Qantas airport lounges to reopen from July

Qantas lounges will begin to swing open their doors next month, but a very different experience awaits.

By David Flynn, June 5 2020
Qantas airport lounges to reopen from July

Qantas will begin soaring back into Australian skies this month, but its airport lounges won't be opening until July – and even then, it'll be a slow process.

A Qantas spokesman confirmed to Executive Traveller that domestic Qantas Club and Qantas Business lounges are expected to gradually open from July, as the airline ramps up to meet school holiday demand and towards 40% of its pre-pandemic flying capacity.

Even then, unlocking those lounge doors – which swung shut in late March – will be a staggered affair based on how many eligible travellers are booking flights on Qantas and in some cases Jetstar, which in turn could hinge on states such as  Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania unbolting their border lockdown.

“We are gradually adding flights in June as demand levels increase (and) we can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then," says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

In cities with both a Qantas Club and a Qantas Business lounge, only one of those might open at first and roll out the welcome mat for all lounge-worthy passengers – although where the invitation-only Qantas Chairmans lounges fit into this remains to be seen.

Visitors will notice many changes to the loungescape, beginning with more space between seating to comply with social distancing requirements and avoid passengers clustering too close together.

The Qantas spokesman told Executive Traveller that furniture in the lounges will be moved around, along with "other temporary changes to facilitate physical distancing."

However, this will also mean a reduction in actual lounge capacity and the need to place limits on the number of passengers allowed into a lounge – which could see some lounges declared 'full' even with relatively low numbers, and other lounge-eligible passengers turned away.

Hand-sanitising stations will be placed near the entry and dotted around the lounge, while self-serve buffets will be replaced by pre-packaged meals and snacks.

Those measures are all part of Qantas' broader FlyWell program which encompasses a range of health measures on the ground and in the air, including issuing passengers with face masks and sanitiser wipes, and adopting sequential boarding and disembarking – although middle seats won't be blocked from sale.

Also read: What to expect when flying domestically during the coronavirus era

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

PG1
PG1

17 May 2017

Total posts 11

Lounges structured to address covid-19 requirements, people potentially turned away because of this plague but you can bet your sweet bippy, they'll all be crammed on that plane to somewhere !!!

<sigh>

Yes, how can you justify social distancing in the Lounge, and ignoring it on the aircraft????

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Jul 2019

Total posts 3

@PG1 @nekillem2020

I guess that's where the masks come in. No need for a mask in the lounge due to social distancing requirements. Masks on for the flight because social distancing not implemented.

QF

15 Apr 2015

Total posts 16

Higher rate of air exchange on the plane...

and hopefully no chatty neighbours!!! I want to read my book!! Haha

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 24

Put headphones on.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

I would have been happy with usual seating arrangements in the airline if everyone wears the masks and pax are screen properly before boarding.

Unfortunately Qantas says they are not going to enforce mask wearing once inside the plane.

Which is mind boggling considering what every other airlines are doing to get their planes in the air globally and what IATA is telling everyone to follow ICAO guidelines.

To give the mask measures real teeth, for those pax without medical excuse who were directly asked to keep their masks on but refused to do, put them on the no-fly-list for the rest of the pandemic period.

The mask may not protect the well from catching the virus, but is sure proven to reduce load of spread from those who are infectious, whether they know they got or not.

08 Aug 2012

Total posts 12

They probably need to find a way to spend the $220M in govt contracts they've been given since the doors swung shut.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2020

Total posts 11

Looking forward to flying again and happy to be masked and with sanitiser in hand if not provided. Lounge distancing seating will be fine. The challenge will be an improvement on cleanliness in food service areas and bathroom facilities. I'm sure Qantas will rise to the challenge.

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 24

I'm not going anywhere until the First lounge opens.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 68

No first lounge in Brisbane at either terminal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 157

They'll have to open to lounges in fairly quick succession to provide capacity, otherwise FFs wont be particularly happy if they start getting turned away.

I wonder if they will be providing any food vouchers in compensation otherwise may as well fly JQ.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jan 2015

Total posts 15

I would rather walk, or swim then ever fly on Death Star.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

The Death Star would have been the safest place in the Empire if not for those pesky kids......

Oh, you meant JQ

Yup, I agree but until QF replace enough flights within the next 2 months esp the weekends, you may have to take the inconvenient flight schedules.

Unless you are booking flights the day before, i wouldnt risk good money on VA flights until the wining consortium announced their plans, which is one step after the next step which is to decide who wins the bid!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 24

Those business seats might well be more sought after.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 281

With Qantas club members having actually paid money for access to lounges rather than as a reward for achieved status it could be the case that they have priority to domestic Qantas Clubs when the lounges start to get full, as QF have taken money to provide a service, and as we have seen throughout all this in all aspects of business, if you can't provide the service,you can't take the money.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 68

Do you reckon on the paid Club members who also have higher credits getting twice the chance of gaining lounge entry, or will it one or the other?

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 68

Yea, lounges open again, but as I always went as far as possible from other patrons, the only differences will be hand sanitiser and the ways food are served.

I have a wry smile regarding cleaning plane's seating areas. For years I've used sanitisers on my seat, chair back, seat belt, tray table, storage areas, etc. I've had people eye me with the "what's wrong with her?" look in all classes on the planes. The sanitiser doesn't kill viruses, but it keeps some germs at bay. See who's having the last laugh now and I'm glad the company is doing better cleaning.

Wonder what it'll be like on the small plane to Longreach at the end of July? I kept the booking purchance planes were flying again.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 74

I was in the Cathay lounges just before the clampdown and one thing they did was have pre-made bowls with salad, antipasto and other things covered with cling wrap. I'd imagine Qantas will do something similar with maybe a person behind the counter dishing out hot food. Besides the Buffet, most people tend to keep to themselves or their party, so I don't see too many issues arising from the lounges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 32

If you get turned away, just produce a protest placard and voila, instant entry because the virus doesn't infect people protesting - obviously.

Has anyone flown Qantas domestic in the recent COVID situation? If what I read is correct (no meals), it really makes qantas business class domestic service very bad value ($900 one way sydney to brisbane versus $130 economy - and whats the difference? The seat is 30% larger....)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 10

Anybody has any updates about the reopening? With recent announcement of further lay offs, they may decide to postpone the reopening of lounges again?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2431

No dates we can share from this end.


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