Qantas Regional Lounges offer all of the essentials, but compared to Qantas Club Lounges, the services and amenities are quite limited.
Most regional lounges are self-contained, and occasionally attended by local ground staff rather than dedicated lounge staff. The regional lounges are also typically smaller in size, and provide a limited selection of refreshments and beverages.
Although the Rockhampton Qantas Regional Lounge provides a private space for frequent flyers and lounge members to relax in, it lacks a ‘standout’ feature as such. Considering that some other newly renovated regional lounges have set the bar rather high, the Rockhampton lounge is rather outdated and does not feel as exclusive.
Lounge details and location
The Rockhampton Qantas Regional Lounge is situated right next to the QantasLink check-in counters. It is also located before security gates, meaning that extra time should be accounted for going through security before boarding.
The lounge can be accessed by entering an access code on the keypad on the lounge door.
The access code is shown on your boarding pass, and normally the check-in staff will point it out after printing the boarding pass. Alternatively, you can find the code on your digital boarding pass in your Qantas app.
The opening hours for this lounge are a little bit ambiguous, as there are signs around stating that the lounge will open 90 minutes before each Qantas departure, whilst other signs say 60 minutes.
After checking with local ground staff, they confirmed that the lounge officially opens one hour prior each Qantas operated service until the last Qantas departure of the day.
The rectangular shape of the lounge does not allow for a very creative layout; therefore, the chairs are arranged in rows around small coffee tables, seating approximately 30 people.
Whilst the lounge was only half full during my visit, it can get quite crowded during peak hours or when there are delayed or cancelled flights.
In order to prevent the lounge from getting too crammed, there is an unattended storage space where customers can store their bags and hanging garments.
There are frosted windows on the back wall of the lounge, which are mostly covered with blinds. This means that there are no views from the lounge whatsoever, and the natural light coming through is minimal.
A small work station is located in the corner of the lounge for travellers who wish to get some work done. The station seats only two people, so ‘first in, first serve’ rule applies.
The work station has four power points located on the wall, alongside with two ethernet cable ports.
If you wish to sit down and have devices on charge at the same time, it is best to opt for a work station, as power points are placed rather inconveniently across the lounge, with little to none near the seating areas.
Food and drink
The Rockhampton Qantas Regional Lounge does not offer any fresh food items or hot alternatives, instead, there is a range of snacks including crackers, nuts, pretzels and biscuits.
As there is no dedicated lounge staff present, the customers can help themselves to tea and coffee. Whilst tea drinkers can find the usual selection of Dilmah teas, a Nespresso machine is provided for all the coffee-lovers.
It should be noted that there is no separate milk frother, so chilled milk for tea and coffee can be found in a jug in the drinks fridge.
The fridge provides a selection of water, mineral water, soft drinks and juice. The assortment is somewhat limited, as there is only coke, coke zero and lemonade to choose from in terms of the soft drink variety.
The juices are also provided in jugs, rather than small bottles, making the overall presentation rather poor.
The left side of the fridge is stocked with a small selection of wines and beers, however, it must be noted that this side of the fridge remains locked until 12 p.m. so having an alcoholic beverage before midday is a no-no.
Overall the selection of refreshments and beverages is not bad, as it provides enough options for a quick bite before flights.
However, as QantasLink often caters a similar combination of snacks on board, the lounge could be improved by expanding the assortment of food and drinks they offer, and possibly adding more substantial food items to their menu, such as pre-made salads or sandwiches.
Perhaps a pancake machine or a selection of cereals could be arranged for people who do not find nuts, crackers or biscuits very appetising early in the morning.
This could still maintain the lounge’s self-serve arrangement, but also considerably enhance the overall image of the lounge.
This lounge is very small in size and therefore does not provide any shower facilities. There is a unisex single-cubicle bathroom that fulfils its purpose, but does not necessarily conform to Qantas’ standards.
During peak periods of early mornings when the lounge gets quite busy, there is a high possibility that you might have to wait in line to use the bathroom facilities.
Complimentary Qantas Lounge Wi-Fi is available at a reasonable speed for basic web browsing, with the speed test showing 10 Mbps download and 8 Mbps upload speeds.
There is also a selection of magazines and daily newspapers to read.
The two TVs on the walls keep you updated with the local news and daily departures information.
Lounge access options
You can access this lounge:
- By eligible class of travel: Qantas and Emirates Business- and First Class passengers on connecting international flights and same day domestic flights (there is no Business- or First Class on QantasLink flights from Rockhampton) (+1 guest for Qantas customers in Business- and First Class; +1 guest for Emirates First Class passengers)
- By airline frequent flyer status: Qantas Gold (+1 guest) and higher (+2 guests) travelling on a Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar on a oneworld operated of marketed flight
- By airline partner frequent flyer status: Emirates Gold or higher (+1 guest) travelling on a Qantas or Emirates flight; Air New Zealand Gold or Elite (+1 guest) travelling on a Qantas flight with an NZ code
- By alliance frequent flyer status: Sapphire and Emerald oneworld members travelling on a oneworld operated and marketed flight (+1 guest); International Business (no guest) or International First (+1 guest) travelling on a Qantas domestic flight connecting to or from a oneworld flight in international Business or First, respectively, on the same day
- By Qantas Club membership: Qantas Club members and Annual Guest Card holders travelling on a Qantas or Jetstar flight (+1 guest)
- By day pass: from achieving Qantas Silver Frequent Flyer status
Other Qantas Regional lounge overviews
Although Rockhampton airport is one of the major regional airports in Queensland, the Qantas Regional Lounge is currently the only airline lounge operating in the airport, giving Qantas a competitive advantage over other airlines flying in- and out of Rockhampton.
The mining operations in Central Queensland attract a variety of miners and other mining industry professionals from across the country. Travellers who fly frequently for work purposes are often willing to pay premium price for travel, or for the Qantas Club membership, and therefore appreciate the comfort and convenience whilst travelling.
Even though the Rockhampton lounge provides all the basics, it comes down to expectations. Most Qantas frequent flyers who have been to other lounges, whether in regional areas or metropolitan cities, are likely to be disappointed in the services provided in the Rockhampton lounge.
What is great
- Having a separate lounge space to relax and work in
- Reasonable range of snack food to help yourself to
- Decent WiFi speed
What is not great
- Outdated design and limited amenities
- Located before security
- No views or natural light
- Not enough power points
- Limited choice of beverages and substantial food options
- Only open one hour before each Qantas departure