Outstation lounges are interesting- most airlines tend to just outsource the management of lounges to partners. At a small airport like Melbourne’s Tullamarine it’s amazing to see so many airline lounges in a small space.
For Malaysia Airlines (MH), at the present time, there are two daily A330 flights to Melbourne which means only potentially 36 passengers to fill the lounge, with possible Enrich gold and platinum members increasing this amount. Although Melbourne is apparently a candidate for the MH A380 starting 2013 which would mean more competition for the lounge space.
The entry to the lounge is impressive- it’s done in typical Malaysia Airlines style and is like a slice of the famous KLIA Golden Lounge here in Melbourne. I was the first passenger to arrive for my flight in business class with Malaysia Airlines, meaning that I had the spacious lounge all to myself with 3 staff looking after me.
The Malaysia Airlines style is hard to describe but easily identified. Modern with down lights, generally minimalist but a few nice terra cotta pots, pebbles and pot plants.
The Singapore Airlines (SQ) lounge in Melbourne is divided into first and business class- as Malaysia Airlines stopped first class into Melbourne back in 2005, you get a much bigger, open space.
The bathrooms are clean and present well with plenty of amenities. There’s also shower facilities and a basic cloakroom behind the desk.
The food selection started out minor while the hot food was being prepared, some salad plates, sandwiches, cheese and crackers and so on. The chicken sandwiches were excellent.
Beverage- plenty of soft drinks in the elegant fridges, and then a separate spirits counter with a small range of spirits.
Later on as departure time rolled around a selection of hot food came to the lounge, and the prawn curry was to die for. Also available was the vegetarian samosas, Singapore noodles and spicy beef curry with rice.
The lounge has adequate fast wifi but you need to request the password from the front desk, the business centre was a little light on with no PCs. There was also a good selection of magazines and some daily newspapers.
When you think about outstation lounges it reminds you that you rarely visit them, and I think this was one of the best I’d seen- although upcoming flights with Emirates might just change that.
Impressions of the MH Lounge in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
Ambiance: Top marks, you couldn’t fault it. All it needs is a nice view of the tarmac.
Staff: All friendly and did everything that was required
Food: Limited selection compared to KLIA but what was presented was very much to my taste and more than adequate
Beverage: Plenty of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages present but a bit more light on
Connectivity: Free WiFi but you need your own devices
Amenities: Didn’t see the showers but the bathroom was adequate