American Express Lounge, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport

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If you’re not travelling at the pointy end of the plane, but you hold the right Amex card, the American Express Sydney lounge is a worthy competitor to premium airline lounges, and is a cozy haven in which to enjoy a bit of pre-flight comfort.

The Airline: None, as it’s for selected American Express cardholders only. 

The Lounge: American Express Lounge, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

Location: The International Terminal (T1) next to Gate 24.

Other Airlines: It’s all about which American Express card you hold, not which airline you’re flying with. A few eligible cards include the Explorer Card, Platinum Reserve Card and Qantas American Express Ultimate Card. 


Around six years ago American Express opened its first Australian airport lounge in  Sydney, and it has since followed up with a second lounge at Melbourne Airport, in the International Terminal (T2) at Satellite Level Departures. To enter either lounge you have to hold one of a specific lineup of American Express cards, and they’re open from 6am to 11pm daily. So if you are travelling in economy, you don’t have airline lounge membership, or this is just more convenient on departure day, the lounge has everything you need from real barista-made coffee to quiet areas in which to relax or do a spot of work before flying. It was ideal for me the day I visited the Sydney Lounge, as I was flying to Asia from the Gold Coast with an airline which doesn’t have a lounge partner, and fortunately I had one of the right Amex cards to get myself inside. Beyond the impressive living wall at reception, I found the lounge to be generous in size, with a design typical of many premium airline lounges today; lots of brown, natural wood and earth tones, plush carpeting, and plenty of natural light. The seating was a combination of comfy armchairs with side tables, two-seat couches, and rows of benches with high stools.

Food & Drink

My wife, who had visited the lounge en route to Singapore a few years ago, warned me to expect a warm welcome. She was right. Upon entry you’re greeted friendly staff who explained to me what was on offer including the food options. I’d had breakfast on my flight down to Sydney so I wasn’t particularly hungry, but on inspection the offerings were good on whole with everything complimentary, including a buffet with hot and cold selections, specialty coffees made by a barista and a full bar. I opted to grab a newspaper and put the barista to test with a nicely made cappuccino.


Besides a contemporary design, the lounge had the usual lineup of essential facilities including plenty of AC and USB power ports for charging essentials, wall mounted TVs which were mostly on mute, free Wi-Fi, soft background music, and a good choice of newspapers and magazines to read. The lounge does have toilets, but there are no showers if you are in between long haul flights. Loves 

  • The coffee was great.
  • The tarmac views.
  • The design - it’s a nicely laid out lounge with plenty of nooks and crannies. 

Insider Tips

  • As a card holder you have unlimited complimentary access to the lounges, and you can bring children up to the age of 17 and up to two guests into the lounge per visit.


Ben Hall


  • 4
    Use It All The Time

    Posted by Barry Goode on 4th Dec 2018

    I have used this quite a lot in the past few years as I'm not always travelling in business class. Lovely lounge, the only thing is it's not always convenient for all the gates, but you just have to build in time to get there.

  • 1
    The Cards

    Posted by Josh V on 4th Dec 2018

    I have an Amex but they wouldn't let me in....not the right one evidently :(