My flight back to Singapore from Brisbane was on economy class via Qantas. I have Priority Pass and Lounge Key, hence I still have access to lounges while I wait to board.
I’m usually an early bird, but a myriad of factors prevented me from getting to the lounge early. My wife and I missed the train to the airport at Roma Street Station. I must say that the airport train comes frequently enough. Still, it was time lost and little things do add up. Furthermore, we had to claim a small amount of GST at the airport. This is one of my least favourite process to go through. We probably spent about 30 min just on claiming GST.
I looked at my watch; It is now 11.15am and my boarding pass states that we’re suppose to start boarding at 11.15am. I gave up on going to the lounge. This was when my wife asked if we could buy something to eat. We both haven’t had breakfast and she was understandably famished. I looked at the screen, we weren’t boarding yet, not even close.
I passed her my International MCO Visa card and told her to buy whatever she wanted to eat when I suddenly thought to myself, “Why don’t we just go to the lounge for a quick bite. It wouldn’t matter if it’s just 5 mins as I have unlimited access anytime, anywhere, anyway!”
It turned out to be the best decision. What turned out to be a “quick bite” turned into a full on review!
I have unlimited access with Lounge Key and have two free Priority (PP) pass so this is plenty. Here’s the thing, I was told upfront that PP users don’t get access to the alcohol section but Lounge Key and other users have!
In this case, it didn’t matter to me as I was planning for a quick bite and wasn’t planning to drink. But I can imagine other travellers having to bare the brunt of some cost-saving measures by PP!
I started snapping pictures whilst keeping at eye out on the boarding notice. Here’s the rest of the story in pictures:
This lounge was surprisingly empty. I don’t think opportunity will present itself in such a manner ever again.
After I had my fill (there was strangely still no boarding call at this point). I decided to check out the restrooms. Restrooms are often a good indicator of the general condition of the lounge. I left impressed.
At this point, there was no boarding call on the screen yet even though it was 11.35pm. I’m starting to get a little nervous as the flight is at 12pm and the gate had shifted from the close proximity of this lounge to a slight distance away. I took my chances and went on to snap more pictures:
At this point, I had pretty much taken all the photos I wanted. This was when I had the opportunity to chat with the Luisa the supervisor/manager. I told her I operated a blog and that I was really impressed with this lounge. The staff were friendly, the food was good, and the place was clean. She then pointed to me that there was also the cook-to-order section. How could I have missed it! She got one of the staff to prepare a bowl for me.
She mentioned that this lounge caters for other business class passengers that don’t have a lounge of their own unlike Qantas or SIA. Still, this lounge deserves a standing ovation. I’ve been to a number of pay per use lounges and this is by far the best that I’ve been to under that category. I’m sure others do exist to rival this, but until then, it deserves my number 1 ranking.
It is now 11.50am and to my horror, the screen suddenly flashed boarding. I was in a mild state of panic. I had to forgo that bowl of laksa and was really apologetic as the staff was already making it halfway. I hurried my wife who was at this point in the restroom.
We made it to the boarding gate uneventfully. Wish I could have tried that laksa…