Qantas reduces access for free lounge passes

That Qantas lounge invitation may be a lovely stocking stuffer, but the passes are being rejected at many lounges.

By David Flynn, December 15 2023
Qantas reduces access for free lounge passes

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).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 43

Good, the lounges are overflowing with silver and gold economy flyers.... Its called a Business class lounge for a reason 1

10 May 2020

Total posts 5

It won't do anything about the army of FIFO workers that fill the lounge every day...they are the real issue.

04 Sep 2019

Total posts 54

Very classist considering those FIFO workers probably fly more flights than the majority 

They don't have the option of international business

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 43

The Business class lounge is supposed to be classist, same as First class and Directors Lounge.....

I'm talking international anyways.. domestic "business class" is a joke and so are the lounges.

16 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

Except - you can't use the business lounge if you're silver or gold.. only if you're platinum 🙄 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

In international terminals, Qantas Club and Gold members access the Business Lounge.  It is partly a branding issue with international having no Qantas Club and the international Business Class Lounge often being more akin to a Qantas Club than a domestic Business Class lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2012

Total posts 2

I'm a QFF life Gold member and I have always been allowed entry into the Perth's Domestic QANTAS Business lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 30

They are mainly used for the Qantas Club

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

The snobbery of some people here is amazing.  FIFO workers reach platinum because they travel for work a lot which is basically exactly the same reason that most people reach platinum.  

If you are Chairman's Lounge or VA Beyond, maybe you have reason to preen, though most CL members are deliberately discreet about their status.  Otherwise you are just another airport warrior.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 43

Good, they are getting too overcrowded with silver and gold economy flyers... They are called business class for a reason, they need to go back to making them more exclusive.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

Gold members and Qantas Club members are fully entitled to access lounges.  This article is not referring to them; it is referring to those who are using a lounge visitor pass either because they are a Silver member or have been gifted a pass from someone else.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

Yeah, except the lounge passes and Qantas Gold can't access the "Business" lounge. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 43

They buy the gift passes on Ebay...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 318

Will the pass be refunded if it is linked and you are turned away?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 30

Yes, the passes come with the clause that they are subject to space limitations. So at peak times you'll be turned away.

25 Feb 2022

Total posts 19

Agree, and so many Business Lounges are overcrowding with economy frequent flyers... solution, develop a lounge for those frequent flyers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 30

You mean the Qantas Club? That's what these passes are used on lol

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 13

How dare the Gold peasantry mix with the Platinum High Flyers!

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 74

Seems there is a bit of snobbish attitudes around. I doubt Qantas will dramtically reduce numbers as Qantas sees it profitable to keep them near full to encourage more to join their program. 

I think things are a bit abnormal recently with passenger loads using lounges as business class is selling far better than before the covid era. 

I expect that things will gradually settle over the years as it fades from memory. 

I could whinge about Qantas members taking up space in Taipei CI lounges and also booked in economy. But as long as I can find a seat I don't mind. KLM lounges in AMS for example are always busy. 

The only thing that needs to be done is of course Qantas needs to increase lounge capacities with some expansion. Australia is growing in population size. Travel is increasing. So reasonably lounges should be increasing their footprint space. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 588

A friend of mine is lifetime platinum with KLM and he says the AMS lounges are always busy no matter what time of the day.  He guested me once in 2022 to the non-schengen lounge and it was massive, much bigger than some other flagship lounges around the world, but completely full to the brim since all business and status passengers are mixed together.  I actually prefer the system of separating the status from the actual business class passengers just to spread people out more.  But even with SQ who do this in Changi their new T3 business lounge is still way too small.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

Even the massive EK lounges in DXB fill up during the hub banks and then an hour later are basically deserted.  


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