Whether your friends and family are joining your travels or they’re merely seeing you off at the airport, you may be able to bring them with you into an airport lounge.
Different airlines have different rules – which can also vary based on the type of ticket you’ve booked, your frequent flyer status and any paid airport lounge membership you might hold – but here’s how it works with Qantas, Virgin Australia and Regional Express.
Bringing guests into domestic Qantas Club & business class lounges
Qantas domestic business class passengers, including those without any frequent flyer status, can be joined by one guest of their choosing in Qantas Clubs and business class lounges.
That allowance rises to two guests for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers booked in either business class or economy, but if flying in business class, note that this isn’t in addition to the standard allowance of one guest: two guests remains the grand total.
Qantas Gold-grade frequent flyers and paid Qantas Club members are instead welcome to bring one guest into Qantas Club lounges when travelling in economy, or one guest into business class lounges (where available) when booked in business class.
In all cases, those guests don’t need to be travelling with you or even flying that day, allowing you to spend your lounge time with friends, family, colleagues or anyone else you choose to bring in.
All lounge-eligible travellers can also be accompanied by a further two guests aged 4-17 years – atop their usual guest allowance – along with infants aged three years and below.
Bringing guests into domestic Virgin Australia lounges
Unlike Qantas, Virgin Australia doesn’t allow its business class passengers to bring guests into airport lounges unless the business class passenger is also a paid lounge member or holds Velocity Gold or Platinum frequent flyer status.
However, Velocity Platinum travellers booked in economy or business class can bring up to three guests into Virgin Australia lounges – one extra guest than Qantas affords its own top-tier travellers.
Velocity Gold members and paid Virgin Australia Lounge users can instead bring one guest into the lounge whenever they fly, and again, there’s no requirement for any guest to be travelling with Virgin Australia, or at all.
Virgin Australia also allows its lounge members and both Gold and Platinum frequent flyers to bring in a further two children aged 3-12 years and infants below that age, although counts those aged 13 and over as adult guests from the allowances above.
Travellers accompanied by guests over and above their adult or child allowance may be able to purchase access for them at a cost of $65 per person, paid at reception.
Bringing guests into domestic Regional Express (Rex) lounges
Under the recently-revised Rex Lounge program and without having a frequent flyer scheme of its own, Rex keeps things simple: paid lounge members can bring one guest with them into Rex Lounges at no charge.
However, the guest must also be travelling with Rex that same day – they can’t merely be dropping you off at the airport, or meeting you before jetting off with a different airline.
There’s no requirement that your guest be booked on the same flight as you, only that they hold a booking of their own, and if you’d like to bring a second guest into a Rex lounge, you can do so by paying $22 on the day.