business lounge, the First lounge is due to be refurbished and expanded in 2020.
The lounge has a real retro feel with marble and wooden (American oak) separators and an old-fashioned large mechanical departures board. Floor-to-ceiling angled windows provide lots of natural light and great apron views.
Facilities include a LaGaia Spa (complimentary 20 minute treatments can be booked, open 0800-1600), 8 shower suites, bar and Rockpool restaurant, office area/meeting rooms, library, children’s corner, newspapers/magazines and free WiFi.
Youtube flight reviewer Dennis Bunnik, a Qantas Platinum member often films himself in the Sydney First lounge consuming the famed house-special salt and pepper squid(!)
Access is granted to first class passengers on Qantas, Emirates and Oneworld carriers. Access is also available to Qantas Platinum/Platinum One Frequent Flyers, Chairman’s Lounge and Oneworld Emerald members.
The first class is located one floor above the Qantas international business lounge, accessible by escalator.
[PAID] – Emirates has a comfortable and functional lounge including a bar and buffet, dining area, rest area, newspapers/magazines and shower facilities. The beige decor is perhaps not be to everyone’s taste(!)
Access is granted to business and first class passengers on Emirates/Qantas. Entry is also available to Emirates iO, Emirates Skywards Platinum/Gold and Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum One/Platinum/Gold or Chairman’s Lounge members travelling on Emirates/Qantas.
Paid access is possible for Emirates economy passengers – access costs US$100 (Skywards members), US$130 (non-members) plus local GST.
The Emirates Sydney lounge is located in the departures area near gate 58.
Open Summer 0400-0720 and 1235-2040; Winter 0400-0815 and 1325-2115.
The House (Etihad)
[PAID][PRIORITY PASS][DRAGONPASS] – This is the former Etihad lounge which is now operated by No1 Lounges and is open to paying customers.
This elegant lounge has à la carte dining with full waiter service, bar and buffet, barista coffee plus fresh juices/smoothies, children’s playroom, shower facilities, business area, newspapers/magazines and free WiFi.
Paid access is available from AU$80 pre-booked online (AU$90 at-the-door). Access is granted to Etihad The Residence and First Class passengers; also business class ticket holders flying Etihad and Virgin Australia.
The following elite frequent flyers can access: Gold and Platinum members of Etihad Guest and Virgin Australia Velocity when flying either Etihad or Virgin Australia. In addition, Virgin Australia Lounge members can enter if flying Virgin Australia to New Zealand.
Finally Priority Pass and DragonPass members can access The House if paying an upgrade fee of AU$20.
The lounge can be found after security at pier C, follow signs for gates 51-63.
Open 0530-2130. Book The House Sydney lounge here
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
[STAR ALLIANCE] – The lounge offers bar/buffet with Western and Asian options, comfortable seating, private work cubicles, 2 shower suites, apron/runway views and free WiFi.
There is a small section for First Class passengers which has a bar/buffet and an à la carte dining service.
Access is available to business and first class customers on Singapore Airlines and other Star Alliance carriers. Frequent flyer access is offered to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer elite (Elite Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club) and Star Alliance Gold card holders. Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (worldwide) and United Club members can also access if flying on Star Alliance.
The lounge can be found after security on the mezzanine level near gate 59.
The general consensus is many Star Alliance travellers prefer the adjacent Air New Zealand lounge which is larger, more stylish and has better coffee.
[SKYTEAM][DRAGONPASS] -The Sydney Skyteam lounge is operated by Plaza Premium Group and is 784m2 seating 140 guests.
Facilities include bar-buffet and dining area, business zone, ample charging points, free WiFi and airport views. There is a wellness centre which features 4 massage chairs and showers.
Access is granted to first and business class on a same-day flight departure with a Skyteam airline – from Sydney that is China Airlines/China Eastern/China Southern/Delta Airlines/Garuda Indonesia/Korean Air/Vietnam Airlines/XiamenAir.
Skyteam Elite Plus members can access if flying on a same-day departure on Skyteam in any class. DragonPass members get entrance and paid access is also possible from US$57 (around AU$80).
The lounge is located on the mezzanine level near gate 24.
Open 0600-2200. Book the Skyteam Sydney lounge here
Regus Express Office Lounge Sydney T1
[PAID][DRAGONPASS] – Regus, the flexible office and workspace provider has a small Regus Express lounge near the T1 international arrivals area (outside security) of Sydney airport. It is located across the taxi lane and on level 8 of the Central Terrace Building.
This office lounge contains comfy seats, workspaces, basic snacks and beverages. There is a shower facility but no towels are provided. Private meeting rooms can also be hired.
Basic lounge access is granted to Regus BusinessWorld members and DragonPass holders. Paid entry is also possible.
Open 0830-1700 Monday to Friday.
