I recently visited the AMEX lounge at Sydney Airport before and after my flights to New Zealand (more on that in the coming days). The lounge is located across from Gate 24 right after the McDonalds on the right. Since I had breezed through security and passport control, I had time before my flight to Christchurch began to board.
While none of the Priority Pass restaurant options were close by, I did notice that the AMEX lounge was open and fairly uncrowded by the looks of it from the outside.
Access to the lounge is available to all international travelers departing Sydney carrying an AMEX Platinum Card or Black Card (from most countries).
While the lounge looks fairly spacious from the outside, as soon as you step in you will realize that it really isn’t anything close to the size of even the smallest of the U.S Centurion lounges. However the food and drink selection is quite extensive for such a small lounge. The lounge is the most crowded in the morning hours when it appears that most international flights depart Sydney.
It should be noted that 8am to around 1pm is the busiest time in the lounge during which you can hardly find a seat.
At the far end of the lounge is the food and bar area, which featured a decent variety of hot and cold items as well as desserts.
During the morning hours, the buffet featured continental, European, and American options. It’s nothing crafty like what you would find at a US Centurion Lounge, but certainly more substantial than most lounges. Most of all there were certainly plenty of vegetarian options.
During the evening hours, the lounge had vegetarian tacos, some cakes, and some Thai food. I believe this menu varies on a regular basis. I didn’t try anything given that I had already eaten dinner.
I believe there were some restrooms in the lounge in the back past the drinks area, but it got so crowded that I couldn’t verify. There are definitely no showers within the lounge area so if that’s what you are looking for, look elsewhere.
I should also say that all these pictures were from my evening in the lounge (around 7pm). At other times there was no place to even take pictures.
The best part of the lounge is perhaps the views of the runway at Sydney. I saw plenty of A380s and long haul aircraft taking off straight toward the skyline. The seating right by the window is definitely the prime real estate in this lounge.
Service in the lounge was good as far as I could see. Servers were really fast in bringing out coffee and drinks and clearing away plates. The lounge was overall in great shape given its small size and how ridiculously busy it was throughout the morning.
The AMEX Lounge in Sydney is really no different from its American counterparts. It is a great lounge for food, drinks, and even views of the runway, but horrible for spending time and getting work done. Though the evening hours were quieter, I did notice as I was leaving that the lounge had gotten relatively full (I lucked out with a break in the crowd). The morning hours in the lounge are really to be avoided unless you haven’t had breakfast. It’s definitely worth a quick visit for a bite to eat and a free drink (it’s certainly not worth it paying 6 AUD for a Diet Coke).