Priority Pass continues to expand its footprint in Australia. At Sydney and Melbourne’s international terminals The House lounges have just extended access to Priority Pass members.
Which is great, particularly in Sydney were there are no other Priority Pass lounges in the international terminal. But there is one downside – access comes with an extra AUD$20 fee payable at the door.
More on that in a minute. But first, both The House lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are former Etihad lounges. UK lounge operator No 1 Lounges took them over in 2018. They are the home lounges for Etihad and Virgin Australia. BA also directs its outbound passengers to the Sydney lounge although they can also access other Sydney Oneworld lounges. The House is a fairly upmarket brand in the No 1 Lounges stable, a step up from their recent Brisbane addition, My Lounge, which opened 10 days ago.
The House lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are popular because they both feature ample natural light, a la carte dining with full waiter service and an open bar (at no charge). Lounge standards such as free wifi, well appointed furnishings, showers, newspapers, and ample charging points are available.
The a la carte dining is a big drawcard.
On the cons side, neither lounges are huge and they can great crowded at peak periods, particularly prior to the daily British Airways BA16 departure out of Sydney.
That said, these lounges are better than many of the airline lounges at both airports, including the rather dingy Plaza Premium lounge in Melbourne.
Which brings us to the AUD$20 fee. There is some chatter surrounding the appropriateness of this fee, with a lot of people saying its the thin end of the wedge. But plenty of Priority Pass lounges already charge extra fees on top of the Priority Pass membership fee. And plenty of Priority Pass lounges have the oudious practice of charging extra for drinks.
At The House lounges, once you are past the door, there’s no more to pay. And these lounges are a far better standard than the average Priority Pass lounge.
While in a perfect world, you wouldn’t pay extra, there are no extra fee alternatives – Plaza Premium in Melbourne and the Peroni Bar in Sydney as starters.
Both lounges are open from early til late at night.