Plaza Premium Lounge Sydney T1
[OPENING 2020] – Plaza Premium Group is planning to open a dedicated paid lounge in the first quarter of 2020. The lounge will be located in the former American Express lounge, near gate 24 and the Skyteam lounge.
The lounge will be available to paying passengers and American Express Platinum card holders. It is likely Priority Pass and DragonPass members will get access, though we await confirmation.
Sydney T2 Lounges
Virgin Australia The Lounge
[PAID][AMEX PLATINUM] – Virgin Australia has a large lounge located in Sydney’s domestic terminal T2. The space previously hosted the Ansett Golden Wing Lounge.
This spacious facility is spread over 2 floors and offers bar/buffet area, barista coffee, lots of seating, business area, showers, newspapers/magazines and some limited apron/runway views. Note, the upstairs section only opens at peak times.
Access is granted to Virgin Australia business class passengers, Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum and Gold members and Virgin Australia Lounge program members. A single entry pass can be purchased for AU$65, open 2 hours before your Virgin Australia flight departure.
American Express Platinum card holders get access when flying Virgin Australia. This is an official benefit of Australian-issued cards, though we have heard of holders from other countries getting entry.
The lounge can be accessed either via the Premium Entry channel (for eligible Virgin Australia premium and elite customers) or directly from the terminal, just after security.
Virgin Australia The Club
This is a small private lounge at Sydney T2 domestic for Virgin Australia invitation-only members (similar to Qantas Chairman’s Lounge).
The lounge offers the usual lounge facilities and also includes à la carte dining and a more personal service.
Regional Express Lounge
[PAID][PRIORITY PASS] – The very compact Rex Lounge is available to paying passengers of Australian domestic airline Regional Express. The lounge offers basic snacks/drinks, a small business station, massage chairs, newspapers/magazines, free WiFi and some apron views. Note, alcoholic drinks are only made available after 1500.
Entrance is granted to passengers who pay the AU$33 entrance fee. The airline also sells an annual Rex Lounge membership – this also requires members to give their fingerprints. Priority Pass members also get access.
The Regional Express lounge is located past security adjacent to the G2 departure lounge.
Sydney T3 Lounges
Qantas Domestic Business Lounge T3
[ONEWORLD] – This is the flagship Qantas domestic lounge for premium and elite passengers – it is a slightly better lounge experience than at the Qantas Club (below). It can get very busy at peak times.
Facilities include a good variety of seating, all day dining buffet, barista coffee, work stations and business area, showers, apron views and free WiFi.
Access is granted to Qantas business class passengers, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum/Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members, Emirates Skyward Platinum and iO and Oneworld Emerald members. First and business class passengers on Qantas/Emirates/Oneworld connecting to a domestic flight also get entry.
The Qantas lounges are located on the departures level opposite gates 4 and 5.
Open 0500 until last QF T3 departure.
Qantas Club T3
[ONEWORLD] – The Qantas Club is a spacious lounge area at terminal 3 for domestic flights. It can also get very busy at peak times.
The lounge is very open with lots of natural light from large windows giving apron views. Facilities include a large number of seats, self-service bar-buffet, barista coffee, children’s corner, work stations, showers and free WiFi.
Access is granted to Qantas business class passengers, Qantas Club members, Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold/Platinum/Platinum One members, Emirates Skyward Gold/Platinum and iO, Oneworld Emerald/Sapphire members, Alaska Lounge members and Alaska MVP Gold/Gold 75K members. First and business class passengers on Qantas/Emirates connecting to a domestic flight also get entry.
The Qantas lounges are located on the departures level opposite gates 4 and 5.
Open 0500 until last QF T3 departure.
Qantas Chairman’s Lounge
This lounge is similar in style to the Qantas First lounge at T1. It offers personal service, à la carte dining, library area, newspapers/magazines, showers and private meeting rooms
Access is granted to Chairman’s Lounge members (invitation-only) and Emirates iO members.
The Qantas Chairman’s Lounge is located between the Qantas Club and Domestic Business Class lounge.
Sydney Airport Lounges Summary
Sydney Airport Lounges By Numbers: 15 Sydney airport lounges 14 airside lounges 12 airline lounge 9 lounges Sydney T1 3 lounges Sydney T2 3 lounges Sydney T1 3 independent lounges 3 DragonPass lounges 2 Priority Pass lounges 1 office lounge
Sydney Airport Lounges with Priority Pass: The House (extra supplement applies) and Rex Lounge. AU$36 credit is currently given at the following SYD cafe/restaurants: Better Burger (T1), Chicken Confidential (T1), Mach2 (T1), Peroni Bar (T1), Bistro 2020 & Bar (T2), MoVida (T2), Bar Roma (T3) and Wok on Air (T3).
American Express lounges at Sydney: Amex Lounge (T1) plus entry to Virgin Australia lounge (T2) to Amex Platinum cardholders.
Star Alliance Gold members at Sydney get access to Air New Zealand Lounge and Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge.