A Qantas flyer's guide to Emirates airport lounge access

By Chris C., February 24 2016
A Qantas flyer's guide to Emirates airport lounge access

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Qantas frequent flyers have been enjoying access to Emirates’ network of airport lounges for almost three years now, but in that time the access rules haven’t gotten simpler: if anything, they’re now more complex and can leave even the most seasoned business travellers scratching their heads.

Whether you’re a Qantas Club member, a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer or fly high in Qantas business class or even first class, here’s where you can relax in an Emirates lounge, and where you can’t.

Emirates lounge access: Qantas Club members

Qantas Club members draw the short straw with Emirates, welcome only in the airline’s business class lounges in Dubai when their next onward flight is booked on a Qantas QF flight number and operated either by Qantas or Emirates.

That means if you’re booked onto an Emirates EK flight number or are flying from anywhere other than Dubai – including Australian cities and even with a QF flight number on your ticket – you can’t access the Emirates lounges in those ports.

Instead, Qantas Club members can stop by Qantas’ own international business class lounges when booked on a QF flight number and travelling with Emirates, where a lounge in that same airport both exists and is open.

For example, members could visit Qantas’ international business lounge in Sydney (above) when flying with Emirates to Dubai, provided the QF flight number is booked rather than the EK flight number.

The only exception to the rule is at London’s Heathrow Airport where Qantas Club members can use the American Airlines Admirals Club when flying with Qantas or Emirates on a QF flight number: a handy one to remember before the 24-hour flight home.

Emirates lounge access: Qantas Gold, business class

Qantas’ own business class passengers needn’t head straight for the Qantas business lounge before their flight: you can also find comfort in Emirates’ lounges in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East (including Dubai), North Africa and Europe, when travelling with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number.

The same is true for Qantas Gold-grade frequent flyers on the same flights in any class of service – for example, a Gold frequent flyer jetting from Melbourne to Auckland with Qantas in economy could in fact use the Emirates Melbourne lounge (below) before their trip, as could a business class passenger on the same flight without any frequent flyer status.

London is again an exception where Qantas business class passengers and Gold frequent flyers on Qantas-operated flights cannot visit the new Emirates lounge at Heathrow, instead being directed to the British Airways lounge.

However, if you’re flying with Emirates from London Heathrow – that’s on an Emirates-painted aircraft with Emirates crew – an Emirates business class boarding pass or your Qantas Gold status does get you through the door into Emirates’ Heathrow lounge.

Access to Emirates lounges elsewhere such as in South Africa and the Americas isn’t offered to Qantas business class passengers or to Qantas Gold frequent flyers, even when travelling on an Emirates flight.

Emirates lounge access: Qantas Platinum, Qantas Platinum One

Emirates lounge access for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members is similar to Qantas Gold frequent flyers, but with access also to the Emirates first class lounges in Dubai when flying with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number:

Qantas Platinum frequent flyers can unwind in the Emirates first class lounge
Qantas Platinum frequent flyers can unwind in the Emirates first class lounge

Also remember that these top-tier travellers can visit the Qantas first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne prior to Emirates flights...

... so even if you're flying with Qantas' sister airline and invited to the Emirates lounge, stop by Qantas First for a pre-flight meal at the in-lounge restaurant and a spa treatment at the Aurora day spa:

Emirates lounge access: Qantas first class

As you'd expect, Qantas first class passengers (booked on a QF or EK flight number) can stop by Emirates lounges in Australia and in Dubai, including the Emirates first class lounges where guests can enjoy an a la carte dining experience.

[Click the menu above to enlarge it]

Added to the list for Qantas first class passengers is that ever-elusive Emirates lounge at London Heathrow, rather than the British Airways lounge used by Platinum frequent flyers and business class passengers.

But of course, Emirates lounges in South Africa and the Americas remain off-limits to Qantas first class passengers, including in Los Angeles where Emirates now boasts a new, exclusive lounge.

Also read: The ultimate unofficial Qantas Club guide and FAQ

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1189

As well as confusion on lounge access, there is also check-in confusion.  For example, a QF Club member gets priority check-in when flying Y on a QF operated service.  They do not get any priority check-in when flying Y on a EK operated service even if they have a QF codeshare flight number on their ticket.

12 Oct 2011

Total posts 23

Hmm I'm still confused. As a QF Platinum FF, I've been granted acces to the EK lounge in Johannesburg when flying on an EK ticket in Y. Has this been a mistake in the past?

