A few months ago I wrote about the problem Qantas had with their Singapore lounge. It is a shared business and first class lounge, and was built when Qantas A380 flights to London routed via Dubai, rather than via Singapore, as they do now.
While the lounge is generally well regarded, by far its biggest problem is overcrowding, to the point where Qantas was forced to send some eligible customers to other third party lounges.
The other problem was that when Qantas moved A380 services (with first class) back to Singapore, there were a lot more lounge guests, and no real first class features for passengers given in the Singapore lounge, beyond a reserved table and the offer of a glass of champagne.
Contrast this with the fantastic first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, where passengers receive menus, cooked to order food and spa treatments.
Qantas was stuck here — they didn’t seem to have any additional space where the current lounge was located to expand. Singapore is Qantas’ largest foreign hub.
Fortunately Qantas has this week announced a solution to their Singapore lounge problems — they are building a first class lounge as well as increasing capacity in the existing business class lounge.
The new Singapore first lounge, set to open in late 2019, will feature capacity for 240 guests and will have a la carte dining (as in other Qantas first lounges), with an Asian flavour developed by their long time celebrity chef Neil Perry. It will also feature shower suites, though it looks like it will not include any spa treatments/massage rooms.
Qantas has confirmed to AusBT that the first lounge will not be located in the same location as the business class lounge — instead of being in the Terminal 1C Pier, the new Singapore first lounge will be located in the Terminal 1D Pier (presumably as this was the only place where they could find sufficient space to build the new lounge).
The existing Singapore (business class) lounge will have its capacity extended to almost 600 people by adding chairs in some currently unused space, so with be a sizable lounge.
With first class and oneworld Emerald passengers moving to the new first lounge, hopefully the overcrowding will be a thing of the past once the two lounge are both operating.
This is a great solution for Qantas.
I expect the new first lounge will be outstanding — as an airline, I think they do new premium lounges really well.
Have you visited the Qantas lounge in Singapore?