By Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith is Concierge Connections’ first guest writer. He is a professional frequent flyer, as well as ‘professional floater’. Below he gives us an insight into his recent experience of the Qantas Lounge in Perth.

Time of visit: 06.30-08.15 Friday 21st September 2012

Star Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Qantas Club in Perth Terminal 1 (home of Jetstar, Qantas and QantasLink) was, to be honest, just a touch disappointing.

While providing some fantastic views out towards to the international terminal across the runway, there is very little to see in terms of interesting architecture or visual elements. The plain white walls even lack an Ikea print to spruce things up, which makes the space very clinical (and not in the good way). While I normally love cold clinical airline lounges – Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Brisbane and Gold Coast lounges are ice cold in terms of style, yet still manage to be warm and welcoming and really cool places to be – I couldn’t handle the touches of maroon red that were lost against the great cream and brown furniture Qantas has installed.  There is a clear lacking of chairs during peak time (which from my three visits at three completely different times seems to be 24/7) and while the lounge was recently dramatically increased in size, it took me close to 10 minutes on each occasion to locate an empty chair. I think that this situation is also not helped by the fact that the chairs have been arranged in groups of four as opposed to twos, which just made those who didn’t want to share spread out even more. This task of chair hunting grew old quickly and frankly made me wonder why on earth such a configuration would be chosen, especially when the vast majority of passengers seemed to be solo miner workers.

After finding a chair, I hit up the buffet selections. All domestic Qantas Clubs’ have the same food essentially (give or take a few “specials” of the day), consisting on this occassion of salads, cheese, biscuits, soup, and hot bread and butter pudding. With about 6 kinds of bread to choose from (including a Gluten Free option for our celiac friends) and a quick commercial toaster, I had some toast followed by an attempt at a coconut yoghurt which was one of the foulest tasting things I have recently attempted to eat. Washing this down with the stock standard Berri 3 litre unnatural apple juice Qantas insist on placing at the forefront of their breakfast drinks offering, I pondered why they don’t invest in having a juicer machine and a whole bunch of fresh fruits for people to make their own (a la classy hotel breakfast buffet style). This seems a somewhat cheap, yet very classy and cool option, and is definitely something the team at Virgin haven’t bought out yet.  Moving on, I found myself presented with coffee, served by a barista, which was more McCafe than café style when I finally got my morning latte. This was thankfully the final straw at the Perth club as my flight was boarding, thus saving me from the watered down coffee.

It was not all bad though. The main positive for me was the shower facilities. After not having booked a hotel in Perth for my short layover, I did make use of the showers to freshen up before continuing to Darwin. The shower pack given by front desk staff (who are always more than happy to oblige, giving you anything from towels to shaving kits!) was warmly welcomed. In addition, the shower gels and shampoos that accompanied were of the Payot Spa range which are always a delight, even if to just open and woft in the aromas.

All in all, the Perth Qantas Club is head and shoulders above all U.S. Domestic lounges and all of AirCanada’s domestic lounges, but when compared to others in the Qantas network it is somewhat lacking and an experience which I could give or take. If you’re in Perth and have access, you might as well give it a go, but I would recommend that you only spend the time that you need to there; instead explore Perth, it’s a great city!

For more information, please see: http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/lounge-locations/perth/domestic/the-qantas-club/global/en

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