With Rex now offering business class on some of the most popular domestic routes in Australia, what is the Rex Lounge Sydney like? Does it rival the more established Australian airlines and provide a good alternative? Or does it leave a little to be desired? It is good to explore this lounge as it is not just for Rex business class passengers but at the time I visited Priority Pass members could also use the lounge. Let’s take a look at the Rex Lounge Sydney Airport and see whether it is worth a visit.
This is a fairly small lounge compared to other domestic lounges at Sydney Airport and as such there is a small self-serve buffet. I suspect the Rex Lounge Sydney does not have kitchens for food preparation as everything in the lounge is basically pre-packaged food. That is the one thing that stands out to me. The last lounge I visited that was like this was the old British Airways Lounge in Berlin Tegel airport where everything was prepackaged because they lacked a kitchen for cooking too.
- In a lounge full of prepackged foods it was a delight to see a fresh fruit bowl. Pears and green apples were on offer when I visited.
- Bags of salted peanuts were available. While you might be thinking these are not healthy because they are salted, this is not necessarily the case. While having too much salt is not great for us, peanuts are also a nutritious food. They are a source of plant protein and fibre, and also contain B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants. Also remember many other packaged foods will also have salt added to them and so at least peanuts are a nutrient dense food, even if they have some salt on them.
- Mini squares of cheese were available offering another nutrient dense snack. Cheese is a source of protein and vitamins such as Vitamins B2, A, B12, and minerals such as calcium and zinc.
Not so great. Caution.
- There was quite a selection of cakes, sweet biscuits and chocolates available including lamingtons, white chocolate cookies, banana bread, mini-chocolates, cakes and sweet biscuits. There were also Jatz available (savoury biscuits) to go with the cheese.
- While there weren’t any hot meals available in this lounge, there were instant noodles. Instant noodles are quite processed and are usually high in salt. To put this in perspective these noodles have twice the amount of calories (kilojoules) and 1.5x the sodium than a McDonalds cheeseburger. The noodles also aren’t very nutrient dense as they are mainly flour (in the noodles) and salt and flavourings. There is a small dehydrated vegetables sachet included but it isn’t adding many vegetables.
- The toasted sandwich – we meet again! Looks like the Rex Lounge Sydney is leaning on prepackaged sandwiches as their staple meal. Most of the other foods are snack like foods, but in the fridge there are a range of sandwiches and wraps available. The fillings were very simple and did not have much in the way of salad or vegetables. For example the chicken schnitzel sandwich literally had just the schnitzel and some sauce – no cheese, no salad. I found them to be pretty plain. There was a vegetable wrap but the filling was just like a mush – it was mainly sweet potato (from what I could tell) with small amounts of tomato, capsicum and cabbage. There were also two types of ‘toasties’ available – they were prepackaged sandwiches designed to be toasted in the sandwich press. The varieties were ham and cheese, and chicken and bacon.
Final thoughts on Rex Lounge Sydney Airport
While the Rex Lounge Sydney provides a variety of foods and a small quite space away from the bustle of the gate lounges and food court, it is not quite the same as other domestic offerings in the Australian market. It is disappointing that the majority of foods are pre-packaged snack type foods, but I understand there may be challenges if being to offer much more. It was good to see there was a small number of more nutritious snacks available but it can be easy to be tempted by the range of junk-food type snacks available. Let’s hope this is the beginning of the Rex Lounges and they continue to evolve and improve. It would be good to be able to have another business class offering in the Australian market.
If you are flying Rex out of Melbourne Airport you might like to check out my review