Since I had a five hour layover in Melbourne Airport, I decided to check out the American Express Lounge at the Melbourne Airport. There are not too many American Express Lounges in this part of the world so I was fairly excited to check it out (this was my first visit!) after convincing myself to get The Platinum Card a couple of months ago. If you hold a Centurion or Platinum Charge Card from any country, you will be able to access this lounge alongside two guests. Otherwise, please refer to American Express to see which cards are eligible for access.
The American Express Lounge here in Melbourne Airport is operated by Plaza Premium Lounge. At the time of writing, it does not have shower facilities (therefore I had to use the one over at the Qantas International Business Lounge but it is expected to be provided sometime in the near future.
The lounge comes with only 65 seats but they are arranged in such a way that you have plenty of personal space and privacy. They could probably fit more tables and chairs if they wanted to but I guess the main draw of this lounge for me is the exclusivity. Sure, it isn't the Centurion Lounge but hey, as far as airport lounges go in Melbourne, this is probably the quietest one I have been to.
If you are visiting the lounge with a group of friends or family, you are probably better off in the dining area - there are tables here that can easily accommodate big groups. I really like the communal tables as well - they are great for working and power outlets are available but make sure to bring along a universal adapter if you are an international traveller. To be honest, I was a little surprised that the American Express Lounge does not come with universal power outlets given its clientele but this seems to be a general observation across all lounges (as well as hotels!) in Australia.
I love the group tables which sit up to five adults very comfortably - you will also notice the iconic watchdog photo which can be found in all American Express and Centurion Lounges. The watchdog on top of the American Express Company package signifies trust and security.
In need of some caffeine? Coffee is made to order here - simply let the barista know what you would like and it will be brought to you. Like all the other airport lounges here in Australia, the coffee standard is pretty high and I did get a lovely long black during my visit. There also appears to be an open bar behind the coffee machine but since it was only 8:00AM when I visited, I decided to stay sane with simply caffeine.
There is also a selection of fresh juices, water and sodas here at the American Express Lounge - the drink selection may not be extensive as a good airline lounge but I was surprised to find jugs of fresh juices here in the fridge. I did not see any Champagne or sparkling wine while I was there but it could be due to the fact that it was barely 8:00AM when I got in the lounge (most regular people do not start drinking until much later).
Since I had plenty of time to kill, I wanted to get some work done in the lounge before my flight out to Auckland. As such, I settled down on one of the more private areas towards the back of the lounge - the individual seats are semi-private from the outside but you are actually facing another passenger if there is someone in front of you. There are power sockets located next to each seat but unfortunately you will require an adapter of sorts if you do not have a Type I plug. If you do need to access the WiFi network, the password was ‘MemberSince’ when I visited.
There was also a small selection of reading materials there at the American Express Lounge in Melbourne Airport.
The American Express Lounge offers an a la carte menu for eggs from approximately 10:15AM - you may order them poached, scrambled or in an omelette just to name a few. I ordered some poached eggs during my visit and I got exactly what I ordered - nothing more. It would have been better if some garnish was served alongside the eggs but it looked pretty sad (even though it was done beautifully). The lunch menu also kicks in shortly after that but unfortunately I did not stay long enough this time to check it out.
Having been to the Qantas International Business Lounge and the Emirates Lounge, the American Express Lounge here in Melbourne Airport comes as a nice surprise. While the food and beverage offerings may not be as strong as the Emirates Lounge, the space itself is beautiful and I love the semi-private seats here which are great for getting work done. Unfortunately, much like the Qantas International Business Lounge, this lounge does not have any natural lighting so that’s not great for people who easily feel claustrophobic. The decision to get The Platinum Card from American Express has been a great one and I have been utilising the perks quite regularly ever since I have received the card. Once the shower facilities are made available, the American Express Lounge here in Melbourne Airport will become an even more popular spot and I highly recommend for you to check it out the next time you are flying out of Melbourne Airport (MEL).