New 'pay-as-you-go' lounges all passengers can use

Strata Lounge is owned and operated by Auckland Airport.
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Strata Lounge is owned and operated by Auckland Airport.

If you've always wanted to start your holiday or business trip with a touch of luxury but don't have access to an airport lounge scheme, well help is now on hand at Auckland and Melbourne airports

Auckland has opened a new $4 million, 185-seat lounge for international passengers, known as the "Strata Lounge", while across the Tasman passengers can pay for access at the new marhaba lounge at Melbourne Airport.

Richard Barker, Auckland Airport's general manager retail and commercial, says the new Strata Lounge replaces the Emperor Lounge.

Strata Lounge costs $49 online or $55 on the door.
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Strata Lounge costs $49 online or $55 on the door.

"It provides a comfortable and relaxed space for travellers who do not belong to an airline lounge programme and 13 airlines that choose to use the lounge to accommodate their premium passengers prior to boarding.

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Marhaba's new lounge at Melbourne Airport is the first of its kind in Australia.
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Marhaba's new lounge at Melbourne Airport is the first of its kind in Australia.

"Our new Strata Lounge means that no matter which international airline or class you are flying, before boarding your flight you can enjoy a modern lounge – with a fresh range of international food, beverages, work stations, shower facilities and a separate children's space for families to use. In the future the lounge will also have sleeping pods and a beauty spa."

International passengers can purchase entry into the Auckland Airport owned and operated Strata Lounge for $49 online or $55 on the door. 

In Melbourne the new marhaba lounge is located in the international terminal T2, and is the first of its kind in Australia.

Inside marhaba's new lounge at Melbourne Airport
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Inside marhaba's new lounge at Melbourne Airport

This means passengers who are not travelling in first or business class, or do not have a frequent flyer status, will be able to use the lounge for a fee of A$65 (NZ$71.50). The price provides access for a four hour maximum stay. Children under 12 are an additional A$35.

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With room for 200 guests, the lounge will have 26 staff on deck and features all the amenities you'd expect, such as free Wi-Fi, buffet cuisine, Australian wines, a quiet zone for relaxation, and importantly, shower facilities for transiting passengers.

Entering the lounge on a casual basis is easy - you can pay for access on the spot or you can guarantee your place through online bookings at marhabaservices.com.

Complimentary access will be provided to those flying with partner airlines JAL, Xianen and Tianjin. Marhaba are working on adding four more partner airlines to this list by the end of the year.

Marhaba is part of Dnata, an international airline service provider, which has lounges in Bahrain, Dubai and Karachi, Singapore, Switzerland and Italy.

- Stuff/Traveller

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