Faced with a surge of travellers across the Christmas holiday period, Qantas is limiting the use of complimentary lounge passes at its domestic and international lounges.
Qantas issues digital lounge invitations, which can be used at any Qantas Club or International Business Lounge, to Silver-grade frequent flyers and Qantas Points Club members as well as though a half-dozen partner credit cards.
Platinum One members also receive two invitations per year which can be used at a Qantas first class lounge.
Qantas lounge invitations are also widely available on classified websites such as eBay and Gumtree, where the going price is $50-$70 per pass.
These lounge passes are not only welcomed by infrequent flyers for enjoying a visit to a Qantas lounge ahead of an annual trip, they’re a popular give-away from frequent flyers to family and friends.
Any Qantas Frequent Flyer member can arrange lounge access by ‘linking’ a pass to their upcoming Qantas or Jetstar flight.
Except that right now, several Executive Traveller readers are reporting Qantas lounge invitations aren’t able to be linked to a flight to provide lounge access.
Executive Traveller understands this is happening due to lounge capacity issues across the Qantas network during the peak summer travel period, with over 8.5 million people expected to fly on Qantas and Jetstar throughout December-January (the highest number since the ‘before times’ of summer 2019-20).
Qantas has clamped down on lounge invitations across previous holiday periods, and their use is always subject to capacity.
While Qantas declined to provide an ‘on the record’ comment, it appears there’s no hard and fast ‘holiday blackout’ here – whether a lounge invitation can or cannot be linked to a flight depends on the forecast lounge capacity at that day and indeed at that time.
Obviously the busiest windows for departures – such as mid-morning and mid-afternoon at the Sydney international lounges – will be busier than ever at this time of year, although these Qantas lounges also have to absorb the load of business class passengers and eligible frequent flyers from partner airlines.
In short, the only way to know if a Qantas lounge invitation can be used at any particular lounge ahead of a flight is to try linking it (and crossing your fingers can’t hurt).