Emirates Lounge Sydney International Airport

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The Airline: Emirates.

The Lounge: Emirates Lounge at Sydney International.

The Location: On the arrivals level 1 near the transfer security check. Follow the signs to the lounge, then go down to level 1 using the elevator.

Time Of Visit: Morning.

Three Things We Loved: The decor, the selection of food, the service.


Emirates has the privilege of offering the first flight out of Sydney to Dubai - it departs at the rather unsociable hour of 6am, which means an extremely early alarm call wherever you happen to live. If you are travelling in Business or First Class, however, the pain is definitely made easier thanks to a limousine pick-up. Also, being the first flight out of the blocks that morning, checking-in and getting through immigration and customs was a breeze. Next stop was the Emirates Lounge. For any traveller having access to an airline lounge before flying is essential for many reasons. For one, on busy days, it provides you with a quiet sanctuary to escape the crowds. But on a practical level it's also a place where you can get some work done, take a shower between long haul flights, and get something half decent to eat. And if your flight happens to be delayed for any reason, you won't have to hang around the gate watching and waiting.

Facilities & Decor:

That morning, I had plenty of time to kill before setting off on my flight to Dubai. The lounge combines First and Business class passengers, and elite Skywards Gold members, but from my experience it was a true First Class lounge. For one, it was spacious with lots of nicely arranged areas for sitting, watching the flat screen TVs (which where thankfully on low volume or muted), or reading magazines. The decor was also bright and elegant, with nice touches of tiled floor areas, rich-coloured wood and warm beige couches all with a view of the runway. Being an early morning flight the lounge catered a full breakfast, which is ideal for the traveller who wants to eat before boarding, and then sleep their way to Dubai in a lie-flat. However as the cheery member of staff on reception told me, they do cater around the clock, changing the service according to the time of day. Being so early in the morning, I didn't have the stomach for a meal, but I have to admit the aromas were tempting, and the buffet of fruits was top notch. You also had a choice between comfy chairs or dining chairs and tables to enjoy your food. As for other essential facilities, there was a huge selection of magazines and newspapers, bar service, plasma TVs, showers, and a fully-equipped business centre with complimentary broadband.

The Verdict:

All in all, the hour spent waiting for the flight went by quickly, even though I was somewhat weary from the early start. I had a great selection of magazines to browse through, Sky News quietly humming on a plasma TV in the background, and decent cappuccino to sip on. Admittedly there were only a handful of people in the lounge due to the time of day, but I got the feeling that even if it was busy it would still be the quiet oasis which frequent travellers demand.

For more information on Emirates Lounges, visit www.emirates.com

Ben Hall