Review: Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge Sydney (And the Secret Shortcut to the Lounge)

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After a great time visiting my family in the Sydney suburbs and staying at the Park Hyatt Sydney for four nights it was time to move on.

Since we were in Sydney anyway Singapore seemed pretty much close enough, a short-ish flight away and an opportunity to eat some great food. Singapore is one of my favorite food cities in the world along with Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

After Singapore our next stop would be Paris. So what I had done was book a one-way Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Suites award from Sydney to Paris with a stopover in Singapore using points transferred in from my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

The stopover on a one way cost a hundred dollars and had to be booked by phone. The ticket was booked before Singapore eliminated the 15% online booking discount and also eliminated fuel surcharges for their own flights. I got the 15% discount even by phone but did pay fuel surcharges on the ticket.

We’d be taking Singapore Suites from Sydney to Singapore, which also meant visiting the first class side of the Singapore Airlines lounge in the Sydney airport.

Check-in at the international terminal after arriving by Uber was quick.

Departure passport control and security were quick and it was time to head to the lounge. The Sydney airport is one of the most advanced at funneling passenger traffic through all sorts of shops hoping to encourage you to make purchases on the way to lounge or gate, but fortunately there’s a short cut and I’ve written about it before.

When you finish security here’s what you are looking at. Most people will head to the left.

However when you clear security walk to your right following the signs for the tax refund office instead of heading to the left towards gates.

Just walk down that corridor and you’ll pass the refund office and see signs for gates 50-63 which serve Etihad, Emirates, Singapore and Air New Zealand.

Following the signs you’ve still got a reasonable walk but you’ve skipped the duty free route along the way. You’ll head upstairs to the lounge.

Singapore agents will check your credentials and as a first class passenger you’ll be directed through a door on the right instead of heading left into the business lounge.

The first class side of the lounge is essentially three areas.

  • A small sitting area
  • A buffet dining area
  • Another larger sitting area with workstations and windows looking out over airport operations

The sitting area you come upon when you first enter the lounge, without views, was empty so we decided to camp out there.

A staff member immediately came by to offer drinks and share the menu of cooked-to-order items.

I ordered satay and laksa, and took a walk around to see the rest of the lounge.

The dining room is dark, I didn’t really want to spend time there, but it was well-provisioned with buffet items and self-serve drinks (though staff will get you drinks and you can order off a menu). There wasn’t anyone sitting in the dining room while I was in the lounge.

The two or three other passengers in the first class lounge during my visit stayed in the seating areas by the window line.

Back at my own seat in the room off the lounge’s entryway the food I ordered was delivered. The satay was very good for airport satay in fact though while a smaller portion than what Singapore serves in the Private Room in Singapore I thought it was more flavorful.

And while the laksa isn’t what you can get in Singapore or Malaysia, or even as good as the inflight laksa Singapore serves off their Book the Cook menu departing Singapore, it was still very good laksa and something I’d thrilled to be able to get in the United States.

After some laksa and satay it was time to head over to the gate. It’s a first class lounge, the service in the lounge is great, but there’s not extensive ground service like coming to you at boarding time and taking you to the gate once boarding has commenced. We were on our own.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. You can use the SQ F lounge if flying TG F SYD-BKK despite TG BP would “invite” you to the zoo-like NZ lounge pretty much a few steps next door. We were on an UA award flying TG F SYD-BKK-HKG. (it was only 40K – about the best value on almost all charts, but would be 66K come Nov 1st – another selective big devaluation from UA).

    It is quite sad to see the once great NZ lounge in SYD (Koru Club?) to turn into the rather basic lounge after they changed the concept a few years ago. When we dropped by last year in the morning flight bank, the NZ lounge was so crowded that you could not find a seat to sit down, let alone a place other than your lap to hold the very mediocre breakfast offerings (much like the domestic hotel’s lounge breakfast, that was how mediocre it was.)

