Qantas’ new lounge rules take effect

The revised access policies are a mixed bag for frequent flyers and Qantas Club members.

By David Flynn, June 15 2023
Qantas’ new lounge rules take effect

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.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 160

 “simplify and align our policies and make things easier and smoother (i.e worse) for visitors and guests.”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 15

Makes sense to me. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2017

Total posts 13

Lol. Thanks for the 'simplification' - it was so confusing to me before... a lost opportunity to actually gain some goodwill from customers. While I suspect QF's main motivation is to cut down on cost by reducing eligible lounge patrons who do not actually pay to get in, QF could have instead come out to say that they are seeking to ameliorate a known issue which is of great frustration to many customers - being lounge overcrowding. While it probably won't make a significant difference, I welcome such an attempt. Instead, they have gone for the 'safer' option of the usual condescending marketing gobbledegook. Shows you where their head is at.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 44

As a “largely unknown benefit” removing it probably won’t do much to alleviate overcrowding.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 154

That's a shame.  It's always been nice that family who have come to see you off can join you in the lounge.  Might not make sense in Sydney and Melbourne where parking's a pain, but it's always been great at smaller airports.

Hey once I was flying to Sydney for an international connection, and had it not been for family finishing their drinks in the lounge, my passport would still have been there on the table as the Dash 8 took off...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jan 2013

Total posts 13

It is not going to affect that many, as QF suggest, what is the driver? That’s a rhetorical question, btw.

Should apply from next renewal though. I’ve recently renewed (just before rumours started to circulate) and wouldn’t have if I’d known.

So your prime motivation in getting the membership was to bring non-flying guests into the lounge? Kinda makes sense why Qantas did this when I read this. 

Good news. Those in a flyers lounge should be flyers - if you're just meeting friends or family then that's what coffee shops are for. Anything the airline does to keep crowds as low as possible is a good thing. 

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