Gilded benefits: the five best Qantas Gold perks on domestic trips

Discover five ways that shiny Qantas Gold card can make your domestic journey easier.

By Staff Writers, April 24 2024
Gilded benefits: the five best Qantas Gold perks on domestic trips

Gold-grade Qantas status delivers plenty of benefits for the frequent traveller, even on domestic flights – which is, to be fair, how many Golds earn their wings, with a lot of shuttling back and forth between the capital cities or on regional routes. 

Thankfully, those wins aren’t frivolous: they’re practical perks that save you time, hassle and headaches. And isn’t that what status is supposed to be about?.

1. Lounge access, for you and a guest

Arugably the biggest benefit unlocked by Qantas Gold status is lounge access. For domestic travellers flying economy, the Red Roo offers lounges in over two dozen airports, with Gold members able to relax before their flight in Qantas Clubs and Qantas Regional Lounges around the country.

And one guest can accompany you on every visit – very useful on work trips when flying with a colleague who may not have status or lounge access on their own.

Gold status unlocks Qantas Clubs and Regional Lounges.
Gold status unlocks Qantas Clubs and Regional Lounges.

On holidays, that guest could be a friend or partner. If travelling with little ones, Qantas Gold members can bring up to two children aged 4-17 into the lounge, along with kids aged 0-3 with no set limit – and that’s in addition to one adult guest, potentially getting your whole family through the door by way of your Gold membership. 

2. Skip the queues at security screening

At major Australian domestic airports airport you’ll be able to get to the lounge faster by taking advantage of priority security screening lanes.

This includes the fast-track channels at ‘regular’ security checkpoints, along with the Qantas Premium Lounge Entry facility in Brisbane, where you’ll clear security in a private room – accessible directly from the check-in hall – before emerging directly inside the Qantas Club.

3. Enjoy the baggage allowance of business class

Gold frequent flyers can forget about Qantas’ regular economy baggage allowance of a single 23kg piece of luggage. Qantas Gold status ramps this to two bags of up to 32kg each, at no extra charge. That’s brilliant for everything from bulky material for a sales conference to tools of trade.

4. Priority boarding (when it works)

Joining business class passengers and Platinum frequent flyers, Gold cardholders can use domestic priority boarding lanes wherever available, helping to get on the aircraft sooner and store any cabin baggage when there’s still plenty of space in the lockers.

While the success of priority boarding varies from flight to flight, as with check-in, it usually beats joining the back of the economy queue, especially if you remain in the lounge until boarding is called.

Of course, Qantas is also trialling group boarding – whereby passengers are assigned a boarding group from one to five, in accordance with their frequent flyer status and which row of the aircraft they’re travelling in. If successful, it may help speed up the process across the wider network. 

5. Request ‘on departure upgrades’ to business class

While all Qantas Frequent Flyer members can request domestic flight upgrades using their Qantas Points – some confirmed immediately, and others waitlisted for consideration closer to departure – as a Gold member, you have one more option: an ‘on departure upgrade’.

Available until just 20 minutes before your flight departs (compared to 24 hours prior for ‘normal’ upgrades), it’s handy if your travel plans regularly change; when you just decide to spoil yourself after a day at the office; or even if you tried upgrading in advance and weren’t successful, as staff in the lounge or at the service desk may be able to help.

The number of points required is the same as for any other upgrade on the same flight, and although you may not be ‘guaranteed’ catering if granted an upgrade at the airport, in my experience, you never go hungry: your meal order just tends to be taken last, based on what’s still available.

Qantas' Boeing 737 business class.
Qantas' Boeing 737 business class.

Gold frequent flyers also earn up to 75% more points than Bronze members on the same flights – excluding short routes like Sydney-Melbourne where Qantas’ Minimum Points Guarantee gives everybody the same bounty – which means you’ll be unlocking free flights and upgrades at a faster rate than other travellers.

Curious what else your Qantas Gold status can do? Take a look at our in-depth guide

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