    On top of that the passengers were quite rude, aggressively defending their precious space that they might have to wait long to get. My husband was scolded by a lady when he just sat down on an empty seat seemingly without any claim laid on it – the lady yelled at him, “my husband just left to get some breakfast!”. OK then….

    Since we held TG F BPs I said to husband, let me go to the SQ side to check if we had access. Sure enough, we were very welcome there. So we quickly moved to the SQ F lounge. Had the laksa myself while husband opted for some egg dish,

    There were only 3 other passengers dropped by, all came near the time we were about to leave. I assume they are on the NZ flights. Very quiet the whole time at the F side. We did not check out the business class side.

    I wonder how is the comparison miles wise between an SQ F SYD-SIN-CDG versus TG F SYD-BKK-CDG, when TG flies the 380 on the BKK-CDG route.

  2. I despise Singapore lounges, first business or the gold lounges for what its worth, all show and no substance. I have never seen such poor food served with such high price tags, disgusting is the closest description. You want to see a good quality lounge, try ANY turkish lounge.

  3. You’ve got to stop writing flavorful! It’s just not a word outside the USA, and it makes Australians, English, Irish and Kiwi people giggle because it is so ludicrous. It’s like calling a hot day “thirstful” or an attractive person “sexful”.

    There is a real word with the same meaning. Tasty.

    On a more serious note……

    The Air NZ lounge is reportedly much better since Virgin Australia stopped using it.

    Sydney is a lousy airport. Separating the international and domestic terminals has made Brisbane, Perth and Sydney into awful places to connect. I go to and from the USA via Auckland instead, to avoid reclaiming luggage and to allow same-building connections.

  4. David F – Beautiful point. No wait, awful point. Hmmmm, I’m making a pretty artful little post making fun of you here. You better be careful that you don’t anger me in the future.

    Stay cheerful, and remember to think before you post. Or should I say, be thoughtful.

  5. What time of day were you there? Was wondering what time the brunch and lunch menu starts? The TG flight leaves at 10am so was wondering if you can order off that?

  6. Artful post by James K. Oh well, it’s your national day so I’m happy to grant you a Fake Word like “”flavorful”, even though my phone keeps trying to tell me that there is no such word.

    We Aussies might tease you Americans for your mangling of the English language, but we do love you and you are always welcome here.

    So long as you understand that we will laugh at you every time you say flavorful or restroom or sidewalk.

    And to return to this thread, you’ll find Sydney Airport is better than any in the USA apart from San Francisco and Indianapolis. (Both of which I’ll grant you are beautiful).

    Sydney even has an AMEX Centurion lounge in its International terminal.

  7. @DavidF want to laugh at me some more? It’s the 4th of July, I’m having people over, lots of food — I’m about to go GET STUFFED.

    You say Americans mangle English, we might say the same about folks Down Under, the point is that there is significant commonality in the language but there’s also variation as well. Neither is ‘right’ there are simply regional differences in English usage (and indeed there are differences in English usage between Western Australia and New South Wales).

  8. Don’t take offence Gary: Aussies tease our friends, not our enemies.

    I wish everyone a happy July 4th.

    And as I said earlier, Americans are always very welcome in Australia. We haven’t forgotten who stood beside us in our hour of need, which is why we always stand beside you nowadays.

  9. And hey, you guys alone had our backs in VIetnam. Which shows a great deal of loyalty and a certain lack of sense. Which is what everyone wants in friends

  10. Thanks for sharing the shortcut to get to the lounge. It looks like it was a great experience. The Laksa looks amazing. Hopefully I will get to try it one day soon!

  11. With respect to the laksa, my wife thought it tasted like it came out of a packet mix. In fact they confessed that they actual use the popular Singapore brand Prima taste. If u like it they sell it at most Asian grocery shop here! I thought they would have an in house chef to do all these food from scratch but not so. The new SQ lounge in Brisbane’s food is not much better either.

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