Qantas frequent flyers can now use some Air New Zealand lounges

With its own NZ lounges still closed, Qantas reaches across the aisle to Air New Zealand...

By David Flynn, April 16 2021
Qantas frequent flyers can now use some Air New Zealand lounges

Passengers on Qantas' flights to New Zealand will be welcome at Air New Zealand's key international lounges before their trip back home, under a temporary deal struck by the airline industry's most famous 'frenemies'.

The reason? While Qantas is reopening its international lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for the long-awaited 'travel bubble' starting April 19, the airline has decided to keep the doors locked on its lounges at Auckland and Wellington, while its partner lounges at Christchurch and Queenstown are also closed.

The modern vibe of Air New Zealand's flagship Auckland international lounge.
The modern vibe of Air New Zealand's flagship Auckland international lounge.

Instead, eligible passengers will be treated to some of Air New Zealand's best lounges.

The following passengers on Qantas flights out of Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington will see the welcome mat rolled out at each airport's respective AirNZ lounges:

  • business class travellers
  • Qantas Frequent Flyers holding Gold, Platinum and Platinum One status
  • Qantas Chairman's Lounge members
  • Qantas Club members
The warm, residential decor of Air New Zealand's Christchurch international lounge.
The warm, residential decor of Air New Zealand's Christchurch international lounge.

Visitors at Air New Zealand's flagship Auckland lounge, for example, can look forward to a revamped menu with a strong focus on 'wellness' and  a wide range of vegan and gluten- and dairy-free offerings – although there'll still be plenty of 'comfort food', including tray-around tempters.

Qantas and Air New Zealand maintain a relationship that's equal part rivals and mates, similar to the relationship between the two nations themselves.

Earlier this month, when the trans-Tasman bubble was announced, AirNZ boss Greg Foran sent Qantas chief Alan Joyce a pavlova – a delicious desert which both Australia and New Zealand claim as their invention, which was topped in sliced kiwi fruit.

(Foran's letter also referenced the Bledisloe Cup, which is subject to an annual rugby union tussle between the two countries.)

Qantas responded by sending Foran a lamington (country of origin likewise contested).

"Thanks for the lamingtons @Qantas, we had no idea they had these over in Australia" Foran tweeted in reply.

And during a media briefing this morning, Joyce noted that Qantas and Jetstar will operate more than 120 return flights per week across the Tasman, but said there'd been a sluggish response from Kiwis.

"They’re a bit under the doona, they need to get out," he joked.

Also read: Qantas extends status match to New Zealand's frequent flyers

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1253

Those notes made my morning.

27 Nov 2018

Total posts 4

Apologies if it has already been covered or an obvious answer but is access granted to a Qantas Platinum Frequent Flier on a JQ flight booked direct with Jetstar? Thanks ☺️ 

Flying JQ from Queenstown to GC direct so be keen to know. 

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 2

Not sure this is the case. I’m a platinum qff and I’m currently sitting in the chc airport food hall with a $20 food credit, having been told at check in that the deal on lounges between NZ and QF has fallen over. Anyone know why? 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 386

I suspect the NZ check-in person is misinformed because if the QF-NZ lounge access arrangement had "fallen over" I'm sure we would have heard something about it. The lounge access would however be subject to capacity, perhaps the Christchurch lounge is at capacity with NZ passengers so they are not letting QF passengers in? The other thing is that QF passengers have access to the NZ lounges only three hours before their flight, any chance you got there extra-early for some reason?

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 2

Nope, he was right. Went through customs only 1.5 hours before departure and the lounge was locked, lights off and no one home. 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 386

So it's not really that the QF-NZ lounge access agreement has "fallen over" as much as that the lounge was closed. The lounge is probably open for Air New Zealand flights and during that time passengers on Qantas flights can access it, but the lounge might not be open when there's only a QF flight operating, not any NZ ones, which seems fair to me. Sorry you only found out about it at check-in though :(

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 63

My experience as well.  We flew out of Auckland business class on the 30th of April.  Both my wife and I are Platinum.  At $4.5K for two tickets to Sydney, I was shocked when at check-in, the agent said the Qantas Lounge was open.  It wasn't.  We weren't given info on accessing the Air NZ lounge, but thought we'd try it anyway.  

We walked across to the Air NZ Lounge and were denied access as the person on the counter said the Qantas - Air NZ deal has expired.  No voucher, no option but to sit in the boarding area for 3 hours.  The one public establishment that was open was packed and wasn't letting anyone else in.  A really bad experience.  

I'm the first to acknowledge we are living in trying times and Covid is having an ongoing impact and lounges are a first world problem, but fair go:  paying sky-high prices and getting no service in return is enough to make me question whether I should switch to flying other airlines to NZ.  Can't be that hard to have an agreement.     

I was wondering if anyone knows when the Qantas International Lounge at Auckland Airport's International Terminal is going to re-open ?  The Qantas site says that it is temporarily closed, however it is silent about when it is going to re-open !!


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