"...Qantas' sister airline"



yep QANTAS got a halal sister... :)

Qantas Platinum

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

And in case not travelling for business, I was quite happy with First Class Dubai Lounge admittance with the whole family on an economy ticket (QFF Platinum). Stop over to Europe.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2014

Total posts 20

I've flown Melbourne to Auckland with Qantas both in economy as a Gold QFF and in business and both times have been denied access to the Emirates Lounge. I was instead directed to the Qantas Business Lounge.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2524

That's unfortunate – next visit you'd do well to remind the staff of the access rules and ask them to check the rule book or with their supervisor as they were wrong on both occasions.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 681

If there's confusion at the staff level of two partner airlines, then what hope have FF members got?

Sounds to me like some serious rethink on the communications strategy needs to be undertaken at both carriers, and at staff and customer levels so that this becomes clear in all minds.

Or, maybe 'Lounge Roulette' becomes the trendy new game? Mind you, this problem is not isolated to QF/EK. One only has to tally the number of Lounge-related questions on originating carriers and their 'partner' access across the board. As a premium customer, should top and middle level tiered passengers really need to consult a book, bible or web app with poorly defined (and offen inaccurate) information?

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2015

Total posts 7

Cannot beat the Emirates Auckland lounge - especially compared to the Quantas Auckland lounge. I would almost rate the Emirates Auckland lounge on a par with Qantas First Class at Sydney - not better but a very very close second.

Any idea when they are going to do somethign about that terrible Qantas lounge at Auckland - their busiest port apparently

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2524

Hi pallmall, you'll find the latest reported information in this article: Qantas to upgrade Auckland international business class lounge

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 25

So if I am flying MXP-JFK-MXP on EK, as a QF Platinum (say in Economy) member I understand I can enjoy the EK departure lounge from MXP, no lounge in JFK, and the new EK arrival lounge in MXP? Am I right?

04 May 2015

Total posts 271

Don't know what arrivals lounge you're talking about in Milan but even if there was one you wouldn't get access just with a frequent flyer card. Arrivals lounges are usually for premium pax only.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 25

Emirates have unveiled their second global arrivals lounge at Milan Malpensa airport (after LHR). LH, CX and other arrival lounges are also available for status clients so II would expect this to work the same way, however since the QF/EK agreements are not linear and kind of weird I was asking a clarification. 

Weird is also the fact that, if my understanding is correct, in my example I can use the premium facilities in Milan but not in NYC...:)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 187

Wingflex - I get the bit about the new lounge in MXP, but is EK really permitted to hub thru MXP en route to JFK?   I would have thought that would be a direct flight from DXB.


02 Mar 2016

Total posts 1

If you go to the Qantas website it states that First Class passengers can only use any of the One world Lounges. I called qantas after reading this article, and after a long delay, Qantas confirmed that First Class passengers can now access the Emirates LHR lounge. Great news.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2524

Indeed – it's a nice little perk for first class passengers to have in London, but one that isn't promoted very well. :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 40

QF F Passengers have always had access to the EK Lounge at LHR since the partnership started.

05 Mar 2012

Total posts 12

I've always assumed the "Emirates’ lounges in Australia" access also applies to NZ, but have never been able to find confirmation.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2524

Hi AusExpat, you'll find the access rules for the Emirates Auckland lounge in our review: Emirates business class, first class lounge Auckland Airport

05 Mar 2012

Total posts 12

Ask and ye shall receive.  Thanks AusBT team.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Feb 2015

Total posts 27

Just got refused at BKK, travelling QF24 in business class.  The lounge agent told me I had to go to the Qantas transfer desk (I don't even think there is one?) and get the boarding pass reprinted as she "couldnt scan it".  For what I have no idea.  Am now in the Cathay lounge, no problem.  Not sure if I should go back and kick up a stink?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Nov 2016

Total posts 5

Ok, I have read and re-read all comments and answers but I feel like I still need to ask to avoid any embarrassment at the lounge front desk.

I have booked (on the Qantas website) - QF8433 (EK433), Business Class, Brisbane to Singapore.

Do I have access to the Emirates Lounge?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 175

Yes the confusion is all round. As a QFF Plat (I've just been bumped down from QF P1) I was turned away from the SYD QF First Lounge with a EK Bus ticket. Little Surprised...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 May 2017

Total posts 1

So as a Qantas Club Life Member and QFF Gold can I get access to the Dubai and Milan lounge regardless of if I fly Qantas or Emirates?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Oct 2017

Total posts 2

As a Qantas Club member, booked a QF ticket operated by EK from Glasgow-Dubai-Melbourne. Can I use any of the lounges in Glasgow in this case?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 37

I was just checking Emirates website and they seem to not publish information about lounge access privileges for QFF members. Unlike Qantas website which is very clear on lounge access benefits for different tiers of FF.

Have the access rules changed?

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