Qantas is tightening access to its domestic Qantas Club and Business Lounges from today, with new rules aimed at limiting overcrowding meaning only guests departing on same day Qantas-operated and eligible partner flights are allowed entry into the lounge.
The move will surprise many frequent flyers and no doubt disappoint others, as it does away with a long-standing perk allowing Qantas passengers in business class, holding Platinum- or Gold-grade status or Qantas Club membership to bring between one and two guests into domestic Qantas lounges – even if those guests were not flying.
(This also covered guests who might have been travelling on a Qantas competitor, such as Virgin Australia or Rex.)
A Qantas spokesperson tells Executive Traveller the changes were made in order to “simplify and align our policies and make things easier and smoother for visitors and guests.”
The ability to bring non-flying guests into a Qantas lounge was a largely unknown benefit among frequent flyers, though one which was very handy for those who used it.
In some crowd-pleasing news though, Qantas Club members will now be able to bring guests travelling on same-day Qantas, Jetstar or Oneworld flights into international Qantas lounges (in Australia or overseas) from today, even if they’re not on the same airline.
Qantas’ new rules will effectively apply the same guest access policy between domestic and international lounges, which certainly adds clarity and consistency.
There’s no change to the number of guests you can bring in, which remains as follows:
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers: one guest in international lounges or two in domestic
- Qantas business class passengers: one guest
- Qantas Gold frequent flyers: one guest
- Qantas Club members: one guest
The new rules simply mean any guests you bring into the lounge must be able to show their ticket or boarding pass for a flight departing the same day on Qantas or Jetstar.
“Domestically, customers will need to be travelling on the same day with Qantas or Jetstar to come in as guests,” a Qantas spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.
“This is unlikely to affect that many customers, given most people and their guests in our lounges are already travelling with Qantas or Jetstar on the same day.”
Qantas lounges have been getting notably crowded of late, especially during peak periods, with the airline on track to see domestic capacity return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-year.
It’s expected capacity could potentially tip over the 100% milestone following an increase to flights between Australia’s east coast capitals and also the return of more twin-aisle Airbus A330s onto east-west routes between those cities and Perth.