Qantas to reopen most airport lounges on December 2

It's been a long time coming, but most Qantas lounges are getting ready to roll out the welcome mat.

By David Flynn, November 11 2020
Qantas to reopen most airport lounges on December 2
Executive Traveller exclusive

With state borders coming down and summer holiday travel kicking into gear, Qantas will unlock the doors of most domestic airport lounges across Australia on December 2.

This will include the majority of Qantas Clubs, in many cases alongside those Business Lounges which are already open – such as Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – and Qantas Club lounges at the Gold Coast and Hobart, plus Qantas regional lounges in Devonport and Launceston.

At Melbourne, Qantas will unlock the doors of its Business Lounge, although at the time of writing the adjacent Qantas Club will remain shuttered due to government capacity restrictions on the number of guests at any venue.

Qantas Club-worthy passengers – such as Gold-grade frequent flyers and their Oneworld Sapphire counterparts – will be welcomed at the Business Lounge, which is usually the exclusive domain of business class passengers and Platinum-grade frequent flyers.

Qantas' Melbourne Business Lounge will also welcome Club-worthy travellers.
Qantas' Melbourne Business Lounge will also welcome Club-worthy travellers.

"At Melbourne we’ll have to follow whatever restrictions are in place due to Covid-19," Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully tells Executive Traveller.

“With Victoria continuing to do a fantastic job containing the virus we’re hopeful that restrictions will continue to ease and we’ll be able to open our Melbourne Club lounge soon."

Social distancing is part of the new loungescape.
Social distancing is part of the new loungescape.

ET review: Qantas Business Lounge, Melbourne Airport domestic terminal T1

The invitation-only Qantas Chairman's Lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are also scheduled to open in early December.

All Qantas Chairman's Lounges will reopen in early December.
All Qantas Chairman's Lounges will reopen in early December.

However, some regional Qantas lounges such as Darwin will reopen when there's sufficient demand, Qantas says, while ongoing terminal work at Rockhampton and Port Hedland is keeping the shutters down at those two locations.

The Federal Government is pressing all states and territories to drop their 'hard border' closures by Christmas, and has indicated a timetable for this will follow the next national cabinet meeting on November 13.

"As more of our customers return to the skies we’re delighted we can now re-open almost all of our lounges in time for Christmas," Tully enthuses.

"It’s another step towards returning the travel experience back to normal. It also means more of people can get back to work."

The new Qantas lounge experience

Visitors to Qantas' lounges will notice a markedly different experience from the pre-pandemic loungescape.

Gone are the days of self-serve buffets, snacks and drinks; the DIY toasted sandwich press and the pancake machine have also been packed away.

A sweeping overhaul of the food & drinks service, aimed at minimising contact and touchpoints under a new 'Covid-safe' model, has introduced a ‘serviced snacking station’ of cold dishes and light bites, with staff standing by to hand over your selection.

Self-serve is replaced by this 'serviced snacking station'.
Self-serve is replaced by this 'serviced snacking station'.

There's also a ‘tray-around service’ to bring several individually-plated dishes de jour  to travellers at their seat.

Qantas says its aim is to always have one vegetarian and one gluten-free option in the tray-around selection, which also changes from late brunch through to supper.

The tray-around service delivers lounge guests a personal touch.
The tray-around service delivers lounge guests a personal touch.

During one of our recent visits to Qantas' Sydney Business Lounge the mid-morning tray-around menu offered a bacon and egg roll with tomato relish; a healthy breakfast bowl with hummus, tabouleh, charred cauliflower and a soft-boiled egg; and a tart of roasted field mushrooms, kale and cheese with tomato relish.

A breakfast tray-around: decent and delicious serves.
A breakfast tray-around: decent and delicious serves.

This personalised service, combined with an array of dishes which couldn’t be out of place at those favourite corner cafe, make for a pleasingly boutique club-like feel.

Read more: How coronavirus actually changed Qantas lounges for the better

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.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 6

I really love the current Qantas food offering during COVID. Can it please stay for the future! Much better quality of food and a bigger offering. 

11 Nov 2020

Total posts 1

Skynews' viewership will double!  ;)

12 Oct 2018

Total posts 11

The Vic-NSW border opens on 23 November yet the Melbourne lounge/s doesn't open until 2 December? Grrr I'm flying Mel to Syd on 28 November.

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 21

Good to see- Virgin are you paying attention. Lots of travel for me in November and December, hopefully Virgin will get going as well, Chairmans lounge is also opening soon so maybe Virgin can let us know whether the Club will too ? I will just have to fly Qantas and use my lifetime membership till Virgin makes a call and by the looks of it, Patrons are actually happy with the service and F & B selection in the Qantas lounges. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 369

That's weird, you're reading my mind 'giveflight', my thinking was almost identical.  

Hope I never end up sharing Powerball Div-1 with you !!  :-)

Whip-crack!!  Virgin, get your bloody skates on and start playing - we're waiting and watching.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 109

Last week I was in the Perth Business Lounge at T4 and now you can get actually grab your own food again. Being the delicious freshly made Pizza and other items etc. I have flown weekly for business during the whole pandemic and this was the first time I have been able to do that rather than the food be given to me on my request. 

I will echo other comments here that the food and service has been sensational the whole pandemic in the lounge anyway. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Feb 2017

Total posts 25

same here since august also ex perth. I noticed that last last week and also the staff all were wearing masks and they said it was in preparation for the borders coming down

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

 the DIY toasted sandwich press and the pancake machine have also been packed away.”

There goes your grilled toast sandwich, David

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

The light bites and individually-plated dishes de jour can be a hit or miss. 

Had been at the Canberra lounge last weekend, and the white rice with pork bolognse-like dish was served barely lukewarm with one cold bowl of rice with barely a hint of pork and tomato solid. And that’s 10 mins after putting in the request in a quiet time of the day (barely 15 people in the business lounge). And the underside of the plate had sauce on it.

Would have thought it must be work experience day if it wasn’t extraordinary times.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

I think I shall just book a flight, any flight, in December to experience it all again!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2013

Total posts 39

No problems keeping the QF club in Melbourne closed - I for one hope it doesn’t reopen again. That refurb was terrible, but the Business side was awesome!

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Didn’t help that part of floor space for QF club was taken over by business lounge

Has Hobart QC opened?

15 Feb 2014

Total posts 6

Good news I guess - but without Qantas opening up to the world, it's not that exciting if you're based in London and used to do 7 or so round trips to Brisbane back in the good old days.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Didn’t think flying halfway around the world to BriVegas is going to be that exciting?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 171

Many Thanks, David. I note that Darwin will open 'on-demand', does anyone know of a date for this? Cheers!


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